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Pinoys start embracing online pawnshop experience

Margendorff

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos can now access  the services of a pawnshop through the convenience of their own phones or desktop computers. The first online pawnshop in Southeast Asia, PawnHero.ph opened in the Philippines last year, offering an easy, fair and convenient solution to Filipinos’ short-term financial emergencies.

In an interview with The STAR, PawnHero chairman and co-founder David Margendorff explains the reasons  why their group has decided to revolutionize the pawnshop business by setting up PawnHero.ph.

Margendorff  said there are roughly 18,000 pawnshops all over the country and most of them may charge anywhere from four to six percent a month, apart from additional fees. PawnHero charges a flat interest rate of 2.99 percent a month, the lowest in the pawnshop business in the country.

Sometimes, individuals don’t want to go through the chaotic traffic just to pawn one small item. And yet, the need for short-term cash loan is there. “For many people, their only option is to borrow from loan sharks,” Margendorff said.

“We know that Filipinos are addicted to social media so we thought, what if we use technology to revolutionize  the pawnshop business. What if we use technology and put a pawnshop in everybody’s pockets,” he said.

PawnHero  is registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and received its license to operate from the BSP last year.

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“We want to aid others in this extremely high interest rate environment and be very transparent. It’s all about being the good guys. We charge half of the interest. There are no hidden costs, no penalties.  All our knowledge is combined in one location. You can pawn electronic gadgets, luxury eyewear, even music equipment,” Margendorff said.

According to Margendorff, PawnHero provides an easy, fair and convenient way of overcoming short-term cash needs. “This is a completely new way of doing business in the industry. “

With PawnHero, a customer can pawn his item online and finally say goodbye to the intimidating and embarrassing pawnshop experience of the past.

While it seems impossible, Margendorff said it’s actually simple.

First,  a customer  describes  the item, along with pictures of the items he wishes to pawn, which will then be appraised by  PawnHero.

Once accepted, the company’s trusted logistic partner, 2GO can pick-up the items or one can also drop it off in any of the 900+ PawnHero affiliated 2GO outlets nationwide.

“Packages are fully insured and shipping is free,” he said.

The company also provides users with a PawnHero  Card upon the pick-up of the item. PawnHero Card is a debit card customers can use at any ATM nationwide or at any Bancnet accredited merchant.

Once the item is received and appraised, the customer will then receive the money through the PawnHero Card.

Unlike traditional brick and mortar pawnshops, there are no hidden costs and no penalties for late payments. Through the use of modern technology for appraisal that is consistently being updated, PawnHero is able to offer half of the monthly interest of traditional pawnshops.

“That makes PawnHero the most competitive in the country,” Margendorff said.

When it’s time to redeem the item, the client can simply contact the customer representatives or use the PawnHero Card to pay the loan.

In turn, PawnHero will ship back the item, fully insured and free of shipping charges.

Other investors of PawnHero are  CEO and president of 2Go Group Sulficio Tagud, Xurpas CEO Nix Nolledo and Internet entrepreneur Manny Ayala.

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