Two Interns Take LinuxFest NW 2016

Hello to the Mifos Community!

Recently, a few members from our Mifos management team went to LinuxFest NW to run a booth and spread our social message of financial inclusion. Led by our Director of Community Programs, Ed Cable, and our two Business Development Interns, Drew (myself) and Jacob, we were able to successfully spread our social message and broaden our Mifos Volunteer corps.

This year marks the third straight year that we have been to LinuxFest NW. Although it is a smaller conference, we are truly thankful for the many volunteers that take time out of their week to put on such a smooth, well run weekend. It is held at Bellingham Technical College, and is mainly run by the students and faculty at the school. While it is easy to overlook these selfless volunteers, we’d like to take a moment to thank them for their service. They are one of the main reasons we continue to come back every year.

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2015 Winter Outreachy Intern Wrapup

As we look towards bringing on a full class of Google Summer of Code interns, let’s reflect on our recent group of interns who completed our Winter 2015 Outreachy program with Mifos for the first time.  Outreachy was a journey for both our interns and our mentors as it brought home many lessons in communications and collaboration across an open source community as  our three interns collectively worked on our Android field operations app. After their contributions we now have a refactored and redesigned app, a wide range of new functionalities for field officers, and a mobile UI for capturing surveys.  Join us in giving a big thank you to Olya, Nelly, and Nasim, and their mentors, Ishan, Gaurav, and Markus. Read on to learn more about what they built and what their most lasting experiences from their internship were.

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Three Countries. Three Conferences. One Common Theme.

Now that the team has safely returned from travel to our three events – our presence at each one has confirmed that our next generation Mifos architecture is the right solution that is needed to guide the world towards Financial Inclusion 2.0. Each stakeholder is ready for this new era – partners building solutions, financial service providers needing greater efficiency to reach their clients, regulators seeking stability and control, and investors seeking transparency and impact.

At TechDays in Amsterdam, the need for the 3rd Generation of Mifos was confirmed by partners new and old. The growth of our partners like Musoni Services and Conflux Technologies showed that they’re reaching a critical point of scale where a new lightweight, cloud-native, and highly scalable architecture is needed. The direct presence of brand new partners confirmed that we are the innovation that powers innovators and that each day new partners are coming our way to build apps that are mobile-first and cloud-enabled.

At the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi, we confirmed the opportunity to set a standard for innovation and be the driving force behind Financial Inclusion 2.0.  The entire industry as a whole is aligning for this to be a reality – financial inclusion providers are ready to go digital and recognize its benefits, national regulators are fostering and advancing an enabling ecosystem, and the technology has evolved with unparalleled computing power available at low cost.

At the Global Microfinance Forum in Berlin, the focus was on investors but they all echoed the pain we’re addressing: costs are too high, access is too hard, innovation is too slow and change is needed. When they gave case studies on examples of successful innovation, they highlighted Musoni Services, one of our gold platform partners that is powered by Mifos X. Meeting these investors and apex organizations was great validation that we are the innovation that powers the innovators.

Craig and Markus will be providing more detailed recaps of our TechDays and the Global Microfinance Forum so I’ll give a more detailed recap on the Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi. Read more

Mifos at the Microcredit Summit for the First Time

Mifos Initiative is honored to be a part of the 18th Microcredit Summit in Abu Dhabi. With its theme of Frontier Innovations for Financial Inclusion, it was the perfect time for us to attend and tell the world our story and journey of transformation since we emerged from the Grameen Foundation. We have been a technology pioneer for microfinance, then financial inclusion, and how will the lead way for Financial Inclusion 2.0.

This is personally my first time at a Microcredit Summit event and of course the venue, the Etihad Towers at Jumeirah is impressive but the buzz and energy of 1000 delegates from 60 different countries is indescribable. Read more

Announcing Mifos X 16.01: Loan Rescheduling, Loan Loss Provisioning, Floating Interest Rates, Variable Installments & Self-Service APIs

We’re delighted to formally announce the new functionality that’s been made available in Mifos X over the past several release cycles culminating in the Mifos 16.01 release shipped on January 12, 2016. We’ve added major new features which expand the breadth of our loan product offerings, improve risk management and monitoring of your portfolio, and enable your clients to take control of their financial services through self-service channels.

Read on below for a glimpse into the major new features including:

  • Loan Rescheduling
  • Loan Loss Provisioning
  • Floating interest rate loans
  • Variable Installment Loans
  • Self-Service APIs
  • OAuth/HTTPs toggling

In case you missed our 2016 Roadmap Webinar, check it out to learn more about what’s scheduled for development in 2016. For few details on the all the bugs and enhancements from this and the 15.12 releases, view the release notes.

Many thanks go out to all the contributors who made this release possible – especially our core team, partners like Musoni Services, as well as a number of new features that were worked on by volunteers in the community.
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Introducing our Winter 2015 Outreachy Interns

We’re honored to be participating for the first time in Outreachy after invitations from Marina and other organizers of the program the past couple of years. Our mission of 3 Billion Maries aligns deeply with Outreachy’s goal to helps people from groups underrepresented in free and open source software get involved. Outreachy is the successor to the Outreach Program for Women (OPW) which was inspired by Google Summer of Code and how few women applied for it. Outreachy is now led by the GNOME Foundation and Software Freedom Conservancy.

37 interns are participating in December 2015 – March 2016 round of Outreachy. We are fortunate enough to take on three brilliant interns from across the world – Nelly Kiboi from Kenya, Olya Fomenko from Ukraine, and Nasim Banu from Canada. We are directly sponsoring one as an Includer-level sponsor and through the generous support of the Outreachy General fund were able to take on two additional interns.

We’re delighted to participate in this program that connects talented and passionate newcomers with people working in free and open source software. Our mentors will help these participants learn how exciting and valuable work on software freedom can be, while helping us to build a more inclusive community.

Visit http://gnome.org/outreachy or follow @outreachy on Twitter to learn more.

Meet our Winter 2015 Mifos Interns

All three of our interns are Android developers and we’ve got them focused on projects that will deliver tremendous value as more and more financial institutions go digital and mobilize their field operations. Nelly will be focusing on building out Version 2 of our Android field app providing new core functionalities needed by staff out in the field. Olya will be providing a refresh to the user experience on the Android field app by implementing Material Design and adding long-awaited offline functionality to the app. Nasim will be building out a mobile interface for our brand new surveys framework including the PPI in addition to optimizing our AngularJS Community App.

Mentoring our interns will be Ishan Khanna, Satya Narayan, and Gaurav Saini. Special thanks to Ishan and Gaurav who have been an instrumental part of the intern onboarding process.

Join in congratulating them on the mailing lists and saying hello! They’ll be sharing progress on their work throughout the coming months.

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2014 Mifos Annual Report

2014 was a breakthrough year for our community as the Mifos X platform established a foothold around the globe and we proved that a platform-centric and partner-driven approach can achieve tremendous scale and impact. Take a few moments to look back at the major milestones from the past year and all the community members who made these accomplishments possible.

At a glance in 2014

  • 2.6 million clients were reached by 110 financial institutions supported by 40 local tech partners across 33 different countries.
  • 80,000,000 transactions were processed on the platform with more than $791,000,000 in loans being managed.
  • 11,630 downloads of our software from 150 countries

Mifos Events Round-Up

This summer has been a busy one as Mifos team members have travelled around the country educating various sectors on the powerful opportunity to eliminate global poverty through open source technology solutions for financial inclusion. While the audiences have been diverse, ranging from open source developers to credit union executives to FinTech innovators, the message is the same: join our global collaborative community and help us in our mission to bring financial services to the 2 Billion Unbanked.

We wanted to take a quick look back at the conferences we’ve been at and a couple more we’ll be speaking at this upcoming month.

  • SOCAP 15 – San Francisco, CA (coming up!)
  • FinDEVr SF 2015 – San Francisco, CA (coming up!)
  • SpringOne2GX – Washington, DC
  • FinovateFall 2015 – NYC, NY
  • 2015 World Credit Union Conference – Denver, CO
  • OSCON 2015 – Portland, OR

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Accion Assesses Musoni App

Powered by Mifos, Musoni Receives High Praise

Musoni Systems worked closely with Accion’s Channels and Technology group on a comprehensive impact assessment of the Musoni App.  The app is designed to improve loan officer efficiency by digitalising the client registration, group registration and loan application processes. The app works in online and offline mode, and can also be used to view reports or to carry out PPI surveys. So far the app has been used to register over 40,000 clients and a similar number of loans.

While the app has always received positive feedback from end users, this was the first rigorous study into the impact the app has had on loan officer performance, branch cost savings and improved client experiences. We’re pleased to say that on all three of these, the app has proved itself an unqualified success.

Key findings of the case study were:

  1. Business Case: Digitalising operations resulted in the MFI realising an increase in income of $86,620 in the first year. As a result of this, launching the Musoni App resulted in a postive ROI in under 12 months
  2. Improved efficiency: Using the Musoni App increased the case load per loan officer by 68% while simultaneously reducing turnaround time (TAT) from 72 hours to 6 hours
  3. Cost Savings: The MFI realised cost savings of $27,246 in the first year of launching the app, achieved by promoting data entry staff into other roles and reduced stationary/printing costs
  4. Improved client experiences: Faster loan disbursements, no need to provide photos or ID photocopies and reduced potential for fraud all resulted in overwhelmingly positive feedback from clients
musoni field

Musoni Field Officer Registers Client

The Musoni App is provided as standard to any MFI licensing the Musoni System, alongside the mobile money integration, SMS module and system itself, providing a one-stop shop to any MFI looking to benefit from the latest technology.

On average, the five main branches recorded a 68 percent increase in loan officer caseload from January 2013 (pre-DFA) to December 2014 (one year after full rollout).”

Please click on this link, or the button below if you’d like to download the full Accion Case Study into the Musoni App. You can also learn more on the Accion CFI blog where they explain some of the benefits they’ve seen in other MFIs using tablets in the field.

To learn more about Musoni – visit their website.  See the impact these innovating people are making with their app built on top of the Mifos X platform.  As of this writing, Musoni serves more than 150,000 clients in 38 Financial Institutions in 9 Countries.  This count grows every day.  Impactful.

Congratulations on a job well done.

Announcing Mifos X 15.03: Mandatory Savings, Individual Collection Sheets, OAuth 2 Support, Context-Sensitive Help

On April 06, 2015 we shipped our first major release for 2015, Mifos X 15.03. With the release, we’ve adopted the new release numbering framework identified by the year-month of the date of the scheduled release. Mifos X 15.03 contained a great deal of new technical and security enhancements, functional improvements to the loans and accounting module, as well as some improved usability. OAuth 2 Support as well as stricter password configuration policies will provide more robust authentication mechanisms. Bulk Collection Sheet Entry for Individual Loans as well as Mandatory Savings accounts are not supported. The loans module now allows for fixed loan product parameters, configurable working days, multiple options for interest calculation on pre-closure, greater flexibility during the approval and disbursal process for multi-tranche loans, and improved rounding off rules for EMI repayments. For the accounting module, one can now migrate opening balances as well as configure fees to be mapped to liability accounts. Last but not least, Mifos X 15.03 now has a significant amount of context-sensitive help including tooltips and dynamic help menu links.  Please view the Mifos X 15.03 release notes for full details.

UPDATE: On May 18, 2015, we shipped the first service pack or hotfix release, Mifos 15.03.1. This released contained new functionality such as a loan products that support a compounding period that is independent from the rest frequency period, improved filtering and searchability on client/groups/center listings, and nearly three dozen bug fixes and UI enhancements. Please view the Mifos X 15.03.1 release notes for full details.

Many thanks go out to all the contributors who made this release possible – especially our core team, partners like Conflux Technologies and Musoni Services, as well as a number of new features that were worked on the high school students who participated in our Google Code-In projects.

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