Imagining digital payments

This subproject by Sophie Mützel uses a collection of documents from policy makers, lobbyists, big consultancies, and media reports of the last 10 years, to trace industry-wide and third-party evaluators’ imaginaries and expectations at a macroscopic scale. The idea is to capture the field’s imaginaries and expectations from a plurality of perspectives of economic actors and third-party evaluators over a longer period of time. Using novel approaches of computational text analysis this subproject analyzes a corpus on global, Swiss, and Swedish developments.

This subproject builds on the PI’s prior published work on the payment industry (Mützel 2021), which delineated the industry’s three imaginaries of data monetization, payment growth, and payment experience. Moreover, this subproject also delivers syntheses of all other subproject. Research on future expectations have shown their formative effect on the presents and future. The project examines the expectations of users, retailers, banks, fintech and other intermediaries, i.e. what they say. Using qualitative and computational text-analytic methods, the analyses will highlight trajectories of expectations and their shifts and drifts. Additionally, the project examines the practices of users, retailers, banks, fintech and other intermediaries, i.e. what they do, using qualitative methods of ethnography and interviews. Together, this yields a three-tiered perspective on the uses, plans, and developments of digital payments with two analytical foci on practices and expectations in two different settings.