South Carolina Passes New EWA Law

Effective November 21, 2024, South Carolina will implement a new law to regulate earned wage access (EWA) services. This legislation, known as S.B. 700, L. 2024, introduces specific requirements for EWA providers, ensuring that employees have fair and transparent access to their earned wages. Notably, South Carolina joins Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, and Wisconsin in passing similar earned wage access regulations.

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing earned wage access services in the state. Under this new law, EWA services are explicitly not considered loans, which distinguishes them from traditional payday loans and other forms of credit.

Key elements of the new regulation include:

  1. Annual Registration: EWA providers are required to register annually with the DCA. This ensures that all providers meet the state’s standards and allows for ongoing monitoring and regulation.
  2. No-Cost Access: Providers must offer employees at least one reasonable option to access their EWA proceeds at no cost. This provision is designed to protect employees from excessive fees and ensure they can access their wages without financial burden.
  3. Flexibility to Discontinue: Employees must be allowed to discontinue EWA services at any time without incurring penalties. This ensures that employees retain control over their financial decisions and are not locked into using EWA services if they choose not to.

These regulations aim to provide a fair framework for earned wage access services, ensuring that employees can access their earned wages in a timely and cost-effective manner. The introduction of these rules reflects a growing recognition of the importance of EWA services in providing financial flexibility to workers.

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