Feeds

South Koreans pawn shiny tech for stress-free loans

Hocking Gangnam Style!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Cash-poor South Koreans are increasingly pawning their shiny new smartphones, fondleslabs and laptops for hassle-free loans at a growing number of specialist hock shops springing up in the Asian nation.

There are 15 of the new IT pawn shops in the Seoul area alone, all designed to cater to a younger, tech-savvy clientele, according to Korean news agency Yonhap.

A world away from the shady image of the classic pawn shop, usually manned by a chain-smoking octogenarian, this new breed of hocking shop reportedly features young staff, flashy, modern interiors and store web sites.

“One guy was telling his friend he was having a hard time finding someone who could lend him 200,000 won ($184),” pawn shop owner Kim Moo-hyun told the news agency.

“What was ironic is that he was holding the latest iPhone and iPad, which are obviously expensive. I thought this could become a business model.”

These shops typically pay 50-70 per cent of the device’s market price with interest at roughly three per cent, Yonhap said.

Loans apparently range from 200,000 won (£117) to 1 million won (£586) on average, with a Galaxy S3 in good nick potentially fetching 350,000 won (£205).

Customers can be in and out in ten minutes, after showing ID, signing a contract and handing over the device, in a set-up designed to service those in need of hassle-free, one-off loans.

Korean pawn shop owners have even tried to allay customers’ anxiety over being seen in their establishments by offering personal consulting services on mobile messaging platforms, Yonhap said.

But with new product release cycles shorter than ever, items will typically only be taken for a month or two. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.