Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mifos?
Mifos is the back-office management information system (MIS) driving the operations of a microfinance institution. Microfinance is a very intensive hands-on process with thousands of tiny transactions occurring daily. Mifos provides a robust management information system for MFIs to flexibly manage their portfolio, efficiently process their transactions, and generate timely and accurate social and financial reports for funders and management. Watch this video to see Mifos in Action or click here to learn how about Mifos is used.
What is the vision for Mifos and its community?
Mifos is also the community of individuals building, supporting, and using technology to accelerate the scale and impact of microfinance worldwide. Users, specialists, contributors, and industry supporters alike, we are united by our common vision of to create a world of 3 Billion Maries.
Who uses Mifos?
Microfinance institutions (MFIs), organizations working to address economic poverty by providing the poor access to financial services are the core users of Mifos. Mifos is used in production by semi-urban MFIs serving as many as 450,000 clients to rural MFIs serving as few as 25 clients. MFIs follow a wide variety of operational methodologies including standard Grameen-based Joint Liability Groups (JLGs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), Individual Lending, and informal credit unions and savings cooperatives like SACCOs, ASCAs. Mifos is an operational platform for appropriate for any organization an organization of any size practicing standard microfinance activities; however it is not a core banking solution and will not meet the needs of full-fledged bank-like organizations.
What does it cost to use Mifos?
There is no licensing cost to download use, or install Mifos, the software - it is freely available via the Apache Version 2.0 license. As with any open source product, the primary costs include the equipment and infrastructure to power Mifos and the time and resources to implement Mifos.
On the infrastructure side, costs will include connectivity, PCs, power supplies, at the branches to access Mifos; in an on-site implementation the cost of the server and infrastructure at the head office or in the case of a hosted implementation - the monthly costs of hosting. Mifos is enterprise level business software. In addition to a dedicated internal IT person or an external IT consultant or Mifos Specialist, time will be needed from operational and business decision makers to configure and implement the system in alignment with the organization’s business processes.
How long does it take to implement?
The length of an implementation varies based on a number of factors including size of the MFI, existing technical knowledge of staff, complexity of requirements, and more. On average a deployment takes several months.
How do I get support?
Support from fellow Mifos community members is available in our online community through several tools including our technical and users mailing lists, online chat rooms, wiki and documentation. For MFIs needing local support, we have a network of Mifos Specialists providing support, implementation, and hosting services.
How do I volunteer with the Mifos Initiative?
There are a many ways to volunteer and provide your time and talent to work towards a world of 3 Billion Maries. Write code, draft documentation, translate the software, spread word about Mifos - we need your help. Follow the steps located here. Introduce yourself.
What technology is Mifos built on?
Mifos is built on a modern stack of open source technology frameworks. We seek to incorporate best-in-class technologies to provide the most robust, secure, and flexible platform for microfinance. This allows our community to focus on building out the functionality specific for microfinance. View the architecture page for details on the technology that powers Mifos.