January 7, 2021
The Gateway For Payroll Data
The Top Ten Fintech Predictions for 2021 by Timothy Li

Fintech enthusiasts welcome back to my 5th annual “Top Ten” Fintech prediction series. This year I’ve met a lot of powerful movers and shakers in the Fintech space. My take away from these meetings and interactions is how little do I know about this ever-expanding space.

The “big bang” movement happened about 15 years ago when big banks started moving their services to the worldwide web. I remember that I made my contribution to help get up and running and all the issues we faced when we opened the flood gate.

Looking forward to 2021 and beyond, I have to take a moment to thank everyone who works in this space. Your resiliency amongst political and social upheaval should be commended. Good job guys!

Secondly, our lives have been changed forever by COVID-19. This virus killed millions of people around the world and many more suffered from the virus. On a lighter side of this seismic event, it was the shining moment for Fintech. Payment, Credit, Cryptocurrency dominate international headlines daily.

Paving the Payments Future
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues an Approval Order to Facilitate Employee Access to Earned but Unpaid Wages

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a compliance assistance sandbox (CAS) approval order to PayActiv regarding specific aspects of some of its earned wage access (EWA) products. EWA products allow employees access to their earned but unpaid wages prior to payday.

Issued under the CAS Policy from last year, a CAS approval offers an entity confronting regulatory uncertainty a “safe harbor” from liability under specified legal provisions. Entities are offered safe harbor for specified conduct that the Bureau finds compliant with those legal provisions, subject to good faith compliance with the terms of the approval. The CAS Policy implements the existing safe harbor approval mechanisms provided under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, or—as in this case—the Truth in Lending Act. The duration of the approval in this case is two years.

Treasury and IRS begin delivering second round of Economic Impact Payments to millions of Americans

WASHINGTON – Today, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department will begin delivering a second round of Economic Impact Payments as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 to millions of Americans who received the first round of payments earlier this year.

Margin Debt Reaches New High

Investors borrowed a record $722.1 billion against their investment portfolios

Margin balances have reached a new record high as a widening class of affluent Americans borrowed against their portfolio investments to buy more stock.1

Margin debt has reached the highest point in two years as investors borrowed a record $722.1 billion against their investment portfolios through November, topping the previous high of $668.9 billion from May 2018, according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).2 This amount is a 28% increase since the same time last year and is up nearly 10% from $659.3 billion in Oct. 2020. The surge in risk-taking indicates that investors were euphoric as COVID-19 vaccines neared.

More PPP loans are coming. Here’s how your business can get a second one.

A new coronavirus relief bill will provide $284 billion in loans for small businesses. Here are some key details.

President Donald Trump has signed into law a new $900 billion coronavirus relief and stimulus package. Among its provisions: An extension of last spring’s Paycheck Protection Program, allowing another $284 billion or so in forgivable, federally backed loans for ailing small businesses.

The initial program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration, shepherded some $525 billion to more than 5 million recipients but was fraught with loopholes and liabilities that raised countless issues throughout an already complex process.

Minimum wages set to rise in these states in 2021

Despite the pandemic, workers throughout the US will see larger paychecks next year

A new year will bring higher pay for workers in some states, as minimum wage increases are set to go into effect.

Florida made headlines in November when voters approved a measure that would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026.

California, Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland are among the other states that have approved their own pathways to hit $15 per hour over time.

Here’s a look at the states where wages will rise in 2021.

Legal marijuana, paid sick leave, and more: 5 laws and regulations taking effect Jan. 1

Most lawmakers around the U.S. have adjourned until the new year, but some of their work is just about to be felt in a range of new laws and regulations set to go into effect on Jan. 1.

These new rules touch on many areas of life from distracted driving to marijuana to paid sick leave — here’s a sampling of changes that will affect the workplace, business, and financial markets in 2021.

Marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey and Montana
Five state marijuana initiatives passed in November, with recreational weed being legalized in New Jersey and Montana starting on Jan. 1. Marijuana is set to become fully legal to use in Montana this weekend but not yet legal to sell commercially until 2022.

More than 18 million Americans still lack access to reliable high-speed internet.

As COVID-19 makes fast internet connections more critical, policy expert discusses the possibilities and key considerations

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased attention on the crucial role that high-speed internet access plays in American life. In a time that demands social distancing, broadband connections allow people to work from home, connect with classrooms, access health care services, apply for public assistance, and perform ordinary household activities such as ordering groceries or prescriptions.

As more Americans become increasingly reliant on broadband services, speed becomes a more important factor. How fast does an internet connection need to be? What factors go into answering that question?

The Ins and Outs of Argyle’s User-Permissioned Data Transfer

How We Facilitate Access to and Deliver Employment Data to Businesses Like Yours

For companies that rely on consumer employment information to assess risk, make decisions, and perform essential functions, Argyle serves as a low-friction software gateway that provides real-time, continuous access to a wealth of consumer employment data. Our technology makes it possible for your users to grant your website, app, or other systems secure access to the robust data stored in their payroll accounts, so you have the information you need to deliver them beneficial services.

These are the ways minority-owned banks make a difference, and how you can help

Minority-owned banks impact the lives of many in underserved communities, but they make up only about 3% of U.S. banks

One type of bank plays an outsize role in creating more economic opportunity for people of color.

From a Black leadership perspective, a bank is more than “a place where someone can drop off a deposit or get a loan,” says Kevin Cohee, CEO and chairman of OneUnited Bank, one of the biggest Black-owned banks in the U.S. “That’s just the beginning.”

OneUnited Bank’s first loan in the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “was to a single mother of seven who drove for Uber,” UBER, +4.48% Cohee says.

At Vergent LMS, we know lenders are missing opportunities to increase revenue because they struggle to provide the loan products and convenience their customers need. 

Lenders who can’t meet their customers’ needs are left vulnerable as the industry continually changes.

That’s why Vergent Loan Management Software delivers the most advanced and comprehensive omnichannel lending solutions to equip our clients to make any loan, any time, anywhere.

Lenders can rest easy every night knowing they’re efficiently delivering everything their customers need, even while they’re asleep.

Outreach From Borrowers Could Overwhelm Student Loan System When Pandemic Pauses End

Survey suggests policymakers should take immediate action before millions face unaffordable payments

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded this year, Congress and the Trump administration acted to help mitigate the serious challenges confronting federal student loan borrowers by automatically pausing payments and interest charges for most loans and suspending collection efforts for those in default until Dec. 31.

But a recent survey conducted for The Pew Charitable Trusts highlights potential difficulties ahead for borrowers when payments resume in January. Those who benefited from the pauses will have to simultaneously navigate financial challenges, continued uncertainty, and a confusing repayment system, which could drive them to reach out to student loan servicers for help in unprecedented numbers. These findings point to the importance of providing targeted assistance to those who are struggling—before the pauses end.

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