How Would You Like to Pay?: How Technology Is Changing the Future of Money
Bill Maurer is Dean of the School of Social Sciences; Professor of Anthropology, Law and Criminology, Law and Society; and the Director of the Institute for Money, Technology, and Financial Inclusion at the University of California, Irvine. He is the author of Pious Property: Islamic Mortgages in the United States and Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason.
When we choose one form of money over another, hand over a debit card or pay by mobile phone, we make a political choice, and we participate in the making of a community. By exploring people’s monetary repertoires, and the use cases for money technologies, we also explore the constitution of political identity and questions of social justice. People promoting digital payment to uplift the poor or technological solutions for financial inclusion are not exempt from this political and moral charge. This chapter argues that money innovators must acknowledge their position in a long history of powerful others descending upon the poor and their money. Building the future of money is simultaneously a claim on the future of society.