Reaches Next Level in Social Transparency, Client Connection and Mobile Transactions
WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grameen Foundation today announced the release of Mifos® 2.0, an innovative new version of its award-winning management information software (MIS) for microfinance. It will be available to microfinance institutions (MFIs) as a cloud service or on-premise system starting December 21, 2010. Mifos 2.0 offers MFIs significant advances in social performance monitoring with the full integration of Grameen Foundation's poverty assessment tool, the Progress out of Poverty Index™ (PPI™). The new Mifos software will also enable MFIs to capture and analyze deeper socio-economic data through its Question Groups module. Likewise, it will enhance operational efficiency and client convenience through integration with M-PESA, Kenya's groundbreaking mobile money service.
"Mifos 2.0 is our most significant release to date and really raises the bar for how technology can transform microfinance," said George Conard, Executive Director of Grameen Foundation's Technology for Microfinance Initiative. "Many eyes are on the microfinance sector right now and MFIs are seeking scalable growth, measurable impact, and the agility to respond to client needs. This release does an outstanding job in these critical areas."
Tracking social performance is vital for MFIs to measure and demonstrate how well they are meeting their poverty alleviation mission. As the first MIS for microfinance to offer integrated support for all available PPIs globally, Mifos 2.0 will enable MFIs to track and analyze the poverty levels of their clients in 34 countries where the PPI is available. Using the PPI, organizations can assess their clients' poverty status and track changes over time, as well as offer targeted products and services that more accurately respond to their clients' needs. The PPI was commissioned by Grameen Foundation, in collaboration with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), the Ford Foundation and Microfinance Risk Management, L.L.C. It is being used by 80 MFIs and other organizations worldwide.
"Microfinance practitioners need reliable poverty measurement integrated into their systems to make better business decisions. Integrating the PPI into Mifos 2.0 solves that problem for Mifos users," said Steve Wright, Director of the Social Performance Management Center at Grameen Foundation. "Measuring poverty levels helps MFIs understand who they are reaching with their programs and provides them with valuable information to validate this to their stakeholders."
Continuing product and service innovation is also key to helping MFIs better serve the poor. Question Groups, a new Mifos workflow function, will enable MFIs to collect, centralize, and analyze important socio-economic and demographic client data — rich social information that, along with financial data, will enable MFIs to respond more quickly and accurately to their clients' needs.
Mobile money services such as M-PESA have helped MFIs to extend their reach to rural areas and provide key conveniences to clients. Mifos 2.0 will enable integration with M-PESA, allowing clients to transact with the MFI to make repayments and deposit savings through their phone. Leveraging mobile technology increases organizational efficiency, creating benefits that can then be passed on to clients in the form of more products, lower interest rates, or better services.
Version 2.0 also offers the power of cloud computing with Mifos Cloud, a centralized hosted solution through Amazon Web Services that allows microfinance organizations to streamline their business operations and scale up, supporting millions of users without the hassle of managing the technology required by most traditional management information systems.
Grameen Foundation's Seattle-based Technology Center, a leader in innovative technology solutions for the microfinance industry, is spearheading Mifos and the broader Technology for Microfinance Initiative. As part of its vision to empower poor women, each Mifos release will be named after a borrower of one of our customers; Mifos 2.0 was code-named Leila E for a borrower at enda inter-arabe, one of the leading MFIs in Tunisia.
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world's poorest people lift themselves out of poverty by providing access to financing, technology solutions and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also develops mobile phone-based solutions that address "information poverty" among the poor by providing tools, information and services in the fields of health, agriculture, financial services and livelihood creation. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, DC; Seattle, WA; Colombia; Ghana; Hong Kong; the Philippines; and Uganda. Microfinance pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, is a founding member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit grameenfoundation.org.
CONTACT: Liselle Yorke of the Grameen Foundation, +1-202-628-3560, ext. 128, [email protected]