Cebuana bank targets unbanked via new card

In a bid to boost digital payment adoption, Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank (CLRB) and UnionPay International launched a new debit card catering to the unbanked and underbanked segment in the country.

Dubbed as the “Cebuana Lhuillier 24K” card, the banking arm of microfinancial services firm Cebuana Lhuillier said the new offering will allow users to accumulate savings and withdraw cash.

The debit card can also facilitate online payments here and abroad via UnionPay’s network comprising 52 million outlets and 2.9 million automated teller machines (ATM) across the world.

“Consumers have greater needs for secure and convenient payment services since Covid-19 broke out,” UnionPay Chairman Jainbo Cai said. “This collaboration in card issuance stemmed from cooperation on technical specifications between UnionPay and regional partners, highlighting a new means for UnionPay’s business development in local markets.”

Cai said that UnionPay is equipped with technological expertise, including block chain, intelligent risk management and big data analytics.

Using this, he said UnionPay can further the digital transformation of Cebuana Lhuillier to provide better service and promote financial inclusion in the country.

Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier welcomed the partnership with the global payment brand, noting that many of its customers will be benefitted from this.

“With their [UnionPay] extensive network and state-of-the-art payment technologies, we believe that consumers in the Philippines will benefit greatly from the ease and convenience of payments enabled by the debit card, this will, in turn, facilitate financial mobility for many Filipinos and overall,  enhance their payment experience moving forward,” he said.

Last month, CLRB shared that it inked a partnership with bank card services company UnionPay, allowing account holders to make debit payments through its over 350,000 point-of-sale terminals and partner merchants.

The rural bank also recently announced its partnership with electronic banking and payment network BancNet. CLRB said that its clients can benefit from both institutions’ networks to access their finances. Cebuana Lhuiller has more than 2,500 branches across the country while BancNet has 21,000 ATMs and 114 member banks.

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