Abra, creator of a cryptocurrency investment app, wants to bring bitcoin to retail users across the Philippines.
In a blog post published on September 18, 2019, Abra announced that it would be partnering with ECPay, a payment processing service, to provide cash-to-crypto options at over 6,000 retail outlet locations in the Philippines, including all 7-Eleven convenience stores in the country.
The Philippines is an active cryptocurrency community which has been aided by a friendly central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), that has granted operational permits to over 13 exchanges in the country.
“Using new digital tools that open up financial access shouldn’t be hard,” Abra noted in the announcement. “And they shouldn’t be complicated. Moving cash to crypto and other digital assets should be simple and fast. That’s why we are really excited to announce our new partnership.”
By collaborating with ECPay, Abra will now be listed on the “Bills Payment” option on all CLIQQ ECPay financial service kiosks in the Philippines, as well as on the app. Customers can now deposit money into their Abra wallet.
Abra notes that the minimum deposit value is PHP 500 (about $9.59), and there is a PHP 100,000 ($1,917) daily cap on how much can be deposited.
All transfers will provide a receipt, which can now be used to complete transactions at checkout posts. Abra adds that funds will be accredited within one to two business days.
Continuing Bitcoin Adoption
Over the years, Abra has been at the forefront in the fight for bitcoin adoption. In February 2019, the company shook both the cryptocurrency and financial industries when it launched a new feature that allowed traditional investors to purchase stocks with the use of bitcoin.
Essentially, this allowed cryptocurrency investors in all of the countries where Abra maintains its operations to make stock trading investments, buy shares from companies which issue stocks on public markets and purchase exchange-traded funds (ETFs), all from the comfort of their smartphones.
In an interview with Bitcoin Magazine in June 2019, Bill Barhydt, the company’s chief executive, noted that within a few weeks of the feature’s launch, Abra had been able to get over 14,000 equity wallets. As he pointed out, the feature’s biggest selling point is the fractional investing capability, which allows investors to purchase stocks with as little as $5.
Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.