What inspired you and/or your company to get involved with the Innovative Payments Association?
The Innovative Payments Association was always a valuable partner to us when I was part of the Money Network team, and I believe the IPA will continue to be an important partner as the early wage access space continues to evolve.
How does your membership in the IPA assist your professional and organizational goals?
The IPA provides an opportunity to engage with our peers in the payments space, which is great for sharing ideas, building relationships and pursuing common goals.
What future accomplishments do you hope to achieve with the IPA?
We look forward to working with the IPA to shape the conversation around early wage access and assure the value of this service to consumers is communicated effectively. It is also important that we continue to support the opportunity for prepaid programs, while developing the agenda around EWA.
How has your membership in the IPA most benefited you, and what are some of our events and resources that have proven most helpful?
We are just starting our membership with IPA as Instant, but during my time with Money Network, the IPA provided the insight and support necessary when we were managing through the challenges with the CFPB, Durbin, etc. I also have enjoyed the events hosted by the IPA and believe they are a valuable opportunity to engage with our peers in Fintech. I hope we can do them again live soon!
What specific efforts have you been most involved in, and what role have you played?
I enjoyed my time on the Board during my time at First Data/Fiserv, and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Legislators and their Staff. It was also pretty cool to be part of the committee that developed the new name of the association!
What’s one thing - either payments-related or not - you learned in the last month?
How much I enjoy being back in the business day to day! My time off was enjoyable, but true retirement doesn't seem to fit my personality.
Customer Disputes During COVID and Beyond: Ubiquity discusses setting up and managing dispute processes
As online shopping and remote payments grew over the past year, so did the number of customer disputes over payments. While many of the disputes were legitimate, some were fraudulent – either by people attempting to get out of paying for something they bought or by organized rings of criminals attempting to hack a company through social engineering.
In this episode, we talk about these problems and how payments companies can manage them with Corey Besaw, the banking operations president for Ubiquity.
He talks about best practices for handling disputes including:
Even though it is too soon to get the industry together in person, the IPA continues to help payments professionals keep up with trends in the industry at its online Innovative Payments Conference.
The conference kicked off with a discussion of Banking as a Service, which forms the underpinning of many fintechs. IPA member Metabank led a discussion that included Visa, NetSpend, and Modern Treasury.
We discussed data sharing with Consumer Reports and the Financial Data Exchange. The FDIC presented results from its household banking survey.
Wednesday wrapped up with a cocktail class that featured the head mixologist of Old Elk distillery who explained how to make a Manhattan and discussed payments in the service industry during the pandemic. We also presented our Skiba volunteer awards and the Terrence P. Maher Prepaid Influencer Award.
Skiba volunteer awards were presented to the following members for their work on the IPA Fintech Glossary.
For her help with member recruitment and her service on the IPA Board and finance committee, a Skiba was awarded to:
The IPA presented the annual Terrence P. Maher Prepaid Influencer Award to IPA Board Member Emeritus Nora Arpin.
And we are only halfway through the first week. Upcoming sessions include a look at payments around the world, with a panel of international payments associations, how to manage your career as the economy emerges from the recession, and a look at what the North Korean hack of Sony Pictures can teach payments companies.
If you’d like to attend these and get access to the recordings of previous sessions, you can still register. Visit IPC 2021 - Innovative Payments Association (ipa.org)
On Wednesday, April 14, IPA presented the annual Terrence P. Maher Prepaid Influencer Award to IPA Board Member Emeritus Nora Arpin. The award, sponsored by Baird Holm LLP, was created in honor of Terry Maher, who served as general counsel for the association for eight years until he passed away in 2014.
Nora has been a long-time member as well as having served as the vice chair or the IPA Board. She has been instrumental in the Association’s efforts to advocate on behalf of the industry, and was among the first to identify brokered deposits as an important issue for the association to address.
Congratulations to Nora on this well-deserved honor!
As people’s lives become more digital and they add more connected devices to their lives, their risks for identity theft, fraud, and other cyber-crime grows. Everything from computers to smart phones to baby monitors to fitness trackers can all introduce risks.
The average person is often unaware of these risks, and so they are unprepared to manage them. To help address this issue, Consumer Reports, a nonprofit focused on consumer protection and education, has created the Security Planner. The site helps individuals create a personal plan for protecting themselves and their devices by asking them a series of questions about their devices and any security concerns they might have. Based on the answers, the planner creates a checklist of steps to take to defend against the risks identified. While it can’t provide perfect security, it can increase people’s overall security.
In the episode of the IPA Payments Pod, we speak with Yael Grauer, the lead content creator for the planner, about how it was created, who it is designed to help, and how it works. We also talk about some of the best practices that people can follow while navigating cyberspace.
The planner is a free resource, and one that companies can share with their customers if they want to provide resources on protecting against fraud.
When the COIVD19 pandemic forced businesses to operate virtually, bank examinations moved into cyberspace.
This change likely will last beyond the pandemic, so bankers need to figure out how to be effective in this new environment. For institutions involved in non-traditional businesses like prepaid issuing, the problems of effectively conveying information and answering questions from examiners can be more complicated if they need to explain a new type of business.
IPA member Bancorp has successfully navigated virtual exams, and in this episode, we talk with Mandi Lermond, the director and chief of staff, and Mike Althouse, the chief compliance officer about the lessons they have learned, and the best practices they have uncovered. For them, the most important exam question, both internally and externally has been “how goes it?” Find out why.
They have also written an article for the ABA Compliance Journal that explores these topics in more detail. You can find that article here: Navigating Virtual Examinations | ABA Banking Journal
When the U.S. government decided to provide funds to struggling Americans in the pandemic, it needed a way to move a lot of money to a lot of people quickly. While direct deposit information from tax returns helped, some people who most needed assistance weren’t in the system.
So, the Department of Treasury used a combination of paper checks and prepaid cards from a program it calls the U.S. Debit Card. That program was part of an existing contract that allowed the government to use prepaid cards for disbursements.
IPA members Fiserv and Metabank are instrumental in that program, and in this episode, we talk with Kim Ford, Senior Vice President for Government Relations at Fiserv about how the cards work and how they came to be used for stimulus funds.
Prepaid cards have been a tool for benefits distribution for years, and the Economic Impact Payments show how they can quickly be implemented for new programs when the need arises.
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With the job market in our industry as hot as it has ever been, the competition for top talent is fierce. While the interview process is the primary way companies select applicants, how it’s executed can impact the candidate’s perception of the company and your overall employer brand (and maybe that of their colleagues, family, friends, etc.). Most companies place a high priority on improving the customer experience. In the battle for top talent, placing an emphasis on improving the candidate experience will help talented individuals get excited about joining your team.
Here are 6 suggestions for a better candidate experience.
Almost every executive tells me getting the best people in place is one of the most important parts of their job. Demand for top talent has never been higher so anything you can do to create a better candidate experience will help you on the recruiting front.
The payroll process needs to catch up to the rest of the payments world by becoming real time, according to Safwan Shah, the founder and CEO of Payactiv, an IPA member.
The company wants to help workers get money as they need it by providing access to wages they have earned sooner than a traditional two-week or monthly pay cycle would allow. The company does this by working with employers to track how much employees earn and offer the ability to get a percentage of those wages on as needed basis.
Workers can use PayActiv’s card to receive earned wages, have those wages deposited into an account, or even pay bills directly through PayActiv’s app.
In this episode we cover how the process works, and how earned wage access is different than other forms of early wage access.
The big banks are asking the Federal Reserve to re-examine what companies should be subject to interchange caps on debit transactions imposed by the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
In a letter and meeting with the Fed, the Clearing House, a trade association and payments company owned by the biggest U.S. banks asked the Fed to examine whether certain business arrangements used by Fintechs mean that they should be subjects to the same interchange caps as banks with more than $10 billion in assets.
If the Fed were to apply the Clearing House’s recommendations, it could affect the business model for Fintechs and for many prepaid programs that are designed to help low-income Americans.
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