CryptoConvert partners with VALR and Luno to enable bitcoin payments at Pick n Pay stores

Customers of top South African retail store can easily make crypto payments through VALR and Luno.

CryptoConvert partners with VALR and Luno to enable bitcoin payments at Pick n Pay stores
Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye for Mariblock. 

CryptoConvert, a crypto payment company, has partnered with cryptocurrency exchanges VALR and Luno to enhance its bitcoin payment system at over 1,500 Pick n Pay stores across South Africa.

Through the partnerships, CryptoConvert’s platform has been integrated into the mobile application of the crypto exchanges, making it easier to use. 

The details

  • Pick n Pay, the third largest retailer in South Africa, started accepting payments in bitcoin last year and, after a successful test run, extended it to more than 1,500 of its stores.
  • The payment system was announced in partnership with CryptoConvert, which rolled out its CryptoQR platform that allows customers to pay municipal bills and buy airtime, bus, and flight tickets with bitcoin at the store’s tills. 
  • This recent integration of CryptoQR into the VALR and Luno apps has improved the platform’s usability, as users initially had to download and fund a separate lightning-capable Bitcoin wallet to make payments.
  • It allows VALR and Luno customers to spend their existing balances directly using the mobile applications.

Key quote 

Carel van Wyk, the founder of CryptoConvert, speaking on the partnership, told Mariblock: 

“Previously, we only supported Bitcoin Lightning wallet payments. Our number one customer complaint was that they wanted to avoid going through the extra step of funding their Bitcoin Lightning wallets from their Luno and VALR accounts. So we decided to help them by eliminating [that extra step]. This collaboration allows VALR and Luno customers to spend their existing VALR and Luno balances directly using the VALR and Luno mobile applications.”

How it works

  • CryptoConvert abstracts the technical complexities and volatility risks of the transactions by providing the payment infrastructure that accepts a crypto payment and converts it to South African fiat for Pick n Pay.
  • Due to the partnership, VALR and Luno users only have to open their apps and scan the QR codes at the Pick n Pay tills to make payments. 
  • Luno and VALR Pay APIs are used instead of the Bitcoin Lightning Network initially used by CryptoConvert.

Zoom out

  • Pick n Pay attributes cryptocurrencies as a mainstream payment method to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority’s declaration of cryptocurrencies as a financial product.
  • The regulatory clarity provided by the South African government on crypto has paved the way for early adopters of crypto payments such as Pick n Pay. 
  • These are still the early stages of cryptocurrency payment adoption in South Africa, according to Wyk. 

He said: 

“Since pioneering the first crypto payment solution at the till, we have been surprised by the level of interest, and we expect to see significant growth as more and more merchants add crypto payments to their list of accepted payment methods.”