Mifos 2.4 (Vinolia I) is Live!

Since the community has transitioned in leadership from Grameen Foundation to the Community for Open Source Microfinance, we’ve been pushing full speed ahead on development driven by user feedback. Mifos 2.4 (Vinolia I) directly responds to this feedback, aiming to solve the major pains felt by the community and to take Mifos one step further in ease of use and going hand-in-hand with your business processes.

SolDevelo has been the guiding force behind ongoing development and once again has done a stellar job, shipping another timely release, stewarding community contributions, and developing long-requested new features.  When we’ve asked you what causes the most pain in Mifos – the answer is almost always reporting or accounting integration.  This release addresses those critical gaps by embedding Pentaho reporting directly in Mifos and including an integrated module for simple accounting support. Mifos 2.4 also smoothes out other core functionality through streamlining mobile money integration with KopoKopo, strengthening the loan workflow, increasing efficiency through support for transfers, improve handling of GLIM loans, and better control over historical transactions. Here’s a quick list of the major features with a detailed overview and screenshots of each feature.

Join us in extending a massive thank you to the community members who contributed code for this release, Jakub for his technical leadership, Lukasz for his thorough QA, and the entire SolDevelo team for leading development of most of the new functionality for this release. Read the release notes for a full list of issues fixed and documentation on how to upgrade.

Embedded Pentaho Reporting

We just made reporting a whole lot easier – all the power of our Pentaho Mifos Business Intelligence Suite is now directly embedded in Mifos.  All you need to do is install Mifos and you now have access to 25 additional standard reports.  You can now build custom reports and directly upload these into Mifos.  No longer do your staff have to switch back and forth between two systems.
Embedded Pentaho Reporting
For those users needing the robustness of building on top of the Mifos data warehouse, you can continue to install Mifos BI separately – we’re now at Mifos BI 1.4 in that release cycle. To make Pentaho reports work properly under Mifos, follow these instructions to properly set up the Jetty server.
Thank you to John Woodlock for building this capability for Mifos X and Pawel from SolDevelo and Ramesh from Conflux for helping to integrate this into Mifos 2.4.

Mifos-ACC Basic Accounting Module

The Mifos-ACC accounting module which was spearheaded by FinA and developed by Hugo Technologies with support from Conflux is such a major feature that we’re going to ship it as part of an upcoming maintenance release in one to two weeks. If you need to utilize that functionality now, you can download this Mifos WAR file with the Mifos-ACC module included.

Account Transfers

We continually seek to raise efficiency and reduce redundancy in Mifos. We realized many users had to take multiple steps to transfer funds from savings accounts. To make a client’s loan payment from their savings account, a Mifos user would first need go to the savings account, enter a withdrawal, and then go to the loan account and apply a payment.  Now that can all be done in one step – cutting the transaction load in half.  This also applies to transfers between savings and account, and paying for fees from savings accounts.
Thank you to Chetan and Zayyad for drafting the requirements of this feature and Pawel from SolDevelo for building it out.

Value-Based Permissions

Do you want greater control over which staff can approve high-value loans.  For many of our largest customers, they needed this added support in their Mifos workflow – loans above certain amounts can only be approved by upper branch management but they didn’t have the granularity in permissions to control this.
Now they can. With Mifos 2.4, it’s possible to define the maximum loan amount a Mifos user can approve.  Let’s say branch managers can approve loans of up to $5000 USD – you can define this as the max in Mifos.  Now, only regional managers can approve loans about $5000 USD.
Value-Based Permissions
Thanks to Chetan and Lassaad for drafting and providing requirements and x from SolDevelo for building it.

KopoKopo Integration

Continuing with the theme of taking existing functionality and making it more usable and more powerful, we have done the same with mobile money integration. Currently integration with your M-Pesa mobile money transaction data requires the manual upload of your Safaricom mobile money transaction data.
Now that Mifos 2.4 is integrated with KopoKopo – Mifos users can sign up for the KopoKopo service and their m-pesa transactions will be synced in real-time.  You’ll also have a suite of tools to engage your mobile money users, and use tailored mobile money analytics to help them scale their transaction volume.
Since his original days at FrontlineSMS:Credit and now at KopoKopo Ben Lyon, has been pushing for this Mifos integration – many thanks to Denis from KopoKopo for providing the APIs and Michal from SolDevelo for building the Mifos integration.
We want to help you scale your mobile money efforts through Mifos and KopoKopo – we are looking for any Mifos users to sign up for KopoKopo and pilot the integration.  Stay tuned we’ll have a full screencast and documentation posted soon.

Other Notable Features:

Adjusting individual historical savings transactions

In Mifos 2.3, we delivered functionality  supporting the adjustment of individual loan transactions in the past. This same functionality has now also been extended to savings accounts – now you don’t need to edit the full transactions history – just to click to fix the one transaction that you need to adjust.

Pro-rated payments in GLIM

In Mifos 2.3, we made individual payment schedules for Group Liability with Individual Monitoring viewable.  Mifos 2.4 continues to extend GLIM capabilities by supporting the automatic pro-rating of payments according to the original individual loan schedules.
For example, let’s say you issued a GLIM Loan to three borrowers for $14,000 – one borrower is liable for $8000, the second for $4000, and the third for $2,000.  The group submits a payment of $7000 – this payment will get pro-rated correctly across the three borrowers – $4000 to the first, $2000 to the second and $1000 to the third.
Thanks to Milan and Karthik for providing requirements and Pawel for writing the code for this feature.

Back-dating approval/disbursal of loans in the past.

Another pain point has been data migration – we saw that in practical Mifos usage, loans were often entered into Mifos after they had been approved and disbursed. Since the account creation date couldn’t fall after the disbursal date, this created a tricky mess involving switching the system date on your compute back and forth.
This new feature allows you to specify the date of approval for a loan – the approval date can be in the past before the account creation date. Disbursal then happens on or after the date of approval.
Back-Dated Approvals