MANILA, Philippines — Leading microfinancial service provider Cebuana Lhuillier continues to heed the financial inclusion push of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with the launch of a new microsavings product which provides Filipinos with a more convenient and affordable means to save their hard-earned money.
Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings through the Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank (CLRB) is the company’s platform for Filipinos to overcome the barriers to saving, as majority of Filipinos opt to keep their savings at home.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and chief executive officer of Cebuana Lhuillier, said the Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings completes its full roster of services designed and developed with financial inclusion in mind.
“We’ve come full circle—from offering collateralized loans or pawning, remittance service, micro insurance and now, micro savings—all of these products were designed with Filipinos from all walks of life in mind especially the unbanked and underserved, who would not have access to these financial services given their circumstances in life,” he said.
The lack of access to banks among the country’s many cities and municipalities remains as the top deterrent, according to a BSP study.
In fact, only 33 percent or 551 cities in the Philippines have access to banking institutions.
Furthermore, the numerous documentary requirements is a major turn off for many, along with the high cost of initial deposit, high maintaining balance, as well as high dormancy charges.
Opening a Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings account requires only one valid ID and a minimal P50 initial deposit through its wide network of branches comprised of 2,500 retail infrastructure.
“The product is in line with the Cebuana Lhuillier’s mission of financial inclusion, which has been the thrust of the company for the past 30 years,” Lhuillier said.
To maximize the use of their savings accounts and ensure greater connectivity, Cebuana Lhuillier is also launching eCebuana app which allows users to check their balance and send money through remittance, as well as load prepaid credits to their phones, and pay their bills by integrating it to their accounts.
The app is just the first step in a long line of innovations connected to the micro savings product – on top of which is its migration to an EMV-enabled card that can be accessed through ATMs.
It will also carry a debit and credit facility for online and cashless shopping, provide access to auxiliary services and help corporate and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) clients manage their business through payroll cash management solutions.