By Edd K. Usman
Pawnshop operator Cebuana Lhuillier has entered into a partnership with Globe Telecom to expand the coverage of the G-Cash mobile money platform operated by Globe?s fintech subsidiary Mynt.
To implement the deal, Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu, PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, and G-Xchange president and CEO Albert O. Tinio, recently signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) at F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City
Globe and Cebuana will leverage each other’s strengths and capabilities aimed at establishing a better system for the consumers.
In his brief remark at the event, Cu cited the need the challenges facing majority of Filipinos in the area of financial inclusion.
“The gap that we have to cross to financial inclusion is wide. Consider the current Philippine situation where three out of four Filipinos are un-banked and 95 percent do not have credit cards and 11,000 municipalities have no banks,” he pointed out.
Cu said GCash is an ideal position to reach the vast majority of Filipinos who are financially excluded, but there is need for on-ground points of presence to support and maintain their accounts and financial activities.
“With over 1,800 Cebuana branches nationwide and abroad, GCash users have more options to cash in and cash out,” said Cu, adding Cebuana Lhuillier’s new and existing customers have the ability to avail themselves of other products and financial services under GCash.
Lhuillier said Cebuana Lhuillier has have been campaigning and pushing for financial inclusion of more Filipinos.
“As poverty remains prevalent in the Philippines, it has been our goal to promote financial freedom, stability and security to our countrymen, whether here or abroad,” he said.
Cu said the idea behind the partnership is to disrupt the traditional banking system where a bank client has to appear in person to fill out forms and fall in line just to pay for bills or deposit money.
“This initiative will create an avenue for the companies to leverage on each other?s strengths and capabilities to create a better financial system for the consumers,? the Globe top executive said.
Lhuillier said described financial inclusion as giving opportunity to the un-banked and the under-banked access to capital, training and seminars, among others.
In the pipeline under the partnership includes the conversion of reward points covered by Globe and Cebuana Lhuillier’s loyalty programs, cross-selling of the latter’s micro-insurance product, development of donation channels for the pawnshop firm’s chosen beneficiaries, real-time posting of Globe Bills, and re-selling of Globe AMAX, a mass market postpaid product.