Welcome to the Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion (IMTFI). Established in 2008 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Institute is housed in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. It has become a leading research center on the consumer side of financial technology--everything from mobile money to AI-driven alternative credit scoring. We focus on the everyday use and implications of these new technologies: how people engage, refuse, modify, hack, share, and interact with them, and how they in turn influence people's understandings of money, value, justice, even faith.
In its initial phase IMTFI focused on building a global network of researchers working on money's technologies among the world's poorest people, funding over 147 projects in 47 countries, connecting with over 187 scholars around the globe. Part of its mission is to ensure the voices and perspectives of researchers on the ground are integrated into the global conversation on financial inclusion. You can browse and sort database of these projects with advanced search here.
In 2016 the Filene Research Institute inaugurated its Center of Excellence in Emerging Technology under IMTFI. In that capacity, it supports research into how new technology can better serve the credit union movement.
Working with the British Museum and the Smithsonian, IMTFI also helps collect and curate the objects that tell the stories of money and payment, especially stories about the most recent phase of digital and mobile payment and the new opportunities and risks they pose. You can search IMTFI objects at the British Museum here. IMTFI's own Money Archive represents our ongoing efforts to digitize and upload images of an extensive collection of artifacts donated by our researchers, graduate students, and money-enthusiasts over the years.
IMTFI is committed to creating a community of practice & inquiry into the everyday uses & meanings of money, as well as the technological infrastructures being developed as carriers of mainstream & alternative currencies worldwide. You can learn more about our current projects and partnerships under "Our Research Partners" in the menu.
Dean, School of Social Sciences
Institute Founding Director