September 24, 2019
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Credit Unions double the amount offered in payday alternative loan
  • The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) agreed Thursday to let credit unions double the amount of money they offer in a payday alternative loan (PAL).
  • The new PALs II does not replace the existing loan option but expands on it. Whereas the PAL allows credit unions to offer loans between $200 and $1,000, PALs II sets the upper limit at $2,000. And while the term of a PAL can range from one to six months,
  • PALs II allows customers to carry the loan for up to a year, according to the final rule. PALs II maintains its predecessor's maximum interest rate of 28%. Borrowers can take out up to three PALs II over a six-month period, but they're limited to one type of PAL at a time.

Dive Insight:
PALs and PALs II are meant to steer credit union members away from predatory payday loans that, according to Pew Charitable Trusts research, hold annual percentage rates averaging 391%. The NCUA's loan vehicles give borrowers considerably more time for payback than payday loans, which mature in 14 days.
Read more at BANKING DIVE


Women are more financially stressed than men - Here's how to overcome it

Sixty-eight percent of millennial women don't save money because they are only earning enough to get by, according to a recent study.

Women are more stressed about money than men. And due to wealth disparity, they unfortunately have good reason to be.

Salary Finance, a company that helps employers develop financial wellness programs, recently conducted a study of 10,500 employees across income levels throughout the U.S. The study found that more than half of millennial women don't think they will have enough money to retire, while a third of millennial men hold the same belief about themselves..

Meanwhile, 68 percent of millennial women don't save money because they are only earning enough to get by, while 58 percent of millennial men have found themselves in the same situation.
Read more at NBC NEWS

CFSA Conference

Financial wellness will bring countless benefits to your employees. Here are 5 key benefits to consider. by FinFit

When evaluating options for inclusion in your employee benefits package, consider the positive outcomes a financial wellness program can bring to your organization. By giving employees the tools and resources to cope with their current financial situations and make better money decisions related to saving, spending, borrowing, and planning, you'll see countless positive returns. These are the top 5 benefits your company could benefit from by offering an employee financial wellness plan.

#1: Increased employee focus and productivity
Can you think of the last time a situation had you stressed out and so preoccupied it was difficult to focus at work? With 78 percent of U.S. workers living paycheck-to-paycheck and more than 70 percent stating they're in debt, you can imagine how much focus during work hours is devoted to money-related stressors. In fact, 78 percent of workers struggling financially have indicated financial stress creates distractions that negatively impact their productivity. Read more at FinFit


50 State Data: The Latest Fiscal, Economic Trends

Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, an interactive resource from The Pew Charitable Trusts, allows you to sort and analyze data on key fiscal, economic, and demographic trends in the 50 states and understand their impact on states' fiscal health.

In 10th year of recovery, states' fiscal and economic prospects improve
After years of slow progress, states benefited from a more promising economic and fiscal environment in 2018. Pressure on state finances eased as the U.S. economic recovery was poised to become the longest on record and state tax revenue jumped, at least temporarily. Still, not all states have fully recovered from the shocks of the Great Recession more than a decade ago. Some are in a stronger position than others as they try to gauge how long the recovery will last.

A surge in tax receipts provided budget relief for many states, though some of the extra money was due to short-lived effects from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Tax collections in 40 states surpassed their recession-era peaks by the end of 2018, after adjusting for inflation. The extra revenue led some states to add to their rainy day funds, which could cover a bigger share of spending than before the recession in at least half the states..
Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Collection Firms: Collect Faster with More Payment Options. by Kristen Hoyman

For your collections business, we're sure you'd agree that you need to collect faster on your portfolio to make more money.

When your agency is earning contingency fees from clients or tracking payments made when you buy or service a portfolio, speed is vital for good returns. The more calls you have to make, the more time you have to invest in collecting, the lower your returns. The more your staff has to work to collect the same amount of money, the lower your returns. You get the picture.

And we don't have to mention what happens when debtors impose call cap limits on you. What you need is simple, fast closing on as many debt accounts as possible.

How can you collect more in less time?

Payment technology enables faster payments, and we know that almost every collection agency out there has an online payment portal if it has near current software. But what about other ways to pay? Read more at REPAY

5 Top State Policy Issues of 2019
Stateline Legislative Review 2019

Stateline's annual Legislative Review looks at policy and politics in the states since legislatures began their work in January.

Day One: New Democratic Majorities
The 2018 midterm election created six new Democratic "trifectas" - states where Democrats control both legislative chambers and the governor's office. Democrats in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and New York used their new power to advance legislation long blocked by Republicans.

Day Two: Women's Health Care
More state abortion legislation was enacted this year than at any time in nearly 50 years. Outright bans and so-called trigger laws in a handful of states would make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Taking the opposite approach to the Supreme Court's conservative shift, a few states enacted abortion protections, ensuring the legality of the procedure if the high court's landmark abortion rights decision is struck down.
Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts


Wall Street banks are upping bets on their potential fintech competitors

The biggest U.S. banks are ramping up investments in some of their potential competitors.
So far this year, major Wall Street banks have participated in 24 fintech equity deals, according to CB Insights. Goldman Sachs is the most active in deal-making and has used M&A to build out its digital consumer bank Marcus. Citi is the second most active in fintech deals, followed by J.P. Morgan.
Analysts say there are two key incentives driving the investments: Banks can form strategic partnerships with the start-ups, and profit from these investments if they do well.

The biggest banks on Wall Street are increasingly betting on their potential competition.

So far this year, major U.S. banks have participated in two dozen financial technology, or fintech, equity deals, according to a recent report by CB Insights. This is tracking to be on par with last year - which saw a 180% increase in bank investments from a year earlier.
Read more at CNBC


Chicago Brokerage to Pay $1.5 Million Fine for Lack of Cybersecurity

A Chicago-based futures brokerage will pay $1.5 million for letting cyber criminals breach the firm's email systems and withdraw $1 million from a customer's account.

The order from The U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission also finds that Phillip Capital Inc. failed to disclose the cyber breach to its customers in a timely manner. The order alsi finds that PCI failed to supervise its employees with respect to cybersecurity policy and procedures, a written information systems security program and customer disbursements.

The order imposes monetary sanctions totaling $1.5 million, which includes a civil monetary penalty of $500,000, and $1 million in restitution. PCI is credited the $1 million restitution based on its prompt reimbursement of the customer funds when the fraud was discovered. The order also requires PCI to, among other things, provide reports to the Commission on its remediation efforts.


The newest workplace perk looks a lot like a payday loan

This time it's not a loan, it's a way for workers to tap their earnings in real time, interest-free.

When it comes to healthy financial habits, tapping your income ahead of payday is an old-school red flag.

However, a growing number of companies, including Walmart, are giving advances by offering what's now called "accelerated pay."

As a perk, roughly 12% of companies include accelerated pay as another way of luring job candidates as wages remain relatively stagnant across the board, according to Michelle Armer, chief people officer at CareerBuilder.

"It's not a loan," said Jeanniey Mullen, chief innovation and marketing officer at DailyPay, one such payroll provider. DailyPay's clients include Kroger, McDonald's, Boston Market and Berkshire Hathaway, according to the company.
Read more at CNBC


Why do lenders reject profitable accounts?

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With the use of AI Lift, organizations have a much more efficient and effective way to identify creditworthy borrowers in record time, giving greater access to credit for overlooked segments of customers which leads to greater profitability. Best of all, you can start with the data you already have.

Receive a complimentary test of AI Lift to analyze applicants for overlooked signs of creditworthiness. What happens during a data test?

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Read more at ACCELITAS


CFPB and FTC to Host December Workshop on Accuracy in Consumer Reporting

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). will host a public workshop on December 10, 2019 to discuss issues affecting the accuracy of both traditional credit reports and employment and tenant background screening reports.

Since the FTC released its 2012 study on accuracy in credit reporting, there have been several changes in the landscape that impact the accuracy of consumer reports. In 2012, the CFPB began conducting supervisory reviews over large credit reporting agencies (CRAs), as well as various providers of consumer financial products or services that furnish information about consumers to CRAs.

In addition, in 2015, following state investigations regarding various credit reporting issues, the nationwide CRAs agreed to a multi-state settlement that requires stricter standards for matching records, removal of certain public record information, and restrictions on medical debt reporting. Also, new developments, such as the use of machine learning and alternative data in making eligibility determinations, present both opportunities and challenges for the consumer reporting industry.
Read more at CFPB


The 3 Big Financial Pain Points Of Americans

If you look only at the nation's low, 3.7% unemployment rate, it would be easy to assume that the economy's humming and that Americans are feeling great about their finances. But after reviewing five recent notable surveys, I believe many people are actually feeling three big financial pain points now.

Overall, according to the Bank of America Workplace Benefits Report of 996 retirement-plan participants, just 55% of employees rate their financial wellness as good or excellent, down from 61% a year ago. "That's something to keep a close eye on," says Lisa Margeson, head of Retirement Client Experience and Communications at Bank of America.

Here's more about what the surveys show about today's financial pain points, and ways Americans and employers can relieve some of the stress:

Pain Point No. 1: Caregiving and Family Assistance.
Read more at FORBES


In the Consumer First Era, modernizing the way you do business with consumers is no longer optional - it's a requirement. Learn ways you can remain competitive whether you're a small regional credit union or major bank

Relevant. Seamless. Fast.
Three strategies for exceeding consumer expectations

In the Consumer First Era, modernizing the way you do business with consumers is no longer optional - it's a requirement. To stay competitive - whether you're a small regional credit union or a major bank - you need to deliver seamless experiences, execute your strategies across channels, and monitor your portfolio.

Consumers' behaviors and preferences are changing as they expect fast, seamless and personalized experiences across channels. The proliferation of mobile devices has driven a shift in channel preferences, and digital banking adoption is as high as 90% for consumers between the ages of 22 and 34.1

Innovative companies like Uber and Amazon have reimagined how quickly and efficiently consumers' demands can be met. In the financial industry, FinTech lenders have become established players as their focus on customer experience, speed and ease have resonated with consumers.
Read more at TRANSUNION


Amazon figured out a way for online shoppers to pay in cash
  • Tech giant Amazon will let customers buy something online, then visit a Western Union in person to pay in cash.
  • It also unveiled "Amazon Cash," which lets users load cash into their Amazon balance for making online purchases.
  • The cash option is a benefit to those without a bank account who might not have access to a debit or credit card.
Online shopping giant Amazon is betting that some customers would rather use cash.

The e-commerce company announced "Amazon PayCode" on Wednesday, which lets shoppers buy something online, then show up at one of 15,000 Western Union locations in person to pay in cash. That option was already available in 19 countries, but is rolling out in the U.S. in coming weeks, the company said.

It also unveiled "Amazon Cash" - way for users to load cash into their Amazon balance in person, so they can make online purchases later. That is now available in over 100,000 cash-loading locations nationwide. Read more at CNBC


Alternative Financial Service Providers Association

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