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.
Listen now to our Podcast to find our more.
At the end of 2020, PayPal won an initial victory in its lawsuit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. On December 30, Judge Richard Leon granted summary judgment for PayPal on two motions.
In the latest episode of the IPA Payments Pod, Brian Tate, the Innovative Payments Association’s CEO, talks about what the decision means for the payments industry. He covers the practical implications for payments companies and the potential regulatory and legislative fallout.
The decision is likely to be appealed, so this likely is only the beginning of a long saga between the industry and regulators. Policy discussions informed by the arguments may play out on a different timetable or in tandem. Either way, the decision sets the stage for a number of conversations around the future of payments regulation.
You can listen to the episode here, or wherever you get your podcasts. Please subscribe and leave us a review on your favorite podcast help to help others find the show.
The IPA is pleased to announce that the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company will be featured presenters at this year’s Innovative Payments Conference in April. During their presentation, representatives from the Kellogg Foundation and McKinsey will lead an in depth discussion focused on a recent article the two organizations co-authored entitled, “Racial Equity in Financial Services,” which was published in September 2020.
In brief, the report makes the case that due to America’s evolving demographics, companies with “a diverse executive team, board, or both” directly “correlates with higher profitability” and overall better business outcomes. The research examines the experiences of people of color in the financial services sector and explores the critical issues of representation, promotion, and directive versus supportive roles for people of color in the financial services sector. The report concludes with a call to action for leaders to advance racial equity to drive better business performance
Accordingly, a part of their conference session will feature a new program led by the Kellogg Foundation. The program, called Expanding Equity, is for companies that want to take strategic, measurable and clear steps toward advancing racial equity in their organizations. The foundation is currently recruiting companies for a Financial Services cohort and invites IPA members who are interested to participate. In brief, the program is designed for companies at any stage of their diversity, equity and inclusion work and offered at no cost to participating companies.
The Expanding Equity program offers dozens of specific equity initiatives for financial services companies; a confidential, company-specific analysis on your starting point, referenced against broader industry performance; and a series of workshops that offer the tools, knowledge and human-centered approaches for cultivating workplaces that attract, develop, retain and promote diverse talent. You can learn more at www.expandingequity.com.
The first cohort, convened over the last 9 months, focused on financial services companies and was extremely successful. Participants agreed that the program helped them develop concrete steps to take to build a more racially equitable workplace. Accordingly, all cohort participants have changed the way in which they recruit diverse talent, and have installed meaningful initiatives to improve the experiences of employees of color throughout their journey in the companies.
As Expanding Equity recruits its second cohort of financial services businesses, I encourage you to consider participating. Please email ExpandingEquity@wkkf.org, or Brian Tate if you are interested in learning more.
As unlikely as it might seem, 2020 ended on a high note for the payments industry. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s updated rules on brokered deposits will lower the costs of insuring consumers’ deposits for Fintechs and the banks that work with them. This change is the culmination of five years of work on the part of the Innovative Payments Association and its members.
Despite this bright spot, the regulatory environment in 2021 may be a lot darker for the industry. There will no doubt be a change in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s leadership, which will change that agency’s approach to regulation. Also, a letter from the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee to the incoming Biden Administration shows that Congress also plans to keep a close eye on financial services.
Despite all of that, the brokered deposits rule change shows that engagement by the industry can ensure that any new laws or rules do not stifle the industry’s good work to help consumers, businesses, and governments manage their money more effectively. We talk about how companies should lay the groundwork for the new environment they will face in 2021.
If you are not already a part of the Association and want to be part of the policy discussion shaping the future of the payments industry, then go to www.ipa.org to learn more about the benefits of membership in the association.
One of the newest names in the Fintech space comes with a ton of experience. North Lane Technologies revealed its new name in October as part of an announcement about its joining with daVinci Payments under Syncapay, another Fintech company.
In the latest episode of the IPA Payments Pod, we spoke with Seth Brennan, the CEO of North Lane. He describes how North Lane evolved from its start-up days as Ecount, through being part of a large bank with Citi, then a multinational with Wirecard. We also talk about where the company goes from here as part of a larger organizations created out of multiple Fintechs. Brennan says that North Lane and DaVinci are on their way to becoming a juggernaut in incentive payments.
You can find the episode here, or on your favorite podcast app. Please subscribe and leave us a review. If you have a topic you want to discuss on the podcast, let us know!
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