The Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) was established in 2008 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and housed in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine.
Overtime, it has become a leading research center on the consumer side of financial technology–everything from mobile money to AI-driven alternative credit scoring. It 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.
Historically, 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. One of its core mission is to provide space for voices and perspectives of researchers on the ground to be integrated into the global conversation on financial inclusion.
IMTFI in partnership with with the British Museum and the Smithsonian, 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.