MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Filipinos looking for short-term loans by pawning their possessions can now do so online through a new service called PawnHero.
PawnHero is registered with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and received its license to operate from the central bank on January 23 this year. Like regular pawnshops, it will be under regulation and supervision of BSP as well.
In a statement, PawnHero said it offers "the lowest interest rate in the country, and much higher appraisal value for a wider variety of items" such as jewelry, gadgets, luxury bags, designer shoes, and other items.
It also partnered with transport and logistics provider 2GO in order to meet users' needs and increase ease of use.
David Margendorff, PawnHero.ph chairman and co-founder, explained the benefits of the team-up with 2GO. “With 2GO we have a trusted logistic partner who already has a strong brand recognition in the Philippines," he said.
"This way, we offer convenience, safety, and security to all our users. For those not comfortable with the pickup, all items can be dropped in any of the 900+ PawnHero affiliated 2GO outlets nationwide.”
The pawning process
Users go through a 3-step process to pawn their goods. First, the user describes the item they are pawning, along with sending pictures of the item, which will then be appraised by PawnHero and given a fair estimate.
The company added that unlike traditional pawnshops where customers have to travel back and forth to renew a loan, PawnHero allows a loan duration up to 1 year.
When the terms have been accepted, the customer can schedule a fully insured and free pick-up of items via 2GO. They can also drop off the item they are pawning at PawnHero-affiliated 2GO branches.
The company also provides users with a PawnHero Card upon the pick-up of an item. The PawnHero Card is a debit card customers can use at any ATM nationwide or at any Bancnet accredited merchant. These can also be used for online shopping.
Once PawnHero receives the item and appraises it, the company will then deposit cash into your account.
Customers can then repay the loan via a PawnHero account according to the agreed-upon terms, with the company shipping back their item to the user, fully insured and for free.
As PawnHero is the first attempt in the country to engage in online pawnbroking, although registered with BSP and was granted license to operate, it is not fully supported by present regulations in terms of face-to-face contact and actual pawning at the primary place of business, BSP Integrated Supervision Department I Director Gerardo A. Butardo said.
Butardo said BSP is closely monitoring this development as it recognizes the fact that market is changing and industries will continue to converge.
The central bank is in the process of amending pertinent regulations that shall be principles-based, with focus on corporate governance, consumer protection, and anti-money laundering compliance, he added.
"This means that BSP-supervised institutions may be allowed to take more risks or engage business on available technologies as long as they can demonstrate their ability and capacity to manage identified risks," Butardo said. – Rappler.com
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