Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates


Pick n Pay SA testing accepting Bitcoin as payment

Pick n Pay

If you’re in Cape Town, South Africa, then you’ll be able to pay for goods at a Pick n Pay using Bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency for a limited time. It will be made possible by Electrum, a Cape Town based specialist software payments company. In a statement with the announcement of this development, Electrum is also calling this payment method a potential world first for a major grocery retail store.

So how will it work?

Well, according to a video demonstrating paying for goods at Pick n Pay using Bitcoin, the checkout process is quite simple. First, you walk around the shop and pick what you’d like to buy for example some dried fruit. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve got what you want, head over to the checkout point.

The cashier will scan the product as usual. Now, the process changes, the cashier will then select your payment method as Bitcoin and a QR code will be printed. While that is happening, you’ll open up your mobile Bitcoin wallet app, select the scan option and point your device camera to the QR code that would have been printed to scan it.

Once you’ve scanned the QR code, you’ll be shown the amount of Bitcoin that you’ll spend in that transaction and if you’re satisfied then it’s as simple as clicking pay and your Bitcoin will be spent on dried fruit.

Why the QR code?

In this case, the payment system is being powered by Bitcoin infrastructure provided by Luno, a global Bitcoin company, active in Southeast Asia and Africa, and with an office in Cape Town. Luno makes it easy for South African consumers and others to easily buy, sell, send and spend Bitcoin. If you were to be paying for goods at Pick n Pay using Bitcoin, this would be the easiest Bitcoin wallet for you to use as it is the one they used in their demo video.

We mentioned that the system is powered by Luno’s infrastructure, what does that mean? Apart from the Bitcoin wallet app Luno being used, when the cashier selects Bitcoin as the payment method, the system talks to Luno for it to get the QR code. The QR code is just like the bank account number for the shop so instead of them telling you the number, a QR code is generated and you can just scan that to get the details of the amount to be paid and where it’ll be going.

Would you use Bitcoin to pay for groceries at Pick n Pay locally?

Even though this payment method is only available in South Africa in the test phase, if the project does become successful and it’s rolled out to Pick n Pay stores in Zimbabwe, would you use it? Cryptocurrencies, in general, are still a new thing in terms of being used as a payment method. However, that doesn’t seem to be stopping Pick n Pay from taking the leap of integrating such technologies.

Jason Peisl, Information Systems Executive at Pick n Pay said the following on that subject.

“At Pick n Pay, one of our key values is to embrace change and encourage innovation and leadership. To deliver on that promise we are constantly working with our technology partners to find ways in which we can deliver valuable, innovative services to our customers. Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are still relatively new payment concepts, yet we have been able to effectively demonstrate how we are able to accept such alternative payments.“

Given how Electrum provided the cloud-based enterprise payments platform used for the transactions, their MD Dave Glass also had the following to say.

“We’ve worked closely with PnP for several years as a key technology provider. Our mission is to support innovative enterprises like Pick n Pay, and together we use the advanced Electrum software-as-a-service technology to move quickly on new opportunities, whilst at the same time delivering the best possible shopping experience“.

Interested to know your thoughts on this. Do you own any Bitcoin? Have you paid for something using Bitcoin? If you don’t own any or haven’t used it for payments, why haven’t you done so?

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16 thoughts on “Pick n Pay SA testing accepting Bitcoin as payment

  1. It sounds like a lot of unnecessary hassle. We already have cash, debit card and credit card facilities which work well, so why add yet another payment method. Don’t try fixing what isn’t broken!

    1. Hehe, shame, this character who doesn’t know about bitcoin thinks the system isn’t broken. I think bitcoin becoming main stream as a currency is beyond necessary for zimbabwe, if pick n pay accepts it, it will be the push that we need as a country to start accepting it. Question, how is everyone on this thread getting their bitcoin?

        1. They need to market themselves much more. Their order book is very thin and the spread is ridiculous. Maybe they need competition to pull up their socks

  2. This is the future of technology accept it or not technology doesn’t wait for anyone to accept it as it’s on its own path , this is really what is needed in the world , I have bitcoin and have used it to payments and any serious individuals who are forward thinking need to research and see the convenience and power of BITCOIN as it know no borders !

  3. I find it strange and rather unfair for those who are already trading in bitcoin to call names and insult those who do not know about bitcoin.Should we rather not educate them.Its sad and really says a lot about who we are as a country.I personally do not know a lot about bitcoin and all the research i have done has ended up in technical jargon which i find rather confusing.

    Can someone please explain bitcoin in simple terms.Without all the technical jargon.Just plain simple terms and with reference to the below questions:
    1.What drives its value
    2.What happens when people stop selling.
    3.Who determines the amount of bitcoins on the market.
    4.I have often heard people say it creates and new avenue from the “manipulative banking sector”.Is it not also true that there are traders who essentially have more bitcoins and thus determine and can control its value.How then is this any different from the banking sector and interest rates that banks charge.
    5.What does adopting bitcoin mean for the poor.Would they also be able to buy at the exorbitant prices.If adopted will there not be pricing distortions.
    6.Traders can only make money if only there is demand will this not lead to market distortions and manipulative practices and create the same scenarios that traders claim are rampant in the current financial sector.
    7.Whats the impact of adopting unregulated currency in this case Bitcoin as an official currency in Zimbabwe.In this case i am thinking about those that do not have access to trading platforms etc.
    8.Is bitcoin not creating value of of nothing.What really is the basis for its value considering there is no form of manufacturing of goods etc.
    9.What happens if all those with huge chunks of bitcoins decide to withdraw from trading.
    10.What is the impact in terms of tax and legal reporting should bitcoin be adopted as a legaly accepted form of payment.Will those trading in bitcoin not at that stage be liable to tax laws etc and will this not mean it becomes in a way a regulated currency?. it viable in the long run and will it not then lead to illegal activities such as selling drugs online using bitcoin.Is it a good thing that Bitcoin is not regulated.?

    Would be happy if someone can answer the above and explain bitcoin in simple terms without calling me names or insulting as i have stated am only seeking an understanding of how it works.

  4. A BitCoin transaction will require at least 2 verifications to be complete. From my own experience, it usually takes even an hour to verify. I dont know how it will be handled.

    1. Depends on the recipient. Exchanges usually have 3 or more confirmations for security reasons but merchants are actually zero and hence instant.

    1. Scam. Bitcoin is no longer profitable to mine unless you invest in huge mining farms. Cloud based mining schemes are straight scams. This is a HYIP ponzi scam

  5. And if you don’t want to be part of bitcoin now , bitcoin will be forcefully be part of you in the future

  6. I am of the belief that adoption of Bitcoin will totally change the face of modern day Economics. Also, at the expense of the environment, more people will construct farms to mine Bitcoin.

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