Mifos Android Client - A Closer Look
The Mifos Android client has been available in the Google Play store for a couple months now so hopefully you've had a chance to try it out. If not, we wanted to give you a closer look at the smartphone version of the Mifos application that gives you instant access to your data wherever you have a mobile phone connection. The Mifos Android client was developed by SolDevelo who is ready to respond to feedback with fixes and enhancements to make it perform even better. The video screencast, data sheet overview, and Mifos Android Client user manual will give you a clearer picture of the features available.
What is the Mifos Android Client?
Let's first cover the basics of what the Mifos Android Client is and what features it supports. It's a mobile version of Mifos available as a smartphone application that runs on top of the Android operating system. You can freely download the application from the Google Play store and through a handy interface for a smartphone you have instant access to your client data anywhere there's a mobile connection. Right now these first versions of the Android client focus on viewing client data and making transactions. – making the loan officer more efficient and more informed in the field. It supports the core functional operations including:
- Viewing clients and detailed information about centers and groups
- Viewing details of loan and savings accounts
- Applying transactions including repayments, withdrawals, disbursals individually and in bulk via the collection sheet entry interface
- Viewing a detailed transaction history
- Support for task lists showing upcoming meetings
Since the Android client is directly connected to your Mifos server, all these changes are automatically reflected at the head office level.
This brochure drafted by SolDevelo provides a nice overview of current functionality.
For a hands-on look at the Android client in action, watch the following screencast:
Download the app and give it a try - you can test it all out by connecting to the http://ci.mifos.org:8085/mifos server and authenticate using userid: mlo and passowrd: m12345
The Mifos Android Client User Manual explains the client and all the process it supports in full detail.
This all sounds good - but why do I need it?
What can it do for my organization?
The Mifos Android client is a great tool to help your loan officer stay better connected while out in the field. This can either be your secondary or primary device that keeps your loan officers or even your entire branch connected remotely. Through the mobile data connection, the Mifos Android client helps you go the last mile by making Mifos more accessible and closer to where the client is.
For most, this will be a secondary way in which to access to Mifos, allowing your loan officers to be better informed and more efficient while reaching customers in rural areas. At their fingertips wherever they are, they've got access to all the powerful information and functionality held in Mifos.
For others, the Android client could become the primary way in which you access Mifos. Perhaps you're not using Mifos yet because you don't have connectivity at each of your branches - this could be the solution - you can perform all the essential day to day operational transactions through your smartphone now. With Mifos installed in the cloud or back at the head office, this even thinner client is a viable solution for MFIs operating in areas with no connectivity.
Where do we go next?
With the APIs SolDevelo has built to support the Android client, there are few limits to where you can go and how we can broaden access to your entire portfolio of data. We want to hear from MFIs in the field about what you'd like to see next from Mifos Android client. We want practical feedback from real-life experiences using the current version so we can make it more useful for your staff.
But we also want to explore your vision and learn what you think you could do with the full power of Mifos from a smartphone. How could we help you understand your clients better? What operations would you perform out in the field? What processes should it support? Right now it provides the basics - where do we go next?
- Could you use the camera to take photos of clients? take photos of their collateral? scan in documents?
- Would you record more surveys and question groups of your clients while visiting them?
- Could you speed up the loan disbursal process using the smartphone?
Are you ready for a smartphone client? What mobile technology could your organization utilize the most? Java-based apps on a feature phone? SMS Apps? Let us know.