ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
October 27, 2020
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Election 2020: What should the banking industry expect from Biden or Trump?
Banking Dive spoke to several academics, consultants and legal experts about what may change or stay the same in the banking sector under a new Biden administration or a second Trump term.

With one more debate ahead of the presidential election, it's not likely financial policy or bank regulation will come up before Nov. 3.

The rhetoric from former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump during the first debate, as well as during last week's separate town halls, has largely focused on the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the economy, the Supreme Court and police reform.

While financial policy may be missing, a look at Biden's platform and the actions taken during the Trump administration's four years can provide some insight as to what bankers can expect to see under either outcome.
Paving the Payments Future
The average American has $90,460 in debt—here’s how much debt Americans have at every age
CNBC Select reviews the average amount of total debt Americans have at every age.

In our efforts to keep up with the Joneses (or just get by during this period of economic uncertainty), debt has become a normalized part of the American lifestyle.

Borrowing money is often an important part of a long-term financial plan, whether it’s to access education and career opportunities, buy a car for your commute or find a place to call home.

However, debt also involves a little risk and can be expensive. Not only do you pay interest and fees, borrowing of any kind requires you to make your payments on time in order to keep your account and credit score in good standing. It’s not uncommon for consumers to make a few common mistakes while learning how credit works and establishing lifelong money habits.
Lending as a Service
Banks look to new accounts to attract the unbanked as COVID-19 takes a toll
Millions of consumers — including people of color — aren't able to easily cash a check or visit an ATM because they're not customers of regular banks.

The top reasons given for not having a bank account include not having enough money to meet minimum balance requirements, not trusting banks, bank account fees are too high, bank account fees are too unpredictable.

Banks across the country are now being urged to offer a more affordable type of account called Bank On accounts that allow for banking with little to no fees. Such accounts have low monthly maintenance fees and no overdraft fees, as well.

The American Bankers Association on Monday called on every bank in the country to consider offering "Bank On-certified accounts" to expand access to banking services and reduce the number of unbanked and underbanked Americans. More than 40 banks offer such accounts today. The minimum opening deposit could be $25 or less.
UPDATE! Educate the public!

IRS extends Economic Impact Payment deadline to November 21 to help non-filers

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) is now November 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline.

Regulators finalize rule requiring big banks to keep year's worth of liquidity
  • Bank regulators Tuesday approved a 2016 rule requiring the nation's largest banks to set aside enough stable funds to cover their needs for a year. 
  • The rule, known as the net stable funding ratio (NSFR), applies to large U.S. depository institution holding companies, depository institutions and U.S. intermediate holding companies of foreign banking organizations, each with total consolidated assets of $100 billion or more.
  • "By requiring banking organizations to maintain a stable funding profile, the final rule reduces liquidity risk in the financial sector and provides for a safer and more resilient financial system," the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, (OCC) and the Federal Reserve wrote in a summary of the final rule. 

PayPal to let users pay for purchases using cryptocurrency
  • PayPal's U.S. account holders will be able to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency in their PayPal digital wallets in the coming weeks, and use digital coins to pay for purchases at the 26 million merchants on the company's payment network beginning early next year under an effort the company launched Wednesday.
  • The company plans to expand those services to peer-to-peer subsidiary Venmo and international markets in the first half of 2021, it said.
  • New York's Department of Financial Services also Wednesday granted PayPal a conditional BitLicense to offer the services through a partner firm, the crypto brokerage Paxos Trust Company. The state regulator aims to encourage more companies to enter the virtual currency space.

Who owes the most in student loans: New data from the Fed
Most news stories and reports about student debt cite the fact that Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion. The fact that households in the upper half of the income distribution and those with graduate degrees hold a disproportionate share of that debt almost never makes it into the narrative. But who owes education debt is as important as how much debt there is. Only with this information can we determine who struggles because of their student loans and who is succeeding in the job market because of the education that loans helped them achieve.

Recently released data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances confirm that upper-income households account for a disproportionate share of student loan debt—and an even larger share of monthly out-of-pocket student debt payments.

The highest-income 40 percent of households (those with incomes above $74,000) owe almost 60 percent of the outstanding education debt and make almost three-quarters of the payments. The lowest-income 40 percent of households hold just under 20 percent of the outstanding debt and make only 10 percent of the payments.
Is Student Loan Discharge in Bankruptcy Now Within Reach?
Student loan borrowers who seek to have their debt canceled in bankruptcy — what's known as discharge — typically find it an expensive process with standards that can be difficult to meet. But recent bankruptcy court rulings and lawmakers' support of relief for overburdened borrowers may signal a change is coming.

In January, a New York court discharged over $200,000 of student loan debt for one borrower. Then, in August, a federal appeals court ruling eliminated $200,000 for a Colorado couple who held 11 private student loan accounts. And in September, a New York judge ruled to enforce a prior bankruptcy discharge of a borrower’s $400,000 of federal student loans that a servicer had failed to carry out.

These decisions could serve as a precedent for future bankruptcy cases involving student loans, says John Rao, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center.
Debt collection scams on the rise during COVID-19 pandemic
HOUSTON, Texas -- The Federal Trade Commission reports it is already seeing an increase in debt-related complaints, either from abusive collection tactics or from scammers.

We've seen fake debt collectors in the past and usually, they come out during an economic downturn.

If you get a call from someone saying you owe them money, but you cannot recall the debt or maybe it is something you already paid off, there are some things you can do to make sure it is not a scam.

Get some basic contact information, like the debt collector's name, the company name and the mailing address and phone number of the company.
FTC Announces New Fraud Reporting Platform for Consumers: ReportFraud.ftc.gov
New reporting system will provide streamlined experience and advice for consumers filing complaints with the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new website, ReportFraud.ftc.gov, where consumers can easily report fraud and all other consumer issues directly to the FTC.

At ReportFraud.ftc.gov, consumers will find a streamlined and user-friendly way to submit reports to the FTC about scams, frauds, and bad business practices. The FTC has long encouraged consumers to report these issues to the FTC when they encounter them—whether or not they lost money to the fraud.

“Every time you report scams or bad business practices to the FTC, you’re helping to protect your community,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “With ReportFraud.ftc.gov, it’s quicker and easier than ever to share your story, and each report helps the FTC, and other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, fight fraud.”
Retail And The Underbanked Opportunity
In the last 10 years, the global retail industry has been hit by a debilitating concoction of technological disruptions and competitive challenges. From issue-based brand boycotts to rapidly changing customer expectations, many of these challenges have disproportionately affected the brick-and-mortar retail market.

Even before the current global pandemic, it was becoming increasingly clear that traditional brick-and-mortar retailing was entering a period of protracted decline. Now, faced with volatile trading conditions and intensifying competition from e-commerce platforms, brick-and-mortar vendors have found it increasingly difficult to keep up with online retail giants like Amazon AMZN -0.3% and Alibaba BABA +0.8%.
ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
757.737.4088
315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092