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S.African Retailer Pick n Pay Extends Crypto Payments

A teller is seen at a Pick n Pay store at Maponya mall in Soweto, South Africa, October 20, 2022. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The first major South African retailer to accept cryptocurrency payments at some of its tills said on Tuesday it was planning to extend the system to all its stores.

"The retailer has now extended the pilot to a further 29 stores for testing with customers, with the intention to roll it out to all stores in the coming months," the company said in a statement.

The pilot launched five months ago initially included 10 locations.

"Increasingly cryptocurrency is being used by those under-served by traditional banking systems, or by those wanting to pay and exchange money in a cheaper and really convenient way," Pick n Pay said.

Weeks after the country's financial watchdog, Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), declared crypto assets a financial product, supermarket chain Pick n Pay said it was expanding a pilot allowing shoppers to pay for their groceries with bitcoin.

Under the system piloted by Pick n Pay, in partnership with crypto firms Electrum and CryptoConvert, customers can pay with bitcoin at till points through a smartphone app.

Pick n Pay is South Africa's second-largest grocery retailer with more than 500 supermarkets. It is also found in other southern African countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia and Mauritius.