Scaling the Community to New Heights at ApacheCon

ApacheCon North America 2022 kicks off this upcoming week in New Orleans from October 3 to October 6. I’m looking forward to the first in-person gathering for Apache post-Covid and our first in-person Fineract/Fintech track. Many thanks again to Javier Borkenztain from Fiter for spearheading the track. Once again Mifos Initiative has played a key role in coordinating a number of speakers to be a part of the track. While unforeseen issues and delays with getting visas derailed the speaking opportunities for many of our international participants, we still have a diverse group of speakers that will provide a valuable means for the current ecosystem to come together as well as attract new members to our global movement to commoditize banking software.

The over-arching theme across many of the talks Mifos helped to arrange for the Fintech track centers around building and scaling the momentum that is growing around the project over the course of the past year. The continually growing rate of organic adoption across the public and private sector this past year demonstrates Mifos and Fineract as critical building blocks, digital public goods, and open source primitives for catalyzing financial services innovation. This increased adoption in turn has yielded greater upstream contribution resulting in more frequent releases, improved automation, greater stability and scalability across the platform.

At all layers of our projects from the core Fineract banking platform itself on down to our web and mobile apps, payment hub for payment orchestration, and OpenG2P for digitization of social protection programs, momentum is building. Our sessions will help continue and further catalyze that momentum with talks looking at the following:

  • Mifos and Fineract as foundational and fundamental building blocks that accelerates innovation across the private and public sector whether as Open Source Primitives for banking, fintech and financial inclusion or Digital public goods and Building Blocks for the public sector for initiative like GovStack or OpenG2P
  • Increasing the Scalability of Fineract to support fintechs operating at planet scale, the new wave of niche-focused neo-banks as well traditional retail financial institutions of all sizes looking to digitize and provide modern fintech solutions to their customers. 
  • Helping private and public sector institutions alike balance the needs of their solutions around stability, secrecy, and time to market with the community needs of transparency, agility, and maintainability for the project through a closer look at the mindset, processes, and policies across the community, organization and individuals to fuel upstream contribution and unlock a virtuous cycle.
  • With this growth in upstream contribution, plotting out a Roadmap for Mifos and Fineract that establishes the horizon of where we should aim in the future, greater foresight of what’s coming in the near future, and clear signalling to the ecosystem around the boundaries of what and where to contribute. 
  • How Fineract can be at the cusp of bleeding edge technologies like CBDC issuance from governments, real-time payment adoption, and more.

A huge thank you to Rich Bowen and all the volunteers for coordinating an inclusive and engaging event that’s in-person once again!

Abstracts of each session can be found below. I look forward to seeing those who will be in person in New Orleans next week!

Mifos Welcomes Senior Advisor, Shashi Raghunandan

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Mifos is pleased to welcome Shashi Raghunandan as a Senior Advisor, to provide strategic insight, partner engagement and thought leadership on payment related initiatives including G2P payments, cross-border payments and building out the open source community around Mifos’ Payment Hub EE.

Shashi brings 18+ years of payments and financial services background in developing and developed markets to Mifos. His work has encompassed a range of payment domains including remittances, disbursements, mobile money and card-based payments. He is passionate about digital rails that drives social change and working across both public and private sector to deliver impact. We look forward to having Shashi join Mifos and engaging with the broader community.

Welcome Tapasweni Pathak to Mifos for Google Season of Docs 2022

Mifos has the honor of participating in Google Season of Docs for the second year in a row. After much deliberation over a number of very promising technical writer candidates, we’re delighted to have selected Tapasweni Pathak to lead completion of our project, Update Platform and Collaboration Documentation for Launch of Mifos X 3.0.

Our project centers around building upon our consolidated user and developer documentation portals to update technical and collaboration documentation to reflect the major platform enhancements and streamlining we’ve made to our contribution and release processes. As you’ve seen on the mailing list, with the contribution from professional services customers of the Mifos Initiative, upstream contribution has increased greatly along with a greater cadence of releases. We needed to update our documentation accordingly with these major architectural enhancements supporting greater stability and scalability along with the automation and streamlining that have been added to our collaboration processes.

In a short time, Tapasweni has already demonstrated through her attention to detail, her vision for the project, and her strong project management vigor that she will add tremendous value to our community beyond this project alone.  She is just getting up to speed so expect to see a lot of her on the mailing lists and on Slack. Read on to learn more about her in the words of Tapasweni herself. Join us in welcoming her to the community!

Tapasweni Pathak works with Microsoft Azure Core Engineering as a Principal Product Manager. She likes solving real-world problems, bringing transparency to things she gets involved with, and open source. Her research interests are operating systems, distributed systems, economics, and statistics. In past she has worked in Financial Innovation Services domain with Reliance Jio as Product Manager and Engineering Manager, her major involvements were bringing Jio Digital Wallet, Jio Digital Payments, travel, and transit in Jio Money online in smartphones. She has been deeply involved in open source and has contributed in her area of interests in different roles. 
She belives documentation is the most important part of delivering a usable product. Involvement with an idea, and delivering a product comes into a usable existence “after” technical writing. The Mifos Initiative has great depth in enabling democratization of financial services worldwide. Its users, community, local specialists, people involved, add to the unique structure that it builds to solve global financial inclusion and sustainable access to the financial resources problem. Being part of the community as a technical writer, to further drive the improvement and enhancement of its vast documentation would be an interesting challenge that she would love to work upon.

Mifos and MOSIP to collaborate on next evolution of OpenG2P

Recently the Digital Public Goods Alliance announced the forthcoming leadership and support from MOSIP to the OpenG2P Initiative. We’re excited to begin collaboration with MOSIP to chart OpenG2P to new stages of growth as we collectively address the widespread challenges in digitizing social protection programs and streamlining bulk cash transfers. 

Over the past year and a half with a seed grant from Paul Maritz, the Mifos Initiative has spearheaded the cultivation of OpenG2P as the leading advocate for DPGs for social protection, stewarded the first implementation along with DSTI for the Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone, and extensively evolved the OpenG2P framework of deployable building blocks under the leadership of Fynarfin

We have been able to position OpenG2P as a showcase of how multiple digital public goods can be brought together as a cohesive and composable solution to provide scalable, maintainable, cost-effective digital public infrastructure for a complex end to end governmental use case. 

OpenG2P has established itself firmly at the intersection of social protection and digital public goods as the technology and implementation layer to augment policy-level initiatives like G2Px and as a practicable and deployable architecture and set of open source building blocks that aligns with the broader GovStack and Digital Convergence Initiatives.  

 

The added leadership of MOSIP will help take the initiative to new heights:

  • Formalizing the governance structure to enable the participation of other DPGs and multilateral entities
  • Accelerating the adoption of OpenG2P by leveraging MOSIP’s extensive presence as a national digial identity solution
  • Advancing the roadmap of OpenG2P to be more modular, robust and capable of flexibly supporting the benefit delivery workflows of multiple ministries. 

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Star Contributor of the Month – Abhijit Ramesh

We are pleased to recognize Abhijit Ramesh, as our latest Mifos Star Contributor. Abhijit has been a long-time member of the Mifos community, serving in many different roles throughout the years which we are grateful to recognize him for. Abhijit first began his journey in the Mifos community as a Google Summer of Code intern for Mifos working on the Mifos Mobile CN project. He continued as a Google Code-In mentor later that year and then served a Mifos mentor for GSOC in 2020 on the Mifos Mobile CN project. In 2021, he acted as an Apache Fineract mentor on the Credit Scorecard project and as a leading member of our AI for All working group speaking at the most recent ApacheCon. We appreciate the tireless energy and passion he’s brought to our community and look forward to many continued contributions.

 

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Mifos wins 2021 Banking Tech Award for Best Contribution to Economic Mobility in Banking & Finance

The Mifos Initiative is honored to have been chosen by Fintech Futures as the Winner of the 2021 Banking Tech Award for Best Contribution to Economic Mobility in Banking & Finance.

It is as honor to have been selected from an impressive class of finalists including:

  • Comviva Technologies Ltd. – MOVii, Colombia (Highly Commended)
  • Robocash Group – UnaPay (Highly Commended)
  • Nuapay and One Banks  – Nuapay Open Banking with One Banks
  • Bank of America – Bank of America Community Homeownership Commitment®
  • Current – Enabling Americans to change their lives by creating better financial outcomes
  • Davivienda – Daviplata
  • Oxbury Bank Plc – Oxbury Farm Credit
  • Orange – Orange Money Africa
  • Lili – Lili Pro

This award recognizes projects using fintech/banking tech to champion financial inclusion and economic mobility. Examples include products/services for the underbanked communities and areas; products and services for specific demographics that are often overlooked, such as children and pensioners; innovative salary and benefits management tools; increasing financial literacy; promoting financial health etc.

This prestigious recognition helps to affirm our proven approach of unlocking a virtuous cycle of innovation which in turn fuels the virtual spiral of financial inclusion. As part of our 2030 vision, our global community strives to enable meaningful usage of financial service to more than 500 million individuals by 2030. We are making incredible progress towards that goal by providing the global financial services sector a common digital public good – modern, open source core banking infrastructure delivered as a set of OS building blocks which can be composed into any type of financial service.

Our end to end technology stack for digitizing customers & wallets, managing savings & loan accounts, and orchestrating payments aligns with the philanthropic sector’s movement around digital public goods and the commercial sector’s movement around embedded finance. By providing a set of open source building blocks for banking we make core banking commoditized infrastructure enabling any organization anywhere in the world to embed financial services in any solution for any consumer via any channel.

You can view a list of all the winners and finalists.

About the Banking Tech Awards

The Banking Tech Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the use of IT in financial services worldwide, and the people who make it happen. 2022 will be the 23rd year for these prestigious awards.

For banks and financial institutions, winning a Banking Tech Award showcases the value of their technology investments and showcases their skills, commitment, creativity and execution.

For software providers, a Banking Tech Award is a valuable recognition of the company’s products and services.

For individuals and teams, a Banking Tech Award is a prized acknowledgement of their skills, leadership, vision, inspiration and dedication to the industry’s betterment.

The 2022 awards ceremony will take place on 1st December 2022 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

The Banking Tech Awards are owned and produced by FinTech Futures, the definitive source of news and analysis of the global fintech sector.

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Help us Create a World of 3 Billion Maries

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Join the Mifos Slack Community!

In efforts to speed the elimination of poverty through financial inclusion, we here at the Mifos Initiative simply cannot do it alone. It takes a community of like-minded individuals who share the same vision for the future: financial inclusion and accessibility for all. Since the Mifos Initiative is a global community, it can sometimes be difficult to feel connected. To help eliminate this feeling of disconnect, we would like to invite you to join our Mifos Slack as a way of improving community engagement and communication around the initiative! 

This Mifos Slack space is a great and simple way to get involved with the Mifos community. By no means does it eliminate our other communication tools like developer mailing lists, but we see it as a way for Mifos users to more effectively communicate with one another in a more synchronous and real-time manner. 

Below are some of the benefits that you can expect from Mifos Slack which we hope will become a home for the global Fintech for Good developer community. 

Join the Mifos Slack

Community Engagement

As a member of the Mifos Slack space, you will be a part of a worldwide community of Mifos users, partners, volunteers, interns, employees, and even general people interested in the Mifos Initiative. The Mifos Slack community is not restricted to everyday contributors, and is welcome to anyone interested in learning more about Mifos and open source. Within our Slack space, you will find different channels relating to different markets and topics. There is also a general Slack channel where you can find a wide variety of fintech and open source related material. Joining these different Mifos Slack channels of your interest is a great way to better connect with the global Mifos community.

Questions and Answers

Another benefit of Slack is the ability to ask and answer questions in a quick manner. Members of the Mifos community use our slack space to ask a variety of questions that relate to the Mifos software. Users are always willing to help with any questions or confusions you might have with the Mifos platform and usually respond within a timely matter since the community consists of people around the world. If you have any general or more technical questions, don’t hesitate to post and reach out to the community, and someone is more likely than not to give you the answer you are looking for. 

General Interest

The Mifos Slack space is not solely for Mifos contributors or partners, but is also intended for the general open source community and fintech for good. If you have little to no knowledge of open source and the Mifos Initiative, our Slack space is still a great way to learn more so you can get involved in the future. It’s also a fantastic place to share anything you find intriguing in the world relating to open source banking or fintech for good. Feel free to pose questions, polls, and comments to spark conversation and get the community talking. The Mifos Initiative is driven from our community, and an active community makes for better and brighter ideas for the future.

If you want to stay connected and up to date with the community, we here at the Mifos Initiative strongly encourage you to join us on Slack. It’s easy to join and the amount of engagement is up to you!

Mifos Slack Space Orientation

Here is a little bit of an orientation on the various channels in our slack space. 

Slack is meant to complement our existing developer mailing lists and discourse forums to provide a free-flowing space for real-time collaboration, discussing development, brainstorming new ideas and solutions, getting help, following the latest trends, and more.

We have channels for each main part of our tech stack:

  • #fineract (core banking platform for customer, account/wallet, loan and savings management [gen 2])
  • #fineract-cn (cloud-native application framework for digital financial services [gen 3])
  • #payment-hub (payments orchestration – real-time payments, mobile money)
  • #web-app (staff web UI for Fineract)
  • #mobile-field-ops (staff mobile apps for Fineract) 
  • #mobile-wallet (mobile wallet apps)
  • #mobile-banking (mobile banking apps)

You can find all this source code in our Mifos repos or Apache repos. 

You could also join one of our working groups:

  • #ai-ml
  • #devops
  • #open-banking
  • #product-management
  • #savings

We also have some other channels for general collaboration

  • Need to a consultant for development on top of Fineract, hiring fintech developers for your team, implementing Mifos and need support. Post what you’re looking for in #jobs
  • Need some help or general support with building, implementing, or simply using Mifos and Fineract. Post your question in #help
  • Are you a proud user of Mifos or Fineract or a solution powered by our APIs? We’d love to know what you’ve built and what use cases you’re supporting by showcasing what you’ve done in #powered-by-mifos
  • Come across an interesting article or report? Want to discuss the latest trends in financial inclusion or fintech for good? Let the creativity flow in #mindmeld

Mifos is a 2021 MIT Solver Team!

I’m delighted to announce that Mifos has been selected as one of the seven Solver Teams for the 2021 MIT Solve Global Challenge for Digital Inclusion. 

The digital inclusion category was one of the most competitive ones with 430 applicants from 74 countries so recognition from MIT and the esteemed panel of judges is great validation of our approach guiding a community delivering open source banking building blocks to enable financial services to be embedded everywhere and anywhere. 

As a member of the Solver community, MIT will be connecting us with a wide range of resources and showcasing our solution to a broad audience of potential funders and strategic partners so we are eager to see all doors this will help to open up and the scale we can unlock. 

Already in just the first week, the in-kind resources have helped us start pursuing some additional opportunities and several valuable introductions leading to potentially fruitful partnerships have been made. 

We are looking forward to the collaboration and collective growth Mifos and our fellow cohorts will embark on through the program. Members of our cohort are working on “exciting solutions that provide access to the internet for the billions who remain disconnected, access to financial tools for businesses and entrepreneurs around the world, and culturally relevant digital literacy tools to enable participation in the digital economy.” 

The 2021 Solver Class for Digital Inclusion includes: 

Watch our finalist pitch here!

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Showcasing the Fineract Ecosystem at ApacheCon

ApacheCon 2021 is underway and a big shout out to Javier Borkenztain from Fiter for organizing the Fineract Fintech track with a diverse range of speakers and panelist from within the community and beyond. A huge thank you to Rich Bowen and all the volunteers for coordinating an inclusive and engaging virtual event. Once again I’m looking forward to the second-ever Fineract track as a great means to:

  • Showcase and highlight Mifos & Fineract adopters, and the breadth of use cases the platform has been able to support
  • Explore the evolution of the community and how we can grow and adapt to enable more widespread participation and upstream contribution to enable a virtuous cycle.
  • Practically discuss how to enhance and evolve the platform to meet the growing scalability and performance requirements as more and more digital banks and fintechs adopt the platform as well as expand the functional footprint to support broader and deeper verticals
  • Take a glimpse into the future of Fineract and the innovations around AI, the cloud, mobile, digital identity, decentralized finance, central bank digital currencies and more that will shape the future of financial services.

Register below as attendance for all the sessions and networking is free.

Over the past year, as the Mifos Initiative has worked more directly with innovative financial institutions and fintechs to build out their solutions on Fineract, we have seen firsthand the immense opportunity and need for the platform. We are endorsing a broader mission of democratizing financial services and embracing our long-standing position of making core banking commoditized infrastructure that enables financial services to be embedded anywhere and everywhere.

It’s always great to see cross-pollination with other communities so I’m looking forward to the participation from other exemplary members of the open source community like Graham McBain from Moov, Joseph Jacks from OS Capital, and Kelly Switt from Red Hat, and Kanchana Welagedara from JP Morgan and FINOS. 

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Mifos is a Finalist for the 2021 MIT Solve Global Challenge

We’re pleased to announce that Mifos has been selected as a finalist out of more than 1800 applicants for the 2021 MIT Solve Global Challenge for Digital Inclusion. 

Register and attend the Virtual Solve Challenge Finals livestream where the panel of judges will complete their evaluations of the pitches from the finalists and announce the 2021 Solver class on September 17. 

Recognition as a finalist is great validation of our approach to bring financial services to 3 billion underbanked by providing a set of open source banking building blocks to enable financial services to be embedded anywhere and everywhere. 

However being selected as a Solver would open the doors to new partnerships and give us access to resources and strategic advisors that would help unlock new scale and potential for our initiative. 

Check out our submission on MIT Solve and take a minute of your time to vote for Mifos as the Community Award winner – voting closes September 17 at 130pm ET.

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