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Three Countries. Three Conferences. One Common Theme.

Now that the team has safely returned from travel to our three events – our presence at each one has confirmed that our next generation Mifos architecture is the right solution that is needed to guide the world towards Financial Inclusion 2.0. Each stakeholder is ready for this new era – partners building solutions, financial service providers needing greater efficiency to reach their clients, regulators seeking stability and control, and investors seeking transparency and impact.

At TechDays in Amsterdam, the need for the 3rd Generation of Mifos was confirmed by partners new and old. The growth of our partners like Musoni Services and Conflux Technologies showed that they’re reaching a critical point of scale where a new lightweight, cloud-native, and highly scalable architecture is needed. The direct presence of brand new partners confirmed that we are the innovation that powers innovators and that each day new partners are coming our way to build apps that are mobile-first and cloud-enabled.

At the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi, we confirmed the opportunity to set a standard for innovation and be the driving force behind Financial Inclusion 2.0.  The entire industry as a whole is aligning for this to be a reality – financial inclusion providers are ready to go digital and recognize its benefits, national regulators are fostering and advancing an enabling ecosystem, and the technology has evolved with unparalleled computing power available at low cost.

At the Global Microfinance Forum in Berlin, the focus was on investors but they all echoed the pain we’re addressing: costs are too high, access is too hard, innovation is too slow and change is needed. When they gave case studies on examples of successful innovation, they highlighted Musoni Services, one of our gold platform partners that is powered by Mifos X. Meeting these investors and apex organizations was great validation that we are the innovation that powers the innovators.

Craig and Markus will be providing more detailed recaps of our TechDays and the Global Microfinance Forum so I’ll give a more detailed recap on the Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi. Read more

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Mifos at the Microcredit Summit for the First Time

Mifos Initiative is honored to be a part of the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi. With its theme of Frontier Innovations for Financial Inclusion, it was the perfect time for us to attend and tell the world our story and journey of transformation since we emerged from the Grameen Foundation. We have been a technology pioneer for microfinance, then financial inclusion, and how will the lead way for Financial Inclusion 2.0.

This is personally my first time at a Microcredit Summit event and of course the venue, the Etihad Towers at Jumeirah is impressive but the buzz and energy of 1000 delegates from 60 different countries is indescribable. Read more

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Mifos Tech Days 2016 Is Kicking Off

Our technical community has come together for several days of innovation, insight, and collaboration into the next generation of the Mifos technology. It might be cold outside in Amsterdam, but inside it’s warm and energetic as ideas come to life as the brilliant talents and passions in our community unite. Once again it’s great to see many familiar faces from our community along with new innovators that are looking to build impactful solutions on our platform.

As the first gathering of our developers as the Fineract community, we’re eager to introduce the third generation of our Mifos software and catalyze our first partners and contributors in building on it and bringing it to market. We’ll be recording all the sessions from TechDays so stay tuned as we share updates from the event.

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2014 Mifos Annual Report

2014 was a breakthrough year for our community as the Mifos X platform established a foothold around the globe and we proved that a platform-centric and partner-driven approach can achieve tremendous scale and impact. Take a few moments to look back at the major milestones from the past year and all the community members who made these accomplishments possible.

At a glance in 2014

  • 2.6 million clients were reached by 110 financial institutions supported by 40 local tech partners across 33 different countries.
  • 80,000,000 transactions were processed on the platform with more than $791,000,000 in loans being managed.
  • 11,630 downloads of our software from 150 countries

Mifos Events Round-Up

This summer has been a busy one as Mifos team members have travelled around the country educating various sectors on the powerful opportunity to eliminate global poverty through open source technology solutions for financial inclusion. While the audiences have been diverse, ranging from open source developers to credit union executives to FinTech innovators, the message is the same: join our global collaborative community and help us in our mission to bring financial services to the 2 Billion Unbanked.

We wanted to take a quick look back at the conferences we’ve been at and a couple more we’ll be speaking at this upcoming month.

  • SOCAP 15 – San Francisco, CA (coming up!)
  • FinDEVr SF 2015 – San Francisco, CA (coming up!)
  • SpringOne2GX – Washington, DC
  • FinovateFall 2015 – NYC, NY
  • 2015 World Credit Union Conference – Denver, CO
  • OSCON 2015 – Portland, OR

Read more

Mifos, SACCOs and Credit Unions

Mifos, SACCOs and Credit Unions

The Perfect Marriage

If ever two movements were meant to work together, it is the credit union movement and the Mifos initiative.  We have a shared mission to end poverty, we have shared principals, member control, independence and cooperative methodologies. Together we can accomplish a lot.

The Mifos Initiative was honored to host a webinar “Transforming Financial Inclusion: Mifos, SACCOs & Credit Unions” attended by 130 financial inclusion influencers, developers, volunteers and financial institutions – all focused on the same mission – bringing financial services to the 3 billion unbanked in the world.  Cooperative growth and the strong alignment between Mifos & Credit Unions was the main theme of the presentation.

From its very origin, the credit union community has been dedicated to helping one another grow since its German beginnings in the mid 1800s.  Picture1Because of people wanting to help people by pooling their money to make small loans, the credit union movement was born.  Through a spirit of cooperation, credit unions rapidly spread throughout Europe, India, North America, South America, Africa and the rest of the world.

The Mifos platform began with similar humble roots in microfinance providing a free and open source lending platform to reach the unbanked.  Because of people wanting to help people gain effective and afformifos-tag-transparentdable technology, the Mifos Initiative was born.  Today Mifos X has extended its reach to all types of financial service providers – Cooperatives, SACCOs, Credit Unions, Banks and even runs as the core system for sophisticated financial delivery systems.

Today the unserved are in emerging markets around the globe.  These markets are all about digital financial services.  We are witnessing considerable growth in in digital payments, in remittances, and in mobile money.  To be a modern financial institution – even in the most remote parts of the world – we need to have a modern connected core banking system.  Obviously this needs to be VERY inexpensive.  Mifos X being free and open source is that system.

Mifos technology is the future of financial services.  Everyone is moving into this brave new world of digital, cloud based service delivery; when you adopt  Mifos, you will be miles ahead and ready for the challenges of tomorrow.

Take some time to look at the recorded webinar and see how – together – we make impactful change.

 

 

2015 Mifos Community Choice Awards – Honoring our Finest

Throughout the year, so many acts of kindness, ingenuity, and dedication go unheralded. Now in their second year, we formally recognize those community members who through the leadership and service to the project, serve as shining examples to the entire ecosystem of how we can each do our collective part to create a world of 3 Billion Maries. The post below recaps our Community Choice Awards  dinner which took place on March 12, 2015 at during our Global Summit in Sharjah. Over a fine dinner and some impromptu entertainment led by Amit Jain, we honored our finest community members:

  • Most Innovative MFI (sponsored by Google): Elevate Africa
  • Most Dedicated Platform Solution Partner: Musoni Services
  • Most Dedicated Deployment Partner (sponsored by ThoughtWorks): Intrasoft Technologies
  • Technical Volunteer of the Year (sponsored by Liberty Mutual) –  Markus Geiss
  • Non-Technical Volunteer of the Year – Dayna Harp
  • Distinguished Service Award –  Nayan Ambali

Read more

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Star Contributor of the Month – Ishan Khanna

 

Meet Our Star Contributor for March 2015 – Ishan Khanna

Ishan entered The Mifos Community as a Google Summer of Code 2014 participant where he grabbed hold of Android Client and built out the native Android field operations app for Mifos X users. Over the course of last summer, Ishan took the community from no mobile app to full functionality. His work can be seen in the Mifos Android Client User Guide.

IK SummitIshan didn’t stop there. He has been active in the Community ever since – even though he has a full-time job with SeekSherpa. He has contributed major bug fixes and engaged others in the community. During the 2015 Summit, he made contributions to several partners including FINA in Georgia to help get their remote app to full functionality. Tengiz Merabishvili from FINA says, “Ishan helped us a bunch, he is a great developer. He is very energetic and knowledgeable. He is a hard worker and once he sets his mind to do something, he always gets it done. I enjoyed our brief time working together, and learned a lot.”

In Ishan’s own words, “I am an insatiable geek, striving for perfection in software.  I love giving Tech Talks and motivating people about FOSS Development.” He has two and one-half years Android Platform experience. He has a gained good grip on Java, Android SDK, Git, Gradle and other related technologies in this period.

Q.  On what projects are you currently working?

A.  I’m working on an app that will allow travellers to connect with locals and change the way travellers see a city these days. TL;DR – Disrupting the Conventional Travel Experience.

 Q.   What is most rewarding about working with the Mifos Community?

A.  The opportunity to meet, work with and learn from people in Global Mifos Summit, having experience in the industry more than my total living age. And to represent Mifos Initiative at Google Summer of Code Reunion in San Jose, California in October, 2014.

 Q.  How do you play when you aren’t working?

India Love in DubaiA.  When I am not working I am usually digging into new frameworks, languages and tech blogs. Find food across the world through YouTube. Or watching “The Big Bang Theory”.

Perhaps painting his face in support of India while in Dubai slipped his mind. . .

Thanks Ishan for your contributions and your joyful spirit!

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The Roots of The Mifos Initiative

As told by James Dailey, Chief Innovation Officer, at the 2015 Mifos Summit

james-headshotHere is my Mifos story. Back in November 2001 I took a trip to visit a microfinance program outside of Hyderabad, India. I met a group of women who had gone through a process of learning how to save first, then to take out a loan – Microfinance-101.  There were mountains of paper forms: forms for groups, for ledgers, for receipts, for new loans, for repeat loans filled out by the loan officers and for processing at a branch office.   Aside from being profoundly humbled by the dedication these women had to bettering their lives, I realized that data really mattered to MFIs! Providing a service in the field efficiently and effectively mattered AND data enabled that.

I decided to stay the night in the branch office so I could be at the morning borrower meeting. That night, we were literally locked into the same room as the safe with a guard and shotgun downstairs and another outside.  As I fell asleep staring at stacks of paper forms, and imagining similar rooms, thousands of them across the world, I had an epiphany: there had to be a better way.  4140326923_3473a3a7ea_o

As I watched the data being entered into a PC the next day, I came to understand that there was no easy ‘low cost’ system for microfinance operations. Instead they and many others had built their own portfolio systems, or were trying to or they were working with under capitalized software companies.  MFIs implementing their own systems made as much sense as everyone writing their own operating system, so that’s when an idea popped in: Why not an open source, community driven operating system for financial services? Read more

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How the Silk Road turns into a path to meet Friends

Contributing the first post in our summit wrap-up blog series is Markus Geiss, who attended his first Mifos Summit, and will soon be joining the team full time as Chief Architect. Read on to hear Markus’ tale of his time in Sharjah.

On Monday March 9th I boarded the plane to fly to Sharjah and meet with the Mifos Community at our annual summit. I was all alone and didn’t know what to expect. As I left Sharjah on Friday March 13th my heart was filled with impressions and new friends.  What happened?

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It all started immediately upon my arrival in Sharjah. I met the Conflux Gang right at the airport. As we reached the hotel a crowd of people from all over the world already awaited us and gave us a hearty and warm welcome. During the course of the following three days it simply felt like meeting good old friends who we have not seen for a while. Read more