Funded with a $700,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, the Filene Research Institute is preparing to launch an incubator to develop alternatives to payday loans. Starting in November, 25 credit unions selected by the nonprofit think tank will test five different products targeting low- and moderate-income consumers. Filene aims to implement and commercialize at least one of the alternatives.
"The Ford Foundation's support enables us to build an accessible financial services incubator that provides alternatives to payday lenders and other predatory providers ... " said Filene CEO Mark Meyer. "The incubator will contribute significantly to creating a vibrant financial marketplace that offers products beneficial for underbanked consumers and mainstream financial institutions."