is there plan to start a accounting package for credit unions?

Asked by Tim Smith on 2007-06-24

Hi I am a strong believer in credit unions, I am in the UK and I think that the commercial products are very over priced for what they do.

I think that the open source community could do a stirling job as it has in many other applications.Unfortunately I am not a developer and have very limited linux knowledge but I know that the other solutions are a major barrier for these non-profit organisations to start to become self sustainable.

I am very well versed with the movement here in UK as my parents have involved me from a very early age and I can help with the user testing but not with the programing.

I realise that you may not be the correct person to talk to but I was hoping you may be able to point me in the correct direction.

(this is the first time I have asked a question I am not sure if this will go to you or everyone, I apologise if this goes to everyone)

Tim

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Answered
For:
Community Banker Edit question
Assignee:
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Last query:
2007-06-24
Last reply:
2007-06-25
Bank-Builder (bank-builder) said : #1

Hi Tim,

  thanks for your mail.

I am based in South Africa (hence the co.za email address) and with a
group of like minded people have been exploring the establishment of a
CU here. What I have discovered (besides the copious legal red-tape) is
that most new CU's (we call them SACCO's here) simply fold because their
administration is not adequate to the task and that the competition from
local banks has really improved/intensified. The local SACCOL ( CU
Governing Body) expects CU's to have physical infrastructure such as
branches etc. but this is becoming too onerous. The obvious solution is
to go internet and mobile-phone banking from the start.

I then spent literally 2 years looking for some workable opensource
solutions without success. I know that Grameen Bank promised to
opensource something and never did, and there was some interesting stuff
going on in Uganda but it was not compliant with main stream banking
standards etc. Eventually I just started the project myself. I too am
not a programmer but I have been doing the design and been sponsoring
the project financially to-date. Opensource is heavily dependent on
donations, of either programmer's free-time (which in South Africa is a
rarity) or money (which in my case is a scarcity). Therefore I have
been forced to pace the project to match my rather limited financial
resources. A "cheap" capable programmer costs about R20k/month (which
is about GPB1700.00/month) ie not-so-cheap.

My vision is to make the solution platform independent and to make it
hostable so that ISP's can host the platform for CU's in their areas.

The project took a hiatis recently with the departure of my only
programmer, since which I have been talking to Rhodes University to see
if their 3rd year students may be interested in continuing the project.
I have considered offering bounties for each new piece of functionality
added. (eg. $250.00 for the student who can complete the code for the
phone banking module.)

This is status of things. The solution thus far offers basic internet
access and sms notification and 2nd channel verification for the call
centre application. It is not yet bundled neatly enough to be
distributed and was written in C# on Windows, hence my desire to see it
working on MONO (which provides C# across different platforms).

I really look forward to having you in the team if you wish to
participate. One thing we need to do is to clarify and clean up the
User Requirements Specifications so that what we build is in-fact what
CU's will need and use.

Best regards,

Andrew

Andrew Turpin
<email address hidden>
+27-82-8205064

On Sun, 2007-06-24 at 22:16 +0000, Tim Smith wrote:
> New question #8722 on Community Banker:
> https://answers.launchpad.net/cu-banker/+question/8722
>
> Hi I am a strong believer in credit unions, I am in the UK and I think that the commercial products are very over priced for what they do.
>
> I think that the open source community could do a stirling job as it has in many other applications.Unfortunately I am not a developer and have very limited linux knowledge but I know that the other solutions are a major barrier for these non-profit organisations to start to become self sustainable.
>
> I am very well versed with the movement here in UK as my parents have involved me from a very early age and I can help with the user testing but not with the programing.
>
> I realise that you may not be the correct person to talk to but I was hoping you may be able to point me in the correct direction.
>
> (this is the first time I have asked a question I am not sure if this will go to you or everyone, I apologise if this goes to everyone)
>
> Tim
>

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