Example: Each MFI operates like a bank, but with a much more hands-on relationship with each client, to facilitate the group formation, training, and peer solidarity that makes microfinance such a powerful tool for empowering the poor. Some of these MFIs are large, serving hundreds of thousands of clients but many are small and are still using spreadsheets or pen and paper to operate. Because of this high transaction volume and high touch relationship, technology is an even more critical enabler for the microfinance sector. For MFIs to scale and have greater impact on the poor, they must be more efficient and have a broader reach.
Think of an MFI as a bank that comes directly to the customer - daily, MFI field staff hop on their motorbikes and bounce along dirt roads bringing financial services directly to the poor.
Benefits of Mobile: Within the scope of mobile-enabled processes there too is a broad spectrum of usage. A mobile Mifos X application could be either the primary or secondary device the keeps field officers or even an entire branch connected remotely. For most MFIs, this mobile app will be a secondary way to access Mifos allowing loan officers to be better informed and more efficient while serving customers in rural areas. For some in areas of limited or no connectivity at their branch offices, this could be the primary way to access Mifos, with mobile devices serving as thin clients. With Mifos installed in the cloud, they could perform all their day to day operations in offline mode on their mobile and then sync with the cloud when they have connectivity.
UPDATE: Scope is being modified as this is now an ongoing and not a weekend-long project.Items that are out of scope for the current release (RHOK weekend) are marked in RED.
User Stories: As a <customer: loan officer>, I would like <this functionality> in order to <accomplish this task>.
MVP (Random Hacks of Kindness weekend)
As a field/loan officer, I would like to accomplish the following in order to work with clients while traveling to meet them (in order process repayments, disburse loans, hold meetings, etc.)
Login - Authenticate to system.
Client Creation: Loan officers need to be able register new clients directly in the field through their mobile devices >> Create new client record.
Client Data Retrieval and Display: Loan officers often need to view information regarding individual clients and their accounts in Real-time. Through the mobile app, the loan officer should be able to lookup a client by various parameters (name, account_number, government_id, branch, center, group) to retrieve details client record. See current Android client for more details.
Retrieve Client Record (either created through web / mobile) via search which would display a list of all records that would fulfill criteria.
Multi-tiered client record search (out of scope for current project)
Data Population >>
Populate with basic data
Name (First name, Last name)
Advanced Data (out of scope)
Retrieve existing Repayment Data with user client (you might get this one for free)
Client Detail Page with account summary listing
Account Details (out of scope)
When Payment Due
Standing: Good, Bad etc.
Transaction History (out of scope)
Inputting Repayment Data: Entering and processing transaction data in real-time time. Inputting the transaction data in real time also offers greater security for the client - as soon as the client conducts their transaction (repayment, deposit, disbursement, withdrawal)
This can be done either at individual level or in bulk through a collection sheet-type interface.
Transactions could immediately get posted to the database or could have an intermediate layer and follow a maker/checker concept in which amounts must get approved back at the office.
Mobile Mifos X could generate an SMS receipt or a physical receipt printed from a mobile thermal printer. (out of scope for current project)
Create new loan account
Select type of account and define account parameters
Save for approval
Disburse loan account (for accounts that have been created and approved)
Approve new account (different data scope)
Offline Access: Mifos is a web-based application. Many MFIs have branch offices that operate with intermittent or no connectivity. A mobile application that has offline access would provide a viable solution for these low connectivity situations.
MFIs should be able to load the application with the data they intend to capture, record these transactions and client data while offline, and then sync with Mifos when they have a data connection.
Multi-tiered access: The amount of information available about the end-user would depend on the level of the client using it.
Capturing Client Data & Surveys: MFI management make important business decisions based on the financial and social analysis from their client data. Mifos provides the mechanism to centralize and report on all this data, you can help create a mobile interface to capture this information. This information might take the form of: