MANILA and SAN FRANCISCO — April 11, 2023 — Micro-financial services company Cebuana Lhuillier announced an integration with the Stellar network to offer blockchain-based remittance services to its users. Cebuana customers receiving cross-border remittance payments can now benefit from near-instant settlement, lower fees, and convenient cash payout services at 2,500 branches across the Philippines.
Cross-border remittances are a $589 billion dollar industry, and the Philippines is among the five largest recipient countries. Cebuana is one of the most accessible non-bank financial services providers in the country. This integration will provide a blockchain-powered alternative to traditional remittance flows, which for users comes with long waits and high fees for users, and for money transfer operators (MTOs) comes with heavy capital requirements and limited scale and liquidity of the market.
Cebuana’s integration with the Stellar network will allow the MTO-to-MTO fund flow to occur on digital rails and settle nearly instantly—an improvement against the one to four days of settlement time on existing fiat rails. On each side of the transfer, the MTOs tap local market liquidity for cryptocurrency to fiat conversion, saving time and forex fees. Importantly, this model removes the need for prefunding, freeing up valuable working capital for Cebuana Lhuillier’s MTO partners.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier, said, “Cebuana Lhuillier strives to continuously engage in financial innovation. We have a responsibility to our customers to be at the cutting edge of modern fintech developments. With access to quality financial services our customers and their children can paint brighter futures.”
“As Cebuana joins the Stellar ecosystem, a powerful route for affordable and instant remittances emerges in the Philippines,” said Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation. “Together, we are improving the global financial system by bringing equitable access to the most critical markets. Stellar is the network built for payments around the world and this is a vital step in fulfilling our mission.”
About Cebuana Lhuillier
Cebuana Lhuillier is the Philippines’ leading and largest micro financial services provider specializing in pawning, remittance, microinsurance, and micro savings. We attribute our dominance in the industry to innovation, our robust network of local and international partners, and our commitment to nurturing our clientele through the different phases of their lives. Cebuana Lhuillier is owned by PJ Lhuillier.
About PJ Lhuillier
Established in 1988, the PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies (PJLGC) is a diversified conglomerate that owns and operates financial services businesses such as pawning, remittance, insurance, savings, and business-to-business loan solutions. PJLGC also operates businesses in a variety of industries such as retail, hotel and restaurant management, information technology, sports management, and real estate.
Stellar is a decentralized, fast, scalable, and uniquely sustainable network for financial products and services. It is both a cross-currency transaction system and a platform for digital asset issuance, designed to connect the world’s financial infrastructure. Dozens of financial institutions worldwide issue assets and settle payments on the Stellar network, which has grown to over 6 million accounts. For more information, visit stellar.org.
About the Stellar Development Foundation
The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is a non-profit organization that supports the development and growth of Stellar, an open-source network that connects the world’s financial infrastructure. Founded in 2014, the Foundation helps maintain Stellar’s codebase, supports the technical and business communities building on the network, and serves as a voice to regulators and institutions. The Foundation seeks to create equitable access to the global financial system, using the Stellar network to unlock the world’s economic potential through blockchain technology. For more information, visit stellar.org/foundation.