Mifos 2.0 and 2.1 – a Closer Look
A closer look at the features, functionality and reporting improvements that we’ve shipped in the Mifos 2.0 and Mifos 2.1 and Mifos Business Intelligence Suite.
Over the past several months, our team and community has been quite busy – we’ve shipped two major releases and a brand new business intelligence suite offering you powerful reporting tools to analyze the data that has been captured in Mifos.
While we’ve continued to make behind-the-scenes architectural improvements that you might not notice, these releases contain some new functionality that we should take a closer look at. We’ll start by diving into our most recent release, Mifos 2.1 and then go back to take a look at what was in Mifos 2.0. In a separate post, we’ll look at what Mifos Business Intelligence Suite can do to help you understand your business and how your services are impacting your clients.
This release code-named Elsie F was just shipped on March 9, 2011.
Variable Installment Loans
Need more flexibility with the installment schedules in Mifos? This new ability to specify different gaps between installments will allow for better support of agricultural loans or other loan products. Now instead of only being able to offer a balloon payment loan at the end of the period, you can offer up a more flexible installment structure.
With this new feature, you can also track the incoming cash flows of a borrower along with their repayment capacity. The installments of the loan can be structured to match the cash flows of the borrower. Having these checks provides greater control over the lending process and a more accommodating product that meets the borrowers needs.
M-PESA Support – Import Disbursal Transactions
With the second phase of our M-PESA plugin complete, you can now import disbursals made via M-PESA into Mifos. Now with a few clicks, you can import all your M-PESA mobile money transactions (loan repayments, loan disbursals, and savings deposits) directly into Mifos. Save time and ensure accurate data with your mobile money transactions automatically applied to your client accounts.
As Safaricom looks to extend M-PESA across Africa, we’re excited to watch how this integration with the Mifos platform will help more and more MFIs scale their mobile money solutions. Download the plugin here or visit our user manual to learn how to configure and use the plugin.
New Interest Rate Type – Declining Balance – Interest Recalculation
Interest due is recalculated based on when or how much the client pays. Now you can offer cliens greater incentive to pay on time. For loans of this type, when clients make a late or partial payment, they will be penalized by higher interest on their next payment. When they pay early or more than the amount due, they’ll owe less interest on the upcoming payment.
Browse the functional specification for use cases on how interest is recalculated with this new interest rate type.
Early Repayment of Fees
Want to charge a client a one-time fee and collect payment right now? Previously, this wasn’t possible. You couldn’t collect fees until the next meeting. Now you can assess a fee and collect payment right when the fee is being applied. Partial payment of fees are now supported with this new feature. Learn more by reading the functional specification for early and partial repayment of fees.
Mifos 2.0 shipped on December 21, 2010.
Question Groups is a brand new feature that replaces our existing survey and additional functionality. Question Groups give you greater flexibility and control over what information you collect and where you collect it. You can now insert groups of questions at any record or stage of the workflow in Mifos; also at your disposal are new question types including smart-select dynamic drop-downs. You can capture demographic info when creating a new client, record a loan purpose survey when approving a new loan, or track business performance midway through a loan; all this data is stored in the database so you can analyze it and use this insight to understand your clients and portfolio.
We think this dynamic data collection tool has a broad range of potential that you’ll only begin to realize once you start using it: streamline your client acqusition process, store rich demographic data to know your clients, create a more data-driven and low-risk loan application process, or improve your targeted outreach as you open new branches – these are some of the many possibilities with Question Groups.
Browse the Question Groups section in the user manual to learn how to use this feature. Let us know in the comments how you plan to use Question Groups.
The Progress out of Poverty Index (PPITM) is Grameen Foundation’s industry-leading social performance management tool based on a simple 10-country povery scorecard for each country. Mifos 2.0 is the first MIS for microfinance with integrated support all available PPI scorecards globally. Taking advantage of the new flexibility of Question Groups, You can now track PPI data for 33 countries , version your PPI surveys when new scorecards are released, and export and analyze all your PPI data in our Mifos Business Intelligence Suite.
M-PESA Phase 1
See above for more on the current version of the plug-in with expanded functionality. For Mifos 2.0, we shipped with the ability to import loan repayments and savings deposit transactions.
Waive Interest on Prepayment of Loan
Want to reward clients for repaying their loan early; you now have the option of waiving remaining interest due when clients pay the entire loan before it’s due.
Integration with Tally ERP.9
For Mifos 2.0 we also built a front-end interface to ease the export of general ledger transaction data into Tally ERP.9, the leading accounting package for MFIs in India.