Take a look at back at some highlights from 2020 as we positioned Mifos and Fineract as foundational digital public goods, providing open building blocks to help rapidly mobilize accounts and payments amidst the response to COVID-19.
Take a look at back at some highlights from 2020 as we positioned Mifos and Fineract as foundational digital public goods, providing open building blocks to help rapidly mobilize accounts and payments amidst the response to COVID-19.
The Mifos and Fineract communities are honored to have Mifos and Fineract be nominated and selected as Digital Public Goods by the UN-supported Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA). Additionally, both Mifos and Fineract along with OpenG2P, Mojaloop, and MOSIP were selected as part of the 7 key projects by the DPG Alliance’s Financial Inclusion Community of Practice (CoP) to help advance the Secretary General’s digital cooperation roadmap to achieve greater financial inclusion and meet the sustainable development goals by 2030.
The DPGA convenes expert Communities of Practice (CoPs) to support the discovery, assessment and advancement of digital public goods with high potential for addressing critical development needs in low- and middle-income countries. The Financial Inclusion CoP spent the last few months identifying and shortlisting technologies that, in a given country, can be used by a range of service providers and innovators. These technologies can be built on across sectors and have features that can allow countries to freely adopt and iterate them to meet local needs.
The DPGA along with a growing international consensus has recognized digitization of public financing as a key driver of financial inclusion at scale with government payments estimated at $220-$320 billion annually by the IMF. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened this need to equip governments with the ability to rapidly provide accounts and disburse payments to weather the economic impact of the health crisis.
Mifos and Fineract have long aimed to provide a common set of open source building blocks for composable financial services and are happy to see the sector recognize the need to reduce duplicative efforts and formally identify and make discoverable a set of Digital Public Goods and enable collaboration and innovation around them.This critical recognition and endorsement of Mifos and Fineract as these foundational digital public goods will help us in advocating for the adoption and deployment of Mifos for G2P scenarios as countries across the globe stabilize and rebound from the pandemic.
Mifos, the global fintech thought leader and pioneer of innovative open source banking technology for consumer financial services, has been recognized as a 2020 Benzinga Global Fintech Listmaker for Best API.
The official Benzinga Fintech Listmakers comprises 250 carefully vetted and renowned companies and executives who are striving to revolutionize the fintech industry. From deeply established companies to the newest startups, this group is impacting sectors like payments, banking, investing, technology and financial literacy.
Mifos originated the concept of Open Source Banking through a core banking platform that is open source from the ground up with a full set of APIs to build from. As the DNA of financial services that can be expressed in many ways, Mifos and Apache Fineract provide a set of open source building blocks that can be composed into financial services of any form. Read more
This month marks nearly five years since The Mifos Initiative began the process of donating the Mifos X software to the Apache Software Foundation leading to the formation of the top-level project, Apache Fineract. We’re proud to see how the community has continued to grow and evolve with the first ever Fineract track taking place at this year’s ApacheCon, which is going completely virtual this year as ApacheCon @Home.
Throughout this time the Mifos Initiative has continued to act as a thought leader for democratizing financial services while stewarding the ecosystem of companies developing solutions and contributing to the upstream development on Apache Fineract. Members of the Mifos team will be leading a number of talks and moderating several panels which will showcase this ecosystem and the roadmap we’re advancing to position Apache Fineract as both a foundational digital public good and disruptive open source core banking platform.
ApacheCon @Home is completely virtual this year and will be held September 29 to October 2 from xyz to xyz. View the Fineract track agenda for details on each session and register for the conference, here: https://hopin.to/events/apachecon-home. During the three day Fineract track, spearheaded by Javier Borkenztain from Fiter, there will be a range of talks and panels highlighting the past, present, and future of Fineract.
James Dailey, the current chairman of the Mifos board and the visionary behind Apache Fineract which originally started out as MOAP, the microbanking architecture project nearly two decades ago, will moderate a panel looking at The Present of Fineract and will give a glimpse into the future by participating in a panel envisioning Fineract in 2030 and leading a talk on Open Source as a Counterweight to PlatFins.
Michael Vorburger, longtime Mifos and Fineract volunteer who recently joined the Mifos Initiative board, will share his efforts in catalyzing upstream development across the community during his Fineract: Reinvigorating Community Talk which has been made possible through the development infrastructure he built out and will showcase during his Running Fineract.dev like a Cloud Native SRE session.
President/CEO of the Mifos Initiative, Edward Cable, will moderate a number of different panels which showcase the expertise of our ecosystem, the breadth of use cases for which they’ve deployed Fineract, and the roadmap of how Mifos will help to guide the ecosystem in evolving Fineract as an end to end open source architecture for composable financial services.
Apache Fineract, as a flexible and scalable account and wallet management platform is the critical foundation for enabling real-time payments adoption, fueling mobile innovation at both a consumer as well as delivery channel level, helping governments digitize large scale cash transfers, and leveraging the power of data science to deliver more impactful financial services.
This past week we kicked off the 2020 Google Summer of Code. This year marks the 16th year for GSOC with Mifos participating for the 7th time independently and 9th year overall. As our stack of open source building blocks for financial services continues to grow, so does our class of interns – this year will be our largest class to date with 17 interns participating in GSOC through the Mifos Initiative along with three GSOC interns under the Apache Software Foundation working on Fineract and one Outreachy Intern for Mifos sponsored by DIAL to work on Apache Fineract.
Working with an intern class of this size across all the projects and repositories between Mifos and Fineract will be a challenge that requires the effective participation of our community in helping to welcome these interns, provide feedback on their work, and to review and merge the contributions they are making. We are eager to incorporate the enhancements they’ll be making to our existing repositories and the new projects they will be starting but most importantly being able to pass the torch onto the next generation of our open source fintech force, who will become the future leaders of our community and fintech innovators blazing new trails. We will have eight interns working on our suite of mobile apps, five interns working on our web apps, four interns working on integration and new plugins/modules, and four interns working directly on Fineract 1.x.
For our mobile apps, the primary focus areas will be integrating our customer-facing apps via Open Banking APIs and an API Gateway, enhancing functionality and user experience, deepening the integration with Payment Hub EE, along with rewriting apps into Kotlin to enable cross-platform development, and even abstracting out common code into an SDK and building a brand new app for third-party fintechs. Shashank Priyadarshi, will be working under the mentorship of Abhilash Gunasegaran and Saransh Sharma on our Android Client 7.0 while Ahmad Jawid Muhammadi will be working with support from Rajan Maurya on Fineract CN Mobile 4.0. Chinmay Kulkarni will also be working on our Android field operations apps by abstracting out common features into an SDK with support from Ishan Khanna. For our customer-facing apps, Shivangi Singh will be working on Mifos Mobile 5.0 under the mentorship of Sashank Mishra and Saksham Handu. Garvit Agarwal will be working on Mifos Mobile CN 3.0 with Abhijit Ramesh as his mentor. Ashwin Ramakrishnan will also be working on our customer-facing apps but converting them to Kotlin. Devansh Aggarwal will be working on our Mobile Wallet 4.0 with Shivansh Tiwari and Naman Dwivedi as his mentors. Ankur Sharma, a returning GSOC intern, will work on building brand new open banking fintech app with Naman, Rajan, and Istvan Molnar as his mentors.
On the web front, we will aim to complete the rewrite of our web-app, build a more polished and streamlined reference UI for Fineract CN, enhance our online banking app, and build a configuration wizard and extend our Operations UI for Payment Hub EE. Two interns, Karan Takalkar and Muskan Khedia, working with Abhay Chawla and Jivjyot Singh, will be focused on completing the remaining 40% of our new web app in Angular and getting all the testing coverage in place to make sure it’s production-ready. Manish Kumar, another returning GSOC intern, will work under Ankit Ohja on our Online Banking App 4.0. Ashutosh Sharma will split his focus on two sub-projects, a self-guided configuration wizard on the new web-app with support from Bharath Gowda, and adding new screens and functionalities to the Operations UI for Payment Hub EE with support from Adam Saghy. Abhijeet Khangarot will be working on a brand new reference UI for Fineract CN focused on digital and challenger banks with support from Pranjal Goswami, Gaurav Saini, and Giorgio Zoppi.
On integrations and additional modules for Fineract, we’ll continue to deepen our payments integration, explore more concepts in machine learning and build out more components for decisioning and origination. Subham Pramanik will be building out the Payment Hub EE connector for the GSMA Mobile Money API under the mentorship of Avik Ganguly and Rahul Goel. Finalizing our credit bureau integration module, will be Rahul Pawar, with mentors, Nikhil Pawar and Manoj VM, to guide him. Mehul Arora, will be completing our Machine Learning Credit Scorecards project under the guidance of Lalit Mohan. Yash Khare will be working with Nayan Ambali as his mentor on completing the Vision PPI project.
We have a stellar class of GSOC interns from ASF and Outreachy working on some critical upgrades, enhancements, and testing improvements to Fineract 1.x to make core platform more stable and and production-ready to be a rock-solid upstream codebase for others to continue to innovate from. Manthan Surkar will be tackling the expansive code refactoring across the platform along with completing Swagger API documentation and addressing issues in our backlog under the mentorship of long-time and returning mentor, Michael Vorburger. Yemdjih Kaze Nasser is surmounting the much-needed migration of our ORM from OpenJPA to Eclipselink with support from Awasum Yannick, Courage Angeh, and Sanyam Goel. Percy Ashu with the guidance of Awasum will be addressing vulnerability found in code scanning along with improving testing coverage of the platform. Natasha Narajan, part of the Outreachy program that we’re participating in with support from DIAL, is being mentored by Michael Vorburger and focusing on completing numerous tasks and issues from our backlog related to strengthening and hardening Fineract 1.x.
Read on for a brief professional intro for each intern and their project and stay tuned for our second round of posts introducing some fun facts about each intern. Feel free to find them on the lists or Gitter and welcome them to the community. Throughout the summer, we’ll have showcases of their work during the community meetings.
This 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 ninth 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 18th to August 17th 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 16 through March 31! You can apply from our organization page.
Want to learn more? Browse our ideas page for projects and links to all our code repositories.
To help aspiring applicants and answer any questions related to ideas or improving your applications and proposal, we’ll be holding a Mifos Google Summer of Code AMA on Tuesday, March 24.
We are pleased to formally announce the newest member of our board of business and technical advisors, Ali Hussein Kassim. Ali is a true visionary in the fintech world and will use his expertise and critical insight into the sector will help shape the ongoing product and community development strategy and advance our sustainability endeavors. Ali wears many hats across the African fintech landscape and has already been advising us and helping connect Mifos with new opportunities throughout 2019.
Connect with Ali on LinkedIn as he’s certain to spark up a through-provoking and insightful conversation with you.
Join us in welcoming Ali; we look forward to his deeper role in helping the ecosystem grow and establish a stronger foothold for Mifos across the African fintech market.
Here’s a bit more on Ali: Ali is the CEO of FinteXX Technology Ltd, a Pan-African Fintech company that enables the financial ecosystem to utilize digital technologies towards enhancing efficiency, bring innovative financial solutions to the unbanked across the continent and create awareness towards the transformative nature of Financial Technologies. He is also the Principal, AHK & Associates, a Digital Transformation Consultancy focused on enabling clients leverage Digital Technologies to achieve Transformational Change in their organizations. He is also an investor and mentor to startups the Demo Ventures Franchise. Apart from that, he is the immediate former CEO of 3mice interactive media ltd, a Nairobi based pioneer Digital Agency in East Africa and was also the founding CEO of Wunderman (Kenya), a Global Digital top ten Agency, where he successfully implemented the Balanced Scorecard, a management tool for translating strategy into action.
Ali also plays an active role on a number of different boards including:
The Mifos Initiative is honored to have been chosen as the Highly Commended runner-up entrant for the Best Financial Inclusion or Outreach Initiative at the 2019 Financial Innovation Awards hosted by The London Institute of Banking and Finance this past month in London.
Congratulations to the NS&I Government Payment Services on winning the award for its Help to Save initiative; we are are honored to be in such esteemed company of impactful and innovative solutions including PAYG solutions from Azuri, banking solutions for the visually impaired from Lloyds Bank, and the Principality Building Society’s financial education initiative. Thank you to the London Institute of Banking and Finance for this valuable recognition.
Alex Fraser, CEO at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, said: “As technology advances, the finance sector is often in the frontline of change. Organizations like the ones being recognized and celebrated in the Financial Innovation Awards, are vital in driving forward and progressing the future of the sector. These highly prestigious awards give companies the opportunity to demonstrate their ground-breaking and innovative approaches, which will go on to shape the future of the financial services industry and the value it provides. A huge congratulations to all the winners!”
About the Financial Innovation Awards
The Financial Innovation Awards, held on Thursday 21 November at Hilton London Bankside, recognize some of the most innovative companies in the banking and finance sector.
This year 64 companies were shortlisted for awards in 22 categories covering: products & services; customer experience and delivery channels; responsibility and inclusion; and the future of financial services. 59% of the companies shortlisted were from the UK, while 41% were international including from the UAE, Canada, Bangladesh and Brazil.
About The London Institute of Banking & Finance
In this month’s Partner Spotlight we are featuring Fiter – one of our most globally distributed partners. Fiter truly exemplifies the collaborative spirit of the community as it was borne out of the partnership between two long-time Mifos community members, Robert Jakech and Javier Borkenztain. As the team continues to bring on customers from fintechs and financial institutions around the globe, their team has continued to grow, with Mifos community members joining their team, as well as brining fresh new talent into the community. Fiter is active throughout the community and committed to being a lead contributor to Mifos and Fineract. They are also one of our first partners to make a financial commitment back to the long-term sustainability of the Mifos Initiative by pledging a portion of their revenues as a donation.
This regular blog series will shine the light on some of our top Partners. Not only do we want to recognize them for their accomplishments, we want others to learn from the approach they’ve taken to promote and implement Mifos.
Mifos Partners are one of the most crucial links in our community – they are the driving force that is promoting and supporting Mifos worldwide. Aside from championing our product and bringing the Mifos technology to new markets, they act as the fundamental bridge feeding in MFI requirements to be developed by the community. Partners don’t stop there as many are also developing and localizing the product to fit their local market. For all these reasons, we focus our full energy on making Partners successful – they are the primary channel to market, the eyes and ears on the ground, and the entrepreneurial force that will help us sustainably scale. We’d love to recognize your partner organization in this monthly spotlight so please reach out if you’d like to be featured.
Another Google Summer of Code has come and gone again and as our intern community grows it’s hard to keep up with sharing back with the community the product of their efforts. This year we worked with our biggest class of Mifos Initiative GSOC interns with 14 and also worked directly with 2 Apache Fineract GSOC interns and 2 Outreachy interns with the support of DIAL. Apart from the valuable code contributions our interns make, they are a critical organic growth engine for the community which has helped to yield some of our most impactful contributors to the community like Avik Ganguly of Fynarfin. So give them a big shout-out via the lists or social media and encourage them to keep on contributing and fighting poverty with financial inclusion.
This year our students worked across the entire stack from back to front-end on top of both of generations of Mifos/Fineract. On our mobile apps, we added new functionalities, enhanced the user experience, integrated with external payment systems and did refactoring across our mobile field operations app for Fineract and Fineract CN, our Mifos Mobile mobile banking apps for Finerct and Fineract CN, our mobile wallet app, and a new Fiinwallet app contributed by Fintecheando. On the web app front, we had two interns continue rewriting the web app into the latest version of Angular and continued enhancing our Online Banking App. On the back-end we hardened Fineract by tackling some of the backlog, updated our Swagger API documentation, integrated our payment hub with the GSMA mobile money APIs and continued to push the frontier of new innovation with enhancements to our chatbot, machine learning-based scorecard, and a new mobile app to capture the PPI using cloud vision and automated detection of objects in images. On the back-end of Fineract CN, we completed the removal of Category X dependencies to prepare for a 1.0 release of Fineract CN. Our Outreachy interns worked on our community infrastructure by migrating our Mifos mailing lists to a Discourse forum and our user manual to a Gitbook user manual.
This post highlights their work with links to their final reports. We’ll also be conducting a couple showcases to demo their work so please register for the Showcase on October 4 or the Showcase on October 8 at 1300GMT via Zoom Webinar. Our reflections post will soon follow to help you get to know these interns and keep them immersed and involved in the community.
Before we take a closer look at the results of the summer, we want to first off thank everyone who made Google Summer of Code another successful year.
First off we want to once again thank the Google Open Source Programs office for giving us the opportunity to participate once again in Google Summer of Code. Our mentors, Rahul and Tarun, are looking forward to seeing the entire team at the Mentor Summit in Germany this October! We are always impressed by the awesome job they do in coordinating such a massive global collaboration handling all the moving pieces so smoothly. We look forward to participating in GCI and GSOC for many years to come!
A huge thank you to all our mentors who are the most critical piece of the puzzle in having a successful Google Summer of Code. Without our mentors being there at each step of the way to help guide our students in their journey, we couldn’t get through the summer. A big thank you to Rahul Goel especially for stepping up as Co Org-Admin and really being on top of ensuring all our student evaluations were submitted on time by mentors. We are eager to grow our mentor participation for next year so welcome any community members who’d like to make the leap, to step forward now!
Thank you to our mobile development mentors – Rajan Maurya, Tarun Mudgal, , Naman Dwivedi, Abhilash G, Anamika, and Ishan Khanna. Thank you to our web development mentors – Gaurav Saini, Pranjal Goswami, Kelvin Okome, and Ankit Ohja. Thanks to our mentors on the platform side – Avik Ganguly, Nayan Ambali, Aleksandar Vidakovic, Lalit Mohan, Steve Conrad, Courage Angeh, Rahul Goel, Sanyam Goel, Raul Sibaja, Karina Munoz, and Victor Romero. Thank you to our Fineract CN mentors – Isaac Kamga. Thank you to Courage and Ruphine for their Outreachy mentorship.
Thank you to DIAL for supporting one of our Outreachy interns and to the Outreachy general fund for supporting the other – the meaningful contributions our interns made will greatly impact the community.
Last, but certainly not least, thank you to our interns from across the globe who poured their energy into their projects. This year they were ever-perseverant in working on brand new codebases, changing requirements on the fly, and working on experimental solutions. What is always most rewarding is seeing how collaborative and supportive the interns are of each other helping to solve coding problems, helping with collaboration tools and just being great all-around community members. We wish them the best of luck in whatever they pursue next and look forward to their continued contributions to the Mifos Initiative. Already, despite the program being officially over, many of our interns have continued making contributions and wrapping up loose ends of their projects.