Case Study

Pick N Pay Boosts Online Sales by 30% with Click and Collect

Growth Through Payments

Established in 1967, Pick n Pay is a South African supermarket chain selling groceries, clothing and general merchandise. As Africa’s retail industry rapidly grows, Pick n Pay is increasing its store footprint over the next five years. This growth poses challenges as every country in Africa has different payments legalities and customers are seeking innovative loyalty offers.

The Opportunities and Challenges of Growth

In this video, supermarket chain Pick n Pay, a major retailer in Africa, explains how payments are critical to their success and how ACI is supporting them.


Jason Peisl, the group solutions architect for supermarket chain Pick n Pay, a major retailer in Africa, refers to ACI’s Postilion payment platform as “the goose that lays the golden egg”. In this video interview, Peisl explains how payments are critical to Pick n Pay’s success and how ACI Worldwide is supporting them in serving their customers.

Supporting Pick n Pay’s evolving payments environment with UP Retailer Payments since 2000
We refer to Postilion as the goose that lays the golden egg, payments these days is critical for us, especially card payments, 75% of our transactions are paid for using credit cards or debit cards, so we need to ensure that 24×7 uptime and 100% availability of our card payments environment, which Postilion offers us consistently.

A long term partnership
We were one of the first retailers in South Africa to deploy Postilion about 16 years ago and it’s been a great journey since then, for most of that time we used the basic functionality of switching EFT transactions.

Pick n Pay relies on Postilion for loyalty, online and mobile payments
Two years ago we made a strategic decision to invest a lot in the platform and the application, based on the fact that Postilion has a great track record from being able to handle high-volumes in a robust environment with almost a 24×7 uptime and it is now essentially evolved into an enterprise service bus for us. So, it is the core component for our Smart Shopper Loyalty program, our Brand Match Program, our online shop, and our mobile platform.

In 2015 Pick n Pay reached a transaction per second record
The day before Christmas, we hit a record from a volumes point of view. We were hitting up to 600 transactions per minute and because Postilion is now our enterprise service bus, we send all of our sales transactions through Postilion so they were hitting 100 tps comfortably and the boxes were running at probably 15% of their capacity.

ACI helps address today’s challenges
Retail over the last few years has become a lot more complex, it is not just a case of selling baked beans and accepting cash and accepting card payments. We do a lot more value-added services and we accept a lot more payment mechanisms other than standard cards; mobile payments, digital wallets and those sort of things. Integration has become a nightmare for us, using Postilion as essentially an enterprise service bus, integrations are a lot simpler, a lot quicker and a lot more cost effective, and a lot more robust. From a PCI and compliance point of view ACI regionally keeps up to date with the latest regulations and legislation, which is great for us because that takes a lot of the headache out of staying compliant and being certified.

Omni-channel is the future for Pick n Pay
We are definitely starting to understand Omni-channel and it’s becoming part of our strategy. We would like the customer to be able to have the same experience across all channels. So we would like them to, for instance, start their shopping list, or start capturing recipes at home on their tablet, come into store, use their mobile device or the kiosk to then carry on that shopping experience, and we would like to, as part of that process, offer up promotions based on whatever their shopping list is, to show them there are better options or cheaper options in their shopping list and basket and carry that through to the point of sale and to the online shop.

ACI is responsive
Payments is critical to Pick n Pay, getting issues resolved quickly is just as critical. ACI is great in responding quickly and effectively to resolve our issues. They also have global experience, which they bring to the party in a regional environment.

ACI’s international reach supports cross-border expansion
Currently we are in 7 African countries, and we are going to be expanding a lot into further countries in the next two years, or three years. ACI has a lot of experience in Africa with their partners and will be of benefit to us in understanding the regulations and legislation in each of those countries and which is the best way to handle payments in an integrated fashion.

ACI offers peace of mind
I’ve been with Pick n Pay for four years and as the architect I am responsible for implementing the solutions and the operational support thereof and over the last four years, as we have been using the Postilion products more, we’ve definitely seen a decrease in the severity ones, which means I have a lot more weekends and spare time to myself and a lot more happier customers.

Pick n Pay Is Increasing Its Store Footprint

A rapidly emerging middle-class, improving infrastructure, and cheaper and easier cross-border remittance is completely turning Africa’s retail industry around. As a result, Pick n Pay is increasing its store footprint over the next five years, expanding significantly in South Africa, and going slowly into Africa. This growth poses challenges as every country in Africa has different payments legalities. For example, there are different legalities of switching transactions within a country, or to and from South Africa. Another challenge Pick n Pay faces is to deliver innovative loyalty offers to its customer base.

ACI Omni-Commerce Provides a Robust and Stable EFT Switching Environment

The unions of formal banks and merchants are becoming the branches of the future in Africa. Pick n Pay is beginning to offer basic banking services at point of sale, such as withdrawing or depositing funds into a bank account via a bank card. Pick n Pay has begun piloting kiosks staffed by bank personnel in store for transactions, such as applying for a bank account or personal loan. ACI Omni-Commerce provides a very robust and stable EFT-switching environment for these services.

Increase in Online Sales and Upturn in Click and Collect

Pick n Pay saw a 30 percent increase in online sales in the last year with an upturn in click and collect, where the customer orders online and collects from a specific store. Pick n Pay has also launched Brand Match, a price comparison service for top-selling items, doing price comparisons and sub-second loyalty calculations around two million times a day through the ACI solution.