south africa

South African Retailer Pick n Pay Now Accepts In-Store Bitcoin Payments


Leading South African grocery retailer Pick n Pay has enabled in-store bitcoin payments. The new payment system was designed by fintech startup Electrum and is currently being piloted at Pick n Pay’s headquarters where customers can now purchase groceries using bitcoin.

The checkout process is easy and entails scanning the QR code using the bitcoin wallet app on the user’s smartphone as you can see in Electrum’s demo video below.

Setting up the Payment System

Electrum is a South African firm that offers cloud-based payment solutions. The company partnered with Luno in the project, with the latter providing the bitcoin infrastructure needed for in-store cryptocurrency payments. Luno is a leading bitcoin exchange and bitcoin wallet provider in South Africa. According to Electrum Managing Director, David Glass,

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“.

Driving up Bitcoin Adoption

The new initiative will have a secondary effect of boosting bitcoin adoption in South Africa. Already, the country has a large cryptocurrency community and is home to a number of innovative bitcoin startups. Also, Pick n Pay will establish itself as a pioneer when it comes to embracing alternative modes of payment. Jason Peisl, an executive at Pick n Pay, says,

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.

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Meet Africa’s Blockchain Startups: GeoPay


GeoPay is a South African fintech startup founded in 2014 that offers peer-to-peer remittance services that run on the blockchain. The principal aim of the firm is to help people in the diaspora to send money back home instantly and cheaply. Unlike most other blockchain-based remittance services, GeoPay does not require users to have any knowledge about digital currency or the use of bitcoins and works with local tellers so that cash pickups are made possible for the recipients.

How does GeoPay Work?

GeoPay offers a blockchain-based international money transfer services. The startup has a dedicated Apple and Android app that allows you to make transactions right from your mobile phone. With it, you can send money digitally to anyone, anywhere in the world. The app also allows you to make an instant payment to merchants. To deliver its services efficiently, GeoPay relies on a network of agents, which are mostly based in local towns.

Also, you can withdraw or deposit cash into your GeoPay account any place you find a GeoTeller. The app has provisions for you to add your debit card too and use it to make payments through the app. Users who do not want to use the app can make transactions via SMS or USSD-technology.

Aside from remittances, the company aims to promote and develop e-commerce in Africa through the provision of mobile-based peer-to-peer transactions and intends to become a leader in the creation of online social welfare payments. To do this, the startup participates in in-bank development programs.

Mobile payments is a booming market in Africa as mobile connectivity is on the rise across the continent. GeoPay is successfully managing to leverage blockchain technology to be part of this booming market.

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