A payment financial technology provider is transforming the landscape of the Philippine digital economy by enabling more than 400 small businesses to accept and process Bitcoin payments.
Pouch.ph is tapping into the country’s vast pool of tiny merchants―from mom-and-pop stores to boutique hotels.
Pouch.ph utilizes Lightning Network built atop Bitcoin to make digital payments quicker, cheaper and more user-friendly. The payment protocol allows customers to pay by scanning a merchant’s QR code with any Bitcoin wallet. Pouch.ph then converts that Bitcoin to pesos and sends the money directly to the merchant’s bank or mobile money account, making the process easy and efficient for both parties.
“One of the most significant challenges for the growth of small businesses is the availability of payment methods, with credit cards charging fees up to three percent. 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. We’re helping businesses open up a vast market that was previously untapped,” said Pouch.ph chief executive Ethan Rose.
More than 250 local businesses in the popular tourist destination of Boracay, including convenience stores, cafes, hotels and restaurants have enrolled with Pouch.ph and have been integrating Bitcoin payments into their daily operations.