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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 Welcomes Advisor, Deepa Prahalad

Next up, we are thrilled to announce our newest oncoming member of our board of business and technical advisors, Deepa Prahalad. As an advisor, Deepa will be focusing a majority of her time on design, storytelling, and communication in order to build a more tight-knit community around the Mifos Initiative. Deepa believes that paying attention to aspirations can often create a faster adoption and widespread impact which is usually overlooked in the process of making things affordable. What motivated Deepa to become an advisor was the mission behind the Mifos Initiative: “Creating tools for financial inclusion for billions of unbanked and under-banked people around the world”. She believes that this is a crucial part of creating opportunity and prosperity for future generations.

With a political science and economics background, a specific skill-set Deepa plans to bring to the Mifos Initiative is combining the macro-level understanding of trends with deep dives into consumer mindsets and aspirations. Deepa says that “bringing both of these elements directly into the design of an organization’s products and services is what can maximize profit and impact”. Deepa’s deep knowledge in strategy and design will go hand in hand to reach these goals.

When asked about the most critical action we can take to end global poverty, Deepa responded with:

“It’s natural to want to provide ‘solutions’, but most social challenges like poverty are extremely complex.  I think Muhammad Ali made a great point when he said, ‘It’s not the mountains in the distance that wear people down – it’s the pebble in your shoe.’ People are not waiting passively to be ‘saved’, even when they are in desperate circumstances.  They are usually trying to solve their own problems.  A lot of the inequality we see around the world reflects a lack of choices, not a lack of awareness.  The impact that organizations have on society is huge because they expand the range of choices we have.  This is where business can really make the world a better place.”

In the short time we’ve been working with Deepa she’s already stimulated some great ideas and creative strategies to grow our community. One such project that she’s helping us launch is our Mifos 2030 Vision Campaign. We will paint a clear picture of how we envision the world as we see it in 2030 and invite the rest of the community and ecosystem in sharing their own commitment to how they personally can make that vision a reality. We will be formally unveiling it soon but it will be a powerful campaign and strategic vision for our initiative that will tell a powerful story of what we’ve accomplished to date including testimonials from our community, set key milestones and benchmarks our community will aspire to in alignment with the UN SDG of No Poverty by 2030, and establish an actionable roadmap with commitments from partners which will guide our community.

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Mifos Welcomes Advisor, Allison Baller

We are excited to formally announce the newest member of our board of business and technical advisors, Allison Baller. Allison provides the relevant experience and knowledge of the global fintech market to make an immediate impact here at the Mifos Initiative. As a new member of the Mifos Advisory Board, Allison is motivated and passionate about exploring new ways to leverage technology and build innovative business models for financial health which will make a difference globally for the underserved.

A unique skill set Allison hopes to bring to the Mifos Initiative as an advisor is her strong interest and experience with “the customer”, and the ability to develop new business models often with emerging technology and a passion for creating innovative partnerships. Allison has had the opportunity to fine tune these skills from her 2 decades of experience engaging with Banks, Telecommunications companies, and retailers and Fintechs across emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Allison says that she is “especially excited to engage in some of the Mifos endeavors in Latin America”. That being said, Allison is happy to work on any project in any market as well.

Here’s a bit more on Allison:  Allison serves as the Vice President and Head of Industry Readiness for the FedNow Service, a near real-time payment and settlement service under development by the Federal Reserve Banks to support instant payments in the United States. Baller helps facilitate industry readiness specifically focused on adoption and innovation through partnerships across the ecosystem of Banks, Payment Service Providers, and Fintechs. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve, Baller spent more than two decades at IBM, where she held various global leadership roles in blockchain, cloud, and emerging payments. Her career has focused on building new business models and accelerating the transformation from cash to digital payments across Financial Services, Telecommunications, and Retail.

When asked about the most critical action we can take to end global poverty, Baller responded with this list:

  1. “An ability to foster strong public-private partnerships”
  2. “The need to ensure we develop sustainable business models to support financial health across nations”
  3. “Strong education and marketing communication”
  4. “Incentives to spur new ideas which build upon emerging technology and the latest innovations with open standards on a global platform”

We are eager to work with Allison in executing upon that list and already have a number of projects in mind that she can help to steward including:

  • Sustainability of the initiative by enabling more self-funded revenue derived from the value being created by fintechs across our ecosystem.
  • Development of the ecosystem, especially around the market-readiness of solution providers, with a focus on mobile wallets and payments interoperability
  • Positioning and branding for Mifos Initiative –  translating from our current developer-centric orientation to a narrative that aligns with global funders and partners that could catalyze and support our efforts.

An interesting fact about Allison is that she has always had a passion for exploring new markets and making a difference to improve lives around the world.

“I have many fond memories and I have learned a lot from my experience in diverse countries including Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Thailand, Cuba, and many others. My love for diverse cultures, languages, and adventure stemmed from spending time studying and exploring Central America, followed by my first “real job” which I held while living in Venezuela in the early 90’s”

Please help in welcoming in Allison to the Mifos Community! We thank her for providing her time and knowledge to help the initiative.

 

 

Roadmap for the Future of Fineract at ApacheCon @Home

This month marks nearly five years since The Mifos Initiative began the process of donating the Mifos X software to the Apache Software Foundation leading to the formation of the top-level project, Apache Fineract. We’re proud to see how the community has continued to grow and evolve with the first ever Fineract track taking place at this year’s ApacheCon, which is going completely virtual this year as ApacheCon @Home.

Throughout this time the Mifos Initiative has continued to act as a thought leader for democratizing financial services while stewarding the ecosystem of companies developing solutions and contributing to the upstream development on Apache Fineract. Members of the Mifos team will be leading a number of talks and moderating several panels which will showcase this ecosystem and the roadmap we’re advancing to position Apache Fineract as both a foundational digital public good and disruptive open source core banking platform

ApacheCon @Home is completely virtual this year and will be held September 29 to October 2 from xyz to xyz. View the Fineract track agenda for details on each session and register for the conference, here: https://hopin.to/events/apachecon-home. During the three day Fineract track, spearheaded by Javier Borkenztain from Fiter, there will be a range of talks and panels highlighting the past, present, and future of Fineract.

 

James Dailey, the current chairman of the Mifos board and the visionary behind Apache Fineract which originally started out as MOAP, the microbanking architecture project nearly two decades ago, will moderate a panel looking at The Present of Fineract and will give a glimpse into the future by participating in a panel envisioning Fineract in 2030 and leading a talk on Open Source as a Counterweight to PlatFins.

 

Michael Vorburger, longtime Mifos and Fineract volunteer who recently joined the Mifos Initiative board, will share his efforts in catalyzing upstream development across the community during his Fineract: Reinvigorating Community Talk which has been made possible through the development infrastructure he built out and will showcase during his Running Fineract.dev like a Cloud Native SRE session. 

 

President/CEO of the Mifos Initiative, Edward Cable, will moderate a number of different panels which showcase the expertise of our ecosystem, the breadth of use cases for which they’ve deployed Fineract, and the roadmap of how Mifos will help to guide the ecosystem in evolving Fineract as an end to end open source architecture for composable financial services.

Apache Fineract, as a flexible and scalable account and wallet management platform is the critical foundation for enabling real-time payments adoption, fueling mobile innovation at both a consumer as well as delivery channel level, helping governments digitize large scale cash transfers, and leveraging the power of data science to deliver more impactful financial services. 

  • AI for All: Democratizing Data Science for Financial Inclusion
    • Jeremy Engelbrecht of Softidoc and Lalit Mohan of IDRBT will share with you the Mifos vision of AI for All – our roadmap for enabling widespread adoption of data science tools made evident by the innovations built by our community and ecosystem. 
  • Digital Field Applications: Exploring the Spectrum of Apps to Truly Reach the Last Mile 
    • Avik Ganguly of Fynarfin will present and showcase the wide range of mobility and field force enablement applications that can be powered by Fineract to support widespread operations in the field and branchless delivery channels. 
  • To Infinity and Beyond: Scaling Fineract for the Enterprise
    • Istvan Molnar of DPC Consulting, Victor Romero of Fintecheando and Avik Ganguly of Fynarfin will share how they achieved massive scalability of Fineract for institutions ranging from Fortune 500 banks to national government-led banks to leading fintech mobile wallet providers. 
  • OpenG2P: Open Source Building Blocks for Digitizing Large Scale Cash Transfers
    • Steve Conrad of DIAL and Keyzom and Salton Massally will introduce to the Fineract community, the OpenG2P framework, an emerging coalition and reference architecture of composable digital public goods for digitizing cash transfers. 
  • Real-Time Payments: Enabling a Connected, Cashless, and Inclusive Society
    • Godfrey Kutumela representing High Touch Consulting and the Mojaloop community along with Istvan Molnar of DPC Consulting will highlight the growing adoption of national real-time payment systems guided by standards like the Level One Principles and how the Fineract community can leverage the recently developed Payment Hub EE to accelerate connection to real-time payment systems like Mojaloop
  • Open Banking: a Revolutionary Democratizing Force for Financial Services Innovation
    • Our panel consisting of Matt Millar of Updraft from the UK, Victor Romero of Fintecheando in Mexico and Ali Hussein Kassim of Kipochi from Nairobi will give insight into the transformative innovation for consumers being enabled by Open Banking standards emerging around the globe.

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