Financial Inclusion Week 2017 – Fueling Open Innovation on top of the Digital Rails

This past week we had the honor of being one of the more than sixty organizations participating in Financial Inclusion Week, a week of global conversation convened by the Center for Financial Inclusion on the most important steps to advance financial inclusion.

The Mifos Initiative hosted a webinar on November 3 titled Fueling Open Innovation on top of the Digital Rails. We were able to share our story as an open source pioneer and the stories of our innovators with more than 50 attendees, leaving them with tangible ways for them to innovate on top of our open source platforms.

As financial inclusion and the banking sector at large now just start to move towards “open banking,” we wanted to chronicle the journey we’ve been on the past decade as a pioneer of open source platforms for microfinance, financial inclusion, and now digital financial services.  The most impactful way to tell this story was to put our ecosystem on center stage. From fintech startups to financial institutions serving millions, our vibrant partner ecosystem has been able to focus on customer-facing innovation by building apps and not banking infrastructure. To make these lessons actionable and guide financial inclusion providers, banks, and fintech companies on their own journey to open innovation, we showcased our suite of mobile and web apps on top of our platform along with our forthcoming Generation 3 architecture Mifos I/O, soon to be released as Apache Fineract CN.

The most lasting takeway from the event was the chance to hear firsthand from our community on how they were able to use Mifos X and the Apache Fineract platform to dramatically accelerate the rollout of innovative digital financial services. Both Fiinlab of Gentera and RuPie were able to leverage a common technology platform and an open transparent community to focus on unique innovation for their customers.

View the webinar or the slides in their entirety.

With SAP, in order to get to market with new functionality it took over a year. With Mifos, we were able to shorten development cycles to where we were releasing new functionalities each week. It was a complete difference to be working with Mifos than what we were doing with SAP. That’s because Mifos is really flexible and has such a strong API that were able to do it faster than on SAP.

Eduardo Licona – Fiinlab & Gentera

Eduardo Licona, Director of Innovation Platforms, shared his powerful story of how FiinLab, the innovation laboratory of Gentera is using Mifos X and the Apache Fineract platform to create new business models for financial inclusion for Banco Compartamos and its other companies. When Fiinlab started to first explore joining our community, Craig Chelius likened Mifos X, an open source innovation platform, as the battleship to their aircraft carrier,  SAP, their massive core banking system which was both costly and inflexible. This analogy has become a reality when Eduardo shared how through Mifos they’ve been able to launch new features in a week when on SAP it would take them more than a year.

For Eduardo the simplicity and cleanliness of the data model, extensibility of the platform and APIs and openness and transparency of the community has made it possible for them to rapidly roll out mobile apps to digitize their group lending while still integrating with their existing core banking system.

Slide Deck from Eduardo’s Presentation

Nayan Ambali – RuPie

Nayan Ambali, co-founder and CEO of RuPie, a digital credit and self-service urban microfinance startup from India, showcased their solution and how the Mifos X platform has allowed them to focus on their core analytical technology.

“We got a huge tech leap, I can easily say that Apache Fineract and Mifos X put RuPie almost a year ahead in terms of technology and letting us focus more on building RuPie’s core technology”

Slide Deck from Nayan’s Presentation

After these case studies, we also showcased the open source building blocks we provide as the starting dough to help shape these innovations including our mobile wallet and mobile banking apps.

All in all, participants were able to:

  • Experience what it’s like to be part of global community and open source ecosystem leveraging open platforms, standards, APIs, and collaboration.

  • Get a hands-on look at how to  begin innovating on top of open core banking stack – our platform and suite of web, mobile banking, and mobile wallet apps.

  • Start their journey to Financial Inclusion 2.0 by learning about our next-generation application framework for digital financial services, Apache Fineract-CN (Mifos I/O).