this points to a good point regarding financial inclusion: how can people get credit reputation (etc.) if they do not qualify as bankable clients to begin with? what other ways can people build their trustworthiness as financially responsible citizens when they don't have a record supporting them? i like how this second-chance system eventually enables you to qualify for an ordinary bank account. critical step for those who want to take the next step to financial empowerment.
the most surprising sentence of this post for me was the following: "With more public libraries in the U.S. than McDonalds ..."
this got me thinking ... how about post offices, which are also government-provided institutions? or how about mcdonalds itself? (granted, i know it's not free.) or how about starbucks? or any other similar organizations.
i think there are a lot of great candidate organizations that could re-invent their values through the services they offer or provide new ones through partnerships - public and private organizations.
playpumps illustrates the need to consider as many long-term reactions to a project as possible. for example, i doubt the originators thought that children would start asking for money in return for turning the pump. the idea has turned into a poster-child for a well-intentioned idea gone wrong for various reasons. (the website below was the first item in a google news search.)
that said, i agree with the overarching idea that solutions to problems don't necessarily need to be filled with gadgets and technology. sometimes less (when done cleverly) can be better.