Wells Fargo has named St. Paul-based Sunrise Banks as one of three recipients of its 2015 NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance. The award recognizes community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, that develop innovative product offerings and services to help unbanked and underbanked consumers. (CDFIs are specialized entities that provide loans, investments, and services in underserved or economically distressed areas.) Sunrise Banks will receive $2.2 million to expand True Connect, an employer-based, small-dollar loan product that was created to serve as an affordable alternative to payday loans. True Connect integrates with employers’ payroll systems and uses scalable, proprietary software designed by Sunrise and its technology partner.
The two other NEXT award recipients for 2015, which will each receive $1.725 million from Wells Fargo, are Freedom First Federal Credit Union in Roanoke, Va., and Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union in New York City.