By Ed Cable, President
Governments everywhere are seeking to soften the blow to small and microbusinesses from the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide transfer payments to the most vulnerable individuals. At Mifos, we’re intent on bringing open source technologies for financial inclusion to meet this moment.
For example, we are poised to help governments by providing low-cost banking infrastructure to rapidly roll out accounts in the cloud through Mifos, as well as real-time payments through Mojaloop and our newly created Payment Hub. Built on open principles and standards, we catalyze inclusive fintech innovation, an ecosystem of providers, and enable the rapid delivery of government or humanitarian benefits to digital channels and accounts.
Our COVID-19 response section on Mifos.org highlights how to use these tools to rapidly respond to this crisis and also establish a foundation for fintech innovation. Our organization recently showcased our technology in a tech demo at the 2020 Global Digital Development Forum, and we detailed the challenges and opportunities faced in helping the informal economy recover in an article on NextBillion.net.
In much of the world, the ability of governments to send funds to small businesses or citizens is limited. They’re having to build the solutions in a time of crisis. To that end, we’ve been part of a coalition building out an OpenG2P framework, an effort to create a set of universal requirements and guidelines for implementing an end to end open source payments transfer system for governments. Based on work done by the government of Sierra Leone during the Ebola crisis, this is a bottom up effort.
Beyond this, many of our partners are building solutions powered by our core banking API (Application Programming Interface) layer, which allows them to easily build applications on top of the platform. These solutions are helping local financial institutions and digital financial service providers respond swiftly to the emerging needs of their customers. Examples include accelerated rollout of tablet-based operations for farmers in Myanmar (Musoni System) and the rapid deployment of online lending services to small businesses affected by the pandemic in Mexico (Banco del Bienestar). Our partners have also facilitated more flexible loan rescheduling, relaxed lending terms, extended grace periods, and overdue charge waivers for customers in India, South America, the Caribbean, and London.
This partner ecosystem is responding by building more tools and enabling the broadest financial inclusion possible. We believe the way forward is together.