More and more Filipinos recognize the importance of saving money

More than two years after the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipinos eager to restart have actually improved their mindset to save money, according to a recent survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

This is a welcome development, given that 34% of the population lost their source of income during the pandemic years, according to a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programme. As a result, many have relied entirely on their savings account to survive over the past two years.

According to BSP’s Consumer Expectations Survey for the first quarter of 2022, the percentage of households with savings increased slightly to 31.1% from 30.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021. The majority of respondents cited the need for emergencies, health and medical expenses, retirement, education, and business capital and investment as reasons to save their money.

James Tan, 18, a labor student from Laguna, manages to save with Micro Savings to buy his own bike.

A big help in this increase in mindset and enthusiasm is the availability of more money-saving options, outside of traditional banking institutions.

Micro-savings

One of the most innovative ways to save is through Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings. Launched in 2019 by Cebuana Lhuillier and its banking arm Cebuana Lhuillier Bank, this product has been at the forefront of bringing easy, accessible and reliable banking services to the majority of Filipinos, with nearly seven million account holders in micro-savings today.

“Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings has enabled millions of Filipinos to embark on their own financial journey by providing them with a reliable, accessible and efficient way to save their money, which they can easily withdraw when needed. The rapid adaptation of our kababayans to micro-savings has proven that the healthy mindset towards savings has always been there, as long as they are equipped with the right tools”, says Jean Henri Lhuillier, President and CEO General of Cebuana Lhuillier.

Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings – which allows customers to open an account at one of over 3,000 Cebuana Lhuillier branches nationwide for as little as P50 – was introduced as a way to overcome barriers to l savings, including lack of accessibility, maintaining a high balance and the need for numerous documentary requirements to open an account.

As businesses and the rest of the country slowly return to normal, Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings has remained a go-to product for many Filipinos ready to resume their lives and dreams after two years of uncertainty.

For James Tan, an 18-year-old labor student from Sta. Rosa, Laguna, saving meant enjoying the mobility, safety and convenience of having your own bicycle, a useful tool for your daily trips between work and school.

“I want to own a bicycle because I can save a lot on transport costs to go to school and to work. That’s why I saved enough with Cebuana to buy my own bike. Now I don’t get stuck in traffic anymore and don’t get to work late,” says Tan.

As a hardworking student helping to support his family, James decided to continue saving after buying the bike to also help with home expenses.

The need to provide a better future for their family is also the reason Royce Jayson Velez, a 36-year-old construction worker, decided to open a Micro Savings account. Earning an average of 400 pesos a day, Royce and his wife had to be creative in extending his salary until the next payday. Her micro-savings have carried the family through difficult times and are now allocated to the schooling of her children.

“I told myself that I would continue to save so that I could send my children to school so that they would have good jobs in the future,” says Velez.

For Carie Labro, a 38-year-old former cleaner, her micro-savings paved the way for her micro-entrepreneurship. When her kids started asking for more time to spend with her, Carie decided to take a leap of faith and quit her job as housekeeper so she could be more there for her growing children.

With the 10,000 pesos she initially saved in her Micro Savings account, Labro opened a small store that she now maintains as her main source of income. Like Velez, she vigilantly monitored her micro-savings. She now saves some of her earnings in her account as an emergency fund for herself and her children.

Taking advantage of the renewed interest in savings, Cebuana Lhuillier Bank continues to push for the accessibility and convenience of its revolutionary product. The two-time winner of the Asian Banking & Finance Award for Rural Bank of the Year has adapted an innovative approach by adapting more technological features for micro-savings.

“The success of Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings has encouraged us to push the boundaries by bringing convenience, accessibility, reliability and banking efficiency to our customers. The change in the way people access financial services these days has pushed us towards digitalization,” said Cebuana Lhuillier Bank President Dennis Valdes.

Besides Cebuana Lhuillier branches, micro-savings account holders can also withdraw money anytime, anywhere at more than 21,000 BancNet ATMs nationwide, purchase online through UnionPay merchants around the world, enjoy unlimited 24/7 banking access with the eCebuana app and make cashless payments at over 350,000 UnionPay ATMs. and BancNet accredited stores nationwide.