Skip to main content

Pick n Pay Double Take? The Supermarket Chain Isn't Accepting Bitcoin, It Tested It

| Economic factors

South Africa's second-largest supermarket chain tested bitcoin payments earlier this year – but it doesn't plan to roll out the option to its stores anytime soon, according to its CEO.

Pick n Pay, which operates in a number of African countries as well as South Africa, piloted a payment system in partnership with startups Electrum and Luno. That initiative was limited to a staff cafeteria, CEO Richard van Rensburg told BusinessDay in an interview, and is no longer active.

As for when the supermarket chain might expand the option to an actual storefront, van Rensburg demurred, pointing to a difficult regulatory environment as the root cause for hesitation.

He told the publication:

"We don’t expect that in the near term accepting bitcoin will unlock any significant new business and we are unlikely to roll out the solution until the payments industry and regulatory authorities have established a framework for managing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies."

That said, van Rensburg struck a positive note about the trial itself and the potential benefits to supermarket operators like Pick n Pay.

"We have proved to ourselves, though, that it is technically possible to roll out a solution very quickly," he added.

News that Pick n Pay was even considering a bitcoin payment option spread earlier this week, leading to inaccurate reports that the supermarket chain was rolling out a fully-fledged payment option. The company confirmed to tech blog MyBroadband that that it wasn't accepting bitcoin at any of its stores.

Pin It

Related Articles

Budget: Liquor, cigarettes to cost more, no inc...

By: IOL Finance 2024 Budget made provision to raise R15 billion in taxes to alleviate fiscal pressure and support debt stabilisation.

Retail consumers now seeking value as cost of l...

By: IOL COST-of-living pressures muzzled sales volumes for retailer Spar’s Southern African business, including South Africa, although group turnover, which also accounts for its stores in Switzerland, Ireland and England, was up 9.3% for the fiv...

Excessive heat could result in higher food pric...

By: Given Majola - IOL The excessive heat across South Africa currently is a significant concern for the farming sector, according to the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz).

Budget 2024: South Africans should not expect a...

By:Dhivana Rajgopaul - IOL Amid the budget deficit not moving in the right direction, a tax specialist has said South Africans can expect Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana to raise the price of beer and cigarettes, but being an election year, no ...

Retail sales cool in 2023 with consumers still ...

By: Siphelele Dludla - IOL Consumers in South Africa are expected to continue struggling this year under the brunt of stubbornly high inflation, rising cost of borrowing and weak consumer confidence after retail activity plunged in 2023, in spite...