Pick n Pay joins contactless payment community

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 14 Apr 2020

As more retailers bring in measures to reduce the handling of cash in their stores following the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Pick n Pay has become the latest local company to introduce a contactless payment solution in its shops.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, there are growing fears that bank notes could potentially carry the deadly virus, which according to the World Health Organisation, appears to survive for at least several hours on surfaces.

According to Reuters, China, where the virus emanated from, has launched a massive initiative around deep-cleaning potentially infected cash with ultraviolet light and high temperatures, and in some cases, destroying it.

Locally, Shoprite Group last week announced customers will be able to pay for groceries with their phones after the retail group introduced QR payments at some of its stores across SA.

QR payments allow customers to scan the QR code at the till point with their phones and pay with Masterpass, SnapScan, Zapper, FNB Pay or Nedbank Pay in any of its stores.

Now, Pick n Pay says it has introduced “Scan & Pay” technology at all till points nationwide to allow customers to go completely contactless when paying for their groceries.

The retailer says it was the first major retailer in SA to introduce contactless “Tap & Go” card payments, and it has now enhanced its payment devices to offer QR payments through Masterpass.

“Masterpass lets customers securely download a free digital wallet from any of the major South African banks to their mobile phone. Customers can then safely and simply pay for their purchase by scanning the QR code at the till from the Masterpass app and entering their bank PIN on their phone,” says Pick n Pay.

It says this means customers and cashiers don’t have to exchange a bank card and the payment PIN pad is avoided.

Customers will also be able to use Snapscan and Zapper.

Richard van Rensburg, CIO of Pick n Pay, says the number of customers making use of the contactless “Tap & Go” payment functionality over the past month has increased significantly as it limits unnecessary contact.

“We wanted to offer more customers a convenient and easy solution to make contactless payments in our stores. We piloted the new ‘Scan & Pay’ QR payments last week in selected stores, and customer feedback was very positive. We will complete our roll out to all our stores nationwide by the end of next week.”

Moreover, the retailer says for a completely cardless experience at till points, customers are encouraged to use the Smart Shopper’s cardless swipe option by scanning the QR code from the PnP mobile app.

“All till points will continue to accept cash and Smart Shopper cards, and hand sanitiser is available for all cashiers and customers at till points. Perspex screens at till points add another layer of safety.”

Contactless payment platforms are witnessing a significant rise in payment volumes, as consumers prefer to use alternative payment options to avoid the exchange of cash.