Pick n Pay Selling Food Credit – South Africa’s second-largest retailer, Pick n Pay is offering its shoppers the option of purchasing groceries on credit with credit limits between R1,000 and R40,000.
Widely seen as a move to put a fight in the country’s competitive retail industry, the Cape Town-based supermarket chain store says the aim of the plan is to help consumers save money instead of spending money on interest-bearing debt.
How It Works According to Pick n Pay deputy CEO, Richard van Rensburg, shoppers will be offered up to 55 days’ interest-free credit, budget payment options for big-ticket items and active users will be charged monthly store account fees of R10.
Van Rensburg further stated that the store accounts are designed in such a way that they charge the lowest monthly fee of R10 and also remove hidden fees that increase the cost of credit.
The retailer also affirmed that they’ve met with RCS – a registered Credit and Financial Services Provider – to find the best way to design products that have no hidden fees and that it has been perfectly done.
RCS would be taking all the lending risk and is expected to vet the creditworthiness of shoppers, grant credit facilities and take on potential bad debts.
“The high cost of credit is a significant reason why customers have less disposable income for their grocery shop. Hidden costs such as initiation fees, administration fees, mandatory insurance fees and penalty fees exacerbate the cost of credit.
“Pick n Pay will not earn income from the credit granting process, as “we have negotiated a great offer from the credit industry for our customers,” Van Rensburg said.
Who’s Qualified To Shop On Credit?
For now, this credit plan has nothing to do with a first-come-first-serve basis.
The retailer, however, said shoppers who qualify to buy on credit will be selected with the use of its Smart Shopper card programme.
“We are following strict National Credit Act rules, which require a very prescriptive way of determining whether someone qualifies for the credit,” the retailer announced as well.
Pick n Pay Holdings Limited, a parent organization to Pick n Pay Go Banking, Pick n Pay Zambia Limited, is now the latest retailer to offer its customers the opportunity to buy products on credit.
Some upmarket retailers in the country like Woolworths and Massmart have been offering their customers the option of purchasing food on credit, using the Smart Shopper loyalty programme.
The programme was launched in 2011 and has over seven million members. There are more than 24 million credit-active South Africans.
Meanwhile, debt counsellor Deborah Solomon has warned that it’s not advisable for shoppers to buy food on credit due to interest charged on them.
“Food is a necessary living expense which you need to be able to have access to and it’s not wise to spend a credit on food, especially when you can’t afford to pay that credit off in its full capacity at the end of the month,” Solomon said.
Founded in 1967 in Cape Town, the retailer is also located in other southern Africa regions, such as Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Namibia as well as Mauritius.
The store has been battling to return to its former glory having lost huge market share to rivals Checkers, Shoprite and Woolworths over the years.