In the Philippines only around 3 out of 10 Filipinos have a bank account, of which 5% own credit cards. This poses a serious problem for the masses who are in constant need of financial assistance in their daily lives.
Pawnshops act as the solver of this problem by being the gateway to fast and guaranteed short-term cash loans for the regular citizen. Having been around for over 3,000 years, the industry has become a part of the masses daily lives. Local pawnshops help a vast number of Filipinos make ends meet by giving out small loans against collateralized items.
The internet has brought about the emergence of online pawnshops who offer the same service as their traditional counterparts but with some added benefits. At the forefront of the digital frontier is PawnHero, the first online pawnshop in the Philippines. Although more and more Filipinos are becoming comfortable with doing their transactions online, there is always that hovering question about safety and security.
Despite the obvious benefits of face-to-face transactions, traditional pawnshops still suffer from constant security threats such as robberies and incidents of theft. Most traditional establishments lack CCTVs and security personnel particularly on weekends, holidays or even at night when shops are closed. With the frequency of these incidents, it’s no longer surprising to read news about a traditional pawnshop being robbed or held-up.
Online pawnshops, on the other hand, offer the same financial services as their brick-and-mortar counterparts but without so much of the risks. While both offer short-term loans against collateral – often in the form of jewelry and other valuable items, online pawning has the added benefit of safety, convenience, and discreteness.
PawnHero, the first online pawnshop in the Philippines, believes online pawning is safer for three major reasons:
1) There is no risk of theft or robbery.
Sad to say, traditional pawnshops are favorite targets of thieves. They know that the shop has a good deal of expensive merchandise and cash on site. The thought of walking to a traditional pawnshop in a shady part of town may be alarming, especially with a valuable item alongside. By transacting with an online pawnshop, the danger of losing your valuables enroute to an establishment is eliminated since it’s actually the pawnshop who will go to you.
2) Items are stored in a safe discreet location.
Traditional pawnshops keep many of their valuables inside vaults on the premises which means anyone who can break in will have access to whatever contents it holds. Traditional pawnshops also advertise their location to everybody meaning they also make known the location of their vault to everyone.
Online pawnshops like PawnHero have no physical establishments meaning there’s nothing to break into. Instead, items are stored in a safe and discreet location with 24/7 security.
3) Transactions are safer, more convenient and transparent.
Apart from other minor services, you will go to a pawnshop one main reason – quick cash on the spot by either pawning or selling an item. An online pawnshop may take a little longer than a traditional one in releasing cash. The benefit, however, is that you can transact from the security and comfort of your home since it’s the pawnshop who will come to you.
Transacting online also eliminates the hassle of needing to go from one pawnshop to another to looking for the best deal. You can instantly see how much the interest rates on your mobile phone or computer meaning no surprise of hidden charges. In the instance of your item getting rejected, you will not have spent so much time and energy commuting through the horrific traffic conditions of Metro Manila.
So how do you actually get a loan from an online pawnshop?
Doing any transaction online can be intimidating upfront and pawing is no exemption. One look into how it works, however, will reveal that it’s actually quite easy. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a pawn loan online (courtesy of PawnHero).
1) Get free appraisal.
First, apply for a free appraisal or estimate of your item/s by filling up the form found on the online pawnshop’s website (for PawnHero go to www.pawnhero.ph). This step will require you to describe your item in detail.
It shouldn’t take long to get a response. Upon receiving the initial appraisal you will now have a concrete idea of how much money you can get as loan for that specific item. Submitting an application creates a unique ticket which will be the reference ID for your transaction.
2) Schedule free pickup.
Once you’re decided to avail the loan, you may schedule the pickup of your item as the next step of the application. Just indicate when and where you would like the transaction to happen and an authorized personnel, (PawnHero personnel are called PawnTroopers), will arrive to pick up the item and answer any questions you may have. PawnHero transactions (pickups and deliveries) are free and fully insured.
3) Get CASH, fast.
Once your item is received by the PawnTrooper, it will undergo a final physical inspection to determine if everything is in good condition and as indicated in your application. Once this is done, you will receive the money instantly through your bank account or other payment options.
4) Get item back.
Usually, you may repay your loan at any time, even before maturity date. Once fully paid, the item will be delivered back to your address. If you need more time to repay, simply apply for an extension of the loan.
How to choose the right online pawnshop for you:
- Go for an online pawnshop that’s BSP licensed. A licensed pawnshop means it abides by the rules and regulations set by BSP ensuring credibility and the safety of customers. PawnHero.ph is fully licensed by BSP to operate.
- Talk to their customer service. An online pawnshop that gives great customer service is the right online pawnshop. So, if you’re looking for more details into the process or how things work call their hotline and talk to the representative. If all your questions are answered then you’re likely talking the right company to trust.
- Check the website. The website has all the information and answers to your questions from the FAQs, the process and customer service. Take time to read through everything. A website with quality content helps you make the right decision.
- Read testimonials of customers. Customers who shared their experiences can also give you a second-hand experience of the service an online pawnshop offers. This is also a good way to determine if you’re walking into a scam or unsafe transaction.
Jhon Kenneth Delos Reyes
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