Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank reaches 1M Micro Savings account holders; brings Filipinos closer to financial inclusion
posted June 20, 2019 at 06:58 pm
Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank (CLRB), the banking arm of Cebuana Lhuillier, has reached the 1 million mark for its Micro Savings account holders following its recent launch in late February of this year. This further cements the company’s position in changing the landscape of the microfinance industry by bridging the gap between a savings account and unbanked Filipinos. The Micro Savings product is the flagship offering of CLRB through its cash agent, the 2,500 Cebuana Lhuillier branches nationwide.
“I am elated to see that we have reached 1 million account holders in such a short amount of time, this is a huge step towards financial inclusion and I look forward to banking more unbanked Filipinos.” shared Jean Henri Lhuillier, President and CEO of the P.J. Lhuillier Group of Companies.
The Micro Savings product of CLRB’s is Cebuana Lhuillier’s response to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) Basic Deposit Framework which eases the process of opening a bank account. Through the circular, more Filipinos can now open a basic deposit account, for an initial deposit of less than PHP100, with no maintaining balance or dormancy charges. To reach out to far-flung communities, the BSP has also allowed the use of cash agents for banks. The move is in line with the agency’s mission of bringing financial inclusion closer to every Filipino.
“When we launched our Micro Savings product, our goal was to tap close to half of the population who understood the importance of savings, but were always hampered by the onerous requirements in opening a savings account. Using the BSP Framework as our guide, we were able to simplify the process of opening an account simply by requiring one valid ID and a 50 pesos initial deposit,” said Dennis Valdes, CLRB president.
Thanks to Cebuana Lhuillier’s close to 2,500-strong network of branches, Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank is positive that the product will convert and encourage more Filipinos to become dedicated savings account owners. The launch is just the first step – CLRB will take advantage of the many technological innovations made available by its cash agent Cebuana Lhuillier to increase convenience and greater connectivity. Launching soon is CLRB’s eCebuana app which will allow micro savings users to check their balance and perform money transfers, as well as load prepaid credits to their phones, and pay their bills by integrating it to their micro savings account. Also in the line-up is the migration to an EMV-enabled card accessible through ATMs, plus a debit and credit facility for online and cashless shopping.
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