As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to look back on the year that was. The growth of our ecosystem, both in scale of outreach and breadth of services and solutions continues to impress us – more than 10,000,000 individuals are now being reached by solutions powered by Mifos and Fineract! We finally began to tell that story on a grander stage, getting the word out at multiple conferences and getting recognized for different awards. While we didn’t ship many official releases, we’re ready to release the newest versions of our mobile wallet and mobile banking apps, the next release of Mifos X and are ready to jumpstart the community around Fineract CN.
As we heads toward 2019, we look to our vibrant ecosystem to help us take the Mifos Initiative to new heights – we’ll be working directly with partners to catalyze new solutions, we’ll be launching an association-based funding model to directly enable partners and users to help with ongoing sustainability, and we’ll begin executing upon our roadmap for Fineract CN, unlocking our vision of Financial Inclusion 2.0.
Here’s our list of the top 10 moments from 2018 in more or less chronological order.
Fueling our Vision for Fineract CN with Fintech Advisors like Vincent Alimi
In February we officially welcomed Vincent Alimi as one of our Fintech Advisors. Despite his busy day job at a Montreal fintech startup, Vincent has made time to help scale technology-enabled financial inclusion by helping us formulate strategic partnerships in the payment space and crystallize our vision for digital financial services. With the first institutions starting to pilot Fineract CN in 2018, our advisors and stakeholders are helping us shape a roadmap for Fineract CN to help build out solutions to support all financial inclusion and fintech verticals.
We are eager to grow our base of advisors in 2019 – so if you are experienced in fintech, financial inclusion, open source, community development, fundraising, non-profit governance, or full stack development, we’d love to welcome you as an advisor to assist the initiative and ecosystem.
Honoring our Star Contributors
While not encapsulated in a singular moment in 2018, we couldn’t have made all the progress on Fineract, Fineract CN, and our Mifos X suite of apps without the tireless contributions of our volunteers – we recognized five star contributors in 2018 – Sanyam Goel, Steve Conrad, Sundari Swami, Aleks Vidakovic, and Chirag Gupta. From full stack developers to former interns and GCI students to product managers, their contributions have been monumental.
Transform Africa Summit 2018
Personally invited to attend the 2018 Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, Rwanda hosted by Smart Africa, it was astounding to be a part of the impressive gathering of technologists and diplomats gathered together to advance the theme of “Accelerating Africa’s Single Digital Market”. Especially noteworthy were the vibrant sessions on open government and blockchain adoption that were part of the launch of the Transform Africa Economic Forum which focused on harnessing the power of digital technologies in accelerating the pace towards achieving the goals of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
While in East Africa, I also had the chance to re-connect with active Mifos partners, hewe and GoIT Solutions, onboard new partner, Fintexx, and promote our Financial Inclusion 2.0 initiative to FSD Kenya, MasterCard Labs, and MicroSave.
Google Summer of Code – our Largest Intern Class Yet
2018 marked our seventh year of participation in Google Summer of Code with our largest class of interns to date, thirteen directly via the Mifos Initiative and four underneath the umbrella of the Apache Software Foundation. Stretching our mentors to their limits, our interns made incredible contributions including the complete rewrite of our web app into Angular 6, major enhancements to our mobile field officer apps, mobile banking app, and mobile wallet app, development of the first client-facing app on Fineract CN, containerization of Fineract CN, and delving into chatbot and machine learning just to highlight a few of the projects.
We also shared how GSOC has become a vital organic growth engine for our community at LinuxFest Northwest during our talk titled Endless Summer of Code: Building the Foundation of a Community through GSOC. To ready ourselves for 2019, four of us convened in San Jose in October to share ideas and gather best practices at the 2018 GSOC Mentor Summit.
Launching the Open Source Fintech Force
As part of our ongoing push to increase our philanthropic giving at an individual level, we launched our membership program, the Open Source Fintech Force – for only a small recurring donation of at least $10/month you can directly support creating a world of 3 Billion Maries. Plus you get an awesome t-shirt to show you’re a member of this exclusive club as well as other perks and benefits.
Announcing our Moonshot at OSCON and ApacheCon
We had the honor and privilege of being speakers at both OSCON in Portland and ApacheCon in Montreal. We planted our flag and told the world about our moonshot to disrupt the fintech sector with Open Source Core Banking from the ground up through our talk, “Open banking: Fueling innovation on an open source core banking platform. We showed the transformative power of building scalable solutions on top of our open APIs by bighlighting several enterprise case studies of institutions from our ecosystem ranging from fintech startups in India and Africa to the largest microfinance bank in Latin America, all the way up to formal banks in Western Europe.
It was a pleasure to have 6 Fineracters in attendance in Montreal including Myrle giving her keynote, Banking on Open Source:
Partnering with DIAL
In 2018, we began a partnership with DIAL’s (Digital Impact Alliance) Open Source Center including a catalytic grant to help fund our community engineer, participation in Google Code-In along with sister organizations, Librehealth, and Ushahidi, and an opportunity to participate in Outreachy. The banner graphic for this post was design by a GCI student!
Total Clients Served Reaches 10 Million
In 2018, the total number of individuals reached by financial institutions and fintechs running their operations with solutions powered by the Mifos and Fineract open APIs reached more than 10 million – this includes partners like Musoni Services and Conflux Technologies who are reaching more than 500,000 and 1,000,000 clients respectively through their Musoni System and Finflux solutions. It includes fintech startups like Mines.io reaching 1,000,000+ clients with its digital credit solution and Novopay reaching 1.2 million with its mobile wallet service. Latin America also contributed to this growth with the continued adoption at Gentera’s Fiinlab, and partners like Fiter and Fintecheando bringing on new customers like Conserva. Finally it includes institutions like BTPN Syariah reaching millions in Indonesia.
Visit our Powered by Mifos section to see a snapshot of the fintech solutions powered by our open APIs across the ecosystem.
Mifos Keynotes Open Source Summit Europe
Capping off a year of more proactively evangelizing about both our social mission and our disruptive approach to fintech, we gave the final keynote at the Linux Foundation Open Source Summit Europe in Edinburgh, Scotland: Open Source Banking: End Poverty One Line of Code at a Time.
Mifos Takes Home Runner up for Fintech for Good Award
We closed the year out on a high note by being selected as the runner-up for the Fintech for Good Award at the 2018 Banking Technology Awards. We lost out only to Deutsche Bank and their CommunITy Hackathons initiative and are honored to have been chosen as Highly Commended ahead of finalists like Lendio, Morgan Stanley, Remitly, Ncino, Sunrise Banks , Tesco Bank and Banco BNI Europa.
We also were shortlisted as a finalist for two other awards in 2018 including the Best Financial Inclusion Initiative for the Financial Innovation Awards from the London Institute of Banking and Finance and the 2018 Paytech for Good Award.