The WorldBridge Group-owned Cash-U-Up Pawnshop Company on Monday announced the sale of its first franchise as mortgage service trends in Cambodia are showing an increase, according to the company.

Cash-U-Up, a subsidiary of WorldBridge Group, a company investing in The Bridge and The PEAK construction projects, has been in operation for eight years and expanded to 15 branches.

Expansion, franchise sales

The general manager of Cash-U-Up, Kuch Setha said about 90 per cent of the Kingdom’s pawnshops are in Phnom Penh, so franchise sales will help expand the market’s scope to the provinces.

He said while Cambodians previously had a negative perception of such establishments, the idea of using such services is gradually becoming normal.

“In the next two years, the company plans to expand to 30 branches, excluding the sale of franchises,” he said, adding that the company plans to sell its franchise in 10 locations.

According to the company’s plans for next year, it will sell its franchise to five operators.

Kuch Setha said to build a successful mortgage business, companies must be professional on the job and in maintaining collaterals.

Keo Nimet, the strategic adviser at Cash-U-Up and a representative of WorldBridge Group, said the Kingdom’s mortgage market is small and has room to grow. He said Cash-U-Up currently provides services to about 5,000 customers across the country.

Nong Piseth, director at the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s Department of Real Estate Business and Pawnshop, said the Kingdom’s mortgage market is still in high demand, adding that the ministry regularly conducts inspections to ensure businesses operate properly.

“Recently, expert officials and I have cooperated with the Ministry of Interior to go through certain companies that have business licenses. As a result, 90 per cent of companies have complied properly with the ministry’s instructions,” he said.

According to data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the ministry has currently licensed 509 companies as pawn businesses.