Why are some developers opting for an open-first model?
Well, there are many benefits, but one stands out:
That’s why Wade Arnold, Founder and CEO at Moov, opted for an open-source approach to building the company’s portable platform for embedding banking services in any application.
In this episode, Wade and I discuss:
- How Moov are moving finance forward
- Why the open-source route made sense for the platform
- What fintech really means — now and in the future
How to Moov banking forward
Wade jokingly describes Moov as the most boring company in all of Fintech.
His reasoning is that they aren’t trying to do anything new…
But their approach to the old is incredibly innovative.
Moov started as an open-source project designed to — you guessed it — move the industry forward.
It was centered around providing open source solutions for low-level payment protocols and other simpler tasks — things that weren’t differentiators but were critical infrastructure for everybody.
After the project exploded in popularity, Wade decided to take the project and build a company around it.
“You can’t go back to the BlackBerry after you’ve seen the iPhone and you can’t be an independent contractor in anything else if you’ve ever used DoorDash or Uber. That’s the new world.” — Wade Arnold
The rise of Moov
As a company, Moov are breaking away from the locked-in nature of so many components required to build fintech.
Those components are trapped in the mainframes of legacy core banking systems.
And while Wade understands the value of these products for branch banking, he doesn’t think their current state is ideal for fintech.
Fintech is different.
It’s the area where the most innovation is happening and the space is dominated by a developer-first mindset.
That translates to engineers who are really looking for the solution over bank CEOs looking for products to help them operationally.
And that’s one of the reasons Wade is committed to the open-source approach to development.
The open-source model
Wade provides two main reasons why the open-source model makes sense for Moov.
Moov is built for developers. And developers choose open source first (an “open-first” approach).
Not only do they need the code — and people to use the code and contribute — but they want transparency.
In the financial industry especially, transparency acts as a competitive differentiator.
Being transparent also helps in the community aspect.
By opening up to the community, there is the effect of a rising tide lifting all boats.
Everybody contributes a little and everyone can benefit from the protocols.
“The power to me of open source is the community.” — Wade Arnold
Wade finds the various use cases explored by the community to be the most exciting aspect of Moov.
He enjoys seeing others get the benefit and says the company also benefits from the test cases others are exploring.
What fintech really means
When looking at the future of fintech, Wade anticipates that the landscape will look a lot different over the next few years.
The trickiness of pinning down a definition of fintech will likely get even harder, too.
Right now, Wade sees fintech as direct-to-consumer embedded financial services.
But the future will likely end with these services incorporated into all of the apps we use.
“The last decade was horizontal SaaS companies. The next decade will probably be vertical SaaS companies that really hone in on a specific industry.” — Wade Arnold
And we are hurtling toward that future faster every day.
The analogy Wade is fond of using to describe this is the iPhone effect — i.e. once you use an iPhone, you can’t go back to a Blackberry.
Similarly, anyone who has used Uber or Airbnb is going to have trouble reverting to the ways they operated back in the dark ages of taxis and hotels — especially the independent contractors themselves.
The future is already here — everyone is just playing catchup.
Catching up is going to see fintech incorporated into every service we use.
And once everything is fintech, is anything fintech?
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Until next time!