Since its inception in 2021, Pouch Philippines, also known as Pouch.ph, has been assisting businesses in the Philippines by incorporating bitcoin as a viable payment option. This innovative payment company enables businesses to accept and handle bitcoin payments seamlessly.
Although bitcoin has gained immense popularity as the digital money, its widespread utilization in non-internet-based businesses in the Philippines remains limited. A recent report published by Interaksyon, a local news outlet, explained bitcoin in simple terms, stating that “bitcoin functions similarly to online cash, and its user base has experienced exponential growth since its establishment in 2010.”
it added that Pouch Philippines aims to address the poor adoption of bitcoin in the country by actively seeking a change.
In an official statement, Ethan Rose, the CEO of the company, expressed their objective of assisting businesses in accessing the expanding market of bitcoin users in the Philippines, which he described as “vast.”
Rose emphasized that by adopting bitcoin as a payment method, businesses can cater to individuals who lack credit cards or even local fiat currency, enabling them to make purchases both online and in physical stores. This development aligns with the increasing number of internet and smartphone users in the country.
Furthermore, he added that their efforts are focused on assisting businesses in unlocking an expansive market that had remained inaccessible until now.
Pouch.ph holds the distinction of being the Philippines’ first lightning wallet too, capable of facilitating transactions both domestically and internationally.
Leveraging bitcoin wallets, the app offers users a faster and more convenient alternative to traditional bank transfers. Their post highlights the fact that bitcoin serves as public infrastructure, enabling swift and efficient movement of value.
The local news outlet, Interaksyon, provided an overview of how the app works:
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:
A merchant has to generate a QR code first for customers to scan and course their payments from their Bitcoin wallets.
After scanning, Pouch.ph converts the Bitcoin into Philippine currency.
Once the currency is converted, the platform then sends the money to the merchant’s bank or mobile bank account.
In summary, Pouch.ph utilizes the lightning network to facilitate the conversion of bitcoin into the Philippine currency, enabling customers to make payments by scanning QR codes while merchants receive funds in their preferred bank or mobile bank account.
With its “Batch Pay” functionality, the application offers businesses the convenience of transferring or sending money in batches.
This feature proves beneficial for disbursing employee salaries, paying suppliers, and sending funds to various recipients. Additionally, it facilitates transfers to major banks and e-wallets.
Notably, Pouch Philippines ensures that payroll transfers made through its Netbank Accounts or other designated bank accounts are fee-free. The company is actively engaged in expanding its Batch Pay services to include remittances through trusted partners such as LBC, M Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop.
In their latest update, released on June 3, the company stated that 250 merchants in Boracay have already enrolled and are accepting bitcoin through the app.
Famous restaurants and local minimarkets in tourist destinations are among the list of users.