December 10, 2019

A law that only a loan shark could love -- What is Congress thinking? Steven Moore

Is the left so contemptuous of the poor that they think their voters are incapable of making sound everyday decisions on their own?

Washington do-goodism almost always fails to help the people it is supposed to because politicians ignore the Law of Unintended Consequences. Nowhere is that more evident than when it comes to a congressional plan to put payday lenders and other short-term lending institutions, such as the burgeoning online lenders, out of business.

These are lenders that provide the service of last-minute or emergency loans -- typically of between $100 and $600 -- to mostly low-income Americans or those with ____ credit scores. Liberal "consumer advocacy groups" and liberals in Congress demonize these companies as modern-day Shylocks, the nefarious lender in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" who demands a pound of flesh if loans aren't repaid on time.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS

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Fed Study: US Consumers Make Average Monthly Payments Of $3,999

In the fifth official study conducted by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Richmond and San Francisco, the 2018 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) detailed the cash and non-cash payment behavior of U.S. adult consumers who are 18 years old and older.

The survey measures payment behavior via the daily recording of the spending of U.S. consumers.
Consumers in the U.S. made an average of 43 payments for October 2018.

"Thus, on average, an adult consumer made 1.4 payments per day," the study stated.

An average of 14 percent of consumers per day reported making zero payments. U.S. consumers made an average of just under $4,000 - or $3,999 - worth of payments for the month.
Read more at PYMNTS.COM


Fed Study: Electronic Devices Used In 24 Pct. Of Consumer Payments

Cards over cash - specifically, debit cards over cash.

Among the findings of the recent 2018 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, produced through several of the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks, electronic payments are on the rise.

And debit card transactions, the report notes, have become the most widely used payment method, ahead of cash, at least as measured by value.

Credit held sway over both cash and debit.

The data was compiled through a survey of more than 2,870 individuals and the transactions they made during the month.

In terms of high-level findings, the U.S. consumers surveyed made more than half their payments with cards, at 54 percent of payments or 24 transactions.
Read more at PYMNTS.COM

Dreher Tomkies LLP

How To Fight Fraud Without Cheapening Consumer Experiences

Everything has a price. And the price for a richer consumer experience online and via mobile - one of the defining trends of payments and commerce in 2019, and probably well into the 2020s - is that the code that creates those experiences often leave opening for fraudsters to exploit.

In a new PYMNTS interview, Karen Webster talked with Sumit Dhawan, CEO of Instart, about the reasons for that problem and what can be done to fix it. At stake could be nothing less than merchant reputation and revenue as eCommerce continues to take up a bigger part of retail.

The problem, in one sense, is that retailers are creating deeper and richer consumer experiences via browsers, Dhawan told Webster - browsers where consumers enter a host of personal information including addresses, ages and payment details. Read more at PYMNTS.COM


Getting rid of payday loans won't protect our most vulnerable. It will destroy their safety net: Sophia Nelson

Financial emergencies happen to everyone, but not everyone has perfect credit or the ability to access savings, or their retirement fund.

The 2019 elections are behind us now, and everyone's focus is on 2020. One of the big issues on the table in the coming campaign will be the economy.

Although, the current administration continues to tout historically low unemployment rates as well as start-ups in the small business sector among minorities and college-educated women, these numbers do not tell the whole story.

Polling and research data reveal startling statistics about America's wealth gap, financial stability, and access to capital for certain groups in America, including people of color, women, and members of the military.

Let's be honest, access to credit equals access to opportunity. It also results in greater independence, and it allows borrowers to have more control over their own financial health.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS


Warren bill would loop CFPB in to bank merger approval process
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to sign off on bank mergers in which one of the applicants offers consumer financial products.
  • Merging institutions must also have the highest rating in two of their past three Community Reinvestment Act exams under the Bank Merger Review Modernization Act, a companion of which was introduced in the House by Rep. Jesús "Chuy" García, D-IL.
  • The proposed legislation comes during a week in which the long-awaited merger between BB&T and SunTrust is expected to be complete. The combined entity, Truist, would become the U.S.'s sixth-largest bank.

The Senate, given its Republican majority, likely would not pass the bill. But it may stand as a statement of intent from Warren, a longtime presidential candidate and one-time architect of the CFPB. Especially as regulators relax financial crisis-era regulations, sometimes at Congress's suggestion.

Warren on Thursday tweeted a six-minute clip from last year in which she grilled Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about perceived lax oversight in the bank merger approval process.
Read more at BANKING DIVE


Collections is at a Crossroads. Are You Ready? TRANSUNION

  • The Challenges, Trends and Innovations Reshaping Third-Party Collections
  • The third-party debt collection industry is at a crossroads: Either modernize and adopt a consumer-centric approach or continue to face headwinds.

Find out what your peers are focusing on now and into the future.
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"Consumers are empowered. It's necessary for collectors to change their interaction and debt recovery strategies to be more 'consumer-first' and less threatening. Firms that embrace that change will be more successful."
- The State of Third-Party Collections 2019: Challenges, Trends and Innovations

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Cordray: CFPB Functioning Many Ways As It Was Intended

Richard Cordray, first director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said today the agency is functioning many ways as it was intended even though it has been under apparent retreat from regulation and enforcement since President Donald Trump took office.

Speaking before a Consumer Federation of America conference in Washington, Cordray, an Obama appointee, commended the current CFPB for steady supervisory work and continuing efforts at financial education though more is needed.

He attacked the effort of CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger to gut regulation of the payday lending industry he worked towards but said states can pick up some of the slack.
Read more at FORBES


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Why Christmas trees cost more this year

One tree in New York City sold for more than $6K

Communities across the nation are seeing a rise in Christmas tree prices as growers feel the impacts of a tighter supply due to the economic downturn of 2008, shifting consumer preferences and a changing climate.

However, some areas of the country are known for dolling out more green than others for the holiday staple. According to a Chamber of Commerce study that determined the price of a 6-foot Christmas tree, what people pay for the cheer differs across the country.

The 2018 study indicated the average national cost for a 6-foot real tree was $59, but New York shoppers paid the most at $90. California was second on the list with an average price of $83 followed by Colorado at $79. In comparison, North Dakota was listed as paying the least for a 6-foot tree with residents paying an average of $33.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS


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 of experienced professionals will customize the appropriate online workflow, establish performance metrics and work with you to achieve measured results.

Our team can be engaged to manage the entire online lending process or as a resource to assist in your current online lending efforts. Leveraging online lending Best Practices, we'll map out all facets of a successful online lending strategy.

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


Consumers Increasingly In The 'Buy Now, Pay Later' Mood

The holidays are here, and that means wallets and purses spring open. Debt loads have been getting heavier too. And among those who may a bit "credit shy," especially younger consumers, buy now and pay later options are gaining traction. The Buy Now, Pay Later Tracker shows that flexible retail solutions can unlock the purchasing power of Generation Z and millennial shoppers.
  • $1T: Amount U.S. consumers are expected to spend during the 2019 holiday season.
  • 52 percent: Share of millennials who believe it is acceptable to take on debt during the holiday season.
  • $2,225: Average individual retail spending per year for U.S. bridge millennials.
  • 30 percent: U.S. consumers who have "buy now, pay later" accounts.
  • 48M: Number of Americans still paying off debt from the 2018 holiday season.

Read more at PYMNTS.COM


Credit score on the decline? This could be why

Even as the economy strengthens - with the labor market adding 266,000 jobs in November - some Americans are seeing one key personal indicator fall: their credit score.

According to a note from Deutsche Bank Research sent to clients on Monday, credit scores among people aged 30 to 59 declined as of June when compared with April of last year.

A credit score between 670 and 739 is generally considered "good."

The potential culprit? Higher delinquency on auto loans, researchers posited.

Auto loan balances increased by $18 billion in the third quarter, according to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, to $1.32 trillion.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS


High-tech job growth concentrated in five metro areas: Study

Technology jobs and the vibrant economy they accompany have been concentrated in just five U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a report.

Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego and San Jose, California accounted for more than 90 percent of the growth in high-tech jobs between 2005 and 2017, boosting the nation's total innovation employment from 17.6 percent to 22.8 percent, according to a new report from the Brookings Institution.

The report also said that during that same period, the bottom 343 other metro areas lost one-third of the nation's innovation jobs.

Many high-tech cities are experiencing negative consequences, including soaring home prices, traffic jams and college-educated people flocking to the popular cities, the report said. As a result, parts of the country could be falling into "traps" of underdevelopment. San Francisco and San Diego, for example, are tackling a dire homeless crisis.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS

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