November 12, 2019
You Grow as We Grow!

Why banks should take user experience cues from nonbanks

"If Amazon is doing something, and it works, we should at least try it," said SunTrust's Andy Vitale during a panel on designing a dynamic customer experience.

Banks should be taking cues from how their customers interact with nonbanks, Andy Vitale, head of user experience design at SunTrust said during a panel on designing a dynamic customer experience at Bank Innovation Build in Atlanta on Thursday.

When it comes to customer data, Vitale said, "If Amazon is doing something, and it works, we should at least try it."

Dan Mecher, lead design catalyst at Fifth Third Bank, said it's good practice to emulate companies that receive high marks for user experience, regardless of industry.

"I think it's really starting to sink in for our organization and everybody else's. We're not just competing with the bank across the street anymore," Mecher said. "It's the customer's last best experience that we're being compared to.
Read more at BANKING DIVE

CFSA Conference

IRS hikes 401(k) contribution limit for 2020

The IRS on Wednesday issued updated guidelines regarding how much individuals can stash away in qualified retirement plans, like 401(k) accounts.

Each year, these limitations are updated by the Treasury Department to account for cost-of-living increases.

For 2020, the contribution threshold for 401(k) accounts rises to $19,500. That's up from $19,000 in 2019.

Andrew Meadows, senior vice president at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings, told FOX Business that the extra $500 can be really helpful for savers, especially when the benefit of compounding interest is taken into account. Read more at FOX BUSINESS


Here's the 2020 IRS Standard Deduction -- And What It Means to You

Thanks to inflation, this popular deduction is rising next year.

Each year, taxpayers have the choice to use itemize deductions or use the standard deduction, whichever is the most financially beneficial choice for them. The idea is that if your individual deductions add up to more than the standard deduction, it's worth itemizing (also known as the "long way" to do your taxes).

For the majority of Americans, itemizing is not worthwhile, and that's especially true now, thanks to the higher standard deductions that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act put in place. The IRS recently announced the updated standard deduction for 2020, so here's what yours will be and what it will mean.
Read more at MOTLEY FOOL


Need a loan? There's a tech company for that.

  • Once something Silicon Valley avoided, financial services such as consumer loans have crept in to the offerings of just about every tech company.
  • The transition to such services highlights the increasing pressure on tech companies to find new sources of revenue.
  • Many tech companies claim that innovation, along with consumer choice, will help people who haven't had access to traditional banking, but lending carries risks that tech companies are not used to.

Tehnology companies have a new product to sell: debt.

Once something Silicon Valley avoided, financial services such as consumer loans have crept in to the offerings of just about every tech company, a transition that highlights the increasing pressure to find new sources of revenue.

Many of those services come with claims that innovation, along with consumer choice, will help people who haven't had access to traditional banking. But some Silicon Valley veterans are also warning that lenders to consumers and small businesses are already plentiful and that the practice of lending carries different kinds of risks than tech companies are used to.
Read more at CNBC


LeadSherpa: "Adding Online Lending to Storefront Operations"

LeadSherpa provides a fully managed online lending program for traditional storefront lenders interested in extending their lending operations online.  Our team will customize the appropriate online workflow, establish performance metrics and work with you to achieve measured results. We can manage the entire online lending process or assist in your current online lending efforts.

Highlights include:
  • Development and implementation of online lead filters and target consumer profiles
  • Online lead generator evaluations, integrations and price point management
  • Implementation and management of third-party data providers through the use of custom waterfalls and scorecards
  • Automated tracking and measurement of lead performance
  • Analytics, Analytics and more Analytics
Read more at LeadSherpa


4 Out of 5 People Who Use Digital Banks Would Switch to Amazon

Digital banking has been slower to impact consumers' savings habits than their checking and card transactions. Online and mobile banking experience, however, has begun to alter consumer attitudes. Understanding the different types of saver behaviors can help banks and credit unions hold onto their deposits.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers are thinking about opening a new savings account, and about half of them (47%) say they would be comfortable with an online-only provider like Ally, Discover or Synchrony, according to a survey conducted by the Consumer Bankers Association and Novantas.

As consumers do more and more banking online their views about handling their money change - to the point where one out of five would consider keeping their savings with Amazon or Google if those companies offered a savings account, according to the CBA/Novantas study. Looked at from the other end of the telescope,.


Google's Newest Ad Policy Restricts Debt Services Ads & Bans Credit Repair Ads

Advertising for financial services is tough. The industry has some of the most expensive keywords on Google Ads (hitting nearly $50 per click). Even more, it has higher CPCs and CPAs than almost any other industry on Google.

Even beyond these costs, financers are becoming increasingly familiar with new regulations and policies in their industry from all sides-and Google is no stranger to this, either. Last week, Google announced an update to these restrictions. Starting in November, that it will no longer serve ads for credit repair services.

At the same time, advertisers who wish to serve ads for debt settlement or debt management services will need to be certified by Google, as well as the governing bodies of where they look to serve ads.
Read more at Business 2 Community


Transform Your Business with Data and Payment Instruments

The rise of fintech technologies, now, more than ever is affecting consumer behaviors. 

Today, consumers possess multiple bank accounts, utilizing a wide array of payment instruments and high frequency usage of debit cards, (especially virtual, private labeled, and those linked to rewards). This behavior adds a layer of complexity to the measurement and management of risks associated with extending credit and issuing financial services. Additionally, the successful collection of funds, due to regulatory changes and the aforementioned consumer behavior, has become increasingly difficult to automate and manage for many businesses. The two factors contributing to the remediation of this problem, have long been utilized separately, data and payment instruments (bank accounts and debit cards). ValidiFI has developed a disruptive technology, the Payment Risk Optimizer (PRO) platform, that leverages data and payment instruments for the purposes of improving payment processing success rates, efficiency and compliance.
Read more at VALIDIFI


Kraninger Signals Caution on Controversial Small Business Lending Policy

The provision mandates CFPB to collect data on women- and minority-owned small business lending

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger has signaled a cautious approach in her plan to implement a controversial piece of Dodd-Frank, which requires the agency to collect data on minority- and women-owned small business lending.

The CFPB has, so far, delayed Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, frustrating consumer advocates who say the data is critical to studying unequal access to funds. A symposium on the topic hosted by the CFPB on Wednesday is a sign that the bureau intends to move forward on the issue.



CFPB Financial Well-being Research Conference

Join us on this one-day conference that will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the latest research on financial well-being using the Bureau's Financial Well-being Scale.

Join us on this one-day conference that will bring together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss the latest research on financial well-being using the Bureau's Financial Well-being Scale.

The Conference will feature research that addresses the relationship between financial well-being and financial coaching, and financial well-being and credit scores. In addition, the Conference will feature research on how financial well-being varies by state, over time, and among specific populations such as Millennials, Native Americans and older adults.
Read more at CFPB

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Third-Party Debt Collections Industry at a Crossroads as Slow Technology Advancements Impede Industry

New report from TransUnion and Aite Group explores industry trends, challenges and innovations

The collections industry is at a crossroads. Collections balances in the U.S. continued to grow in the last decade, yet at the same time, the number of third-party collections companies declined dramatically. A new TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) and Aite Group report, The State of Third-Party Collections 2019, found that contraction in the industry is largely due to strong consumer credit performance combined with a regulatory environment that has slowed modernization efforts.

At the end of 2018, 79 million consumers had at least one collection tradeline with outstanding balances totaling $211 billion. Despite the extreme level of debt, the number of third-party debt collections companies declined from about 10,600 in 2007 to around 8,500 in 2016 (latest data available). Read more at TRANSUNION


CFPB's Kraninger Catching Flak - and Hitting Her Targets

An anonymous World War II bomber pilot may be the source of the saying, "If you're not catching flak, you're not hitting your target." But today, the saying often means if a person in a high-profile job is not attracting criticism, that person is not making much of a difference.

If there's one government official this saying applies to in a positive way, it is Kathy Kraninger. Appointed by President Trump and confirmed last December as director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Kraninger has caught much flak from statist progressives as she has hit her targets by rolling back excessive regulation.

As she heads into the end of her first year as head of the CFPB, Kraninger has much to be proud of. Since the Senate confirmed her in December 2018, Kraninger has worked diligently to make the CFPB more transparent, more accountable, and ultimately more consumer-friendly.
Read more at NewsMax


Rise of Cashless Retailers Problematic for Some Consumers

Cash remains important payment option for many

Restaurants, stores, and stadiums around the country have stopped accepting cash as payment and instead are requiring patrons to pay with cards or digital devices, although some have already abandoned the practice in response to a public backlash.

Businesses that have gone cashless say they did so in response to concerns about security (theft of cash), a desire for greater efficiency (faster transactions), and consumer demand as most of their clientele pays electronically. Opponents, however, cite the possible discriminatory impact of this practice, saying that it violates the Civil Rights Act because unbanked consumers-meaning those who do not have a bank account-are more likely to be members of minority groups.
Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts



Alternative Financial Service Providers Association

315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092