The Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA) in Texas will be working with ACE Cash Express to collect tolls for the newly opened César Chávez Border Highway toll road.
Motorists will have to establish an account to use the road or pay off toll charges at the payday loan company's stores, thus ACE likely will benefit from the partnership by potentially getting thousands of customers into its stores, the company previously stated in an interview with the El Paso Times.
Given the nationwide crackdown on payday lending in the past year, the partnership has drawn considerable press.
Payday lending in the past year has been banned in several states or lawmakers have started to restrict it. Opponents argue that short-term lending comes with exorbitant interest rates and fees and can create a nonstop cycle of debt. Proponents argue that industry studies show that their borrowers are satisfied with payday loans and like having the option to use one.
Those using the César Chávez Border Highway will have the option of paying toll charges and opening accounts by phone, online or via mail. Customers will be charged $3 to open up an account and an additional $2 convenience service fee.
Raymond Telles, CRRMA's executive director, said his organization actually has partnered with the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), which is the organization that maintains the ACE partnership. "The CRRMA does not have a direct partnership with ACE," he said. "Rather, ACE will be providing these services through their relationship with NTTA. We will also continue to look for ways to expand the available cash alternatives for El Paso users."