The everyday act of payment—transferring value from one person to another--is undergoing dramatic change. For much of the 20th century, cash, coin and check cornered the payments landscape. Computer and information technologies eroded the dominance of physical means of value transfer beginning in the 1950s, and accelerating through the era of online payment and, most recently, mobile. Yet this does not necessarily represent an increasing abstraction or dematerialization of money: new payment "rails" demand new infrastructures, create new affordances, and forge new channels of communication and value, often in the tracks of or alongside the old. From interest to fees to the promise of "big data," business models and technologies are changing, forcing reconsideration not just of payment, but of money and value themselves.
This workshop, sponsored by the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing and hosted by the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, brings together scholars and professionals to reconsider the pasts of payment technologies in order to grasp their futures. The goal is to craft an academic research agenda that will help understand and shape the changing landscape of payments in international and historical context.
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