AFSPA
ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
September 15, 2020
AFSPA Partner

ALCHEMY
Lending as a Service

Keeping the banking desert at bay in rural America

As big banks concentrate their branches in cities, smaller financial institutions and digital companies find ways to irrigate in abandoned markets.

When a community's only bank branch leaves town, the lack of financial services can pose a serious drawback for locals.

While residents and small businesses may have digital and mobile banking options to turn to when their brick-and-mortar option disappears, they are left with a lack of credit and cash depositing options that make the void especially hard to fill.

Banks shed 6,764 branches in the U.S., or 7% of the total number, from 2012 to 2017, according to a November report by the Federal Reserve.

The central bank identified 44 "deeply affected" counties that had 10 or fewer branches in 2012 and lost half or more of them by 2017. Thirty-nine of those counties are rural, the Fed found.
Read more at BANKING DIVE

AFSPA Partner
IRS and AFSPA
The IRS continues to try to reach out to those individuals who might not have received their stimulus payment and to those who receive federal benefits may still be eligible for an additional $500 per child, if they haven't yet received it.

This week's outreach bundle includes materials in English and Spanish to remind people who don't normally file a tax return to sign up for an Economic Impact Payment by Oct. 15.

For more information, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

e-Posters:
Pub. 5412-V, How Do I Get An Economic Impact Payment When I Don't Normally File Taxes? (flowchart PDF, see attached)
Pub. 5412-U, How to Get Your Economic Impact Payment if You Don't Normally File Taxes
(If/then chart PDF, see attached)


Can Regulators Foster Financial Innovation and Preserve Consumer Protections?

An investigation of mobile and faster payments, regulatory sandboxes, and the challenge of maintaining customer safety

Between 2010 and 2018, U.S. investments in financial technology, or "fintech," grew from almost $2 billion to more than $100 billion, with over half of the increase occurring in 2018 alone. Among the ripest spaces in the financial sector for a technology upgrade is payments-the systems that move money between people and institutions-which currently rely on aging infrastructure and often make consumers wait for access to their funds. Payments innovation is important not only to ensure the expediency and safety of everyday transactions, but also to speed the delivery of government benefits or funds to those in need, especially during emergencies, such as natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. As businesses and policymakers seek to promote the development of new payments technologies, the need to also ensure safety and efficiency will present a range of challenges to regulators and traditional financial systems.
Read more at Pew Charitable Trusts

AFSPA Partner


REPAY
Paving the Payments Future

NEBRASKA Supreme Court clears the way for payday lending initiative to appear on ballot

The Nebraska Supreme Court cleared the way Thursday for a ballot initiative capping the interest and fees payday lenders can charge customers to go before voters this November.

The court affirmed an earlier decision by the Lancaster County District Court that said the language used in the ballot title - which includes the term "payday lenders" - was both "sufficient" and "fair."

Trina Thomas, a Lincoln woman who operates a Paycheck Advance, sued Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and Secretary of State Bob Evnen to stop the measure from going on the Nov. 3 ballot.

Thomas said by referring to "payday lenders" instead of "delayed deposit services licensees," which appears in state statute, voters would be prejudiced to support the initiative capping annual percentage rates at 36% instead of the 400% currently allowed.
Read more at the JOURNAL STAR

LoanPaymentPro
Advance America

Advance America Answers: What Borrowers Need to Know When Looking for a Small Dollar Loan for the First Time


LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- If borrowers urgently need money, they might consider a small dollar loan such as a cash advance. One might have heard conflicting things about how cash advances can be convenient but have high fees and not be sure if it's the best choice in terms of finances. Here are three essential steps everyone should take before using a small dollar loan.

Understanding one's options
When one needs money ASAP, a cash advance comes to mind first. But in fact, the borrower may have more options when it comes to getting money exactly when needed.
  • Cash Advance: Cash advances typically offer a few hundred dollars and are typically paid back on the next payday.
  • Title loans: Title loans are similar to cash advances but backed by collateral such as a car title - as such, one might be able to get a higher loan amount but risk losing their car if the loan isn't paid.
  • Installment loans: Installment loans are unsecured loans that may have higher loan amounts up to 
ADVANCE AMERICA

NDH

More Americans are taking on new debt for boats, motorcycles, and RVs

Some Americans who have remained gainfully employed during the pandemic are taking advantage of low interest rates to borrow money to finance big-ticket luxury items.

The number of loans taken out to buy a boat jumped 355% from before the pandemic and the increase was 257% for loans financing motorcycle purchases, according to a new analysis of data from Credible, an online marketplace for lending. The analysis included nearly 800,000 personal loan rate requests submitted to the Credible marketplace from Jan. 1 through Aug. 26, 2020.

Overall, loan applications for discretionary spending are up over 10% since the start of the pandemic.

"The percentage growth of those more discretionary purchases has increased substantially," Rob Humann, Credible's general manager, told Yahoo Money while noted that the overall number of loans for these purchases remain small. "Still, the predominant reason that people are taking out personal loans is to refinance their credit cards or to consolidate debt."
Read more at YAHOO MONEY

PAYLIANCE

One in 10 U.S. Adults Say They Have Been Victims of Identity Theft Since the COVID-19 Pandemic Began

Survey from TransUnion's public sector business finds expectations are high for government agencies to provide secure yet convenient experiences

More than eight in 10 U.S. adults (83%) are concerned about having their identity stolen and the level of distress of this crime occurring has increased for nearly one-third (32%) of Americans since the COVID-19 pandemic began. More alarmingly, since the onset of the pandemic, 10% of U.S. adults report being a victim of identity theft. The findings are part of a new survey conducted by the public sector business of TransUnion (NYSE: TRU) released today during the FedID 2020 virtual conference.

The survey of 2,108 U.S. adults on August 11, 2020, also observed types of fraud that are impacting both government agencies and consumers. Unemployment benefits and tax return fraud, among others, are challenging for government agencies because consumers have high expectations concerning the security of their accounts.
Read more at TRANSUNION

Dreher Tomkies LLP
AMSCOT

FLORIDIANS are well served by existing payday loan regulations.
by Ian MacKechnie, the founder and CEO of Amscot

A recent guest column in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune ("Financial regulators are paving the way for predatory lenders," Sept. 2) mischaracterized Florida's consumer-friendly regulations for short-term loans, spreading tired myths about a system that has worked well for millions of Floridians. As the CEO of a company that offers a range of helpful financial products to consumers, I take offense at that representation.

I emigrated from Scotland in 1986 and moved my family to Tampa, where we worked at a small bakery. As it turns out, we weren't all that great at baking. But what we did see were employees around the area cashing their paychecks at local liquor stores. We wanted to offer an alternative, somewhere that provided a safe, clean, and friendly lobby and offered other convenient services such as money orders and bill pay. That's how the idea for Amscot was born.
Read more at Herald-Tribune

ValidiFI

Can Regulators Foster Financial Innovation and Preserve Consumer Protections?

An investigation of mobile and faster payments, regulatory sandboxes, and the challenge of maintaining customer safety

Between 2010 and 2018, U.S. investments in financial technology, or "fintech," grew from almost $2 billion to more than $100 billion, with over half of the increase occurring in 2018 alone. Among the ripest spaces in the financial sector for a technology upgrade is payments-the systems that move money between people and institutions-which currently rely on aging infrastructure and often make consumers wait for access to their funds. Payments innovation is important not only to ensure the expediency and safety of everyday transactions, but also to speed the delivery of government benefits or funds to those in need, especially during emergencies, such as natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. As businesses and policymakers seek to promote the development of new payments technologies, the need to also ensure safety and efficiency will present a range of challenges to regulators and traditional financial systems.
Read more at Pew Charitable Trusts

MaxDecisions

Unemployment among young workers during COVID-19

On June 8, the Business Cycle Dating Committee officially declared that the United States entered a recession in February. Young workers are typically hard hit in recessions, and research suggests that entering the labor market during a recession has a negative impact on future earnings and job prospects. In this post we examine the labor market experience of young workers since the onset of the pandemic and provide some thoughts on policy implications.

While the aggregate unemployment rate increased by 11.2 percentage points between February and April of this year (the local peak), unemployment rates among young workers increased by much more. For example, over the same time period, the unemployment rate for those aged 16-19 increased by 20.9 percentage points. The result is that while young people age 16-29 make up less than a quarter of the labor force, they accounted for about a third of the rise in the unemployment rate between February and April of this year. We also find disparities among young workers by education and by race, with Black and Hispanic workers and workers with lower levels of education experiencing larger increases in unemployment rates between February and April compared to white and college-educated workers. Moreover, we find that while between April and July the unemployment rates for young white[1], and to a lesser extent Hispanic, workers have retraced a good part of their initial rise, the unemployment rate for young Black workers remains particularly elevated and was little changed in June and July.
Read more at The Brookings Institution

TransUnion

Don't count on a 'Payroll Tax Holiday' at your workplace. Here's why many employers are passing it up.

I still don't know whether or not I will have a "Payroll Tax Holiday" between now and the end of the year. Do you?

Employers, it turns out, have the option on whether to opt in or out of the program authorizing them to defer collecting Social Security tax on wages earned by qualifying workers between Sept. 1 and the end of this year.

It appears most plan to continue to collect and remit those taxes on behalf of their employees.

"The biggest issue is who is on the hook," said Matthew B. Hickey, chair of Crowe & Dunlevy's taxation practice group.
Read more at USA TODAY

ForSaleByOwner
AFSPA
ALTERNATIVE FINANCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATION
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Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
757.737.4088

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dan@afspassociation.com
www.afspassociation.com