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.
We are recognizing Aleks Vidakovic from Belgrade, Serbia as our newest Star Contributor! Aleks is one of our more seasoned community members who has had a major impact on the project through multiple generations of the code. Aleks first came to the community by way of Robert Jakech, helping build a brand new Mifos X UI for FINEM in Uganda. He then kicked off a major project with Gentera in Mexico. Apart from helping deliver a rock-solid customer experience for these institutions, Aleks has been an anchor in our community, both contributing and passing on the torch to new contributors. He’s been a sage and empathetic mentor for the past two Google Summer of Codes, first mentoring Sanyam Goel on Swagger integration and most recently Dingfan Zhou on the chatbot project. The patience and passion he puts into mentoring astounds me; it’s moving to see how dedicated individuals like Aleks are. Most recently, Aleks has also earned committership to Apache Fineract and is now finalizing the setup and configuration of the much-needed demo server for Fineract CN.
Join in giving congrats to Aleks who is one of the chillest guys around and would love to hear from you!
Now that you know a bit more about our interns professionally and what they’re working on over the summer, let’s take a more a personal look at their lives with some fun facts about each one of them.
When and why did you start coding?
When and why did you start coding?
Sanyam: I was introduced with computer science and coding at my school level, where students were introduced with website designing using HTML, CSS. and also experienced to do hands on development on some very basics robotics projects. Then I was introduced with some more languages like C, C++, Java in my freshman year at my college in August 2014. I started developing more skills with programming because it really helps me to think the solution of problems in a slightly different way and programming is a skill that we can apply in life in general.
Courage: I started coding in my first year at the university, 2014. At that time we had a club called elite programming club, I studied C programming daily and with each day I learned something new. It was amazing to know what I could do with code.
Ebenezer: I started coding with understanding in January 2017. This is because I started taking the programming course in my class. But prior to this. I was coding by following tutorials since 2015 and this was because I was passionate about creating softwares.
Aksh: I started coding in August 2015,Being admitted in CSE branch at IIT Mandi, doing coding at some point was inevitable so I started learning as soon as I got admitted. I started coding with C as my first programming language and the ever famous “Hello world” as my first program which I successfully ran after several compilation errors, “;” being the pesky one again.
Anwesh: I started with learning coding fundamentals in school days. Then after joining University I started diving deeper and started exploring many areas in Computer Science. Web development and UI/UX designing piqued my interest the most and I am carrying on with the journey till date.
Kumaranath: It was in the year 2013,when I took my first software engineering and programming lessons. I was intrigued to find out what and how we as engineers we would solve problems in real life and make an impact to the world.
Dilpreet: I learnt the basis of web development in 10th grade and after studying c++ in 11th and 12th grade. I fell in love coding when I was introduced to Android Development during 2nd semester of my college.
Lalit: I learnt basics of programming on FORTRAN in 1993 as part of my academic curriculum. My serious programming started in 1997 and continued till I took project management role in 2004. My programming stint was in C, C++, Java, Visual Basic and COBOL. I again started programming in 2014 after getting back to academics, this time it was primarily focused to complete assignments using Java and/or Python.
Ankur: I started coding from 11th standard. I wrote my first program in JAVA outputting “Hello World :)”. It was the first time I realized I can make computers do what I want. I chose programming course in my school which introduced me to basics of programming
Saksham: I wrote my first “Hello World” program when I joined college. Initially, I struggled a lot but gradually improved and enjoyed my struggles. Making stuffs to help others, was something I always wanted to do, and hence I started my career in Development.
Ankit: I started coding when I was in class 4th. I started it as it was in my school curriculum and from that time I got interested in coding. The first programming language I started coding was with BASIC( Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) and from there my story with coding started. After that, I learned GW-BASIC, HTML. I took Computer Science in my class 11th and 12th where I learned C++. After coming to college I learned Python, AngularJs, C, and Java.
Manish: My first exposure to coding was in my freshman year where we have to do a course to grasp the basics of c++ . I started coding because I love to develop things which solves real life problems either through an app or a machine learning model.
Dingfan: I start coding when I was in senior high school. I attended the class which taught basic algorithms in my senior school. The reason that I continue learning Computer Science in university is that I like to solve problems in a systematic way. Coding can be used to solve the problem step by step, which is a systematic method.
Ruphine: I started coding in my second year at the university during the summer holidays when I was doing internship at Skylabase Inc. My mentors used to talk about the power of coding so I decided to get involved into it to see what i can do with some lines of codes and now am seeing the output which is pretty amazing.
Pembe: I started coding 3 years ago at my first year in the university. At first it was because coding was part of the school requirements to graduate but later, I grew fond of it and began to do more research and grew deep into coding .[/av_one_half]
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
Want to support Mifos while shopping exclusive deals on Amazon?
Amazon’s fourth-annual Prime Day kicks off on July 16th at 3 pm (ET), and features 36 hours of one-of-a-kind deals just for Prime Members. But it gets better–while you participate in one of the biggest shopping days of the year, you can effortlessly make an positive impact by shopping through smile.amazon.com! When you shop via Amazon Smile and select The Mifos Initiative as your charity of choice, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to Mifos. Deals for you and donations for us; sounds like a win-win!
P.S. Your impact can last beyond Prime Day. When you go through Amazon Smile for all your future online purchases, Amazon will continue to donate to Mifos. Just by shopping you are helping us create a world with better technology to fight poverty and improve financial inclusion.
We are recognizing Sundari Swami from Los Angeles as our newest Star Contributor! Sundari has more than 8 years of experience of working in marketing and dealing with big-data SaaS products; she currently serves as a Technical Product Manager at DataScience.com. Sundari has been with Mifos for several years now, playing a crucial role in the development of the Mobile Wallet 2.0 Framework. Since last year, Sundari has been helping write and gather requirements for the Mobile Wallet 2.0, and we cannot thank her enough for her continuous hard work! We commend Sundari for her persistence in continuing to volunteer with Mifos even after a gap between projects she was assisting on. She can always be counted on to be thorough and highly attentive to detail so we get our use cases right. Sundari’s commitment to serving those in need along with her tech and product management expertise makes her a triple threat that we could not be happier to have as a part of our Mifos community.
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.
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.
For our latest round of the Fintech Forum, we’re combining several topics. At heart of this post is a guest blog from Gururag Kalanidhi of Habile Technologies looking at the Latest trends in Loan Origination. His post dovetails well with some of the research briefs that several of our GCI students did on digital credit.
This research and the guest blog post nicely complement a couple ongoing conversations we’re having across the community related to the product roadmap as a whole for Fineract CN and how our ecosystem is leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to make faster and better credit decisions while also delivering more impactful products and services.
To give your feedback on what you’d like to see in Fineract CN in general but also specifically as it relates to loan origination, please fill out this quick survey.