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, we explore how they work among different low-income social groups in a one-day workshop at IIIT-Bangalore.

The workshop comprises three panels spread over the day. It will bring 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, we will explore possible ways to rethink cash-less and intermediary-free economies, and examine how best to incorporate the values associated with cash and financial intermediaries into the world of digital financial transactions.

The inspiration for this workshop comes out of a 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 Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (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.

Read about their compelling initial findings in this new blogpost, "Intermediaries, Cash Economies, and Technological Change in Myanmar and India (Part One)"

Workshop Schedule (Tentative)
9:00 – 9:45 Registration
9:45 – 10:00 Welcome
10:00 – 11:30 Session I: Logging In - Speakers: Jayshree Venkatesan (Independent Consultant), Pravin Agarwala (BetterPlace Safety Solutions), Anupam Varghese (Eko) & Indrani Medhi Thies (Microsoft Research India)
11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break
11:45 – 1:15 Session II: Making Payment - Speakers: Pawan Bakhshi (Gates Foundation, India), Sanjay Jain (IndiaStack & iSpirt), Anubhav Sharma (National Payments Corporation of India) & Tara Nair (Gujarat Institute of Development Research)
1:15 – 2:00 Lunch
2:00 – 3:30 Session III: Transaction Complete - Speakers: Shruti Gonsalves (SEWA Grih Rin), Milan Mitra (McKinsey Digital Labs), Elisa Oreglia (SOAS) & Janaki Srinivasan (IIIT-B)
3:30 – 4:00 Coffee Break
4:00 – 5:00 Session IV: Logging Out (Concluding Remarks)

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