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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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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.

Bryan Barnett on The Supervisory Challenges of Financial Inclusion

bryan-barnettBryan Barnett has been one of the long-time advisors to the Mifos Initiative. We’re fortunate to have his insight and guidance in helping us shape how we can build open standards for innovation and open source digital financial services platforms to improve transparency, increase the effectiveness of regulation and ensure high consumer protection.

Recently he published an informative and eye-opening post to the Alliance for Financial Inclusion blog in his role as Banking Advisor to the U.S. Treasury, Office of Technical Assistance. His post, The Supervisory Challenges of Financial Inclusionclosely examines the growing challenges that regulators faces in both developing the rules and regulations to govern the authorization and operations of financial inclusion providers as well as supervising those institutions to ensure regulations are followed and risks are addressed.

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Talking about Financial Inclusion to Financial Innovators at FinDEVr

James Dailey, board member and Chief Innovation Officer for the Mifos Initiative, spent this week at FinDEVr San Francisco with Vishwas introducing the Mifos X platform to the world of fin-tech innovators. 
This week was terrific. I was able to geek out about financial inclusion for hours, give a presentation about the powerful Platform that the Mifos team has built, learn what other tech is up and coming, and share the narrative of why Mifos as a rallying concept – open source, open APIs, cloud, mobile – is so important for building the financial services that people everywhere deserve.
The FinDEVr conference at UC San Francisco Conference Center was not the typical conference for Mifos. Attendees were representing some of the largest payment networks (Visa, Mastercard, Paypal) and their development efforts were focused on use cases that are quite removed from the world of microfinance or building the basic payment networks in emerging markets.

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