Webinar: Introduction to Mojaloop from the Gates Foundation

We’re pleased to have Matt Bohan and other members of the Gates Foundation lead a webinar giving an introduction and Q & A session on the recently released Mojaloop.
The webinar will be held on Wednesday January 10 at 1500GMT via GoToTraining.

Mojaloop is “open-source software for building interoperable digital payments platforms on a national scale. It makes it easy for different kinds of providers to link up their services and deploy low-cost financial services in new markets.”

At the Mifos Initiative, we believe that Mojaloop nicely complements the Mifos/Apache Fineract stack whereby we provide the core banking infrastructure for client and mobile wallet account management, a financial ledger, and portfolio account management needed by each Digital Financial Service Provider to uniquely identify accounts and initiate and record transactions on financial accounts.

While Mojaloop provides an open source platform enabling an internet of payments providing secure, low-cost, interoperable payments utilizing the following components:

Mojaloop includes four components: an interoperability layer, which connects bank accounts, mobile money wallets, and merchants in an open loop; a directory service layer, which navigates the different methods that providers use to identify accounts on each side of a transaction; a transactions settlement layer, which makes payments instant and irrevocable; and, components which protect against fraud.

To learn more about Mojaloop read the press release, view the FAQ, browse the repo and of course attend the webinar!

We look forward to being an active part of the Mojaloop community and are working on some proof of concept integrations between Mojaloop and Fineract 1.0 and Fineract CN.

Open Source from the Eyes of a GCI Student

This guest blog post is from Matt, one of our 2017-2018 Google Code-In participants. He penned this impressive piece for one of the tasks he claimed, “Write a blog post on why open source is valuable”.

Open source software is vitally important to the world of computer science and technology in general as it allows for many beneficial things to happen that are simply not possible with proprietary code and non open source code.

Firstly, open source benefits students and anyone interested in coding or technology as through this valuable resource they are easily able to study sample code and learn. If there were no open source software it would be much harder for them to learn well and get a good understanding of what coding looks like in practice. If young people learn how to code well they can apply that knowledge later on to help benefit all facets of society. It will not only benefit society but also the workforce as there will be more talent on the market meaning that companies should have the incentive to create more open source material as that is a way they could be investing in future talent. One last note on the economic side that is very important is the fact that since open source software is not made for profit and is usually free it allows for many people who cannot afford to experience technology to its fullest due to
financial issues to not only use it but also learn how it works. Read more

2017 Google Code-In is Underway

The Mifos Initiative once again has the honor of participating in Google Code-In, a fast-paced six-week long immersion of high school students into open source. For these pre-university students, our community provides a unique opportunity to learn about all aspects of open source collaboration, open source code development, and open source community all while helping to end poverty one line of code at a time.

For us, it’s a meaningful way to share the expertise of our community and our mentors in opening the eager eyes of these students to the many ways to contribute to open source in a technical and non-technical fashion. Since we work with so many new contributors coming in, it’s also a great way for us to improve all the points of entry to our community and have students participate in this as well. Google Code-In catalyzes a cycle creating new contributors and helps us cultivate our community to continue to grow organically.

Thank you to the hard work of all our mentors so far. So many of our past students have really been paying it forward to the next generation of contributors!

Impact Thus Far

We’re only 2 weeks into the program but we’ve already nearly surpassed the total number of tasks completed last year. In 2016 we worked with 34 students who completed 159 tasks. Just 14 days into this year’s program, we have worked with 100 students who’ve completed 141 tasks.  

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Star Contributor of the Month – Dilpreet Singh

We are recognizing Dilpreet Singh, our recent 2017 GSOC intern who worked on our mobile banking app, as our latest Star Contributor of the Month. Dilpreet has become an anchor in our community of mobile developers starting with the exemplary he work during GSOC in which he went above and beyond the requirements of his project. Since GSOC has concluded, despite a busy schedule with university, Dilpreet has continued to actively work on our mobile banking app and we look forward to his presence and leadership in helping to guide continued innovation on our mobile banking apps and more across the community.
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Partner Spotlight – Intrasoft Technologies

In this month’s Partner Spotlight we are featuring Intrasoft Technologies.  Intrasoft Technologies has been an active partner in the Mifos community since Generation 1 of our software. Zayyad and his team provide tireless support to more than a dozen organizations throughout Kenya. Zayyad was recently added as an Apache Fineract commmitter as he’s always sharing requirements with the community and helping us keep pace with the latest innovation in East Africa. He’s out there on the ground championing Mifos as well, helping us build our local chapter and host regional meetings. 

This regular blog series will shine the light on some of our top Partners. Not only do we want to recognize them for their accomplishments, we want others to learn from the approach they’ve taken to promote and implement Mifos.

Mifos Partners are one of the most crucial links in our community – they are the driving force that is promoting and supporting Mifos worldwide.  Aside from championing our product and bringing the Mifos technology to new markets, they act as the fundamental bridge feeding in MFI requirements to be developed by the community. Partners don’t stop there as many are also developing and localizing the product to fit their local market.  For all these reasons, we focus our full energy on making Partners successful – they are the primary channel to market, the eyes and ears on the ground, and the entrepreneurial force that will help us sustainably scale. We’d love to recognize your partner organization in this monthly spotlight so please reach out if you’d like to be featured.

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Financial Inclusion Week 2017 – Fueling Open Innovation on top of the Digital Rails

This past week we had the honor of being one of the more than sixty organizations participating in Financial Inclusion Week, a week of global conversation convened by the Center for Financial Inclusion on the most important steps to advance financial inclusion.

The Mifos Initiative hosted a webinar on November 3 titled Fueling Open Innovation on top of the Digital Rails. We were able to share our story as an open source pioneer and the stories of our innovators with more than 50 attendees, leaving them with tangible ways for them to innovate on top of our open source platforms.

As financial inclusion and the banking sector at large now just start to move towards “open banking,” we wanted to chronicle the journey we’ve been on the past decade as a pioneer of open source platforms for microfinance, financial inclusion, and now digital financial services.  The most impactful way to tell this story was to put our ecosystem on center stage. From fintech startups to financial institutions serving millions, our vibrant partner ecosystem has been able to focus on customer-facing innovation by building apps and not banking infrastructure. To make these lessons actionable and guide financial inclusion providers, banks, and fintech companies on their own journey to open innovation, we showcased our suite of mobile and web apps on top of our platform along with our forthcoming Generation 3 architecture Mifos I/O, soon to be released as Apache Fineract CN.

The most lasting takeway from the event was the chance to hear firsthand from our community on how they were able to use Mifos X and the Apache Fineract platform to dramatically accelerate the rollout of innovative digital financial services. Both Fiinlab of Gentera and RuPie were able to leverage a common technology platform and an open transparent community to focus on unique innovation for their customers.

View the webinar or the slides in their entirety.

Eduardo Licona

With SAP, in order to get to market with new functionality it took over a year. With Mifos, we were able to shorten development cycles to where we were releasing new functionalities each week. It was a complete difference to be working with Mifos than what we were doing with SAP. That’s because Mifos is really flexible and has such a strong API that were able to do it faster than on SAP.

Eduardo LiconaDirecdtor of Innovation Platforms

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Powered by Mifos – RuPie

This regular blog series will showcase partners and the innovative solutions they’ve built that are powered by the Apache Fineract and Mifos X platforms. These case studies will demonstrate your solution to end users who are seeking to use them as well as show other partners in the community how they too can leverage the Apache Fineract platform to build their own solutions powered by an open source core banking infrastructure.

RuPie is a fintech startup providing self-service urban microfinance via micro-loans to semi-skilled workers and small business owners entirely on mobile phone.  

Overview of the Team/Company

Nayan Ambali is the CEO of RuPie and a co-founder. As CEO he is responsible for strategic decisions and overall direction of the company, he also manages partnership relations. Nayan brings a total 12 years of banking and financial experience and specially around 8 years of rich experience in financial inclusion

Ramesh is RuPie’s Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for end-to-end management of loan portfolio. Prior to RuPie, Ramesh worked as operational head at HomeTriangle, managing around 500 service providers. Ramesh also worked with Yodlee, Redwood and played a key role in building a personal finance management platform.

Dhiru is the technical architect of RuPie’s tech stack. Previous to RuPie he worked with Arcot building 3D security and fraud detection for card payments then he moved to Komli Media, worked on digital footprint analysis and big data. Dhiru earned an Electrical Engineering degree from IIT Madras, where he was a college football team player.

We believe everyone deserves the ability to pursue more in life, We are committed to increasing financial inclusion around the world. We share our vision with Mifos Initiateve’s 3 Billion Maries and WorldBank’s UFA2020

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GSOC Mentor Summit – A First Timer’s Experience

Each year at the conclusion of Google Summer of Code, Google invites all mentor orgs to send two mentors or org admins all-expenses-paid for a weekend-long unconference at Google’s offices in Silicon Valley for mentors to share their GSOC experiences and collaborate on growing open source together. Since I’m so close by, I’ve always deferred to allowing our mentors from abroad this great privilege and reward. But this year when I learned four of our mentors would be coming from abroad (we got a bonus attendee for GCI participation and one more from the waitlist), I figured it was my worth my luck to try and get picked from the waitlist and make the 7 hour drive to Silicon Valley to attend.

Lucky enough to get chosen from the waitlist, I was so glad I had the opportunity to attend my first mentor summit as it was a memorable and eye-opening experience and I regret that I’d missed out on attending all the years before. Here’s a few reflections on the event and my hope that all of our mentors get the chance to experience the mentor summit for the first time as well.

Overall the event was unforgettable in that it was incredible to see how passionate so many individuals and organizations were about open source, to witness firsthand the breadth and diversity of the many GSOC projects, and to see firsthand how much impact GSOC has had over the years.

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Star Contributor of the Month – Naman Dwivedi

We are recognizing Naman Dwivedi, one of our recent GSOC interns who excelled in his project and has continued to contribute extensively since the summer concluded. From the start, we had heard great things about Naman and he delivered beyond our highest expectations; despite not having full clarity around requirements  during the summer he was able to build an entire mobile wallet framework architecture using the Android Clean Architecture approach and two well-designed apps powered by that framework, PixieCollect and MifosPay. Apart from being an Android wiz, Naman is always available, extremely patient, very thorough, and has a strong grasp of the business requirements and strategic importance of the applications he’s building. Since GSOC concluded, Naman has been actively maintaining his codebases, assisting with QA, and assisting in a strategy to help bring these solutions like PixieCollect to market. We look forward to leveraging the gifts and talents of Naman for many eyars to come.
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Fintech Forum: Digital Credit

Digital credit is the next great frontier for financial inclusion as mobile money coupled with big data analytics is offering unprecedented access to credit.

This round of the Fintech Forum looks at three recent articles that herald the scale, potential, and impact of digital credit but caution against the risks it poses to the consumer as well as the risk of unfettered growth leading us to another credit crisis and looming bubble.

There are numerous opportunities to leverage open standards and open platforms to enable more tailored product innovation, greater access and control of data to consumers, as well as better transparency. Already, a number of innovative fintech companies like Mines.io and RuPie are heeding our motto of Build Apps, Not Infrastructure using Mifos X and Apache Fineract as the banking core to power their digital credit solutions.

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