Filene Research Institute is readying an incubator to develop products aimed at low-and-moderate-income consumers.
The nonprofit think tank for credit union-related issues will choose 25 credit unions and five products to participate in an 18-month program that starts in November.
The incubator, which will operate out of Madison, Wis., will include three phases: testing product ideas, manufacturing and packaging products for mass adoption, and distributing products. The program's end goal is to implement and commercialize at least one of the products tested in the incubator among large financial institutions.
Filene received a $700,000, 30-month grant from Ford Foundation to fund the incubator.
"The Ford Foundation's support enables us to build an accessible financial services incubator that provides alternatives to payday lenders and other predatory providers in America's low-and-moderate-income communities," said Mark Meyer, chief executive, in a press release. "The incubator will contribute significantly to creating a vibrant financial marketplace that offers products beneficial for underbanked consumers and mainstream financial institutions."