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+{% block body_content %}
+<h1>2021-11: &quot;Understanding and designing technologies for everyday financial collaboration&quot; published</h1>
+We are happy to announce that Belén finished her PhD thesis
+on&quot;Understanding and designing technologies for everyday financial
+collaboration&quot; which contains many inspirational ideas for future
+payment systems like GNU Taler:
+Perhaps enticed by the promise of reduced marginal costs per customer and other
+“operational efficiencies”, the financial industry seems to take for granted that
+introducing technology into their services delivers convenience and makes it easier
+for people to manage their money. The overwhelmingly positive discourse that
+surrounds financial technologies portrays them as the inevitable next step in the
+evolution of money, and as driving consumer empowerment by reducing costs and
+improving quality of service. Research, however, has linked those very same
+technologies to new and existing forms of financial exclusion. This raises the
+question of how we can design financial technologies that promote access and
+In this thesis, I take on this question by casting a critical lens over the design of
+financial technologies through experiences of financial difficulty and financial third
+party access. I conducted qualitative studies with a team inside the banking industry
+tasked with servicing customers deemed “vulnerable”; and with a group of people
+who live under the “double trouble” (Topor et al., 2016) of mental illness and
+financial difficulty. The latter trialled a new financial third party access digital service
+for 3 months. These varied perspectives on financial difficulty and third party access
+reveal the unintended consequences of introducing technology into our interactions
+with money, and the theories and assumptions concealed in the design of existing
+financial technologies.
+Based on the insights of these studies, and a synthesis of the literature on the
+nature of money, this thesis contributes alternative paradigms that may help us
+design financial technologies differently. Such technologies would reflect an
+understanding of money as a social relation, and of our finances as a collaborative
+endeavour. Rather than focusing on efficiency, resource optimisation and asset
+protection, they would encourage flexibility, complementarity, reflection,
+appropriation, positive forms of security, collaboration and participation. By
+designing financial technologies under different theoretical premises and with
+different priorities, we may promote access, fairness and democratic oversight in
+financial service provision, particularly for those experiencing financial difficulty.
+<h4>Download links</h4>
+<li><a href="/papers/thesis_belen_barros_pena.pdf">PDF (English)</a></li>
+{% endblock body_content %}