edition: April 23, 2024

Paving the Payments Future
Proven payment technology helps businesses pay and
get paid so they can focus on what matters most.

Americans were asked what it takes to be rich. Here's what they said.

Americans have a specific number in mind about how much it takes to be perceived as wealthy, and it's a sizable chunk of change: an average of $2.2 million in assets.

That may seem like a pie-in-the-sky number, especially given that the median net worth of the typical family stood at about $122,000 in 2019, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances.

Yet the $2.2 million figure reflects a dip from a recent peak in 2020, when Americans said they'd need $2.6 million to be considered rich, according Charles Schwab. For seven consecutive years, the financial services firm has surveyed people about their views on wealth. This year's survey polled 1,000 Americans between 21 and 75 years old about their views on money.

Important yardstick

Wealth can be an important yardstick because families with greater resources can tap their assets to buy a home, start a business, invest or help their children go to college — all steps that can, in turn, lead to more financial security. But the pandemic may have caused some Americans to reassess their views on money, with the result that some may have lowered their threshold for being rich, said Rob Williams, managing director at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. 

Read more at CBS NEWS

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

Senate Bill would push banks to intervene during unusual banking activity by seniors

A State Senate Bill would push banks to intervene during unusual banking activity by seniors

Anyone can be financially devastated by a scam. However, senior citizens generally have much more to lose, a lifetime of savings, and a harder time recovering financially should they lose it all. Senate Bill 278 wants banks to do more for them.

“This was actually the Exxon Valdez and we took out the tanks and rechanged the design,” said 73-year-old John Lyle from Fallbrook. The retired naval architect will proudly tell you he was part of the design and construction of some 150 United States ships.

“This one here is a heavy lift, which means it can sink and deballast,” said Lyle as he pointed to one of the dozens of pictures on, what he calls the “memory wall.”

As happy as Lyle gets as he looks to the past, his heart sinks when he turns to the present, to how his bank responded after he lost more than $40,000 to a scam.

Read more at NBC

Accelerate Payments & Lower Processing Costs

Appliance financing: 5 types to consider

Discover multiple ways to finance a new appliance, and which is best for you.

Appliances can be expensive. The average package price for a microwave, fridge, dishwasher, and range runs from $2,100 to $5,400, according to HomeGuide. Appliance financing can help soften the blow, but will usually cost more in the long run.

Here’s a closer look at how appliance financing works, five different types of appliance financing available, who each type is best for, and how much it costs.

What is appliance financing?

Appliance financing allows you to use a credit product to finance an appliance. For example, if your refrigerator breaks down, you can use an installment loan, credit card, or line of credit to get a new one. You will then pay off the amount you borrowed over time.

Best for: Expensive appliance purchases, long-term budgeting needs at fixed rates

Read more at FOX BUSINESS

The Most Advanced Self-Service Check Cashing ATM

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

New policy will hurt NC access to banking

If policymakers are serious about supporting communities in North Carolina, they need to make it easier to break the cycle of crime and poverty. As a veteran and criminal defense attorney in Forsyth County, I’ve seen firsthand that access to credit and banking can drive real change by transforming communities and creating opportunities. However, federal regulators have made decisions that will do quite the opposite.

Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule to lower the maximum penalty on credit card late fees. While reducing late fees from the average $30 payment to $8 sounds good in theory, it will have severe repercussions for our community and the financial institutions that make a difference in people’s lives. 

Community banks and credit unions depend on responsible customers who pay their bills on time to offer credit products. If customers are disincentivized from paying their bills on time, smaller financial institutions will face an uphill battle in recovering the cost of extending credit. This would ultimately drive small lenders out of the market, reducing competition and access to credit and banking. 

Read more at The Carolina Journal

Registration is NOW OPEN!


Ensuring servicemembers can protect themselves from unlawful financial practices: CFPB

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act was passed by Congress to enable servicemembers to devote themselves to the defense of the Nation by providing them key protections. This law’s important provisions include the right to reduced interest on certain loans and shielding servicemembers from foreclosure while they are serving the nation.

In an ongoing case, Citibank has been sued by servicemembers on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly situated people who claim that the bank violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Four servicemembers say that Citibank charged them and many other active duty servicemembers too much interest on their credit card debt during their military service. Rather than responding on the merits of the servicemembers’ claim, Citibank is fighting their ability even to bring a lawsuit. Citibank is arguing that the servicemembers’ credit-card agreements require them to arbitrate their class claims instead. Last year, a federal judge ruled that the servicemembers are in fact entitled to have their class claims heard in court. Citibank didn’t accept that decision, as it is now appealing the judge’s ruling. And a coalition of businesses — led by the Chamber of Commerce, American Bankers Association, and American Financial Services Association — have sided with Citibank against the group of servicemembers alleging that Citibank broke the law while they were serving their country.

Read more at CFPB

Customized Payment Processing and
Merchant Service Provider for Your Business

6 reasons to be unbanked or underbanked

The U.S. financial system has a massive reach — more than 4,000 banks and nearly 5,000 credit unions are scattered across the country. However, plenty of Americans never step inside their branches, download their apps or deposit money in their accounts.

They’re known as the unbanked, and the most recent numbers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) show that 4.5 percent of U.S. households — about 5.9 million people — are unbanked. A further 14.1 percent of U.S. households are considered underbanked.

There are various reasons people lack a strong relationship with a bank, some of which involve past money mistakes or lack of financial literacy. Fortunately, there are ways of improving one’s financial health that can help provide access to a bank.

What does it mean to be unbanked?

A household is considered “unbanked” when no one in the household has a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union. Unbanked individuals use alternative means to manage their money, such as:

Read more at BANKRATE

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Digital Payments Turn the Tables on Check Scams

Despite the prevalence of digital alternatives, checks continue to be a preferred payment method for many organizations.

PYMNTS Intelligence research underscores this trend, revealing that checks constitute a significant portion of business-to-business (B2B) transactions across various industries. In real estate, nearly 21% of B2B transactions involve checks, while retailers rely on checks for 15.2% of their B2B payments.

Similarly, in the construction sector, 76% of subcontractors receive payments primarily via paper checks, further underscoring the ongoing popularity of checks in commercial transactions, despite their inherent drawbacks in terms of speed and security.

These findings align with a recent report from the Association for Finance Professionals, highlighting that 75% of respondents acknowledge the ongoing use of checks within their organizations. Notably, 34% of these respondents indicate that checks account for over a quarter of their payment transactions.

Read more at PYMNTS.COM

Become a Supplier to AFSPA Members

Three RTO Franchises Make Top Entrepreneur Lists

In the dynamic realm of franchising, APRO members Rent-A-Center Inc., Buddy’s Home Furnishings, and RNR Tire Express have garnered noteworthy recognition on Entrepreneur‘s esteemed Franchise 500® ranking for 2024. This annual list, celebrating its 45th year, serves as a premier benchmark for evaluating and honoring top-performing franchise opportunities.

Rent-A-Center, a leading figure in the Furniture & Appliances category, secured an impressive 204th position on the Franchise 500® list. Additionally, Rent-A-Center clinched the prestigious #1 spot in the Furniture & Appliances category on the 2024 Best of the Best ranking, solidifying its position as an industry powerhouse. Furthermore, Rent-A-Center excelled by ranking 13th in the 2024 Top 15 Retail Franchises, showcasing its outstanding performance and market dominance.

Buddy’s Home Furnishings achieved a commendable ranking at 230th on the Franchise 500® list. Notably, Buddy’s also secured the 15th position in the 2024 Top 15 Retail Franchises, highlighting its consistent growth and success within the franchise landscape.

Read more at APROHQ

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

Copyright © AFSPA 2007-2024