As this is the last week of the quarter there will be no Change Seminar on Tuesday.
However, we are excited to be hosting Jacki O'Neill <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/jaoneil/> from Microsoft Research India on Wednesday. Jacki works with the Technology for Emerging Markets <https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/group/technology-for-emerging-markets/> 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 *Abstract:* 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. *Bio:* 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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