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Cebuana Lhuillier - Company of the Year - Financial Services

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2018, Click to Enter The 2019 International Business Awards

Company: PJ Lhuillier, Inc (PJLI), Makati City, Philippines
Company Description: Formally established in 1988, PJ Lhuillier Inc., through its flagship brand, Cebuana Lhuillier, is the Philippines' largest microfinancial services company. It offers a wide variety of financial services such as collaterized and non-collaterized microloans, microsavings, money transfer, microinsurance, bills payment, eLoad, corporate pay-out, and business-to-business solutions.
Nomination Category: Company / Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Company of the Year - Financial Services - Large

Nomination Title: Cebuana Lhuillier

Tell the story about what this nominated organization has achieved since 1 January 2017 (up to 650 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

For more than 30 years, Cebuana Lhuillier has been the leading microfinancial services provider in the Philippines with over 2,200 branches across the country. The organization is more than committed to its mission of helping Filipinos uplift their lives through its products and services.

Currently, the Philippines have a population of 110M, of which only third of the population has access to a host of financial services. For the majority of Filipinos, they fall under the underbanked and unbanked category. In fact, only 63.8% of cities/municipalities in the Philippines have banking presence; while only 88.2% of cities and municipalities have at least one financial service access points. In fact, in a recent study by the Philippine Country report on Agent Networks states the low financial inclusion in the Philippines is due to the lack of access points; with financial penetration only at 31.3% against the global average of 62%

True to its commitment of making microfinancial services accessible to many Filipinos, Cebuana Lhuillier ensured that there will always be ways for Filipinos to access its products and services.

First, it moved to make its portfolio more financially-inclusive by introducing its microloans product to all its clients nationwide in 2017. These include two pioneering products called Happy Loans, a multi-purpose non-collateral loan from P5,000 to P15,000 and the Lucky Loans, which offers P50,000 to P100,0000 loan amounts, and was made for registered groups and entities such as tricycle operators and credit cooperatives. (https://business.mb.com.ph/2017/07/30/cebuana-lhuillier-assists-micro-financing-program-of-govt/ )

By making microloans more accessible to the masses, Cebuana Lhuillier hopes that it would be greatly beneficial for more people to become financially independent, more resilient, and better able to provide for their families in times of economic difficulty.

Second and because a large chunk of its business comes from its Remittance services, Cebuana Lhuillier ensured that Filipinos have the means to send and receive money wherever they maybe. By expanding its outlet locations throughout the Philippines through a program called Cebuana Lhuillier Pera Padala Authorized Agents (CLPPA) project, the company was able to increase the number of money remittance partner outlets to 4,000 nationwide. This was supported by a program called “Oplan Suyod” where the company reached out to small businesses/SMEs in far-flung provinces and tapped them to become Cebuana Lhuillier Remittance Agents.

However, Cebuana Lhuillier’s commitment in providing access to every Filipino with its products and serviced did not stop with increasing its physical presence. Realizing that by incorporating financial technology to its business, more of its clients will have fast and convenient access to its products and services.

In 2017, the company became one of the first adapters of Application Programming Interface (API), in the local microfinancial industry. API serves as the foundation of efficient and seamless gateway between Cebuana Lhuillier and its more than 450 B2B partners, including banks, insurance companies, lending companies, TelCos and utility companies, among others.

Through API, Cebuana Lhuillier was able to:

-Assure reliable money transfer anywhere in the world, dominating the physical and virtual miles in the Philippines with more 2,200 branches, 4,000 domestic partner outlets and 1M combined physical and virtual touchpoint of international partners.
-Improve customer access – Cebuana Lhuillier clients can connect to any of its 2,200 branches, online platforms, business agents and contact centers.
-Revolutionize microfinancial services through connectivity – Cebuana Lhuillier’s mirror technology allows clients to make transactions anywhere in real-time, all the time.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this organization since the beginning of 2017 (up to 150 words).

-Contributed a major impact to the improved state of the Philippines in financial inclusion to according to The 2017 Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project Report. Brookings specifically cited new and enhanced programs of pawnshops, remittance agents and other transfer companies that facilitate access to basic financial services as one of the key factors for the country’s rise on the rankings.
-The first and only microfinancial institution from the Philippines to join the recently concluded Money 20/20 Asia last March 2018.
-Recently awarded the ISO 27001:2013 Certification of Information Security by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, validating the organization’s commitment to provide safe and secure services to its clients and the highest level of trust and quality to its partners

Of the following measures of success, which ONE do you want the judges to most appreciate about your organization's story of achievement since the beginning of 2017? Overall Innovation