As this is the last week of the quarter there will be no Change Seminar on

However, we are excited to be hosting Jacki O'Neill
<> from Microsoft
Research India on Wednesday. Jacki works with the Technology for Emerging
group and will joining us to talk about her ethnographic work on financial
services for low income communities in India.

*What: *Accessible financial services for low income communities
*Who: *Jacki O'Neill
*When: *Wednesday 3:30pm
*Where: *CSE 691


In this presentation, I will describe the findings of an ethnographic study
which set out to examine the impact of using mobile money, rather than
cash, to make loan payments in a low income setting. The setting in
question involves a social enterprise, Three Wheels United (TWU), which
helps auto-rickshaw drivers take out loans with the bank to buy their
auto-rickshaws. TWU collects loan payments from drivers on a daily and
weekly basis since drivers earn a low, unpredictable, daily wage primarily
in cash and are therefore rarely able to save up enough to make monthly
loan payments. Payments are made through cash or Airtel Money, providing a
unique opportunity to compare the two systems in action, and TWU wanted to
understand the implications of scaling up the Airtel Money payments as a
route to streamlining their operations. The problem was initially specified
as one of payment mechanism, however our study revealed that there is an
additional loan management problem irrespective of whether drivers pay by
cash or Airtel Money. Whilst we did not find opportunities to intervene
around the payment mechanism, we identified a clear opportunity to help
drivers and collectors manage their loans. To this end we are using an
iterative user-centred design process to build an intermediated smart-phone
app to be used by collectors *with* drivers to help manage their loans and
build financial capability. The idea is to provide more information,
combined with motivators, nudges and social competition to help make the
impact of today’s decision on the loan more salient. I will describe how we
are currently wrestling with the competing demands of flexibility vs.
simplicity and usability. I will end with a few reflections on mobile money
as a route to financial inclusion.


Dr Jacki O’Neill is an experienced Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)
researcher. She uses ethnomethodologically-informed ethnography to inspire
the design of innovative technologies, which aim to be both useful and
usable since they take into account users situated practices. She joined
the Technologies for Emerging Markets (TEM) area at Microsoft Research
India in Jan 2014. She was previously a Principal Scientist and Ethnography
Champion for Xerox’s Innovation Group, based at Xerox Research Centre
Europe. She is passionate about the design of technologies which capitalize
on people’s skills and capabilities, whether at work, at home, for health,
education or play.
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