Over 400 businesses accepting Bitcoin in the Philippines through fintech app

June 6, 2023 - 6:22 PM
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Composite photo of Pouch Philippines partner businesses (Released)

A new payment company tapped the use of cryptocurrency as a form of payment for businesses in the Philippines.

Pouch Philippines or Pouch.ph has been helping businesses in the Philippines accept and process Bitcoin payments since it was launched in 2021.

Bitcoin is a new type of payment scheme that works like online cash. Its users have grown exponentially since it was established in 2010.

Despite its popularity, Bitcoin has yet to be fully utilized in businesses outside the Internet.

Pouch Philippines sought to change that. In a statement, its chief executive officer Ethan Rose said that the company’s goal is to help businesses tap the “vast” growing market of Bitcoin users in the country.

“With the growing number of internet and smartphone users in the Philippines, Bitcoin as a payment method will allow those who do not have credit cards or even local fiat currency to make online or in-store purchases,” Rose said.

“We’re helping businesses open up a vast market that was previously untapped,” he added.

Pouch.ph is also the country’s first “lightning wallet” that can be used for transactions locally and in other countries.

By tapping Bitcoin wallets, it is promoted as quicker and more accessible to users than traditional bank transfers.

#Bitcoin is public infrastructure. It makes moving value easier and faster, including fiat (regular currencies),” its post reads.

 

The app can be downloaded for free on Google Play, Apple Store, or through the website https://pouch.ph.

Lightning wallet

To easily convert Bitcoin into the Philippine currency, Pouch.ph uses a technology called a Lightning Network, hence the name “lightning wallet.”

Lightning Network is a decentralized network and payment protocol built on top of a blockchain to enable instant payments.

Through this network, customers can use their Bitcoin wallets in a similar way as online banking or mobile app banking—scanning QR codes.

Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:

  1. A merchant has to generate a QR code first for customers to scan and course their payments from their Bitcoin wallets.
  2. After scanning, Pouch.ph converts the Bitcoin into Philippine currency.
  3. Once the currency is converted, the platform then sends the money to the merchant’s bank or mobile bank account.

Other partner sellers also use Pouch.ph for payroll.

The application has a Batch Pay feature that allows businesses to transfer or send money in batches.

This feature is suitable for sending the pay of employees, suppliers, and other recipients. It can also be used for transfers to major banks and e-wallets.

Moreover, Pouch Philippines also requires no fees for payroll transfers through its Netbank Accounts or other nominated bank accounts.

The firm is currently working on extending its Batch Pay services for remittances through LBC, M Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop.

Clientele 

In an update last June 3, over 250 merchants in Boracay are already accepting Bitcoin wallets through the app.

These include Kasbar restaurant, the TIB Market and other establishments in the tourist destination.

Other provinces with Pouch.ph enrollees are:

  • Cebu City
  • Dumaguete
  • Iloilo
  • Bacolod City

In Metro Manila, some establishments that are accepting Bitcoin payments include:

  • URBAN QC in Quezon City
  • Draper Startup House in Makati City
  • Retailer Kosneyland in Mandaluyong City

Filipinos can find business entities using Pouch.ph through this interactive map here: BTC Map.