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Mifos Welcomes Fintech Advisor, Ali Hussein Kassim

Ali Hussein KassimWe 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:

    • Oversight Board of The Kenya Tourism Promotion Fund, a government agency set up to fund the promotion of tourism in the country
    • Board  of Longhorn Publishers, the leading publishing house in East & Central Africa where he is instrumental in defining the Digital Strategy for the company; 
    • Law Africa, a leading Law Publisher in East Africa 
    • Trustee of the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet)
    • East Africa Advisor, Kinesis.Money, a revolutionary monetary system, based 1:1 on allocated physical gold and silver, bringing back a true store of value to the global economy and rewarding all who participate.
    • Alive & Kicking, a social Enterprise with operations in 3 African countries.. 
    • His board experience also includes  a six year term as board member at the Kenya Network Information Centre, the .ke Registry between 2006-12.

Mifos and Mojaloop – an End to End Open Source Architecture for Digital Financial Services

I’m pleased to announce the ongoing collaboration between the Mifos Initiative and the Mojaloop community being funded by a strategic grant from DIAL (Digital Impact Alliance), and their Open Source Center. With the funding from DIAL, we’re embarking on the first step in our vision to create an end to end open source architecture for digital financial services, integrating Mifos and Mojaloop. Mojaloop provides the digital payment rails and Mifos provides the account management engine fueling innovation on top of them. Working with the team at DPC Consulting in Hungary, we have created a Mifos lab which provides a live environment for digital payment transactions to flow through a Mojaloop switch, initiated from accounts held at Digital Financial Service Providers (DFSPs) running Fineract and Fineract CN as their account management system. We had the honor and pleasure of joining the Mojaloop community and demoing this at the recent community convening in Arusha, Tanzania.

In Tanzania we could see the strong progress being made around the codebase and the growing force of the Mojaloop community. Post the convening, the tremendous momentum continued with a number of announcements centered around Mojaloop adoption across all segments of the financial services sector.  The Central Bank of the Republic of Tanzania announced the development of TIPS, the Tanzania Instant Payment System, of which they’ve chosen to adopt Mojaloop as the basis for their same-as-cash electronic payment system. WOCCU announced its digital financial inclusion strategy to reach 50 million-plus people across Asia centered around  a project to design interoperable, open-loop, low-cost, real-time payment platforms for its global network of credit unions across Asia, exploring the use of the Mojaloop open-source platform. Great progress is being made with the launch of Mowali, the mobile wallet interoperability initiative powered by Mojaloop, and led by Orange and MTN to enable interoperable payments across all of Africa. The DFS Lab Mojaloop Hackathon in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, in mid-April is fast-approaching and will give fintech companies an opportunity to develop and test innovative use cases on Mojaloop. 

The Mifos Initiative looks forward to being an enabling factor in not only extending the functionality of Mojaloop and evangelizing the platform but most importantly enabling and accelerating adoption by providing a robust lab environment and a Mojaloop-ready open source toolkit of account management systems, mobile wallets and a payment hub to facilitate the smooth integration with the Mojaloop APIs. Our vision is to provide the account and wallet management capabilities for an institution that wants to connect to Mojaloop whether they’re a SACCO or MFI, a fintech company, a mobile wallet provider, or even a bank.

Thank you to DIAL for enabling this collaboration, the DPC team for their stellar work, the Gates Foundation for enabling our participation at the convening and the Mojaloop community and ModusBox team for all their support with the integration. 

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Explorations: Yoti – Digital Identities as a Force for Good

This post is part of our Explorations series, where we invite experts from across the global tech community and our ecosystem to impart their wisdom and knowledge. Identity is a crucial part of delivering responsible fintech and a topic that is actively being discussed across our community right now.  We’re happy to have Ken Banks, the Head of Social Impact at Yoti, share this guest blog post describing their recently announced social impact strategy. Ken will also be leading a webinar as part of our Mifos Community Webinar Series on March 18 at 1400GMT via GoToTraining outlining Yoti and its commitment to designing and delivering solutions that can make digital identity a force for good. 

Please read his blog post below, explore the their social impact strategy (.pdf) and join the webinar on March 18. Mifos is looking for institutions across the community who are ready and willing to participate in digital identity pilots we will be kicking off with organizations like Yoti and the Sovrin Foundation.

Over the past few months our Social Impact team has been busy carrying out research across Africa, South East Asia and the United Kingdom to better understand digital identity needs and opportunities in these locations. We’ve been speaking to experts around the world and attending digital identity and humanitarian events to get a sense of who is doing what, where. Our findings have led to the development of an exciting user-focused, evidence-based Social Impact Strategy which we are proud to be launching today, along with an updated section of the Yoti website. Read more

Google Summer of Code 2018 – End Poverty. One Line of Code at a Time.

gsoc2016-sun-373x373This 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 seventh 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 14th to August 14th 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 12  now through March 27! You can apply from our organization page.

Want to learn more? Browse our ideas page for projects and links to all our code repositories.  Click below to view the screencast from our Ask Me Anything held on Thursday March 15 at 1200GMT.

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Webinar: Introduction to Mojaloop from the Gates Foundation

We’re pleased to have Matt Bohan and other members of the Gates Foundation lead a webinar giving an introduction and Q & A session on the recently released Mojaloop.
The webinar was held on Wednesday January 10 at 1500GMT via GoToTraining.

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.

To learn more about Mojaloop read the press release, view the FAQ, browse the repo and of course attend the webinar!

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.