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Monday in Ecuador

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Mifos Innovation team of  Ed Cable, Javier Borkenztain, and Luisa Martínez,  landed in Ecuador today for an exciting week of work. Right off the bat, the team had their schedule booked. To start the day, they met with Carlos Córdova from IOU Fintech to be introduced to his team as  well as briefed for tomorrow’s mCnG1fDOW8AAk_fveeting. Carlos can be seen in the picture to the right presenting his plan for emoney in Ecuador.

After a short break, the team then had two meetings with the Central Bank of Ecuador, one with their technical team and the other with their public relations team.

Finally, the innovation team regrouped at Impacto, the social impact hub for Ecuador. Impacto has doubled in size since the last time the Mifos team visited Ecuador!

Long story short, the process of bringing Financial Inclusion 2.0 to Ecuador has began, yet there is so much more to come. In the following days, Javier, a member of our innovation team, has 8 interviews scheduled about the Mifos Financial Inclusion Cloud. He has 2 on TV, 1 on the radio, and one with the newspaper just tomorrow. There is still much more to be done and we look forward to filling you in with what happens each day of our trip.

-Jacob Kobzi, Business Development Intern

Mifos in Ecuador

Hello Mifos Community,

There are still 2.5 billion people worldwide that do not have access to basic financial services. Financial inclusion is working to bring this number down. However, financial inclusion only works when available. It is costly to implement and difficult to access for many developing countries. This is why the Mifos Initiative has been working to develop Financial Inclusion 2.0, an innovative approach to allow every person access to financial services using just their phone.Mifos in front of Central Bank of Ecuador

Mobile Money in Ecuador

In 2013, Ecuador reported that there were more mobile phone lines than citizens in their country. Yet, 60% of the Ecuadorian population does not have access to financial services, and that number only gets higher in rural areas. Realizing this, the Ecuadorian government saw an opportunity where a mobile electronic payment system could be the answer to their financial inclusion problems. Ecuador implemented the first-ever state-run mobile electronic payment system that is low cost and easy to access for everyone that has a mobile phone. Read more

OSCON and the Growing Influence of Open Source Technology

Hello Mifos Community!

I’m back again with another post about yet another conference.

Over this past weekend, I was blessed with the ability to go to OSCON, an Open Source conference centered on the power that open source technology can have over a variety of industries, countries, and methodologies. From healthcare reform to open source cloud computing, this conference had an amazing variety of industries that were positively impacted by open source technology. To give you a glimpse of our weekend, I would like to both highlight a few of my favorite moments and give some insight into how the Mifos Initiative has both been a beneficiary and contributor to the open source movement.

OSCON general

Unlike most years, this year OSCON was held at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Personally, I thought it was very powerful holding the conference in Austin, (a vastly different city than its predecessor Portland) as it shows how open source is now truly a national movement and is being embraced across the country, even in areas that are historically more resistant to change. With the new venue came a host of new organizations and new speakers, all with new views and stories on how open source has helped advance their respective fields in one way or another. Below are a few of our favorites:

Performance Case Study: Capital One’s quick shift from closed source to open source

This session was especially intriguing to me, as a large bank (Capital One) is finally starting to embrace the open source movement that we at the Mifos Initiative have been a part of since 2006. After the first few minutes of the session, it was easy to see the commonalities between the big banks and our open source initiative. One common thread was the idea that banks must be a technology company first. In other words, in order to be a successful organization, the bank had to produce a banking platform that was easily scalable, user-friendly, and customizable to suit client needs. Sound familiar? All of these features are what we at the Mifos Initiative hang our hat on and are what makes the open source movement so powerful. In our age of agility, scalability, and customization, big banks are beginning to realize the power that the smaller open source initiatives, like the Mifos Initiative, are starting to have on a global scale.

Modern JavaScript Architectures: Clients, microservices, and containers

This session was more technical than the other sessions I went to but nevertheless fit very well with the third generation of our Mifos platform. For those of you that don’t know, the third generation of our platform encompasses taking our current MifosX platform and converting it to a series of microservices that we will containerize and navigate using a variety of cloud-based apps. So, as you can already tell, this talk directly correlated to the work we are doing in the conversion from our current Mifos X platform to the third generation of our open source platform. While I am currently on the business side of the Mifos Initiative, this talk helped me visualize how our platform will be set up at the developmental level. It was a great way to learn more about the inner workings of our platform and see how and why we are following the popular trend towards microservices and cloud-based apps.

Want students who are ready to contribute? Here’s what they should know.

As a student at the University of Washington, this session also struck very close to home for me. I’m lucky to have gotten the opportunity to intern for a great organization that works in the open source community, but not everyone is as fortunate as I am. For those that do not get exposed to the power of open source technology, how do we, as teachers and industry professionals help mold the future developers of the world? As a Google Summer of Code mentoring organization, the Mifos Initiative deals with this issue quite often. While we hope to get interns that are well equipped to take on any project we give them, we realize that not everyone is set up for success coming out of college. In order to maximize the production of these interns, we realize that we have to utilize the techniques given in the session to make sure all our students are ready to contribute right away so our projects will get done faster and more developers will be getting necessary experience to help them start their open source development careers.

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OSCON booth

In addition to the new speakers and exhibitor crowd, we were happy to see that a few members from our Mifos community made the trek from Cameroon to learn more about our organization and our industry. Among them was Nyah Check, a good friend of Ayuk the head of Skylabase Solutions, our partner organization in Cameroon working on creating a customized Mobile Wallet/Mobile Money application integration with Mifos. Nyahis currently in the States trying to learn as much as he can about open source technology from the various conferences he’s attended. He hopes to bring this knowledge back to Cameroon so he can build on top of the Mifos banking platform to give needed support to his community back home. He is truly an inspiration to everyone at Mifos and is living proof of just one of the millions of people that we have reached through our open source banking platform.

To wrap up, I would just like to say a quick thank you to our very own director Director of Community Programs, Ed Cable. It was a pleasure running the booth with you and I had a great OSCON experience. I look forward to many more exciting adventures with the Mifos Initiaitive over the summer!

Signing off,

Drew Fass

4th Generation Mifos Intern

Volunteer with Mifos in 2014

Would you like to help change the world? Did you know that you can volunteer your time to help build technology that has the potential to lift billions from poverty?

At the Mifos Initiative, we guide the development of Mifos X, an open-source cloud-based platform for delivering financial services to the poor. We use open source technology and the power of community to scale financial inclusion worldwide to achieve our shared vision of creating a world of 3 Billion Maries, a world where each individual has access to the financial services to create a better life for themself and their family.  We connect the on-the-ground organizations serving the base of the pyramid with open source contributors building applications on top of the platform to enable financial inclusion to the poor.

Read more

2013 Mifos Summit Recap

Amid the hustle and bustle of the summit, we shared a couple of posts recapping the vigor and vitality of the opening days of the summit.  Now that we’ve all settled back into our day-to-day routines, we want to look back on the 2013 Summit, rekindle that energy, and map out what lies ahead for 2014.

IMG_2833First off, a tremendous thank you to Paul Maritz, the lead sponsor of the summit as well asGoogle’s Open Source Programs and the ThoughtWorks Social Impact Program who came on as silver-level sponsors. Their financial contributions made possible the scholarships to bring so many delegates to the summit and the selection of such a world-class city and venue in Jaipur. A huge thank you to Amit Jain, and all the staff of Digamber Finance for welcoming us to Jaipur as the local host guiding all the preparations and assistance during the summit that made it such a memorable event.

Read more

2013 Mifos Graduating Class for Google Summer of Code

I’m proud to now call our interns, affectionately known as A Team – Here’s Ygraduates of the 2013 Google Summer of Code program. The three months of coding flew by in an instant so I marvel at the amazing work our interns made across all areas of the platform. Hats off to our students and a huge thank you to Google for inviting us to be a part of Summer of Code once again. Apart from the dedicated efforts of our students themselves, the biggest gratitude must go to our team of mentors, Gurpreet, Michael, Udai, and Kojo who selflessly guided our interns on their journey throughout the summer. Michael Vorburger put this summer in perspective in the most beautiful and perfect of ways:

“How amazing is it that GSoC gets four students – from Germany, from China, from Sri Lanka and from India, coached by mentors from India, Ghana, and, Switzerland – to collaborate purely in cyberspace together on adding features to a microfinance platform… the world truly is flat”

 

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Google Summer of Code – We’re Halfway Home

Put on your socks and lace up your shoes. Our Google Summer of Code interns are racing along and making amazing progress. We just passed the midterm evaluation point and all our projects are well on-target for completion. Since you all aren’t a part of our weekly check-ins or daily status updates we wanted to give you a glimpse into each project and what the interns are readying by the end of the summer. We also got a nice shout-out on the Google Open Source blog.

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We Call Them our A Team – Here’s Y

Earlier this week we gave you a brief glimpse into the professional and academic backgrounds of our interns. You’ll certainly be seeing and hearing often from our interns his summer but we wanted to share a few personal details to help you get acquainted. We asked each of them a few questions – their responses show that they’re a fun-loving yet focused group that will make this summer unforgettable.
Keith came with a clever nickname that I couldn’t resist using – the “A Team”. Everyone’s first name begins with “A” except for Yanna. Send us your suggestions on how we can incorporate her name -apart from making the Y silent 🙂

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Meet the 2013 Google Summer of Code Class of Interns

Google Summer of Code is one of the most exciting times for an open source project and community. It’s a chance to inject new energy into a project and help build the next generation of coders and tech entrepreneurs that are ready to contribute to HFOSS.

We’re honored to have been awarded four slots by Google for the 2013 program, the first time the Mifos project has participated since 2010.  With those four slots, we’ve selected an exceptional class of interns that I’m certain will provide tremendous contributions to our community as they themselves grow and learn from the awesome leaders in our community.

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ThoughtWorks HSP team gives Mifos X community a solid footing to grow from

I’d like to give a big thank you to the ThoughtWorks HSP team. Their team has only been a part of our community a few weeks but it seems like they’ve been with us for years. They’ve helped us at a critical time in the launch of Mifos X to our developer community. They’re putting the infrastructure in place to guide a smooth transition to our community-driven development model on top of the Mifos X platform.  

Here’s a guest post from Gurpreet on what’s been keeping them busy so far.

Recently, folks from ThoughtWorks started contributing to Mifos X as part of their Humanitarian Software Program (HSP). HSP is a ThoughtWorks initiative to help Humanitarian Open Source projects by channelizing beach and volunteer time of ThoughtWorkers. Gurpreet & Deepali from the HSP team at ThoughtWorks work full-time in connecting ThoughtWorkers to Open Source projects adopted under the HSP Program.

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