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This Asian Bank Lets You Borrow Cash and Pay in Trash

Bloomberg business news

Trash Banks in Indonesia's Cities Boost Savings

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It’s clear from the dirt floor, the battered green sofa and the common-use comb hanging from a string next to the door that this is no ordinary bank. Customers here, in a poor corner of eastern Indonesia, borrow cash — and pay back trash.

“The program originated from the people, it is managed by the people, and the rewards are for the people,” said bank manager Suryana, who wears a black jilbab headscarf and lives with her family above the Mutiara Trash Bank in the fast-growing city of Makassar on the island of Sulawesi. “From an economic point of view, this gets results.”