Research

Through research, FiSCA and its members are able to educate the public (legislators, regulators, opinion elites etc.) about the vital role financial service centers play in communities throughout the country.

Over the past few years, researchers have shown an increasing level of interest in the Financial Service Centers industry which has resulted in more industry-specific, independent research than ever before.

In addition, FiSCA has commissioned its own studies which include customer satisfaction surveys which validate why millions of consumers visit our members' stores each year.

A repository of industry related research is available in this section.

FiSCA-Commissioned Studies

The FDIC Small Dollar Loan Pilot Program: A Case Study of a Misguided Approach to Satisfying Consumers' Need for Small Dollar Credit

FiSCA, October 2009

FiSCA has prepared an extensive analysis and critique of the FDIC's two-year Small Dollar Loan Pilot Program based on the agency's mid-term report which was issued earlier this year. The FiSCA report: "The FDIC Small Dollar Loan Pilot Program: A Case Study of a Misguided Approach to Satisfying Consumers' Need for Small Dollar Credit," identifies a number of shortcomings with the pilot program and reasons why the program is likely to be unsuccessful.

Read press release here.

The Cost of Providing Payday Loans in a U.S.Multi-line Operator Environment

Ernst & Young, September 2009

In order to address unsubstantiated claims regarding the cost of small, short-term loans, also known as payday advance (PDA) loans, Financial Service Centers of America, Inc. (FiSCA) engaged the firm of Ernst & Young LLP to perform an economic survey analysis of the cost to provide consumers with this form of credit through stores that offer many other financial products as well (also known as multi-line operators). The data obtained through this nationwide survey of FiSCA members clearly illustrates that payday loans are priced fairly and equitably for consumers seeking small dollar loans to address unexpected financial shortfalls.

FiSCA "Economic Inclusion" Advocacy Program

On October 24, 2007, at the invitation of FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, FiSCA representatives Chairman Joe Coleman and Patricia Cirillo, PhD, of Cypress Research Group, appeared before the FDIC Committee on Economic Inclusion (comE-IN), to speak on the topic "Money Services Businesses - Access to the Banking System."

In preparation for this meeting FiSCA created a powerful and comprehensive document for the Committee members detailing the Financial Service Center industry; history, business model, customers and their activity with us, and more.

Highlights of this document (download below), "Economic Inclusion: Meeting the Financial Needs of Low-and Moderate-Income Consumers Through Financial Service Centers," include:

  • A statistical overview of the Financial Service Center industry, its size, volume and scope as well as its customers and their satisfaction ratings of the industry, based on statistics, never before available;
  • A discussion of the differences between the bank and FSC business models;
  • An overview of FiSCA's Consumer Empowerment Program;
  • A discussion addressing bank discontinuance issues;
  • Ten proposals made by FiSCA to comE-IN;
  • Three studies referenced within the presentation.

Click below to download presentations or documents by section

PowerPoint Presentation


Additional Industry Related Research

What Good Are Payday Loans?
By Lisa J.Servon

The Real Reason the Poor Go Without Bank Accounts
By Lisa J. Servon

The High Cost, for the Poor, of Using a Bank
By Lisa J. Servon

National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households
FDIC study issued September 2012

Do Payday Loans Trap Consumers in a Cycle of Debt?
Marc Anthony Fusaro and Patricia J. Cirillo

Restricting Consumer Credit Access: Household Survey Evidence on Effects Around theOregon Rate Cap *
By Jonathan Zinman

Expanding Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions To Estimate TheImpacts By Dean Karlan; Jonathan Zinman An Experimental Analysis Of The Demand For Payday Loans By Bart J. Wilson; David W. Findlay; James W. Meehan, Jr.; Charissa P. Wellford; Karl Schurter

Payday Lenders: Heroes or Villains?
By Adair Morse

Payday Lending: Do The Costs Justify The Price?
By Mark Flannery; Katherine Samolyk

Hidden Consumer Loans: An Analysis Of Implicit Interest Rates On BouncedChecks
By Marc Anthony Fusaro

Bank Fees: Federal Banking Regulators Could Better Ensure That Consumers HaveRequired Disclosure Documents Prior to Opening Checking or SavingsAccounts
GAO study issued January 2008 (GAO-08-281)

Payday Holiday: How Households Fair after Payday Credit Bans  
By Donald P. Morgan; Michael R. Strain (staff report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Serving the Financial Needs of Low-Income Consumers
By James R. Wells, Jr.

Payday Lending: Do Outrageous Prices Necessarily Mean OutrageousProfits?
By Aaron Huckstep, Fordham University School of Law

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
Increasing Access to Affordable Mainstream Credit Using Alternative Data
By Michael A. Turner; Alyssa Stewart Lee; Ann Schnare; Robin Varghese; Patrick D. Walker

Payday Lending and Public Policy: What Elected Officials ShouldKnow
By Tom Lehman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economics Indiana Wesleyan University

Defining and Detecting Predatory Lending
By Donald P. Morgan; Samuel G. Hanson (staff report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York)

Financial Empowerment for the Unbanked and Underbanked Consumer: "Crossingthe Red Line”
By Rickie C. Keyes, PhD, MPH

Enabling Families to Weather Emergencies and Develop: The Role ofAssets
Signe-Mary McKernan; Caroline Ratcliffe, The Urban Institute