Star Contributor of the Month – Sundari Swami

We are recognizing Sundari Swami from Los Angeles as our newest Star Contributor! Sundari has more than 8 years of experience of working in marketing and dealing with big-data SaaS products; she currently serves as a Technical Product Manager at DataScience.com. Sundari has been with Mifos for several years now, playing a crucial role in the development of the Mobile Wallet 2.0 Framework. Since last year, Sundari has been helping write and gather requirements for the Mobile Wallet 2.0, and we cannot thank her enough for her continuous hard work! We commend Sundari for her persistence in continuing to volunteer with Mifos even after a gap between projects she was assisting on. She can always be counted on to be thorough and highly attentive to detail so we get our use cases right. Sundari’s commitment to serving those in need along with her tech and product management expertise makes her a triple threat that we could not be happier to have as a part of our Mifos community.

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Mifos Selected as Finalist for PayTech for Good Award

The Mifos Initiative is excited to announce that we have been selected as one of the finalists for the 2018 PayTech Awards! After entering in the Paytech for Good division, we are among the likes of DCR Strategies Inc, GoodBox, and NetSpend for the winning spot, which will be announced on July 13th in London.

The PayTech Awards, led by Fintech Futures and its renowned Paybefore brand, are used to recognize excellence and innovation in the use of IT in the finance and payment industry worldwide. So that being said, we could not be more thrilled to be short-listed for such a fantastic program!

The specific award that Mifos is up for, PayTech for Good, aims to honor a financial service or technology organization for its outstanding contribution to the community it serves. Just like Mifos, this award celebrates the use of collaboration, connection, and community to make a positive impact in the world.

While we strive to make financial inclusion more efficient and effective through our open source platform, our focus on innovation is what sets us apart from other finalists. We not only provide a world-class solution, but through taking advantage of open source technology, we can invite members of the community to innovate and stack on top of our platform. This way, instead of just creating one amazing solution by ourselves, we can harness the power of our greater community to innovate hundreds of incredible solutions. The unbeatable combination of technology and community creates such a meaningful impact, which then allows us to do as much good in the world as possible.

With an expert panel of judges selecting the winners soon, we can’t wait to see how it turns out! Thank you to the PayTech Awards, Fintech Futures, and Comms for Good for this wonderful opportunity!

Announcing Mifos X 18.03: Two-Factor Authentication, Data Import Tool Integration, Notifications, Wizard UI

We’re pleased to announce the release of Mifos X 18.03 release powered by Apache Fineract 1.1. This release includes several features and enhancements completed by our Google Summer of Code students in 2017. It also contains numerous bug fixes and minor enhancements led by Nazeer as well as members of the community.

At the Fineract platform level major new features include support for two-factor authentication, enhancement and integration of the data import tool, enhancement and integration of the notifications framework for staff notifications, support for adding notes to savings deposits and withdrawal transactions, UI for making ad-hoc reporting queries, and additional self-service APIs to support our mobile and online banking apps and extend our SMS campaigns module.

Full release notes can be found at: https://goo.gl/Y6cYMT

At the Mifos X Web App UI level, it contains all the UI screens for the above features as well as the work that Gopala did during GSOC in enhancing the UI including wizard layouts for product and account configuration, wizard views to support workflows via entity checks for data tables, and more.

Thanks to the many contributors that made this release possible. Thank you to Alex Ivanov and the mentorship of Avik Ganguly for the two-factor authentication work, to Kumaranath Fernando for the data import tool work with support of Kyriakos, Avik, and Nayan, to Courage Angeh and Adhyan Srivastava and the mentorship of Pranjal for the work on the notifications framework, to Nazeer for the many bug fixes, reviews, and small improvements he made, to Robert Ippez for the work on adding notes to savings withdrawals and deposits, to Nathan of Mentors International for sponsoring the UI for ad-hoc reporting queries, to Santosh for all his QA work, to Avik for review and prepping of the Fineract release, and to Madhukar for prepping the Mifos X release.

Read on for screenshots and an overview of each new feature.

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Fintech Forum: Loan Origination

For our latest round of the Fintech Forum, we’re combining several topics. At heart of this post is a guest blog from Gururag Kalanidhi of Habile Technologies looking at the Latest trends in Loan Origination. His post dovetails well with some of the research briefs that several of our GCI students did on digital credit. 

This research and the guest blog post nicely complement a couple ongoing conversations we’re having across the community related to the product roadmap as a whole for Fineract CN and how our ecosystem is leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to make faster and better credit decisions while also delivering more impactful products and services.

To give your feedback on what you’d like to see in Fineract CN in general but also specifically as it relates to loan origination, please fill out this quick survey

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Star Contributor of the Month – Steve Conrad

We are recognizing Steve Conrad, a full-stack developer at Dassault Systems in Minnesota, as our newest Mifos Star Contributor. Steve only came to our community in early January of this year but in that short time has become an anchor of the community and been adding vital support to the Fineract platform when we need it the most. He fixed a number of critical bugs in the most recent release, made Fineract compatible with MySQL 5.7 and is now leading efforts to integrate the Payment Gateway project into Fineract and build a lab environment integrating Fineract with Mojaloop. Steve’s passion and commitment to poverty alleviation along with his deep expertise has been on full display. He’s one of those transformative volunteers that can have a tremendous impact on our project and we look forward to his leadership in the community as a recently added Apache Fineract committer.
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2017 Google Code-In: A Closer Look

This year’s participation in Google Code-In was so overwhelming that we’ve split our recap into two posts. Last week we showcased the stellar work that are students delivered across all facets of our project and community. This week, we’re going to give you a closer look at the great minds behind all that work – the priceless young talent that will be shaping our planet for future generations to come. We’ve been lucky to work with them for seven weeks and hope to continue collaboration with them long into the future. 

In their own words, here’s their GCI experience and what they’ll be up to now that they’re not completing tasks for Mifos with great fervor. Our 2 grand prize finalists, Chirag Gupta and Matthew Katz, will be traveling to San Francisco with their parents for four day sin June for their prize. They will be joined by Sanyam Goel, who will be representing the Mifos mentors.

 

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Google Summer of Code 2018 – End Poverty. One Line of Code at a Time.

gsoc2016-sun-373x373This summer you’ll have the ability to change lives – three billion of them – one line of code at a time. The Mifos Initiative will be participating in Google Summer of Code for the seventh time. You’ll have the have the chance to build web and mobile apps for digital financial services or contribute to our award-winning Mifos X open source technology platform powered by Apache Fineract or brand new Apache Fineract CN application framework for digital financial services. Google Summer of Code is a global program sponsored by Google that offers students stipends to write code for open source projects.  Students accepted to the program will spend their summers coding from May 14th to August 14th and upon successful evaluation, receive a stipend provided by Google. For full details on GSoC, read the FAQ and browse the program timeline – student applications are open from March 12  now through March 27! You can apply from our organization page.

Want to learn more? Browse our ideas page for projects and links to all our code repositories.  Click below to view the screencast from our Ask Me Anything held on Thursday March 15 at 1200GMT.

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2017 Mifos Google Code-In Wrapup

It’s now time for our official wrap-up blog post for the 2017 Google Code-In, our third year of participation. This year’s program was so fast-paced and frenetic that I’ve needed to catch my breath before recapping. Coming up for air and reviewing all the completed tasks, I’m blown away by how much our students were able to get done and how valuable their work is for our community. As a whole across the entire program, participation in Google Code-In from pre-university students, grew by 265% versus last year with 3555 students from 78 countries completing 16,468 tasks. For the Mifos Initiative, individually, our growth was even greater with participation growing by 362% with 123 students completing 458 tasks, nearly three times as many as the 159 that were completed in the competition last year. A huge thank you to all of our mentors, many of them former GSOC students and even some former GCI participants for helping us handle this huge volume of contribution.

We’ll  do two blog posts to commemorate the awesome energy and passion for open source that we have catalyzed in these students. Today’s post will highlight the impressive contributions that were made across all five categories – code, documentation, QA, user interface, and outreach/research while our second one will give a closer personal look at our top five finalists – grand prize winners, Chirag Gupta with 66 tasks completed and Matthew Katz, and remaining finalists Janice Kim,  Muhammad Rafly Andrianza, and  Shivam Kumar Singh.

The level of detail and commitment to these tasks demonstrated by not just our grand prize finalists but our top fifteen students was astounding. They contributed numerous code fixes to the platform, our web and mobile apps including completion of all the remaining work for our Swagger API documentation. Some great bug reports and a helpful guide on submitting a good report came through on the QA front. On the UI/UX side, a number of nice mockups for our mobile and web apps were shared as well as beautiful designs for t-shirts, logos, and graphics that we’ve already been using in our marketing communications. We received strong contributions to improve our technical and user-facing documentation including detailed tutorial videos. Lastly, the students worked on incredibly thorough and detailed research including profiles on innovation labs, financial inclusion landscape studies, libraries of creative common images, catalogs of events and conferences to attend, FAQs and research briefs on topics like chatbots, competitive analysis, and more.

For all of this exemplary work, we’re trying to put it in practice and share it with the broader community so stay tuned to the code being shipped, seeing your design get implemented, reading your research on our wiki, or watching your video tutorial. A tremendous thank you to all 123 students that completed a task – your work is greatly valued and you futures are extremely bright!

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Mifos Welcomes Fintech Advisor, Vincent Alimi

The Mifos Initiative is glad to announce the addition of a new member to its team of business and technical advisors. Vincent Alimi will bring 15 years of experience in the fintech space and in mobile payments in particular. Mifos will benefit from Vincent’s expertise and experience on various topics such as product strategy and sustainability. He will also be involved in various strategic growth projects and partner relationship management.

Since 2003, focusing on mobile services and their security, Vincent has benefitted from working at the forefront of mobile payments at a time when the technology was in its infancy. In 2012, he earned a Ph.D. in Digital Payments from the University of Caen, France. Vincent joined Mobeewave in 2013, a company known for offering the next big thing in payment acceptance. He has held key technical and non-technical roles throughout his time there, and today is their Chief Growth Officer.”

“I’m looking forward to working closely with Vincent in growing our global ecosystem and strengthening the long term sustainability of our initiative,” said Edward Cable, President/CEO. “Vincent’s passion for financial inclusion and visionary insight into the latest fintech trends will help us position ourselves more prominently as a leader in digital financial services. His deep experience across the entire fintech spectrum from serving as an architect all the way up to a business development executive, will allow us to target strategic partnerships to augment our global reach and help shape our product roadmap to respond to the evolving needs of the sector.”

Star Contributor of the Month – Sanyam Goel

We are recognizing Sanyam Goel, our recent 2017 GSOC intern who worked on implementing all of the Fineract APIs into Swagger Open API format, as our latest Star Contributor of the Month. Sanyam took on this highly complex project with ease during the summer and then during Google Code-In worked extensively with our participants as a mentor to wrap the remaining Swagger work as well as mentor other tasks related to documentation and research. All in all, he helped to review or give feedback on nearly 60 tasks. Join us in recognizing Sanyam for his hard work as a GSOC intern, GCI mentor, and contributor the Fineract and Mifos communities for many years to come.
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