Latest Release of Open Source Software for Microfinance Includes Support for Spanish and Firefox 3.0 Browser and Interface for Banking Systems
January 20, 2010 - Grameen Foundation announced today the latest release of Mifos, its award-winning open source software platform for microfinance. Mifos 1.4 is the first version available in Spanish and also provides support for Firefox 3.0 and integration with banking and other systems. This marks a significant step forward in extending an open platform that gives the entire microfinance industry cost-effective access to technology.
Engineers at Grameen Foundation’s Technology Center in Seattle worked closely with its global community including corporate volunteers from SunGard Technology Services, as well as individual technology contributors from the United States, Europe and Australia to build the new features and additional product scalability.
The work was also supported by volunteers from Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and Catholic Relief Services, including Jesus Fernandez-Muñoz, Vice President of Financial Institutions Debt Products at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who volunteered to translate Mifos into Spanish through Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without Borders® initiative and the Mifos community.
“The contributions of our volunteers and strategic partners are vital in helping to build new innovations into Mifos to meet the evolving technology needs of microfinance institutions,” George Conard, Executive Director of Grameen Foundation’s Technology for Microfinance Initiative. “This open approach is central to our vision for advancing technology across the industry and supports our goal of reaching 100 million new poor clients through the Mifos platform.”
- Multi-lingual Support - The launch of the Spanish version of Mifos makes it more accessible throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, one of the most advanced and vibrant regions for microfinance. Bankers without Borders® volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Catholic Relief Services translated the Mifos platform into Spanish; another volunteer translated Mifos into Hungarian which is also included in this release. Mifos is now available in four languages with translations into Arabic, Khmer Script, Indonesian, and Mandarin already under way.
- Mifos APIs - Mifos now includes an application programming interface, (API) that enables users to import bank transactions through .xls or .csv file formats. This feature was designed and built for Mifos customer, Al Majmoua, a microfinance institution based in Beirut, Lebanon. This paves the way for a plug-in architecture that supports the seamless flow of information between Mifos- and other systems, and external payment networks. For the next release, this API will be extended to integrate Mifos with the rapidly-growing mobile money platform, m-pesa in Kenya.
- Firefox 3.0 Support - Mifos now fully supports Firefox, the open source web browser developed and managed by Mozilla Corporation. This will allow microfinance institutions (MFIs) to lower their overall cost of technology investment.
- Scalability Support - Members of SunGard Technology Services in Bangalore, India, and other volunteers provided enhancements to our collection sheet entry module that enable greater scalability and more robust transaction processing for hundreds of thousands of microfinance clients. SunGard also helped build greater support for delivering microinsurance services by adding functionality that validates clients’ ages.
- To download Mifos, please visit www.mifos.org/product/download.
About Mifos Project
Mifos is Grameen Foundation’s award-winning open source information management platform for microfinance. It provides the industry cost-effective access to a flexible technology solution that scales and evolves to help MFIs more efficiently and effectively deliver financial services to the poor. Currently Mifos is being used in production by eight microfinance institutions across India, Tunisia, Kenya, Philippines, and Senegal serving more than 550,000 clients. Mifos is part of the Technology for Microfinance Initiative based at the Grameen Technology Center in Seattle, WA. Committed to transforming technology from a barrier into an accelerator for microfinance, in conjunction with this open platform, Grameen Foundation provides business consulting, educational services, front-office innovations, and a worldwide community to create measurable business results and social impact through strategic technology investments. For more information, please visit www.mifos.org.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people access financial services and technology solutions by providing financing, technology support and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them. It also spearheads technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor, provide telecommunications access for the world's rural poor, and improve their access to health and agriculture information and other services. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C., Seattle, Washington, Hong Kong, Ghana and the Philippines. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is a founding member of its board of directors, and now serves as director emeritus. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.