Open Source in Banking

Recently I gave a talk at the annual Apache Software Foundation (ASF) Community Over Code conference about open source software in banking. The first observation is that many banks already have pieces of open source in their software stacks, including database technologies and programming languages. Moreover, although it is still new for Banking, the move to the cloud is fully underway. Much of the cloud and data technologies, from Kafka, to Kubernetes, or Tomcat, and Spark are open source projects from hosting groups like Apache Software Foundation, Linux Foundation, or Cloud Native Computing Foundation as well as Corporate source of open source like VMWare, Microsoft (how strange it is to write that!) or Google. So, a clear trend is that banks are adopting – under the hood – the efficiency of cloud, and of open source projects. The tooling around code as infrastructure in particular seems like the first area that Banks’ IT departments are eager to adopt.

At a recent public talk, the CTO of Jack Henry – themselves a leading provider of Banking software – spoke of the challenge even a few years ago of using cloud technologies. Regulators had to be convinced that this wouldn’t risk up the technology stack. In the same vein, announced their common cloud controls , efforts to enable financial systems to use the cloud.

What I see therefore is a trend line, a march toward the commoditization of the stack and away from Bespoke systems. This is happening, somewhat predictably in a bottom of fashion. More and more of the underlying tech is being commoditized and generalized.

Into this I throw Fineract, a full banking core system that already is in market and is reaching more and more banks, finTechs, and Credit Unions globally. This is not simply a use of open source in financial systems, but a wholesale adoption of the open source model for the business application of banking.

At BaaSFlow we’ve been deliberate about staying upstream on the development branch of Fineract and other projects we use and sponsor, and by pushing for more and more open source projects to be our building blocks. For key functionalities around scale and event management we’ve relied heavily on such technologies as SpringBoot, SpringBatch, Kafka, Kubernetes, Airflow, Camunda, and so on. In a sense, our open source banking application is now using more and more of the open source tools that are coming up the stack.

We are demonstrating how open cloud technologies can power financial services in an entirely open way. There is a convergence coming.

BaaSFlow software stack

You can think of our BaaSFlow stack as consisting of big pieces of open source, plus a few proprietary components (our secret sauce) which are then integrated, enhanced, and secured by our deployment capabilities. Our starting point is the business application: banking core. We are the leading Fineract developer group as measured by number of people involved, amount of code contributed, and key features designed and executed upon. Contact us for a demonstration of our capabilities.

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