Workshop on digital financial platforms and inclusion

Date: 11/11/2016

Description: CITAPP organized a one-day workshop on digital financial platforms and inclusion on 11th November 2016 at IIIT Bangalore. The title of the workshop was: No cash, no intermediaries? Different scenarios for a digital economy.

What happens when a culture of primarily cash-based and mediated financial transactions encounters the world of digital financial platforms that promise cashless and direct transactions? In a world abuzz with conversations about digital financial transactions, this workshop explored how they work among different low-income social groups.

The workshop brought together diverse voices on digital financial transactions, who have earlier engaged with these issues on separate stages, to discuss changes in the nature of financial transactions. Together, the organizers, speakers and participants explored possible ways to rethink cash-less and intermediary-free economies, and examined how best to incorporate the values associated with cash and financial intermediaries into the world of digital financial transactions.

The inspiration for this workshop came out of research project that Elisa Oreglia (at SOAS, London) and Janaki Srinivasan (at IIIT Bangalore)  have been conducting this past summer on the circulation of cash and digital money among communities of small-scale fishers and farmers in Kerala (India) and Shan State (Myanmar). Supported by the University of California Irvine’s IMTFI, this project is one among several that IMTFI has supported since 2008 towards its goals of understanding the everyday uses and meanings of money, as well as the technological infrastructures being developed as carriers of mainstream and alternative currencies worldwide.

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CITAPP at IIIT Bangalore is an interdisciplinary think-tank set-up to focus on the policy challenges and the organizational demands made by technological innovation. Of particular interest to the Centre is how technological advances, along with institutional changes that harness the legitimacy and the powers of bureaucracies and market, address the needs of underserved communities.