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Fineract Fintech Track at ApacheCon North America 2018

Next week ApacheCon descends upon Montreal – we’ll have a large contingent of our community in  attendance and Fineract will take center stage with PMC VP, Myrle Krantz, giving a keynote entitled Banking on Open Source.

I’ll be giving a similar version of the talk James Dailey and I delivered at OSCON, Open Banking: Fueling Innovation on an Open Source Core Banking Platform. In this talk, I’ll show firsthand what Open Source Banking truly is by presenting four enterprise case studies on Fineract adoption, implementation, and contribution at financial institutions ranging from fintechs to microfinance banks.

This is my first ApacheCon and I’m looking forward to it – for the chance to put faces to names for the many ASF members I’ve interacted with on the lists and to attend sessions to further immerse myself in the Apache Way.  

For any of the Mifos or Fineract community in North America, I’d highly recommend you try to make it the conference because Tuesday, Sept 25, will house the Fineract Fintech track. Thank you to Rich Bowen for making this dedicated track happen.

Myrle Krantz, Apache Fineract VP will kick things off with a keynote that morning entitled “Banking on Open Source”. Next up will be Rajan Maurya sharing his experiences as an intern on Branchless Banking and Promoting Financial Inclusion in the Fragile States.  My talk on Open Source Banking will then follow and later in the day, Gaurav Saini will speaking about building an Offline-First Expense Manager App with Apache CouchDB.  Daniel Ruggeri of Mastercard will be giving his talk, Bringing Enterprise into the Open Source World  that fits nicely into the theme as it chronicles Mastercard’s Open Source contribution journey.

A big thank you also to the Apache Travel Assistance Committee whose generous travel sponsorship is enabling Rajan Maurya, Kumaranath Fernando, and Sanyam Goel to travel all the way from India to attend.

Brady’s First Time at OSCON

For those of you whom I haven’t had the opportunity to meet, my name is Braden McDarment. I am a junior at the University of Washington, Seattle campus, studying Political Economy and Economics.

Just a few weeks ago Ed Cable, James Dailey, and I drove down to Portland for the 20th anniversary of OSCON! The event was hosted at the Oregon Convention Center, where it will be held again next year. At the end of each event day I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with many renowned individuals of the open source community.

During the day Ed and I manned the Mifos Initiative booth. At the booth we informed attendees about our mission and how we go about tackling financial inclusion. The attendees asked several keen questions and were eager to learn more about how they could help our community grow. The discussions helped me broaden my knowledge about Mifos and the open source community.

Many of the attendees we talked to expressed interest in volunteering after learning more, and some even wanted to join the Open Source Fintech Force by donating to Mifos. You can also join the Open Source Fintech Force by donating today! Without your support Mifos won’t be able to reach the millions of people in desperate need of access to financial services. Click the link below to be a supporter.

DONATE NOW

Also at OSCON, I had the chance to attend a few of the talks. The subjects varied from blockchain to open banking. One talk that stood out to me was “Cloud-native Open Source on the Blockchain for Financial Inclusion” by Myrle Krantz. She is the VP of Apache Fineract and has been passionate about financial inclusion ever since she worked at Mifos. She spoke about how 10% of humanity lives on less than $1.90 a day, and how 2 billion people worldwide don’t have access to financial services. Mrs. Krantz discussed how Apache Fineract CN makes it easy for microfinance institutions (MFIs) to be more efficient and successful. Because many MFIs don’t want to host their own database, Apache Fineract CN is a perfect solution to this dilemma. I’m excited to see the impact Apache Fineract has on the world in the coming years.

Ed and James also led a discussion called “Open Banking: Fueling Innovation on an Open Source Core Banking Platform”. I recommend you can take a look at their slides here.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at OSCON. Being able to meet people at the other booths, as well as at our own, taught me a significant amount about open source and its community. I want to say thank you to O’Reilly Media, Inc. for putting on the event and to the attendees who expressed interest in helping the Mifos Initiative in the future. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together.

Cheers!

Star Contributor of the Month – Aleks Vidakovic

We are recognizing Aleks Vidakovic from Belgrade, Serbia as our newest Star Contributor! Aleks is one of our more seasoned community members who has had a major impact on the project through multiple generations of the code. Aleks first came to the community by way of Robert Jakech, helping build a brand new Mifos X UI for FINEM in Uganda. He then kicked off a major project with Gentera in Mexico. Apart from helping deliver a rock-solid customer experience for these institutions, Aleks has been an anchor in our community, both contributing and passing on the torch to new contributors. He’s been a sage and empathetic mentor for the past two Google Summer of Codes, first mentoring Sanyam Goel on Swagger integration and most recently Dingfan Zhou on the chatbot project. The patience and passion he puts into mentoring astounds me; it’s moving to see how dedicated individuals like Aleks are. Most recently, Aleks has also earned committership to Apache Fineract and is now finalizing the setup and configuration of the much-needed demo server for Fineract CN.

Join in giving congrats to Aleks who is one of the chillest guys around and would love to hear from you!

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Meet the 2018 Google Summer of Code Class of Interns

Google Summer of Codegsoc2016-sun-373x373 2018 is well underway so this blog post is admittedly a bit late. GSOC is now in its 13th year and we’re proud to be participating in GSOC once again for the fiftth time as the Mifos Initiative and the seventh year overall. 1264 students from 62 countries are working with a record 206 open source organizations this summer. This year will be our biggest year to date. We were able to select thirteen interns through the Mifos Initiative who are working alongside four interns from the Apache Software Foundation. Our students are working on mobile apps, web apps as well as back-end innovation and new modules on top of Fineract and Fineract CN. As the voice for the financial inclusion community within Apache Fineract, the Mifos Initiative looks forward to participating in GSOC for many years to come to deeply engage with the high number of students interested in Fintech and captivated by our mission.

This year, our interns are coming from five different countries with both India and Cameroon heavily represented and interns from Singapore and Mauritius for the first time. We have six interns working on mobile apps, three interns working on web apps, four interns working on new modules or the back-end for Fineract, and four interns working on the Fineract CN framework.

For our suite of Mifos X Mobile Apps on Fineract, we have three students continuing to extend them. Aksh Gautam, under the mentorship of Tarun Mudgal, will be extending our Android Field Operations App to Version 5.0, adding in additional offline capablities, new features, and enhancing the user experience. Saksham Handu, under the mentorship of Rajan Maurya, will be building out Version 3.0 of our mobile banking app, Mifos Mobile, adding chat/messaging support and additional functionalities. Lastly, Ankur Sharma, under mentorship of Puneet Kohli and Naman Dwivedi, is extending the two applications on top of our mobile wallet framework.

As Fineract CN begins to reach a point of stability, we’re focusing on building out client and user-facing mobile apps. Dilpreet Singh and Mohak Puri are both working with Rajan Maurya to build out Version 2.o of Fineract CN Mobile. Manish Kumar is working on the first client-facing mobile applicaition on top of Fineract CN.

On the back-end for Fineract, we’re looking to wrap up some eagerly awaited projects and release some new Mifos X innovation,Sanyam Goel is completing our much-anticipated Mifos payment gateway providing mobile money integration, under the mentorship of Steve Conrad and Rahul Goel. Kumaranath Fernando with the expertise of Avik Ganguly is tackling scalability enhancements to enable better performance for high client volumes. Dingfan Zhou is experimenting with some bleeding edge fintech applications by building out a chatbot and adapter for Fineract under the guidance of Aleks Vidakovic and Thynn Win. Likewise, Lalit Mohan, is helping us explore Machine Learning for the first time guided by Nayan Ambalia, Avik, and Mark Reynolds.

For the first time, we have students through both Mifos and Apache working with the core Fineract CN framework for the first time. Ebenezer Graham is building out a brand new SMS/email microservice with the mentorship of Isaac Kamga and Myrle Krantz. Courage Angeh is helping enable the rapid deployment of Fineract CN in the cloud through her containerization project with support of Victor Romero & Viswa Ramamoorthy. Ruphine Kengne and Pembe Miriam are developing out group lending and management features in Fineract CN at both the back and front-end with support from Awasum Yannick.

As we do each year, here’s a brief intro on each of our interns and stay tuned for a follow-up post with some fun facts on each of them.

Mobile Apps – Mifos X (Fineract)

Saksham Handu – India

 

 

 

 

  • Mifos Mobile 3.0
  • Mentor: Rajan Maurya & Ed Cable
Ankur Sharma – India

 

 

 

 

  • Mobile Wallet 2.0
  • Mentor: Puneet Kohli & Naman Dwivedi
Aksh Gautam – India 

 

 

 

 

  • Android Field Operations App 5.0
  • Mentor: Tarun Mudgal & Ishan Khanna
 

Mobile Apps – Fineract CN

Dilpreet Singh – India

 

 

 

 

  • Mifos Mobile 3.0
  • Mentor: Rajan Maurya
Mohak Puri – India

 

 

 

 

  • Mobile Wallet 2.0
  • Mentor: Rajan Maurya
Manish Kumar – India 

 

 

 

 

  • Mobile Banking App 1.0
  • Mentor: Rajan Maurya & Ed Cable
 

Mifos X Web Apps

Anwesh Nayak – India

 

 

 

 

  • Web App Rewrite to Angular 6
  • Mentor: Gaurav Saini & Pranjal Goswami
Ankit Ojha – India 

 

 

 

 

  • Online Banking App 2.0
  • Mentor: Raunak Sett
Abhay Chawla – India 

 

 

 

 

  • Self-Service User Admin Portal & Web App Rewrite to Angular 6
  • Mentor: Gaurav Saini & Maulik Soneji
 

Fineract & Mifos X Modules

Sanyam Goel – India 

 

 

 

 

  • Mifos Payment Gateway
  • Mentor: Steve Conrad & Rahul Goel
Dingfan Zhou – Singapore

 

 

 

 

  • Mifos Chatbot
  • Mentor: Aleks Vidakovic & Thynn Win
Kumaranth Fernando – Sri Lanka

 

 

 

 

  • Mifos X Scalability & Performance Enhancements
  • Mentor: Avik Ganguly
Lalit Mohan – India

 

 

 

 

  • Static Analysis of Apache Fineract
  • Mentor: Nayan Ambali & Avik Ganguly
 

Fineract CN

Courage Angeh – Cameroon 

 

 

 

 

  • Containerization & Deployment Using Docker
  • Mentor: Victor Romero & Visa Ramamoorthy
Ebenezer Graham – Mauritius

 

 

 

 

  • SMS/Email Microservice
  • Mentor: Isaac Kamga & Myrle Krantz
Ruphine Kengne – Cameroon

 

 

 

 

  • Group Loan Management Service
  • Mentor: Awasum Yannick & Ed Cable
Pembe Miriam – Cameroon

 

 

 

 

  • New Web UI for Fineract CN
  • Mentor: Awasum Yannick & Gaurav Saini

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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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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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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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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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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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