April 9, 2020
AFSPA Partner

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Help for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to minimize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in the Act is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to provide small businesses with support to continue to keep their workers on the payroll.

The CARES Act's PPP, implemented by the Small Business Administration (SBA), is supporting small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward workforce job retention and certain other expenses . Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

Paycheck Protection Program and lenders


AFSPA Partner

CFSA Encouraging Members to Extend Flexibility in Small-Dollar Loan Repayment During COVID-19

Cash or cashless: The flaws in today's payments debate

There is a constant debate on whether global economies should continue to offer cash payments or go cashless by converting solely to digital. Critics say this move would disenfranchise unbanked, cash-dependent consumers and does not drive financial inclusion, while others claim that a failure to go cashless limits innovation in the fintech sector. But what if the best solution lied somewhere in the middle?

Cash and digital payments don't have to be mutually exclusive; this is not a zero-sum game as the two payment options can exist together. According to new PPRO data, over half of U.S. and U.K. consumers will stop the checkout process if it is too complicated or their preferred methods are not available. Consumers prefer having multiple payment options, whether it be using a bank transfer, a credit card, a mobile wallet or even cash. Payment flexibility is a crucial factor in offering a seamless checkout experience. Some shoppers never carry cash while others view cash as the only way they want - or are able - to pay.


Stimulus Funds Should Be Delivered Via Mobile Payments

Now is the time for governments to be promoting and employing mobile-based tools to assist families and businesses harmed by the pandemic. From mobile passports to re-admittance into normal life to mobile payment methods, mobile technology could be our best weapon in the fight against coronavirus. Delivering stimulus funds via mobile payments will help more people get stimulus funds faster, and may help spur adoption of mobile payment systems and reduce the unbanked percent of the U.S. population.

The need for speed
The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act provides multiple types of financial support for businesses and individuals. Notably, it provides $1,200 for individuals ($2,400 for joint taxpayers) and $500 for each child, with income-based and child-age-based thresholds. These individual stimulus checks are important for the well-being of our economy and help ensure that newly unemployed individuals have money to spend on important necessities including food and housing. Read more at FORBES


Which bills to pay during the coronavirus pandemic

Meeting routine financial obligations, such as rent and student loans bills, will be a challenge for the millions of Americans who find themselves without a paycheck thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.

Overwhelmed? Scared? Begin by making a list of all your bills, experts say. At the top should be the things you most need.

"Normally, rent and mortgage are the most important," said Anthony Alexis, a partner in Goodwin's Financial Industry and Consumer Financial Services Litigation.

Yet nothing is normal these days. "For rentals, many large states such as California and New York have enacted a moratorium on evictions," Alexis said.
Read more at CNBC



About Alchemy

Alchemy FinTech Infrastructure Platform enables FinTech, Banks and Financial Services to launch with ease.

Alchemy was founded on the belief that technology, analytics and operations should be executed in concert, flawlessly. We founded this company to take away the back office pain points from our clients and enable to the focus on their story.

We deliver our core solution and customized workflow for a variety of financial verticals. Our personal loan, line-of-credit, mechanics financing, construction loans and student loan installations are state of the art. We have developed point-of-sales portals for student aids office and construction offices to qualify and finance customers in real time.

Out of the box and customized lending software
We spent the past 4 years crafting customer and point of sale experiences in a variety of industries. Based on the foundation of our deep lending experience and real-world implementations, we continuously refine industry-specific underwriting algorithms, workflows, user experience and loan management functionalities.




Guide to coronavirus mortgage relief options

If you're among those financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, you might be concerned about how to pay your mortgage or rent. Federal and state governments have announced plans to help struggling homeowners during this time. Read this to get information on what to do now, and what your options are for mortgage and rental relief.

Important things to know first
For many homeowners with mortgages, there's help, but first assess your situation.



Dreher Tomkies

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Dreher Tomkies LLP is a law firm located in Columbus, Ohio providing services to financial institutions nationwide. We concentrate in the areas of banking and financial services law. The Firm's practice encompasses all aspects of financial services provided by creditors to consumers and business entities. The Firm's clients range from Fortune 500 companies and foreign-owned enterprises to small businesses, including diversified companies, banks and bank holding companies, investment bankers, investment funds, finance companies, credit and charge card issuers, mortgage bankers, retailers, debt purchasers, manufacturers, industry and trade associations, and coalition and issue groups.

Our attorneys routinely advise clients on consumer lending, home equity lending, first and second mortgage lending, private label and general purpose credit card lending, student lending, retail sales financing, payday lending, title lending, RAL lending, agricultural lending, wholesale financing, inventory financing, business revolving credit and charge programs, factoring, health care and medical financing, deposit taking, home banking, annuity and insurance sales, GAP programs, reinsurance, debt cancellation and suspension, debt collection compliance, money transmitting, state and federal regulatory compliance, and the licensing and chartering of institutions. Such counseling can include the rendering of advisory opinions, state law outlines and summaries, product design and development and the identification of appropriate product delivery vehicles, as well as program planning, implementation and maintenance.

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Dreher Tomkies LLP

How Should I Handle My Student Loans During This Crisis?

A financial crisis leads to fast paced change. When this occurs, the avalanche of new proposals can feel overwhelming. It is important to separate fact from fiction and determine how these changes can influence your personal finances.

On March 13th, the president announced that he was waiving interest on all student loans held by federal government agencies. Over that weekend, I had several friends rejoice about the possibility of having lower loan payments in the short-term. As details were released about the initiative, we realized this was not the case. At that time, the suspension of interest would not cause a reduction in payment. With the March 13th provision, their normal payments would only increase the amount going towards principal. Read more at FORBES


Small business owners need cash now. But they don't know when it will come

Small business owners feel they're in a race for their livelihoods. When they learned $349 billion in forgivable loans would be paid out on a first-come, first-served basis, they made a mad dash to apply the day the program opened.

"It's a wild grab for cash. People's livelihoods are on the line," said Evan Brownstein, who operates five restaurants in Los Angeles.
But the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, as it's known, wasn't ready for prime time when it launched on April 3. Many lenders have been slow to accept applications because they needed more technical guidance from the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration. The SBA's electronic system went down for a spell. And with both agencies updating guidance and amending forms, there is still confusion as to what the rules really are.
Read more at CNN


Small, Mid-Sized Cities Currently Cut Out of Direct Coronavirus Funding

With tax revenues down sharply, all local governments are hurting. But leaders of small and mid-sized jurisdictions in particular are arguing that they need more support.

The massive coronavirus relief package President Trump signed into law at the end of last month includes a $139 billion pot of money meant to help states and local governments in dealing with the disease outbreak.

But smaller- and mid-sized cities and counties won't get direct access to those funds.

While these smaller governments could get some money from other parts of the package or from "pass-throughs" from states or bigger counties, local officials say the federal government is going to need to provide far more financial support to help them weather the public health crisis.
Read more at ROUTEFIFTY


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

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