edition: March 21, 2024

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What Are Fintech Companies And What Are The Challenges Of Fintech?

From neobanks to VC-backed coffee shops—fintech innovation is everywhere but what are fintech companies and what are the challenges of fintech?

Monzo, Revolut, Chase, Starling—it’s likely you have one of these cards stored in your (digital) wallet. All these fintech firms are ‘neobanks’, which operate online and without the need for physical branches. 

It’s not just about fintech in banking, either. There are even trendy coffee shops making their way onto the high street in the US and the UK, such as venture capital (VC) backed chain, Blank Street.

We spoke to experts at top business schools to ask: what are fintech companies and what’s the future for fintech?

What are fintech companies?

Financial technology, or fintech, companies use modern technology to improve or enhance financial services. Fintech companies often reshape banking, payments, and investments with mobile apps, AI, and disruptive technologies.


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

What Is the Average Personal Loan Interest Rate?

The average personal loan interest rate is 23.88%. That's based on four weeks of data from 18 lenders and the rates they quoted to approximately 95,000 potential borrowers between Feb. 1–29, 2024.

While the average personal loan interest rate is 23.88%, the rate you are quoted or receive from a lender may be higher or lower. That’s because personal loan rates are based on your creditworthiness, financial stability, and other factors. To gain a perspective on where the average personal rate falls within the available advertised rates that Investopedia tracks the range for unsecured loans spans APRs as low as 5.91% to as high as 295%, though most lenders in our database have a maximum APR below 36%.

Below are personal loan rates our partners quoted potential borrowers in February, followed by advertised personal loan rates, rate environment information, and recommendations based on our research to help you find the best personal loan for your situation.


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Connecticut Governor Lamont Announces $400,000 in State Grants To Support Financial Wellness and Empowerment Programs

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez today announced the release of three state grants totaling more than $400,000 that will be used to support programs focused on improving the financial wellness of Connecticut residents with a priority focus on women and girls. The grants are being awarded through a competitive RFP process issued by the Connecticut Department of Banking that solicited proposals centered on the grant’s objectives.

“These grants will be used to support programs that empower people to improve their own financial stability through education and training, with a particular focus on our underserved populations, including women and girls,” Governor Lamont said. “I appreciate the partnership of the organizations that are working in our shared goal of helping people get on the road to financial independence and wellness.”



FHA increases manufactured home loan limits in affordable housing push

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced on Monday that it has raised lending limits for its Title I Manufactured Home Loan Program, a move designed to align the FHA with market forces and to encourage more lenders to participate in the program as the Biden administration makes a renewed push on affordable housing.

The move was announced in Title I Letter 488 released on Monday, in conjunction with official statements from FHA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The new limits make use of “new methodologies for calculating and updating the program’s limits,” which were part of a final rule published Feb. 29, FHA explained.

They are designed to better align with current market prices and “are expected to encourage more lenders to offer the program to homebuyers seeking to purchase manufactured homes and the lots on which they sit.”

Read more at HOUSINGWIRE

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Merchant Service Provider for Your Business

Credit Card Payment Mistakes Are Costing Your Business Money: Payliance

A credit card payment processing company can be your first line of defense against credit card fraud, but it’s not the only way to go about it. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, retail organizations lose over $20 billion annually due to credit card chargebacks alone—that’s almost 10% of all profits! Most chargebacks occur due to fraudulent purchases, and they can be prevented with the right tools and strategies from your business’ point-of-sale service provider.

1) Do you know what is going on at each stage of the payment process?

A common mistake small businesses make is not understanding how credit card payment processing works, nor are they aware of the options available to them. Every step of a credit or debit transaction—approval, authorization, capture, and settlement—requires crucial information about each specific transaction in order to move forward. So when an issue arises that could affect a payment’s acceptance or cause delays along its way through processing, you have to know what questions to ask and who you need to contact in order to resolve it. The last thing any merchant wants is customer dissatisfaction at any stage of these processes; however, it’s common enough that you should expect it. Payment service providers must anticipate problems, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with having to troubleshoot issues within certain parameters.

Read more at PAYLIANCE

The Most Advanced Self-Service Check Cashing ATM

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

These 10 costly scams are most rampant. Here are the red flags to look for: Better Business Bureau

As technology gets more sophisticated, so do scammers. As bad actors adapt to the times, cryptocurrency scams are becoming a bigger problem, duping Americans out of huge sums, the Better Business Bureau said.

In its annual Scam Tracker report, the BBB said investment and cryptocurrency scams were the “riskiest” type of scam in 2023. Scammers are using people’s general lack of understanding about cryptocurrency to their advantage, the Bureau said, promising huge returns on investment for purchasing Bitcoin.

One victim, who shared her story, said she came upon a cryptocurrency scam while watching a YouTube video about Bitcoin investments. People in the comments said they made money using a trading service, so she reached out to the investment firm.

Read more at KFOR.COM

Dreher Tomkies LLP



FHA Loan Programs Do Not Reach Black Buyers of Manufactured Homes: PEW

Reforms could improve access to federally insured financing for historically underserved communities


Americans have difficulty getting loans to buy manufactured homes: Denial rates for these loans are more than seven times higher than for those used to purchase comparable site-built (nonmanufactured) homes.1 However, financing challenges are not the same for all buyers. Research shows that lenders deny manufactured home loans to Black applicants at significantly higher rates than they deny loans to White applicants, effectively keeping many Black buyers from one of the nation’s most affordable pathways to homeownership.2

This disparity is due in part to the type of loan product applicants seek. Manufactured home buyers who already own, or are financing, the land beneath their home are known as “landowners” and have multiple options when searching for manufactured home financing. They can apply for a mortgage, which finances both the manufactured home and the land beneath it, or a personal property loan, which finances the manufactured home only.

Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts


How salary transparency affects every state

National Women’s Law Center researchers said it was “notable” that states without disclosure laws showed an increase in transparency, as well.

While the imperative for salary transparency is clear in states that have passed such laws, that openness is mostly optional for employers throughout the rest of the U.S. Still, salary transparency has increased nationally, even in states without mandates on the books, according to the National Women’s Law Center. 

NWLC combed through “extensive” Glassdoor data, which included job listings posted from March 2022 to December 2023. The analysis of employer-provided salary information, filtered by industry, revealed that “pay disclosure increased over time among all selected states — even among those without pay range transparency laws.”

The aerospace, biotechnology, defense, financial services and pharmaceuticals sectors had the lowest rates of pay transparency. In pharmaceuticals and biotech, 48.6% of job listings disclosed salaries in states with strong transparency laws. Only 15.9% of jobs in states with weak laws disclosed the salary.

Read more at HRDIVE

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