Biggest retailer in Africa to accept Bitcoin Lightning payments — Will the BTC price rise?
On Tuesday, South Africa’s biggest retailer, Pick n Pay, disclosed that its customers can now make payments at some of its designated stores using cryptos. The announcement follows the successful completion of the first pilot phase that allows the retail store to support crypto payments.
Hence, Pick n Pay customers can use supported cryptocurrencies to pay for goods through their phones. The retail store has started testing the new payment feature at several branches. Many retail stores in South Africa are beginning to support crypto payments after the country’s financial regulator approved digital currencies as a payment method.
Last month, South Africa’s financial watchdog (the financial sector conduct authority, FSCA) officially announced that crypto assets are financial products in the country. Hence, the authorities plan to released regulatory policies regarding cryptocurrencies. But, more importantly, the announcement paved the way for businesses to start supporting crypto payments for their goods and services.
According to the announcement, Pick n Pay said many firms now support Bitcoin and crypto payments because many Bankless and underbanked individuals are embracing cryptocurrencies. The statement added that some persons are embracing crypto because it is a less expensive and more convenient way to pay for goods or services and exchange money.
Pick n Pay’s most recent pilot phase was a test of using a payment service technology that will allow customers to use digital currencies and pay for groceries at cash desks with the Bitcoin lightning app like Muun and Bluewallet.
The payment process is simple, customers scan a QR code from the app and pay the Bitcoin equivalent of the Rand amount for any goods they buy. On average, the service charge for each transaction is 70 cents, while the process takes only 30 seconds to complete.
Pick n Pay’s crypto payment support
Pick n Pay trialed the crypto payments on ten of its in the Western Cape over a 5-month duration. The retail store plans to roll out the pilot test to additional 29 stores before extending the feature to all its other stores across the country over the next few months.
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Pick n Pay claims that it has been planning this feature launch for some time now. Five years ago, the store tested a similar feature at the canteen of its Cape Town head office. However, the technology available at that time didn’t make economic sense.
Also, the completion of the transaction took way too long. Hence, it wasn’t sustainable. However, Pick n Pay’s group head for technology and information, Chris Shortt, commented that the store can now provide high volumes and cheaper service to South Africans using the new technology.
He added that the move would boost financial inclusion for many residents across the country. The retail store giant is launching its new test phase in partnership with Cryptoconvert and Electrum. Cryptoconvert connects with Pick n Pay through the electrum payment platform.
Hence, store customers can use Bitcoin lightning technology to make payments at cash desks. Cryptoconvert founder Carel Van Wyk said crypto payments are still relatively new in South Africa, but adoption is growing fast.
Meanwhile, BTC price is down 0.87 percent in the last 24 hours and trades at $20,514. Several factors influence BTC’s price movement aside from crypto adoption or crypto payments.