Call for Research Proposals: Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion

Call for Proposals for Research 2012-2013
The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine is soliciting proposals for original scholarly research on mobile money services and platforms, the harnessing of new and existing social and technological infrastructures to promote savings and other forms of value storage and the facilitation of payments at scale for poor people in the developing world.
IMTFI holds a broad notion of value storage and savings: we include both traditional and state-issued money and technologically-mediated instruments and systems, as well as systems based on personal relationships and social networks. IMTFI is most keenly interested in value storage as is combined with payment capability (medium of exchange) and in how new types of value storage and exchange media have the potential to be transformative in the lives of the poor. Value storage might include state-issued currency but also livestock, land, gifts of labor, jewelry and other valuables, cards, and the use of mobile phones or other electronic devices. For this call, the Institute specifically encourages proposals that explore: the individual or social client perspective in mobile money systems; the development of new products that use an existing mobile money service; the social and cultural interfaces between new mobile money services and existing savings and money transfer practices. Research will focus on whether and how mobile money, agent networks, or other new systems for money savings and transfer are improving poor people’s ability to handle the setbacks and structural conditions that pull them into or keep them in poverty.
Research proposals are especially welcomed that address elements of mobile money as a platform. That is: how is mobile money, as a hardware and software architecture, serving as a foundation for new services and functions? This includes but is not limited to research on the digitization of transactions, enhancements to mobile money interfaces, and the enrichment of the mobile money platform’s functionality. Enhanced functionality may involve new services and features (reversible payments, timed payments, tiered payments, records management) as well as the building of an ecosystem of applications (banking, internet interfaces, card interfaces, P2P, G2P payments, etc.) around mobile money platforms.
Deadline for submission: January 9, 2012
For details and guidelines of the full call, please go to

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