How to turn your designer bags and luxury watches into emergency funds during the pandemic
A year and some months into a cycle of lockdowns and surges, it is apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t just a health crisis. It is also a financial one – with job losses, business closures, downsizing, and the cost of medical care and everyday goods and services all chipping away at our savings and shrinking budgets.
For a quick and easy bail out of a temporary cash shortage, Filipinos need not look any further than the trusty sanglaan or pawnshop.
CASH IN THE CLOSET
In many ways, pawnshops in the Philippines are as familiar as the neighborhood sari-sari store. About 18,500 of them operate in the country, serving more than 50 million unbanked and underbanked Filipinos for their money needs.
But while many have come to rely on pawnshops for ready cash, very few know that pawning can now be done digitally, or that one can offer up more than a ring or necklace to rustle up a loan.
At PawnHero, the country’s first digital pawnshop regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, a collateral can be as good as a pair of branded sunglasses, a luxury watch, and yes – even those designers bags that have been sitting in your closet all this time.
PawnHero has been in the business of giving out short-term, collateral-based loans to cash-strapped customers since 2015.
More recently, its clients have also come to include entrepreneurs who pawn their luxury goods to secure loans for their payroll or to keep their inventory going during these long quarantine months.
With its comparatively low interest rates, PawnHero has become a lifeline to many, especially in this period of economic uncertainty. In addition, it offers flexible loan terms and higher appraisal value for items compared to traditional pawnshops.
The pawning process is as easy as it is discreet and convenient. Interested parties can get their items appraised online by providing detailed descriptions on their website, www.pawnhero.ph. They can also send photos of the items via PawnHero’s Facebook, Instagram or Viber through the #MagkanoSaPawnHero campaign. A schedule is then set for a courier – a.k.a. a pawntrooper – to pick up the item (returns and pickup services are free of charge, adding to its appeal). Once appraised and the final loan offer accepted, customers can opt to cash out via bank transfer, InstaPay, or through PESOnet partner banks or electronic money issuers.
Walk-ins are also entertained at their office on the 7th Floor of the W Global Center in BGC Taguig from Mondays to Saturdays.
“People can actually pawn multiple items in one transaction day,” says PawnHero Chief Operating Officer Iris Tagud-Pastor. “This makes it infinitely more convenient and rewarding for our customers, especially during this time of limited movement.”
COVID-19 has brought upon us a challenging financial climate. Fortunately for many Filipinos, fintech companies like PawnHero are here to serve people’s needs for ready cash to get them through these peso-pinching days.
All PawnHero pawned items are covered by Pioneer Insurance.
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