Our special guest is Ian Moloney, Senior Vice President and Head of Policy and Regulatory Affairs with the American Fintech Council (AFC).  After reviewing how EWA products are used by consumers and the differences between employer- and provider-based products, we discuss the regulatory challenges faced by the EWA industry, the regulatory approaches states have taken to EWA, actions taken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau related to EWA, and proposed federal legislation dealing with EWA. … Continue Reading

The American Fintech Council (AFC), a trade group whose members include providers of earned wage access (EWA) products, has sent a letter to Director Chopra urging the CFPB to take steps towards development of a “pragmatic regulatory approach” for regulating EWA products. 

In its letter, AFC discusses the “patchwork approach” to regulating EWA products that is emerging at the state level.  … Continue Reading

On December 22, 2023, the Attorney General of Montana released an opinion (the “Opinion”) concluding that certain earned wage access (EWA) products are not “consumer loans” or “deferred deposit loans” under Montana law and do not, therefore, require licensure by the Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions. The Opinion only applies to EWA products that are:

  1. fully non-recourse, meaning providers do not: have any legal or contractual right to repayment from consumers, engage in any debt collection activities, sell or assign any balances, or report any non-payment to a consumer reporting agency;
  2. not conditioned on payment of any mandatory interest, fee, or other compensation; and
  3. limited in amount to the consumer’s accrued income.
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has sent a letter to the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) commenting on the DFPI’s proposal that would require providers of “income-based advances” to register with or obtain a license from the  DFPI and comply with the fee and interest rate limits of the California Financing Law (CFL).… Continue Reading

On August 28, 2023 (the “Effective Date”), SB 103, signed into law by Missouri’s governor, will become the nation’s second statutory framework for earned wage access (EWA) providers.  The Missouri law closely resembles Nevada’s recently enacted law to license and regulate EWA providers.

SB 103 enacts a new RSMo § 361.749(2), which expressly provides that “[n]o person shall engage in the business of earned wage access services in [Missouri] without first registering as an earned wage access services provider” with the Missouri Division of Finance (the “Division”). … Continue Reading

Earlier this month, the Maryland Office of Financial Regulation (“OFR”) issued guidance (the “Guidance”) to provide clarity on how the OFR views Earned Wage Access (“EWA”) products and describe the requirements entities offering EWA products must adhere to.

Providing some background for the Guidance, EWA is a financial concept that allows employees to access a portion of their earned but unpaid wages before a regular payday. … Continue Reading

On June 13, Nevada’s governor signed into law Senate Bill 290 creating the nation’s first statutory framework for earned wage access (EWA) providers operating in the state.  The law appoints the state’s Commissioner of Financial Institutions to oversee the industry.

Earned wage access products allow consumers to access their earned wages before their scheduled pay date. … Continue Reading

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a new report entitled “Financial Technology: Products Have Benefits and Risks to Underserved Consumers, and Regulatory Clarity Is Needed.”

The report focuses on the following four types of fintech products:

  • Digital deposit accounts offered by fintech companies through partnerships with banks or credit unions. 
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Mark Brnovich, the Arizona Attorney General, recently issued an opinion regarding whether earned wage access (EWA) products are “consumer lender loans” under the state’s Consumer Lenders Act (CLA) such that a person who makes, procures, or advertises an EWA product must be licensed as a “consumer lender.”  The AG concluded that an EWA product offered as a no-interest and non-recourse product is not a “consumer lender loan” under the CLA.… Continue Reading

We begin with a discussion of the goals and themes of FTA’s recent summit and AFC’s advocacy regarding retention of the strategic plan option under the Community Reinvestment Act.  We then discuss consumer benefits of buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) and regulatory concerns raised by the CFPB in its BNPL report, state level regulatory issues facing fintechs, the Treasury’s report on bank/fintech relationships and takeaways for fintechs, consumer benefits of earned wage access products and artificial intelligence and regulatory concerns raised by the CFPB, and reactions to the CFPB’s Section 1033 rulemaking.… Continue Reading