As a champion for financial inclusion, Cebuana Lhuillier recently launched additional features to their existing Micro Savings Account, a product of Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank, to help more Filipinos become financially mobile, especially during the onset of the new normal. When the Micro Savings was introduced last year, in 2019, to be exact, it provided unbanked and underbanked Filipinos with easy access to basic savings, regardless of who and where they are. It further empowered the vast majority to jumpstart their savings and directly steer their lives towards a better future. But when the pandemic hit, the progress of the program, along with everything else, was literally brought to a standstill.
Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank (CLRB) saw this as an opportunity to make sure that account holders or “Iponaryos” as they’re called, continue to still have full access to their hard-earned money, at their convenience. CLRB president Dennis Valdes said that, “The many challenges and limitations in access, presented by the pandemic to our clients and countless Filipinos, made us look even harder for more opportunities in bringing Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings to the next level; pushing our myriad of services farther ahead to immediately answer the needs of our clients.”
And the challenge has been met successfully. The Micro Savings Account now has four (4) new features: Partnerships with two giant financial institutions; BancNet and UnionPay, a link to the eCebuana App, as well as, the addition of QR Technology, for added security.
‘Iponaryos’ now have access to the latest functions transforming their Micro Savings account from just a basic cash deposit account to an even more powerful and reliable, full-service savings account. By partnering with BancNet, they now have unrivalled easy access to their finances beyond CLRB’s cash agent, Cebuana Lhuillier’s more than 2,500 branches nationwide, using BancNet’s roster of 21,000 ATMs, and 114 member banks.
A tie-up with UnionPay further allows account holders to make debit payments through over 350,000 POS terminals, as well as partner merchants nationwide. ‘Iponaryos’ can now get the benefit of an enhanced payment security with UnionPay chip cards’ quick payment process with just a tap, using UnionPay Contactless technology, plus the convenience of not having to carry cash and coins.
Full online access is likewise afforded to Ka-Cebuanas with the more efficient and more powerful eCebuana app allowing money transfers via Instapay, bills and utility payments, eLoad feature, insurance purchase, and coming soon are pawning ticket renewal and jewelry purchases. All these are made even more convenient since the adoption of online sign ups, now being allowed in the eCebuana app.
Lastly, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings steps into the future by enabling QR Technology within the eCebuana app. This feature will be able to make money transfers and retail payments seamless and secure. Money transfers and retail payments via QR code will be available by March 2021.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO announced, “We are now shifting into a tech-brick company, where our network of branches will take advantage of our proprietary technology to step into new grounds by adapting to the new normal using our enhanced digital business transformation. This will provide unprecedented financial access to millions more of Filipinos wherever they may be, anytime.”
Lhuillier further talks about how they plan to take Filipinos to the next step of their ipon journeys. “Our dream is to digitally and financially include Filipinos by implementing world-class and innovative digital financial solutions for them. This, we believe, is what the future of financial inclusion should be – a future where there is financial mobility for every Filipino, a future where we provide them the capability to manage their finances whenever and wherever they may be, at any time.”