UCI News

New institute to explore how poor spend, save money

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded UC Irvine a $1.7 million grant to create a new research institute…

September 22, 2008

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded UC Irvine a $1.7 million grant to create a new research institute focused on the growing use of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing countries. The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion will be the first to explore how the world’s poorest people spend, store and save money. It will study how these habits are affected by the emerging mobile banking industry, known as “m-banking,” which could make financial services and the security they provide available to millions of poor people for the first time. The institute, headed by UCI anthropologist Bill Maurer (pictured), launched Thursday, Sept. 18.