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Series:Consumer Finance Institute discussion papers  Bank:Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 

Discussion Paper
Meet People Where They Are: Building Formal Credit Using Informal Financial Traditions
The Consumer Finance Institute hosted a workshop in February 2019 featuring José Quiñonez, chief executive officer, and Elena Fairley, programs director, of Mission Asset Fund (MAF) to discuss MAF’s approach to helping its clients improve access to mainstream financial markets. MAF’s signature program, Lending Circles, adapts a traditional community-based financial tool known as a rotating savings and credit association (ROSCA) to help establish or expand credit reports for participants who may not be able to do so through traditional means. Lending Circles have served more than 10,000 clients since 2007 and have expanded well beyond MAF’s core constituency in the Mission District of San Francisco. Quiñonez and Fairley discussed MAF’s approach to working with the communities it serves and shared the key successes and challenges that MAF has encountered. This paper provides an overview of the information shared in the workshop and additional research connecting Lending Circles to previous work on ROSCAs.
AUTHORS: Akana, Tom
DATE: 2020-02-20

Discussion Paper
What Explains the Post–2011 Trends of Longer Maturities and Rising Default Rates on Auto Loans?
This paper quantifies relationships of long-term auto borrowing and auto-loan default to observable borrower characteristics and economic variables. We also quantify the residual components of the trends in long-term borrowing and delinquency not attributable to identifiable factors. Second, our paper provides new evidence on the relationship between longer-term borrowing and auto-loan default risk. We find that observable factors associated with the choice of a long loan term usually indicate an increased risk of default. We also find that the increasing share of long-term loans and the rising frequency of auto-loan default are mostly attributable by nonspecific, year-of-origination (fixed) effects rather than factors observable from our data or observable to lenders. Moreover, although borrowers opting for long loan terms are more likely to default in most comparisons, the increasing share of borrowers selecting a long loan term between 2011 and 2016 did not materially contribute to the rise in default rates. Overall, our analysis highlights the role of unobserved borrower characteristics in driving the recent trends in long-term borrowing and default.
AUTHORS: Calem, Paul S.; Ramasamy, Chellappan; Wang, Jenna
DATE: 2020-04-06

Discussion Paper
The laws, regulations, guidelines, and industry practices that protect consumers who use gift cards
This paper discusses consumer protections available to gift-card users. Specifically, it examines the ways in which value loaded at the time of purchase is protected for future card use or returned to consumers when the card is not used or has expired. The consumer protection information included in this paper is derived from a number of sources, including several types of state statutes, Federal Trade Commission decisions, financial industry regulatory agency guidelines, and previous interviews with payments industry experts regarding practices concerning network-branded gift cards. This paper expands research begun by the Payment Cards Center in 2004 into prepaid cards generally and the protections available to consumers who use gift cards specifically.
AUTHORS: Keitel, Philip
DATE: 2008

Discussion Paper
Combining Forces to Combat Elder Financial Victimization How Consumers Can Avoid the Financial Pitfalls of Cognitive Aging and What They Should Be Asking Their Financial Institutions
Medical research has linked financial vulnerability to accelerated cognitive aging ? the process by which cognitive abilities decline with age. Consumers who understand the risks of cognitive aging and what their financial institutions are doing to detect and deter financial crimes are better positioned to safeguard their retirement savings. In this paper, we examine how consumers and financial institutions can prepare for the financial pitfalls of aging. We present seven important steps that consumers aged 50 or older can take to protect themselves. We also provide consumers with a list of six questions to determine how well their financial institutions are prepared to detect signs of diminished financial capacity, elder fraud, and financial abuse, and to prevent financial losses from occurring.
AUTHORS: Santucci, Larry; Rentezelas, Jeanne
DATE: 2018-06-14

Discussion Paper
Fair lending analysis of credit cards
This paper discusses some of the key fair lending risks that can arise in various stages of the marketing, acquisition, and management of credit card accounts, and the analysis that can be employed to manage such risks. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and its implementing Regulation B prohibit discrimination in all aspects of credit transactions and include specific provisions relating to processes that employ credit scoring models. This paper discusses some of the areas of credit card operations that may be assessed in an effort to manage the risk of noncompliance with fair lending laws and regulations. Particular attention is focused on approaches to testing for the risk of disparate impact on a prohibited basis in credit scoring models and model-intensive prescreened marketing campaigns, as well as in judgmental credit card underwriting. The paper concludes by discussing how the fair lending risks associated with credit scoring models may be managed by synchronizing compliance oversight with an institution's model governance framework. The methods discussed in this paper are also applicable to other consumer credit products that utilize credit scoring models.
AUTHORS: Skanderson, David; Ritter, Dubravka
DATE: 2014-08-18

Discussion Paper
Millennials with money: a new look at who uses GPR prepaid cards
Phoenix Marketing International is a top 40 Honomichl market research company that annually fields an omnibus financial services survey that collects information from a representative sample of American households. Beginning in 2012, the survey added a series of questions designed to gather data on ownership and use of general-purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards. This paper reports on those findings, including the discovery of a "power user" segment of the market composed of young and mid- to upper-income consumers who own and use GPR cards at rates well above the market average. Younger adults also appear to be combining both mainstream and alternative financial services in ways that complicate some attempts to classify consumers as "banked" or "underbanked."
AUTHORS: Herbst-Murphy, Susan; Weed, Greg
DATE: 2014-09-01

Discussion Paper
Quantifying Cyber Risk in the Financial Services Industry
The Consumer Finance Institute hosted a workshop in February 2017 featuring James Fox, partner and principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and a leading authority on cybersecurity in the financial services industry. He discussed the importance of measuring cyber risk, highlighted some challenges that financial institutions face in measuring cyber risk, and assessed several leading cyber-risk management methodologies. Fox also provided some recommendations for bank exams and insights into how federal agencies might begin to quantify systemic cyber risk. This paper summarizes Fox?s presentation and is supplemented by additional research.
AUTHORS: Santucci, Larry
DATE: 2018-11-11

Discussion Paper
An examination of mobile banking and mobile payments: building adoption as experience goods?
This paper examines consumer adoption of mobile banking and mobile payments using the experience goods and learning by doing constructs as a framework to better understand adoption patterns in the United States and how these may differ in other world markets. Consumer experience and familiarity with mobile devices is considered along with three relatively new communication technologies ? SMS text messaging, wireless Internet access, and near field communication (NFC) ? that are making important contributions to mobile financial services. Online banking and contactless payments ? and consumers? experience with them ? are also studied as ?building blocks? to mobile financial services. Furthermore, this analysis considers other factors that are affecting adoption patterns, including financial inclusion opportunities, data security problems, and coordination issues. Together, the building blocks and these other factors will influence how markets for mobile financial services develop.
AUTHORS: Cheney, Julia S.
DATE: 2008

Discussion Paper
Measuring U.S. credit card borrowing: an analysis of the G.19's estimate of consumer revolving credit
This paper describes the Federal Reserve System?s monthly estimate of revolving consumer credit as published in the G.19 statistical release. It analyzes the source data, sampling methods, and calculations on which this estimate currently relies. In addition, it proposes a framework for analyzing the revolving credit statistic and suggests modifications to how the estimate is calculated and presented. The paper concludes that the revolving credit estimate is highly accurate and proposes that the System consider five modifications that would improve its usefulness to researchers.
AUTHORS: Ody, Christopher; Furletti, Mark
DATE: 2006

Discussion Paper
How effective were the financial safety nets in the aftermath of Katrina?
This paper describes the U.S. financial system?s response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina and examines how financial safety nets helped meet consumers? needs in the aftermath of the storm. Overall, we find that consumers who hold deposit accounts at financial institutions are less vulnerable to financial disruptions than individuals who do not have either a checking or a savings account (the unbanked). The federal banking regulators? and financial institutions? responses to Hurricane Katrina, the financial vulnerability of unbanked families to this unexpected catastrophic event, and how the American Red Cross, FEMA, and the Gulf States? relief efforts supplied financial assistance to Katrina?s victims are also addressed. Finally, we present several strategies that can be pursued to further safeguard the U.S. population and the financial community against extraordinary events.
AUTHORS: Rhine, Sherrie L. W.; Cheney, Julia S.
DATE: 2006

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