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A Vision Realized

The History of Cash America


A clean, well-lit, friendly, customer-oriented place for folks to get short-term loans stirred the imagination of Cash America’s founder Jack Daugherty.


Until then, the perception of pawnshops mimicked the old Hollywood image. People envisioned a dark, smoke-filled room with cranky old men setting arbitrary prices for precious belongings. But Jack didn’t want that.


“Pawnshop customers were not used to being treated well,” he said. “I chose to treat them with respect, making sure they felt valued and ensuring that they had a good experience.”


It all began in one little pawnshop in Irving, Texas. The year was 1984. And 27 years later, that attitude remains the same.  The new kind of pawn business Jack started has revolutionized the industry and now includes more than 1,000 lending locations for Cash America.


First pawnshop in Irving, TX

As a company, we also branched out from U.S.-based pawn and cash advance operations with locations in Mexico and a robust online lending business that reaches hard-working folks in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the U.S.


But our Cash America coworkers are always looking for ways to encourage customers to visit our stores and develop new financial products to those who find themselves in need.


For the last couple of years, we’ve been rolling out more options that include installment loans, auto equity loans, tax filing services and pre-paid debit cards.


As technology evolves, we’ve embraced it with a new point-of-sale system that is more efficient and allows stores to work together more easily. It is also more flexible and can be changed as the industry changes.


This year, we launched our social media initiatives to reach new customers online through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and this blog.


Cash America (NYSE:CSH) is now one of the largest operators of pawnshops in the world with more than $1 billion in total revenue annually. It didn’t happen overnight, but it started with a vision from a man with a very basic concept, “We welcome people in with a good attitude,” Daugherty said. “That’s the key—customer service.”


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