January 14, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Major banks suspend political donations after US Capitol siege

The nation's largest banks, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citi, have halted donations to political parties following last week's storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., by a mob of pro-Trump supporters, according to CNBC and The Wall Street Journal.

Fintechs PayPal and Stripe have also blocked payments and suspended accounts for organizations associated with Wednesday's riot, which was incited by President Donald Trump at a rally earlier that day.

Wednesday's insurrection, which resulted in the death of five people, put the Capitol on lockdown as rioters stormed the building, chanting baseless claims that President-elect Joe Biden's 2020 election victory was fraudulent.

Paving the Payments Future
New relief for renters

On December 27, 2020, two types of relief for renters were signed into law:

$25 billion for emergency rental assistance . The funds will be distributed by the U.S. Department of Treasury to states and local governments in 2021.
An extension of the CDC’s eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021. This means the protections last beyond the CDC’s original expiration date of December 31, 2020.

Keep reading to learn more details about this relief.

How to avoid eviction if you can’t pay your rent
If you are not able to pay your rent, you must take three steps to protect yourself from eviction:

Treasury issues millions of second Economic Impact Payments by debit card

WASHINGTON – Starting this week, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are sending approximately 8 million second Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) by prepaid debit card.

These EIP Cards follow the millions of payments already made by direct deposit and the ongoing mailing of paper checks that are delivering the second round of Economic Impact Payments as rapidly as possible.

For those who don’t receive a direct deposit, they should watch their mail for either a paper check or a prepaid debit card. To speed delivery of the payments to reach as many people as soon as possible the Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service is sending payments out by prepaid debit card.

More information about these cards is available at

Cybersecurity: This 'costly and destructive' malware is the biggest threat to your network

Emotet remains a major threat to corporate computer networks entering 2021, warn researchers - and other threats including ransomware, trojans and cryptominers are lurking out there too.

A spam campaign which targeted over 100,000 users a day over Christmas and New Year has seen Emotet secure its spot as the most prolific malware threat.

Analysis by cybersecurity company Check Point suggests that Emotet was used to target seven percent of organisations around the world during December.

Emotet has been active since 2014 and is regularly updated by its authors in order to maintain its effectiveness. The malware started life as a banking trojan but has evolved to become much more than that, providing a complete backdoor onto compromised machines which can then be sold on to other cyber criminals to infect victims with additional malware – including ransomware.

Modern Credit Systems, Alternative Data & the American Dream

Consider the conventional portfolio of the American Dream: owning a home, buying a car, perhaps starting a small business—each typically requires a substantial amount of credit to turn the dream into a reality. For many Americans who lack access to traditional credit, these quintessential markers of stability and success may remain out of reach.
Data released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2015 revealed about 45 million people in the U.S. lacked credit records or had records considered “unscorable.” The FDIC's biennial 2019 survey of U.S. households showed more than 7 million homes were reportedly “unbanked,” meaning no one in the home had a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union.

U.S. bankruptcy filings hit 35-year low thanks to government pandemic aid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. bankruptcy filings for 2020 hit their lowest level since 1986 as a flood of government support programs offset at least temporarily the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic and a related recession, Epiq AACER reported on Friday.

The firm’s compilation of bankruptcy cases showed the Chapter 11 filings used to reorganize larger businesses still jumped 29% in 2020 to 7,128, compared to 5,158 in 2019, a tally that included major retailers like J.C. Penney driven under by the biggest economic downturn in a century.

But overall filings, including all personal and other business bankruptcies, for the year were 529,068, compared to nearly 800,000 annually in recent years, and triple that in 2010 at the end of the last recession.

Benchmark U.S. 30-year mortgage rises slightly to 2.67%

The average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose to 2.67% from a record-low 2.66% last week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Thursday. A year ago, it stood at 3.72%

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among homeowners seeking to refinance their mortgages, dipped to 2.17% from 2.19% last week. A year ago it averaged 3.16%.

The 5-year adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.71%, down from last week's 2.79%. It averaged 3.16% one year ago.

REPAY and LiveVox Announce Partnership to Enhance Customer Experience and Improve Agent Performance

Partnership to enable LiveVox to accept credit, debit card, and ACH payment capabilities via online portal or agent-assisted transaction, designed to boost accounts receivable and collections results

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 17, 2020– Repay Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: RPAY) (“REPAY”), a leading provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions, today announced a technology integration with LiveVox, a next-generation contact center platform. The partnership further enhances the LiveVox customer experience by providing additional digital payment options and processing capabilities in either self-service or agent-assisted transactions.

Credit card refinancing vs. debt consolidation: What's the difference?

Credit card debt is a problem for millions of Americans (about 189 million, to be exact). And for many, it’s hard to get out of.

With an average of $8,398 in balances per household, credit card debt can pose a mounting challenge. Making minimum payments can keep you afloat, but as interest adds up, tackling that debt — and eventually getting out of it — start to seem more difficult than ever.

Credit card refinancing vs. debt consolidation
If you’re dealing with high credit card debt, there are two strategies that can help you: credit card refinancing and debt consolidation.

States of Innovation: Small Loans, Large Cost
Episode 91

Stat: 12 million: The number of Americans who use payday loans each year.

Story: Payday loans can help people facing an unexpected financial crunch—but can also bring unexpected problems. Ohio adopted an innovative new law to protect consumers who were being dragged into a cycle of debt by the very loans they thought would help them. We learn more from Nick Bourke, who directs Pew’s consumer finance work, and Pastor Carl Ruby, who saw the downside to the loans and helped lead the fight to change the law.

Illinois banks will help residents cash stimulus checks without fees

The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR) has announced it has worked with banks to provide services for “unbanked” Illinois residents to cash stimulus checks without incurring check-cashing fees.

The banks provided this service during the first round of stimulus checks and IDFPR secured the same agreement for the second round of stimulus checks, a news release says.

The FDIC estimates that more than 22% of Illinois households are under-banked or unbanked. Many will receive paper stimulus checks and will have few check-cashing options that won’t incur fees.

A number of banking institutions will work with non-customers to cash stimulus checks for free, including Bank of America, First Midwest, Fifth Third, Huntington, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and U.S. Bank. Illinois residents can cash their stimulus checks without incurring fees to ensure the money goes to food, housing, and other necessities.

Alternative Financial Service Providers Association
315 Tuscarora St., Lewiston, NY 14092