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Proponents of advance-pay services point to the cycles of poverty and debt that lower-wage workers can get trapped in when they turn to payday lenders for financial help between paychecks. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A Minneapolis startup has joined the pay-advance app field, at a time when workers who live paycheck to paycheck are finding such apps very appealing and much easier to work with than old-school payday lenders.

Branch was founded in Los Angeles n 2015 but moved to Minneapolis a year later to work with Target and other companies in the Twin Cities area. The company received $10 million in venture funding in 2017, and has grown from three employees to 50.

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