Mifos Platform for Financial Inclusion.

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Mifos Conference Rundown

One of our goals in 2018 was to be more active at conferences in getting the word out about the Mifos Initiative and the great work our community and ecosystem has been doing. To that end, we’ve had an active presence at a number of conferences this summer and a couple on their way this fall.

ApacheCon North America 2018

Next week I’ll be traveling to Montreal to give a talk at ApacheCon. Check out my separate post on ApacheCon to learn more about the Fineract Fintech track taking place on Tuesday.

Linux Foundation Open Source Summit Europe

In October, I’m going to cross over the pond to Edinburgh, UK to give a keynote at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit Europe. My talk will highlight the massive need to bring financial services to the more than 3 Billion underbanked worldwide and how we can only do that through the game-changing OPEN approach we’ve pioneered that unites open source technology, supported by open community and sustained by open business models.

This will be an awesome chance to promote our initiative and community to the broader tech community in Europe. Thanks to Dave Neary for the introduction and to Angela Brown and Jillian Hall for making this happen.

 

OSCON

We returned to OSCON once again for the 8th time and as is tradition we hosted a booth in the Non Profit Pavilion under the sponsorship of O’Reilly. 

Our booth really helped us capture and experience how big of a fintech presence there was at the conference; as compared to years past, the financial services sector has really been starting to embrace open source.  We were able to tell the story of our ecosystem and the innovation its enabled on top of our open API to representatives of companies including Square, Paypal, American Express, MasterCard, Capital One, Royal Bank of Canada, Farm Credit, Decred, Thomson Reuters, IBM, HyperLedger, Sovrin Foundation, and more. Read more

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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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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Google Summer of Code 2017 – 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 sixth time. Mifos X is an open source technology platform power by Apache Fineract for enabling financial inclusion to the poor. 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 30 to August 29th 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 now through April 03! You can apply from our organization page.

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Wednesday in Ecuador

Wednesday, July 14, 2016

The Mifos Innovation Team has finished their 3rd day of work in their trip to Ecuador. Javier started Wednesday off strong with yet another interview on TV. He discussed the benefits that Electronic Money can have on Financial Inclusion. He also discussed the integration of mobile money within the Mifos Platform.

The team then joined with one of our technology partners and met with the leading social-m2016-07-14-PHOTO-00000062ission bank in Ecuador. The team met for two hours discussing the Mifos operational model and giving demos of how the system will function. The leadership within the bank is eager to move forward with the Mifos Financial Inclusion Cloud!

Before the day was over, the team joined the audience of about 200 youth to listen to one of our team members, Luisa, give a talk. Luisa was talking on behalf of an organization called Global Shapers, and sharing her story to inspire others to create opportunities for themselves. Luisa’s talk was very inspiring, and a fantastic way to end the third day of the trip!

-Jacob Kobzi, Business Development Intern

Mifos in Ecuador

Hello Mifos Community,

There are still 2.5 billion people worldwide that do not have access to basic financial services. Financial inclusion is working to bring this number down. However, financial inclusion only works when available. It is costly to implement and difficult to access for many developing countries. This is why the Mifos Initiative has been working to develop Financial Inclusion 2.0, an innovative approach to allow every person access to financial services using just their phone.Mifos in front of Central Bank of Ecuador

Mobile Money in Ecuador

In 2013, Ecuador reported that there were more mobile phone lines than citizens in their country. Yet, 60% of the Ecuadorian population does not have access to financial services, and that number only gets higher in rural areas. Realizing this, the Ecuadorian government saw an opportunity where a mobile electronic payment system could be the answer to their financial inclusion problems. Ecuador implemented the first-ever state-run mobile electronic payment system that is low cost and easy to access for everyone that has a mobile phone. Read more

OSCON and the Growing Influence of Open Source Technology

Hello Mifos Community!

I’m back again with another post about yet another conference.

Over this past weekend, I was blessed with the ability to go to OSCON, an Open Source conference centered on the power that open source technology can have over a variety of industries, countries, and methodologies. From healthcare reform to open source cloud computing, this conference had an amazing variety of industries that were positively impacted by open source technology. To give you a glimpse of our weekend, I would like to both highlight a few of my favorite moments and give some insight into how the Mifos Initiative has both been a beneficiary and contributor to the open source movement.

OSCON general

Unlike most years, this year OSCON was held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Personally, I thought it was very powerful holding the conference in Austin, (a vastly different city than its predecessor Portland) as it shows how open source is now truly a national movement and is being embraced across the country, even in areas that are historically more resistant to change. With the new venue came a host of new organizations and new speakers, all with new views and stories on how open source has helped advance their respective fields in one way or another. Below are a few of our favorites:

Performance Case Study: Capital One’s quick shift from closed source to open source

This session was especially intriguing to me, as a large bank (Capital One) is finally starting to embrace the open source movement that we at the Mifos Initiative have been a part of since 2006. After the first few minutes of the session, it was easy to see the commonalities between the big banks and our open source initiative. One common thread was the idea that banks must be a technology company first. In other words, in order to be a successful organization, the bank had to produce a banking platform that was easily scalable, user-friendly, and customizable to suit client needs. Sound familiar? All of these features are what we at the Mifos Initiative hang our hat on and are what makes the open source movement so powerful. In our age of agility, scalability, and customization, big banks are beginning to realize the power that the smaller open source initiatives, like the Mifos Initiative, are starting to have on a global scale.

Modern JavaScript Architectures: Clients, microservices, and containers

This session was more technical than the other sessions I went to but nevertheless fit very well with the third generation of our Mifos platform. For those of you that don’t know, the third generation of our platform encompasses taking our current MifosX platform and converting it to a series of microservices that we will containerize and navigate using a variety of cloud-based apps. So, as you can already tell, this talk directly correlated to the work we are doing in the conversion from our current Mifos X platform to the third generation of our open source platform. While I am currently on the business side of the Mifos Initiative, this talk helped me visualize how our platform will be set up at the developmental level. It was a great way to learn more about the inner workings of our platform and see how and why we are following the popular trend towards microservices and cloud-based apps.

Want students who are ready to contribute? Here’s what they should know.

As a student at the University of Washington, this session also struck very close to home for me. I’m lucky to have gotten the opportunity to intern for a great organization that works in the open source community, but not everyone is as fortunate as I am. For those that do not get exposed to the power of open source technology, how do we, as teachers and industry professionals help mold the future developers of the world? As a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization, the Mifos Initiative deals with this issue quite often. While we hope to get interns that are well equipped to take on any project we give them, we realize that not everyone is set up for success coming out of college. In order to maximize the production of these interns, we realize that we have to utilize the techniques given in the session to make sure all our students are ready to contribute right away so our projects will get done faster and more developers will be getting necessary experience to help them start their open source development careers.

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OSCON booth

In addition to the new speakers and exhibitor crowd, we were happy to see that a few members from our Mifos community made the trek from Cameroon to learn more about our organization and our industry. Among them was Nyah Check, a good friend of Ayuk the head of Skylabase Solutions, our partner organization in Cameroon working on creating a customized Mobile Wallet/Mobile Money application integration with Mifos. Nyahis currently in the States trying to learn as much as he can about open source technology from the various conferences he’s attended. He hopes to bring this knowledge back to Cameroon so he can build on top of the Mifos banking platform to give needed support to his community back home. He is truly an inspiration to everyone at Mifos and is living proof of just one of the millions of people that we have reached through our open source banking platform.

To wrap up, I would just like to say a quick thank you to our very own director Director of Community Programs, Ed Cable. It was a pleasure running the booth with you and I had a great OSCON experience. I look forward to many more exciting adventures with the Mifos Initiaitive over the summer!

Signing off,

Drew Fass

4th Generation Mifos Intern

Accion Assesses Musoni App

Powered by Mifos, Musoni Receives High Praise

Musoni Systems worked closely with Accion’s Channels and Technology group on a comprehensive impact assessment of the Musoni App.  The app is designed to improve loan officer efficiency by digitalising the client registration, group registration and loan application processes. The app works in online and offline mode, and can also be used to view reports or to carry out PPI surveys. So far the app has been used to register over 40,000 clients and a similar number of loans.

While the app has always received positive feedback from end users, this was the first rigorous study into the impact the app has had on loan officer performance, branch cost savings and improved client experiences. We’re pleased to say that on all three of these, the app has proved itself an unqualified success.

Key findings of the case study were:

  1. Business Case: Digitalising operations resulted in the MFI realising an increase in income of $86,620 in the first year. As a result of this, launching the Musoni App resulted in a postive ROI in under 12 months
  2. Improved efficiency: Using the Musoni App increased the case load per loan officer by 68% while simultaneously reducing turnaround time (TAT) from 72 hours to 6 hours
  3. Cost Savings: The MFI realised cost savings of $27,246 in the first year of launching the app, achieved by promoting data entry staff into other roles and reduced stationary/printing costs
  4. Improved client experiences: Faster loan disbursements, no need to provide photos or ID photocopies and reduced potential for fraud all resulted in overwhelmingly positive feedback from clients
musoni field

Musoni Field Officer Registers Client

The Musoni App is provided as standard to any MFI licensing the Musoni System, alongside the mobile money integration, SMS module and system itself, providing a one-stop shop to any MFI looking to benefit from the latest technology.

On average, the five main branches recorded a 68 percent increase in loan officer caseload from January 2013 (pre-DFA) to December 2014 (one year after full rollout).”

Please click on this link, or the button below if you’d like to download the full Accion Case Study into the Musoni App. You can also learn more on the Accion CFI blog where they explain some of the benefits they’ve seen in other MFIs using tablets in the field.

To learn more about Musoni – visit their website.  See the impact these innovating people are making with their app built on top of the Mifos X platform.  As of this writing, Musoni serves more than 150,000 clients in 38 Financial Institutions in 9 Countries.  This count grows every day.  Impactful.

Congratulations on a job well done.

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.

 

 

Google Summer of Code 2014 – End Poverty. One Line of Code at a Time.

GSOC 2014 logo-blogThis 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 fourth time and our second consecutive year as an independent project. Mifos X is an open source technology platform for enabling financial inclusion to the poor. 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 19 to August 22nd and upon successful evaluation receive a $5500 stipend provided by Google. For full details on GSoC, read the FAQ and browse the program timeline – student applications open March 10! You can apply from our organization page.

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