Announcing Mifos X 1.26: Improved Guarantor Management, Teller Cash Management, Configurable Account Prefixes and more
Just in time for the new year, we shipped the latest release, Mifos X 1.26.0, on December 23 which provides a range of new functionalities across our suite of lending and savings products as well as a number of usability enhancements and bug fixes. Major new features include support for capturing guarantee requirements for loans and blocking/holding funds on guarantor accounts, a beta version of our teller cash management module, new statuses for client life cycle, the ability to map liability accounts to fees, ability to update deposit amounts for active recurring deposits, support for capture client images from a linked webcam, and functionality to configure account prefixes on client, loan and savings accounts. With the range of bug fixes and UI enhancements, there are more than 75 tickets fixed in this release. Download Mifos X 1.26 now or request a trial instance to try it out for your organization.
Once again, our gratitude goes out to all the community members that made this release possible including our core team, partners like Conflux Technologies, Musoni Services, Miagstan, and Swordfish Technologies as well as individual volunteers and interns and students from Google Summer of Code and Google Code-In.
In this post, is a walkthrough of each major feature. Please also view the release notes and watch the YouTube Screencast from our December 31 User Meetup for a video demo of each feature.
We’re updating the User Manual with each of these new functionalities so keep checking back regularly for any updates.
Guarantor Management & Holding of Funds
First off, many thanks to Caritas Nairobi, and their support partner Conflux Technologies, for sponsoring the development of this feature and generously sharing it back with the entire community.
With this functionality, Mifos X now supports the selection of multiple guarantors including the borrower’s own funds as a source of guarantee. A percentage of the loan amount can be blocked and then the blocked amount gets released as the loan is repaid with the external guarantor funds being released prior to the borrower’s own funds. Let’s take a look at how this works:
This is new additional functionality that can be used as an alternative to the existing guarantor functionality without blocking of funds. Now when configuring a loan product, you can specify to place guarantee funds on hold and then you must define the mandatory guarantee percentage and how that’s split between the borrower and/or an external guarantor.
Next one would create a new loan account application and then create the guarantors. The loan can’t be approved without the mandatory guarantee being met – Mifos X validates that the borrower has sufficient funds to block/hold in a linked savings account and the external guarantor has sufficient funds in their deposit account being used as the guarantee. In this example, the loan is 10,000 so a total of 4,000 must be guaranteed.
Now as the loan is repaid, the guaranteed funds that are being held will gradually get released, first from the external guarantor and then the borrower. These transactions can be viewed to see as the funds get freed up.
Teller Cash Management Module (Beta)
A huge thank you to Binny both for designing this module and developing it. This is critical cash management functionality that we’ve never had in the system and will address one of the major gaps for financial cooperatives. The module is in beta right now but only needs a few more usability improvements. So go right ahead in testing it out and providing your feedback.
The functionality in the module is simple yet fairly flexible. Tellers can now be created at branches and then staff are assigned as cashiers for each teller and can be done for different dates including partial days.
Once a teller has been created and a cashier assigned, this module supports the core allocation, transaction, and settlement processes a financial institution with teller-style operations needs to manage its daily cash. At the start of the day, cash can be allocated from the main cash vault to the cashier. Throughout the day, all cash in and cash out transactions are logged, additional cash can be allocated from the Main Vault or excess cash can be settled to the Main Vault. At end of day, the cash is settled. All the corresponding GL accounting entries have been made and any point throughout the day, you can view a listing of all the transactions and the net balance of the teller drawer including the cash allocated, cash in, cash out, and what’s been settled.
Configurable Account Prefixes
For client accounts and loan and savings accounts, one can now configure custom prefixes for their account numbers. Under system there is now a new setting for Account Number Preferences. For client accounts the prefixes can be made up of the client-type or the office name. For loan and savings accounts, prefixes can be based on savings or loan product short name and the office name.
Calendar and Meeting Enhancements
Reschedule center/group meetings
You can now change future meeting dates based on the current meeting frequency. Simply navigate to your center or group and the option to Change Future Meetings will be displayed allowing you to reschedule all future meetings.
Change center meeting frequency and intervals
For centers without any active JLG loans recurring deposit accounts, the center meeting frequency and frequency interval can be changed. (i.e. a weekly meeting can be changed to fortnightly)
Specify minimum days between disbursal and repayment
Replicating functionality found in Mifos 2.x, you can now specify the minimum days between disbursal and repayment to provide simple moratorium capabilities.
Mandatory Meeting Date for JLG Loan Disbursement
For those organizations following group lending methodologies in which all JLG loans must follow a meeting, there is now the option to make the calendar mandatory when disbursing a JLG loan. This is configured under the Global Configuration settings.
Other Calendar Enhancements
- Today’s date is now default date for dates in the Date Picker
A number of enhancements have been made to the core loan, savings, and account management functionality:
- Ability to change approved loan amount between accounting opening and account approval for scenarios where entire amount the client has applied for doesn’t get approved. There is now a proposed amount, approved amount, and disbursed amount that gets displayed on the loan details page.
- For those organizations that treat fees as liabilities (pass through fees), they can now can now be mapped to liability general ledger accounts and not just income general ledger accounts.
- Ability to specify a minimum and maximum number of groups per client.
- Ability to capture client sub-status for usage with external code like code-hooks or web-hooks needs to capture an additional status for business rule validation.
- Within data tables, support for Boolean and DateTime data types have been added
- Ability to capture the center meeting time and location
- Minimum and Maximum tenure constraints for tranche loans so the number of repayments is validated and falls within the range.
- Ability to update deposit amount for non-interest bearing recurring deposit accounts.
- Automated Standing Instructions on Loan Disbursement – there is now the ability to automatically create a standing instruction during loan account creation while linking a savings account.
New Client Life Cycle States
There are now the two new client life cycle states of Closed – Withdrawn and Closed – Rejected for clients that are waiting to be approved. For each of these new states/actions, you can create set of a code values to populate the list of reasons for withdrawing or rejecting.
Re-activation of closed clients
Closed clients can now also be re-activated. Withdrawn and Rejected clients will be able to be re-activated as of the next release. These new states and actions will allow better management of a full pipeline of clients including prospects and their full client life cycle.
We’ve heard from many of our power users some important suggestions to improve usability which we are continuing to implement with each release. Mifos X 1.26 contains the following:
- Expand/Collapse all for chart of accounts
- Retaining search criteria
- Defaulting dates
- Moving clients between groups – shows Client IDs also
- Manage groups in Centers and Manager Clients in Groups
- UI for Global Configurations
- Allow tab out from Calendar date-picker
We’ve made a number of technical enhancement to address feedback and optimize performance based on user and partner suggestions:
- Improved gradle build with dev and production profiles; now one has the option to select the build that doesn’t include the embedded artifacts for the executable WAR file.
- Concurrency improvements for better handling and processing of savings transactions in high-volume environments.
Join us in thanking all the contributors across the community who made this release possible: Vishwas Babu, Pramod Nuthakki, Avik Ganguly, Nayan Ambali, Markus Geiss, Michael Vorburger, Alex Ivanov, Mohammed Nafees, Anthony Liu, Mithun Kashyap, Nagaraj Reddy, Emmanual Nnaa, Andrew Dzak, Mike Okeleke, Michael Duku-Kaakyire, Subramanya Shimoga Nagarajaiah, Binny Gopinath Sreevas, Ishan Khanna, Gaurav Saini, Chandrika Mohith, Sughosh Bharadwaj, Awesh Mandal, Sander van der Heyden, and more!