As the operators of a community bank in the state with the most payday lenders per capita (32 for every 100,000 people), executives at BankPlus in Belzoni, Miss., are characteristically appalled at the exorbitant rates that payday lenders charge.

But uncharacteristically for a bank, BankPlus decided four years ago to compete with these payday lenders. Now it successfully offers a small-dollar loan product to thousands of people, with significantly better terms and outcomes.

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