CFPB Advisory Opinion Supports Branch's Employer-Based Earned Wage Access Model

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Guidance from leading government consumer protection agency reinforces Branch’s approach to Earned Wage Access

Branch, which partners with employers to help working Americans grow financially, announced how its employer-based Earned Wage Access (EWA) model aligns with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) recently issued guidance for the EWA industry.

Establishing greater clarity for the space, both the CFPB’s advisory opinion and recent approval order reinforce the major tenets of Branch’s EWA model. As on demand pay becomes an increasingly important benefit for employers, the CFPB outlined key hallmarks of a Covered EWA program like Branch’s employer-based model. These include: (1) contracting directly with employers to provide EWA to employees, (2) providing advances based on earned wages, (3) offering advances fee-free, (4) processing via employer-based payroll deductions, (5) limited legal or contractual recourse, (6) clear EWA disclosures, and (7) refraining from assessing or reporting on employees’ credit.

As the first EWA provider to offer instant advances for free in 2019, Branch has been dedicated to providing fast, free financial services that serve the best interests of users. Branch accounts and instant transactions into the Branch Wallet are free to help workers gain financial stability. Rather than monetizing and encouraging EWA transactions or fees, Branch set out to offer employees a safe, convenient tool when they need it most.

Branch works closely with employers to deliver employees access to their earned wages in a responsible way. The company has guardrails such as advancing based on earned wages and limiting an employee’s access to up to 50 percent of earned wages. Branch provides not only EWA, but also a range of other offerings that can help employees get ahead financially including fee-free banking, digital tips and reimbursements, contactless payments, and a budgeting tool.

“We welcome the CFPB’s advisory opinion, which has offered greater clarity and guidance for how the industry can best serve the needs of workers while promoting innovation,” said Branch CEO Atif Siddiqi. “We’re excited to see that what they’ve outlined reflects what Branch has been pushing for the past couple of years, including employer-based payroll deductions and a fee-free earned wage access experience.”

To learn more about Branch’s employer-based earned wage access offering, visit https://www.branchapp.com.

About Branch
Branch partners with employers to help working Americans grow financially. Businesses turn to Branch for a faster way to pay employees and reduce the costs of paper checks and paycards. Employees that sign up with Branch can receive a zero-fee bank account, free instant access to earned wages, and auto-budgeting tools to help them manage their cash flow between paychecks. Branch has partnered with some of the nation’s leading payroll and workforce technologies to support employers in retail, restaurant, logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare. To learn more about Branch, visit https://www.branchapp.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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Adrianne Ho
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