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Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank, UPI launch 1st debit card for financially underserved


CEBUANA Lhuillier Rural Bank, the banking arm of the Microfinancial Services giant, Cebuana Lhuillier and UnionPay International (UPI) have teamed up to launch the Cebuana Lhuillier 24K card – a new Debit Card designed to empower unbanked and underbanked consumers in the Philippines to afford financial mobility for their day to day lives. As the first Debit Card that caters to the financially underserved market in the Philippines, the Cebuana Lhuillier 24K Card makes it easy and convenient for users to accumulate savings, withdraw cash and conduct digital payment locally and overseas via UnionPay’s network of over 52 million merchant outlets and 2.9 million ATMs located around the world.

The launch is also significant as Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank is the first bank under the UnionPay and BancNet collaboration. Back in 2017, UnionPay reached a chip card standard licensing cooperation with Asian Payment Network where BancNet — the only ATM switch network in the Philippines – -was one of the participating local switch providers.

Mr. Jianbo Cai, president of CUP and chairman of UPI said “Consumers have greater needs for secure and convenient payment services since COVID-19 broke out. 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. With its technological strength and experience in areas including block chain, intelligent risk management and big data analytics, UnionPay is willing to expand the scope of cooperation and help facilitate the digital transformation of Cebuana Lhuillier, providing better service to users in support of financial inclusion in the Philippines.

We are pleased to partner with UnionPay, a leading global payment brand, to launch the Cebuana Lhuillier 24K card. With their 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,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier.

With the acceleration of digital payment adoption in the Philippines in recent months, the central bank has set a target of raising the share of electronic payments to 50 percent by 2023. In support of this e-payment push, Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bankhas simplified the Cebuana Lhuillier 24K Card application with the electronic or online Know Your Customer (e-KYC) process to make it accessible to its more than 30 million clients. By enabling card application through any of Cebuana Lhuillier’smore than 2,500 branches located nationwide, Filipinos can easily open a bank account and apply for the card, at Cebuana Lhuillier branches, or online via the Cebuana app available on iOS and the Google Play Store.

With the Debit Card in hand, users enjoy the ease and convenience of digital payments at popular merchants such as Ace Hardware, Baby Company, Duty Free Philippines, Homeworld, Kultura, Mercury Drug Corporation, Miniso, Our Home, Pet Express, SM Retail which includes The SM Store, SM Markets and SM Appliance, Sports Central, Toy Kingdom, Watsons and many more. The card will soon be enhanced with online payment features for users to leverage for e-commerce transactions, as well as UnionPay’s contactless payment feature – QuickPass.