IMTFI Syntheses


Day 3b workshop

Mobile Money: The First Decade 

This white paper surveys the lessons from the first decade of research into mobile money, focusing on an archive of studies produced by IMTFI Fellows. The paper describes mobile money's primary use case—P2P money transfer—and argues that both the "Ps" and the "2s" of this model (mobile money's "peers" and the technological and social infrastructures that intermediate them) must be understood in context. The paper then outlines ten insights from the IMTFI research archive that demonstrate the contextual complexities involved in introducing and scaling mobile money, including discussions of: agent networks; physical infrastructure; location, place, and space; kinship and family; gender and gender inequality; class, caste, and rank; religion and ritual; time and tempo; government and regulation; and the persistence of both cash and non-currency stores of value. The paper concludes by raising issues that promise to be critical provocations for the next decade of mobile money research, making an argument for methodological diversity, and interrogating the limitations of the "financial inclusion" frame within which mobile money has been situated as a development intervention. 


ICA white paper cover

Keeping Cash: Assessing the Arguments about Cash and Crime

This white paper for Cash Matters, an International Currency Association (ICA) movement, assesses the current literature on cash, cash usage, crime, and terrorism. Drawing from the IMTFI's accumulated expertise on monetary ecologies - from cash to digital - it examines a range of institutional, legal, scholarly, policy, news, media and other sources to understand the current state of debate about - and evidence for - the links between cash, crime, and terrorism


Trust and Money: It's Complicated

Trust and Money: It's Complicated

This synthesis features IMTFI projects in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, India, Mexico and the Philippines, exploring the theme of trust across four broad categories –Channels, Intermediaries, Accounting, and the Source. One of the key takeaways is that trust in new money technology grows when it can be one among many reliable channels for storing and transferring value.


Snapshots of Gender and Financial Inclusion

This document highlights themes found a cross 18 IMTFI projects of how women interact with different forms of money in a shifting global financial landscape.


Warning Signs and Ways Forward

Emphasizing that there is no one-size-fits-all proposition, IMTFI researchers identify cross-cutting issues affecting client uptake for mobile and other electronic payment platforms.


Design Principles

Design Principles

Based on academic, industry and policy findings from IMTFI researchers, these design principles provoke new kinds of inquiry and practice and also offer checks and balances for designing and implementing savings services for the poor.


New Organizational Models: Open-Source Financial Services Research
By Melissa Cliver

A catalog of selected works of IMTFI researchers from 2008-2010.



© UC Irvine School of Social Sciences - 3151 Social Sciences Plaza, Irvine, CA 92697-5100 - 949.824.2766