earned wage access services

New laws implement regulatory standards and licensing requirements for fintechs seeking to improve employee access to wages.

By Parag Patel, Mik Bushinski, and Deric Behar

On June 13, 2023, Nevada enacted a law that regulates earned wage access (EWA) services provided to state residents. Missouri followed by enacting an EWA law on July 7, 2023 that shares many similarities with Nevada’s. The new EWA laws make Nevada and Missouri the first two states in the US to establish statutory frameworks designed to regulate EWA services.

EWA services enable a consumer to receive earned employment income prior to a scheduled payday. They ideally provide an alternative to high-cost forms of credit, such as payday loans, although some consumer advocacy groups have warned of fees and other problematic aspects with certain EWA services.

To date, the principal providers of EWA services are fintechs, some of which are new entrants and some of which have been in the EWA business for several years.

Importantly, the EWA laws in both states exempt EWA services from their respective state laws that regulate loans and money transmission. EWA service providers in Nevada or Missouri would therefore not be regulated as a lender or money transmitter in connection with the EWA services they provide to residents of those states.