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5th Annual IMTFI Conference - Understanding the Movement of Cash of Privately led Enterprises in Dharavi and Scope for Electronic or Mobile Payments

The Institute of Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) held its fifth annual conference on December 2, 2013 where IMTFI fellowship award receipts presented their preliminary findings. The award was granted to assess technological infrastructures being developed as carriers of mainstream and alternative currencies worldwide.

Funded researchers invited to present at the conference
Mudita Tiwari and Deepti KC presented their findings from the study titled, “Understanding the movement of cash of privately led enterprises in Dharavi and scope for electronic or mobile payments”. 

Mudita Tiwari and Deepti Kc (L-R) presenting their findings
The study used ethnographic and experimental approaches to understand the movement of cash transactions, for three types (small, medium and large) of industries in Dharavi. Through the study, behaviors influencing business related financial transactions were observed, penetration of mainstream finance in the study area was mapped, and 200 stakeholders were interviewed to understand their knowledge and perception of electronic transactions. The study was conducted to determine the social, cultural and commercial factors influencing the decision of using cash versus electronic transaction systems, and understanding the scope of mobile or electronic payments.

Preliminary findings indicate that despite the RBI’s acknowledgement that universal access to modern e-payments is critical to ensure financial inclusion, sections of low-income residents in Dharavi face challenges accessing formal finance. Our findings indicate that nearly all enterprise owners have a strong preference for cash because of lack of awareness about convenient e-payment systems and general mistrust about banking systems. Respondents indicated a strong interest and need for information about banking products and services, convenient e-payment options and remittance options.

We are currently partnering with Neeti Solutions to develop financial literacy materials that can be delivered in an interactive, self-explanatory style. Comic books are being developed to present information about savings products, mobile banking options and remittance services (via agents) using context specific illustrative graphics that can be read by majority of respondents in our research – migrant workers and women entrepreneurs. The preliminary draft of these illustrative comics was presented at the conference as well.

A sample comic exhibited at the conference

Here is the presentation: 

(Note: IMTFI was established in 2008, with its mission to support research pertaining to technological advances impacting the financial lives of the world’s poorest people. IMTFI is housed in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently headed by Dr. Bill Mauer.)


  1. I have to admit that CMF Researchers have made a very sincere, sustained, and sophisticated effort to understand all the aspects of Financial Literacy and what may work


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