edition: March 28, 2024

Paving the Payments Future

Proven payment technology helps businesses pay and

get paid so they can focus on what matters most.

Consumers’ Finances Are Stressed — And Its Getting Worse, Fast

Americans’ economic insecurity is up almost 50% since 2021, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. More than third have more credit card debt than emergency savings and more than half are living paycheck to paycheck. Should lenders throttle back in order to save consumers — especially younger borrowers — from themselves?

If you ask businesspeople about the American economy today, many — perhaps most — would tell you that it’s roaring ahead.

Inflation is off its highs (give or take). Wages have risen at the fastest pace in years. And unemployment is seemingly holding near a 50-year low. A “soft landing” is today seen as far more likely than the recessionary downward spiral many once fretted over.

But under the surface, there’s another story unfolding: Millions of Americans have seen their financial situation abruptly take a turn for the worse. This dual narrative is playing out amid this year’s presidential race, as Democrats and Republicans try to persuade voters that their financial well-being is either better or worse than it has been.

Read more at The Financial Brand

Have a tax law question?

Our #IRS Interactive Tax Assistant has answers.

Watch this short video to learn more:

I want to introduce you to a convenient, secure, and free way to file your federal taxes: the IRS Direct File.

What is IRS Direct File? It’s a pilot program launched by the IRS that allows you to file your taxes directly with the IRS at no cost. It’s designed to be straightforward and user-friendly, ensuring your tax filing experience is smooth and stress-free.

Why Use IRS Direct File?

  1. Free: No hidden fees or charges.
  2. Accurate: Step-by-step guidance to ensure your tax return is correct.
  3. Easy to Use: A simple interface that can be accessed from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  4. Secure: Your information is protected with the highest security standards.
  5. Who is Eligible? The pilot currently supports simple tax situations. To find out if you’re eligible, please use the eligibility checker on the IRS Direct File website.

How to Get Started? Visit IRS Direct File to check your eligibility and begin the filing process. If you have any questions or need assistance, IRS staff are available to help you Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time.

Jose L. Santiago

Public Affairs Specialist

Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education

Leading Financial Services Trade Organizations Challenge Colorado’s Interest-Rate Caps on Out-of-State Banks

Three leading trade organizations for the financial services industry filed a lawsuit in federal court today, challenging a new Colorado statute that violates federal law by imposing interest-rate and fee caps on loans made to Colorado residents by state-chartered banks, including banks outside Colorado.

The new law, HB23-1229, is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2024. It was enacted as part of a campaign to curb "predatory" lending, including so-called payday loans and other high-cost, small-dollar, short-term credit. But as explained in plaintiffs’ complaint, the cap on interest rates imposed by the new law applies far more broadly, is inconsistent with the federal Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 (DIDMCA), undermines the competitive position of community banks, and won’t advance the state’s goals.

Plaintiffs in the case are three trade associations: The National Association of Industrial Bankers; the American Financial Services Association; and the American Fintech Council. Their members include responsible, ethical state-chartered banks that do not make payday loans but instead offer a wide variety of useful, familiar, everyday credit products to Colorado consumers, including personal installment loans, "buy now, pay later" (BNPL) loans, and store-brand credit cards.

Read more at YAHOO FINANCE


Retail Banks Branch Out With Video Technology, Bold Colors — and Few Tellers

When it comes to branching, these community banks and credit unions are taking an active hand — closing underperforming branches and designing new ones to deepen customer relationships, showcase consulting and differentiate themselves from scores of competitors.

Bank branches are transforming — again. Observers who thought the Covid-19 pandemic had finally pushed brick-and-mortar banking past the point of no return are confronting a new set of facts as banking companies invest in creating more welcoming spaces that emphasize consultation, coffee and cross-selling.

These companies are closing underperforming branches and building new ones with a different purpose: to deepen customer relationships, offer personalized consulting and communicate their brand to differentiate themselves from scores of competitors.

Customers are likely to welcome the presence of these newly designed branches. In a recent survey of 44,000 consumers from around the world, Accenture turned up a surprise: Two of every three respondents said they wanted a bank branch near them.

Read more at The Financial Brand

Accelerate Payments & Lower Processing Costs

Women Confident Managing Short-Term Finances, but Less So on Long-Term Strategies, Finds New York Life Wealth Watch

The latest findings from New York Life’s Wealth Watch survey provide insights into the existing financial confidence and knowledge gaps between men and women. Confidence is the top emotion that men report feeling toward managing their household finances (45%) while stress is the leading emotion for women (38%). The survey found that women report feeling the most knowledgeable about paying bills, maintaining good credit, and saving for emergencies. However, they report feeling significantly less knowledgeable than their male counterparts about building wealth, creating investment portfolios, understanding protection products like insurance, and legacy planning.

"Financial wellness is a journey, not a destination," said Jessica Ruggles, Corporate Vice President of Financial Wellness at New York Life. "This is especially true for women’s financial journeys, as we see women making progress in their savings and spending, while facing major societal challenges and unique life events that impact their financial strategies."

Read more at YAHOO FINANCE

Customized Payment Processing and

Merchant Service Provider for Your Business

Understanding Compliance Opportunities and Challenges in BNPL: PAYLIANCE

A McKinsey survey conducted last year found that about 60 percent of consumers were likely to use point-of-sale financing over the next six to 12 months. That’s a remarkable number for what was once considered a relatively small niche of the consumer financing market. It is also an indication of just how influential Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services have been on consumer preferences and behaviors.

The growth in BNPL has been driven primarily by the rise of Pay-in-4 services. In fact, Pay-in-4 and BNPL have become practically synonymous in some quarters. Pay-in-4 has not only attracted the lion’s share of the media attention but also major investments. As this model continues to grow, we are likely to see consolidation with the largest providers leveraging their scale to strengthen relationships with merchants and consumers to create barriers to entry for new providers.

But it’s important to recognize that the BNPL market is broader than Pay-in-4. It encompasses POS financing, rent-to-own, and vertically focused services, all of which can provide similar benefits as Pay-in-4 to consumers and merchants while offering the extended installment terms that enable the use of the model with higher-ticket items.

Read more at PAYLIANCE

The Most Advanced Self-Service Check Cashing ATM

Check Cashing, Money Transfer, Bill Payment, Mobile Reload, ATM and more.

How Alternative Data Can Help Lenders Discover High-quality Borrowers

Extending credit to those with low or no credit scores - when done intelligently and with alternative data - may open new categories of potential borrowers and lending opportunities. Recent research suggests that use of alternate data could increase the ranks of Prime and Near-Prime borrowers by as much as 14%.

Higher interest rates, increasing inflation and stagnant incomes have made borrowing more expensive and meeting financial commitments more difficult. In fact, recent data from Equifax shows that credit card utilization rates have increased year-over-year, alongside increases in delinquency rates. Additionally, the recent Equifax data shows that total consumer debt continues to rise, totaling $17.33 trillion as of January 2024, up 2.3% year over year. As card utilization rates and delinquencies increase, lenders can leverage alternative data and different scoring methods to help identify new opportunities as well as hidden risks.

For example, in the U.S., 45 million households rent their homes. If renters reliably pay utilities, they don’t always have the benefit of having that reflected in their credit scores. Incorporating alternative data such as on-time utility payments may help reveal a more holistic picture of a borrower’s finances and help open new markets for lenders. 

Read more at The Financial Brand

Dreher Tomkies LLP



Credit Rating vs. Credit Score: What’s the Difference?

Generally, ratings are for businesses and countries, scores are for individuals

Credit Rating vs. Credit Score: An Overview

Credit scores are three-digit numbers that tell lenders whether an individual is likely a responsible borrower. Credit ratings, on the other hand, are letter ratings assigned to corporations or governments and are used by investors to determine their riskiness. Learn about the similarities and differences between credit scores and credit ratings, as well as how they are calculated and how they are used.


  • Credit ratings are expressed as letter grades and used for businesses and governments.
  • Credit scores are three-digit numbers used for individuals and some small businesses.
  • Your credit score is based on information from the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.
  • FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850.
  • Credit ratings are produced by credit rating agencies, such as S&P Global, Moody's Investor Service, or Fitch.



CFPB Confirms Overdraft is Here to Stay

Banks and regulators agree on the importance of providing liquidity to customers who need it most, and industry practices will flex to deliver on customer needs.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a rule to be effective October 1, 2025 (at the earliest) that would regulate overdraft services at financial institutions with $10 billion or more in assets.

Our business (Velocity Solutions) provides overdraft workflow management software to hundreds of financial institutions. We and our clients overwhelmingly view the CFPB’s action as positive confirmation that overdraft is here to stay, contrary to the narrative some are promoting in the financial press.

The proposed rule substantiates that the CFPB understands the importance of the critical liquidity function that overdraft provides for the people who need it most. Many studies have shown that consumers want overdraft, and current rules require financial institutions to obtain consumers’ affirmative consent before they can charge consumers an overdraft fee on everyday debit card transactions. Furthermore, overdraft has consistently represented less than 0.2% of the total complaints the CFPB receives.*

Read more at The Financial Brand

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