Pouch.ph, a bitcoin payment firm, has announced its initiative to empower more than 400 small businesses in the Philippines by enabling them to accept and process Bitcoin payments.

Leveraging the Lightning Network, Pouch.ph aims to provide faster, cost-effective, and user-friendly digital payment solutions for merchants ranging from mom-and-pop stores to boutique hotels.

By utilizing the Lightning Network on top of Bitcoin, Pouch.ph facilitates seamless digital payments. Customers can simply scan a merchant’s QR code with any Bitcoin wallet to initiate the payment process.

Pouch.ph then converts the bitcoin into pesos and transfers the funds directly to the merchant’s bank or mobile money account.

Benefits for Small Businesses: Ethan Rose, CEO of Pouch.ph, highlights the limited availability of payment methods as a significant challenge faced by small businesses, with credit cards often charging high fees of up to three percent.

With the increasing number of internet and smartphone users in the Philippines, accepting Bitcoin as a payment method opens doors for those without credit cards or local fiat currency to make online or in-store purchases.

Success Stories in Boracay and Beyond: Several local businesses in Boracay, a popular tourist destination, have already embraced Bitcoin payments through Pouch.ph.

Restaurant owner Erielyn Gaston points out the advantages of accepting Bitcoin, such as attracting a wider customer base and increasing sales.

Marcel Selfer, TIB Market manager, praises the convenience and affordability of this payment option, providing an alternative to high fees charged by non-bank ATMs for credit card users.

Expansion and Additional Services: Pouch.ph has successfully onboarded merchants in various cities across the Philippines, including Cebu City, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Bacolod City, and Metro Manila.

Notable establishments like URBN QC, Draper Startup House, and KosneyLand in Metro Manila now accept bitcoin payments through Pouch.ph.

The company also offers a Batch Pay feature, allowing business owners to instantly send payments to employees, suppliers, and other recipients, streamlining the payment process.

Future Plans: To enhance the bitcoin transaction experience, individuals can utilize BTCMap.org, a platform that helps locate merchants accepting Bitcoin payments.

Pouch.ph plans to extend its Batch Pay services for over-the-counter remittances through well-known providers such as LBC, M Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop.

By embracing bitcoin, small businesses in the Philippines are capitalizing on the growing number of internet and smartphone users while offering customers diverse and convenient payment options.