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.
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.
Google Summer of Code 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
|Ankur Sharma – India
|Aksh Gautam – India
Mobile Apps – Fineract CN
|Dilpreet Singh – India
|Mohak Puri – India
|Manish Kumar – India
Mifos X Web Apps
|Anwesh Nayak – India
|Ankit Ojha – India
|Abhay Chawla – India
Fineract & Mifos X Modules
|Sanyam Goel – India
|Dingfan Zhou – Singapore
|Kumaranth Fernando – Sri Lanka
|Lalit Mohan – India
|Courage Angeh – Cameroon
|Ebenezer Graham – Mauritius
|Ruphine Kengne – Cameroon
|Pembe Miriam – Cameroon
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.
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.”
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.
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.
On August 22, 2017, representatives of the Mifos chapter of Ecuador, participated in an event held by Red de Instituciones Financieras de Desarrollo (RFD) to impact the broader financial inclusion community in Ecuador. This project seeks to promote a space for the construction of a National Financial Inclusion Policy, under a broad concept that is not only limited to access and use of financial services, but also proposes the creation of an adequate environment, both in the regulatory sphere, and in enhancing the capacities of the population through financial education, under criteria of protection to the financial user.
These essential pillars of Financial Inclusion, implemented in a joint way, will have a greater probability of impact on sectors excluded populations, to generate processes of economic growth and employment
Quito Chapter president, Jorge Moncayo, participated on this panel whose objective was to have a space for dialogue and proposal by key actors in the process of constructing the national policy for financial inclusion in order to know their criteria and mechanisms of contribution in relation to the proposal presented by RFD. The 60 minute discussion was moderated by Yamile Pinto – Chief of Institutional Strengthening of RFD who conduct two rounds of questions for participants at the table with the following approach:
- What is your analysis regarding the current situation of Financial Inclusion in Ecuador and against this what is your criterion regarding this initiative to have a national policy?
- How would their organizations be inserted in the process of construction of this national policy? What would be your contributions and / or proposals in this construction process?
After the two rounds of questions there was an open space of interaction with the audience for approximately 20 minutes.
The Quito Mifos Chapter is looking forward to more participation in local fintech and financial inclusion events and will soon be hosting its own events to advanced thought leadership in financial inclusion and hackathons to promote innovations in technology for financial inclusion.
Google Summer of Code 2017 will soon be underway. GSOC is now in its 13th year and we’re proud to be participating in GSOC once again for the fourth time as the Mifos Initiative and the sixth year overall. This year will be our biggest year to date. We were able to select twelve interns from our pool of more than 90 applicants. We are very grateful for Google to allocating us so many slots to allow us to pick from the many impressive students that applied, especially amongst mobile and web developers where we had an overwhelming number of applicants. 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 we’ll have interns representing six different countries and four different continents, once again working on all components of the Mifos X stack that’s powered by Apache Fineract. On the front-end we have 4 students that will be working on various features of our AngularJS web apps under the mentorship of Gaurav Saini, Pranjal Goswami, and new mentors Maulik Sonaji and Vinay Saini. On the mobile apps side of things, we have 4 students working on various Android apps powered by our stack; they’ll be mentored by Ishan Khanna, Satya Naryan and first-time mentor Puneet Kohli. On the back-end, working on either new platform features, analysis, or modules integrating with Mifos X, we have 4 students as well being mentored by Antony Omeri, Avuk Etta and new mentors, Kyriakos Patsias, Avik Ganguly, Dhirendra Pratap, and Mark Reynolds.
Tarun Mudgal and Mayank Jindal, both 2016 Mifos GSOC aspirants, will be continuing the work that Rajan led in 2016 and extending offline functionality, building new features like the collection sheet and more to deliver Version 4.0 of our Android Field Officer App. Dilpreet Singh will be building on top of the Android self-service app by improving its usability, and adding in additional features like mobile money integration. Naman Dwivedi will be working on a brand new project, building out a modular mobile wallet framework that integrates with the UPI in India.
Gopala Krishnan will be working on our re-skinned community app by increasing usability and redesigning screens and workflows. Raunak Sett will use our self-service APIs to build the first self-service web app for Mifos X. Mohit is going to be completing making the web app available offline in Chrome browsers and Courage Angeh is extending the notifications framework further throughout the web app and integrating with other Mifos X interfaces.
On the back-end we have quite a bit going on. Alex Ivanov, our 2014 GCI grand prize winner, has returned to the community and will build out two-factor authentication. Kumaranth Fernando, another 2016 GSOC aspirant, will be working on the oft-requested enhancements and integration to our data import tool. Vladimir Fomene will be genericizing and enhancing the mobile money gateway kicked off by Daniel in 2016. Thisura Phillips will be conducting extensive static analysis and fixing the vulnerabilities he finds on Apache Fineract.
A big shout out to all our mentors without whom Google Summer of Code couldn’t be possible. They’ve already dedicated many hours interviewing candidates, reviewing pull requests, and helping refine the scope of the various projects. But their work has just begun and they’re eager to help introduce another generation of software developers to open source while fighting poverty with financial inclusion.
While not officially part of the Mifos Initiative for Google Summer of Code, we have three other projects as part of Apache Fineract including the first mobile field officer app on Gen 3 being led by Rajan Maurya, phase 2 of the credit bureau integration module being led by Nikhil Pawar, and live REST API documentation using Swagger being led by Sanyam Goel.
For all of these projects, we’re still nailing down the exact use cases and scope of work, so please respond to the ongoing discussions on our mailing lists to provide feedback and suggest what you need.
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.
|Tarun Mudgal – India
||Mayank Jindal – India
||Dilpreet Singh – India
||Naman Dwivedi – India
Front-End & Web Apps
|Gopala Krishnan – India
||Raunak Sett – India
||Mohit Bajoria – India
||Courage Angeh – Cameroon
Back-End & Modules
|Alex Ivanov – UK/Bulgaria
||Vladimir Fomene – Ghana
||Kumaranth Fernando – Sri Lanka
||Thisura Phillips – Sri Lanka
Here’s another blog post from our community development intern, Alex Moses, as we returned back to OSCON for the 7th time.
I’m back again with another post about another conference! Just two days after I returned home from LinuxFest Northwest, I was boarding a Boeing 737 destined for Austin, Texas. I was heading down to the Lone Star State for OSCON (Open Source Convention).
When I arrived in Austin, I was finally introduced to our President/CEO, Ed Cable. Ed and I ran a booth in the Expo Hall, which was located at the Austin Convention Center. Now I would say that OSCON is like LinuxFest Northwest but on a greater scale, but that wouldn’t do it justice. The Convention Center is enormous and there were times I feared getting lost!
Ed and I were joined at the booth by two great colleagues, Isaac Kamga and Nikhil Pawar. Isaac lives in Cameroon where he works for Sky.labase, one of our outstanding partner organizations. Nikhil is currently a student that has previously worked with Mifos during Google Summer of Code, and he is working with Apache Fineract this summer.
For those whom I have not had the pleasure to meet yet, my name is Alex Moses! I am a freshman studying Finance at the University of Washington Seattle campus. I began my internship with The Mifos Initiative a little over a month ago and they are already sending me off to conferences!
For the first weekend of May I traveled north to Bellingham, Washington for LinuxFest Northwest with a previous Mifos intern, Drew Fass. The event was graciously hosted by Bellingham Technical College and introduced me to an array of interesting and inspiring individuals.
Drew and I conducted a booth where we spread the social mission of Mifos and informed the attendees about the work of Mifos. The attendees of the conference asked insightful questions and were eager to grab our paperwork to learn more about the Initiative. Additionally, we met motivated individuals seeking to contribute to our mission through volunteering.
WEBINAR: Friday August 9 1400GMT - Digital Transformation: Demo of Payment Hub & API Gateway funded by DIAL - mailchi.mp/mifos/mifos-partner…