On a study trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, with a group of fellow philanthropists, Tricia McKay visited a low-income credit union where she saw customers routinely making deposits and taking out small loans. Back in Seattle where she heads the Medina Foundation, McKay couldn’t help but notice a lack of similar services for the working poor of Washington state. She became acutely aware of “payday lenders and check-cashing services on every corner of low-income neighborhoods. We have a market failure,”...

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