Business

Maxi-Cash going digital to be global pawn star

Pawnbroker Maxi-Cash released some new digital services recently.

Its iPayment, started last month, lets users pay interest on loans online. Also, an online valuation service and a revamp of the eShop were unveiled on Aug 1.

Maxi-Cash said it wants to build a strong foundation as it aims to become a global business.

Its chief executive, Mr Ng Leok Cheng, said: "It is about using digital means to link up all the services and stores so that, apart from providing convenience in Singapore, we could be transacting with you in the region, and you would still feel like you were dealing with us right here."

Maxi-Cash worked on iPayment for two years, he said.

Customers who have pawned items must register with Maxi-Cash before they can pay the interest on their loans online using iPayment.

Mr Ng feels the service will appeal to those with larger loans, as they would no longer need to visit the physical stores at crowded times.

Its new online valuation system could also reach users who want to pawn their items but are new to the idea. 

"This will provide confidence and transparency," said Mr Ng.

"If people need money, for example, and have never been to a pawnshop, they might have no idea how to monetise their item or how much it's worth. People feel uncomfortable if they go to the shop and find it's not worth anything."

The revamped eShop now allows consumers to buy products online and have them delivered or arrange to pick them up directly at the stores. In the past, the interface was less interactive.

Some goods will be made available only on eShop.

Mr Ivan Ho, the president of the Singapore Pawnbrokers' Association, agrees that the industry has to look to the future with technology and services.

That is why Mr Ho's Heng Seng Pawnshop in Toa Payoh also has an online store.

He says: "Soon, most of the pawnbrokers will head in the same direction (online), and the association does encourage everyone to keep up with the times."

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