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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Nevada requires licenses for EWA providers

Licensing State Issues State Legislation Nevada Earned Wage Access Consumer Finance NMLS

The Nevada governor recently signed SB 290 (the “Act”) outlining several requirements for providers of earned wage access (EWA) products. EWA products allow individuals to access their earned income before receiving their regular paycheck. To operate such services in Nevada, providers must obtain a license from the Nevada Commissioner of Financial Institutions. The licensing requirements apply to both “employer-integrated” services, where the provider receives verified data directly from the employer or the employer’s payroll service to deliver unpaid wages, and “direct-to-consumer” services where the provider delivers unpaid wages after verifying the earned income based on data not obtained from the employer or their payroll service. Notably, the Act specifies that EWA products are not loans or money transmissions under Nevada law and are not subject to existing laws governing these products. The Act outlines application and fee requirements (licenses will be issued via the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and Registry) and requires licensed EWA providers to submit annual reports to the commissioner by April 15 of each year.

Providers of EWA products are also subject to certain prohibitions, which include: (i) sharing any fees, voluntary tips, gratuities, or other donations with an employer; (ii) the use of credit reports or credit scores to determine eligibility for an EWA service; (iii) the imposition of late fees or penalties for nonpayment by users; (iv) the reporting of a user’s nonpayment to a consumer reporting agency or a debt collector; (v) coercion of users to make payments through civil action; and (vi) restrictions on using a third-party collector or debt buyer to pursue collections from a user.

Additionally, EWA providers must, among other things, (i) implement policies and procedures to respond to questions and complaints raised by users (responses must be provided within 10-business days of receipt); (ii) disclose to the user his or her rights, as well as all related fees, prior to entering an agreement; (iii) allow users to cancel their EWA agreements at any time without being charged a fee; (iv) conspicuously disclose that any tips, gratuities, or donations paid by the user do not directly benefit any specific employee of the EWA provider or any other person (providers must also allow users to select $0 as an amount for such a tip); (v) comply with the EFTA when seeking payment of outstanding proceeds, fees, or other payments from a user’s depository account; and (vi) reimburse users for any overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees incurred as a result of the provider attempting to collect payment on a date earlier than disclosed to the user or in an amount different from what was disclosed.

On or before September 30, the commissioner is required to prescribe application requirements. EWA providers who were engaged in the offering of EWA services as of January 1, 2023, may continue to provide services until December 31, 2024, if the provider submits an application for licensure by January 1, 2024, and otherwise complies with the Act’s provisions. The Act becomes effective immediately for the purpose of adopting any regulations and performing any preparatory administrative tasks that are necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act and on July 1, 2024, for all other purposes.