edition: April 11, 2024

Paving the Payments Future

Proven payment technology helps businesses pay and

get paid so they can focus on what matters most.

US Consumer Perceptions of Credit Access Remain Pessimistic

Consumer perceptions of tighter lending standards remained high in March, according to two different surveys, potentially leading to slower loan growth, frequently a precursor to an economic downturn.

A net 68% of respondents anticipate that credit will be harder to obtain in the year ahead, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York survey released Monday showed. This is the highest share of consumers expecting tighter credit in four months and compares with a net 70.4% a year ago.

High debt levels, and higher interest rates paired with years of elevated inflation are weighing on households and that likely points to lower risk tolerance among lenders. Stricter standards make it harder for consumers to get credit for home and home equity loans, credit cards, and auto loans.

Separately, a survey conducted by Fannie Mae found that 58% of respondents think it would be difficult for them to get a home mortgage today. That’s a four percentage-point jump since February and the largest monthly increase since September. The share saying it would be hard for them to get a home loan is up 6 percentage points from a year earlier

Read more at BLOOMBERG

Have a tax law question?
Our #IRS Interactive Tax Assistant has answers.
Watch this short video to learn more:

  • I am reaching out to you in hopes of connecting with you and to share information on the The Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA) tool. This tool provides answers to several tax law questions specific to your individual circumstances. Based on your input, it can determine if you must file a tax return, your filing status, if you can claim a dependent, if the type of income you have is taxable, if you're eligible to claim a credit, or if you can deduct expenses.

Jose L. Santiago
Public Affairs Specialist
Tax Outreach, Partnership and Education

First ‘Bank of the Kid’: Shaping a Financially Literate Generation

Americans have an alarmingly low rate of financial literacy, but studies show high school financial education has an overwhelmingly positive impact on financial behavior. Partnering with high schools is a winning proposition for banks rallying to create the next generation of well-educated customers.

In a country where almost 9 out of 10 adults are financially illiterate, banks have a unique opportunity to turn the tides. An educated customer is a good customer, and connecting with them early – think high school – is the key.

As Americans face record inflation, home prices, and a crippling debt crisis, financial education is more important now than it ever has been. It’s also a non-controversial topic. Americans want it – 88% of American adults say high school did not fully prepare them for handling money, according to a report from Ramsey Solutions. Almost three quarters of adults in the same survey said they would be “further ahead with their money today if they had a personal finance class in high school.” Public support for financial education in schools has historically been strong, and it’s a nonpartisan issue. Thanks to state legislation, educational institutions are catching up to the need – 25 states today require students to take a financial literacy course in high school.

Read more at The Financial Brand

Accelerate Payments & Lower Processing Costs

The CEO of H&R Block says they reversed their RTO (Return To Office) mandate after listening to their employees: ‘We have no plan to go backward’

When it comes to return-to-office mandates, many companies, including JPMorgan, Google, and Bank of America, have stuck to their guns with office attendance expectations—often creating strife with workers in the process. But tax services giant H&R Block took a different approach. 

The company, which has around 39,000 employees, announced its first hybrid policy in March of 2021, requiring its then-2,000 corporate workers to show up at an office Tuesday through Thursday. But after a COVID surge forced them to postpone the RTO push, management hired several remote corporate employees, and high-performing staff was clear about how much they preferred remote work, the executive team rethought the mandate.

“The combination of those steps forced us to say: What's our real beliefs on this? And why are we considering asking people to return to the office so many days of the week?” Jeff Jones, H&R Block’s CEO, tells Fortune. “And the answer to that question was: There isn't a good reason why we would do that.”

Read more at MSN


We Have Been Providing Financial Institutions with Payment-Processing Solutions for 25 Years: E-Complish

For over 25 years, our clients have relied on us to process payments with the highest security, availability, and flexibility. At E-Complish, we understand the need for customized fintech payment solutions.

That’s why our in-house programmers make your customer account management and payment processing solutions look and feel like your business brand, which increases your customer’s comfort and security based on brand familiarity and excellent user experience.

Banking & Fintech: Payment Solutions for Financial Institutions

Our fintech payment solutions expand portfolios, keep customers loyal, and help financial institutions grow year after year. Expect superior merchant services and secure accounts payable technology when you partner with us. Empower your customers, scale your business, and process fintech payments in real-time, anywhere, with E-Complish.

Read more at E-Complish

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Merchant Service Provider for Your Business

CFPB Report Identifies Financial and Privacy Risks to Consumers in Video Gaming Marketplaces: CFPB

Growth in banking options and payments in gaming leaves consumers’ assets and personal data at risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report examining the growth of financial transactions in online video games and virtual worlds. These platforms increasingly resemble traditional banking and payment systems that facilitate the storage and exchange of billions of dollars in assets, including virtual currencies. However, consumers report being harmed by scams or theft on gaming platforms and not receiving the protections they would expect under federal law. The CFPB will be monitoring markets where financial products and services are offered, including video games and virtual worlds, to ensure compliance with federal consumer financial protection laws.

“Americans of all ages are converting billions of dollars into currencies used on virtual reality and gaming platforms,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “As more banking and payments activity takes place in video games and virtual worlds, the CFPB is looking at ways to protect consumers from fraud and scams.”

Read more at Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

The Most Advanced Self-Service Check Cashing ATM
Check Cashing, Money Transfer, Bill Payment, Mobile Reload, ATM and more.

Only 2 in 5 Employers Offer Financial Wellness Programs.


  • If you employ a good number of moderate- or high-earning employees, then financial wellness programs could be very beneficial to your staff.
  • If most of your employees earn lower wages, then it probably doesn't make sense to invest in wellness programs when your money could be better spent elsewhere.
  • The financial wellbeing of your employees is something you may not think about all that often. But you should.

A 2023 survey by SecureSave found that employers lose an astounding $4.7 billion per week due to diminished employee productivity resulting from financial worries and stress. So it actually is in your best interest as a small business owner to do what you can to help your employees feel more financially secure.

Only 42% of employees rate their financial wellness as good or excellent, according to a 2023 report by Bank of America. That's the lowest level since 2010.

Read more at the MOTLEY FOOL

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Will GenAI be Your New Manager of Risk and Compliance?

GenAI tools can help banks better manage risk and compliance. However, to mitigate the technology's risks, McKinsey argues that banks must establish controls, meet exacting tech demands, and ensure they have the right talent and operating model.

Executive Summary

McKinsey argues in “How Generative AI Can Help Banks Manage Risk and Compliance” that GenAI is poised to drive new efficiencies and productivity across the entire economy, especially in the financial services industry. But while the technology can help risk and compliance functions improve efficiency and effectiveness, it is also imperative for risk and compliance functions to put guardrails around its use.

Key Takeaways

  • GenAI has obvious and immediate applications for managing risk and compliance. Use cases include regulatory compliance, financial crime risk monitoring, credit risk and cyber risk monitoring, and modeling and data analytics.
  • But GenAI also comes with its own risks, including impaired fairness, intellectual property infringement, privacy concerns, malicious use, security threats, and third-party risks.
  • To make the most of GenAI tools, banks should ensure risk management and controls, be prepared to meet data and tech requirements, and embed the required talent and operating model changes into their culture and business processes.

Read more at The Financial Brand

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Billions in earmarks headed to states and cities

As part of the spending packages Congress passed last week to avoid a government shutdown, roughly $14 billion will be headed for nearly 7,000 state and local projects through earmarks, according to a tally by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s office.

While those receiving the money say earmarks will help communities deal with an array of issues from increasing the number of salmon on Alaska’s coast to addressing urban blight in Detroit, they are strongly opposed by some conservatives, including Paul, who considers them “wasteful spending.”

In part, Paul objects to spending tax dollars when the nation is $1.6 trillion in debt. He also argues that local governments, and not the federal government, should be covering the $1.2 million cost of Rhode Island’s bike path renovation.

“I'm a bike rider. I like bike paths as much as the next person,” Paul said during a debate over the first set of spending bills passed by the Senate on March 8. “But they should be funded locally. A bike path in Rhode Island is the business of Rhode Island,” he said. “Don't tax the rest of the people in the country to pay for a bike path in one state.”

Read more at ROUTE-FIFTY

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