This summer at Money20/20, B2B payment solutions provider Lerex Technology announced its new open source user interface software available to anyone, free of charge and downloadable from its website.
Lerex offers fully managed solutions that deliver next generation, market ready digital payment solutions: accounts, cards (digital/physical), e-wallets, several payment methods. It provides technology and services to entrepreneurial organisations who want to embed financial features into their product and services.
In this article, Roberto Rivero, advisor at Lerex Technology, discusses some of the benefits of open source software (OSS) over in-house developments and commercial (or closed source) software and welcomes the arrival of OSS in the world of embedded finance.
What is open source software?
According to Wikipedia, open source software (OSS) is ‘computer software that is released under a licence in which the copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose’.
This means the software is distributed with source code that anyone can see and change, within the limitations of the licence.
Often (but not always), OSS will be developed and maintained by its user community in a collaborative way, with contributors making their work available freely to others.
The use of OSS is not new and is responsible for bringing about some of the most revolutionary products in the technology industry, including Apache, Mozilla Firefox, the Linux operating system and even Google’s Chrome.
The benefits of open source software
Use of OSS in embedded finance can bring amazing benefits, including, but not limited to:
The most obvious benefit of OSS is, of course, that it is usually free. But, as you will see from the list below, this far from being the only advantage. Often, it’s not even the most important one.
The second most obvious benefit is that OSS will save you time. Even if what is available for free does not do everything you need, it will likely give you a huge jump start in your own development journey.
Getting your new product to market sooner, or freeing your own resources to work on something else earlier than would otherwise be the case, are frequently much more important than saving money.
This means the time saving aspect of OSS is frequently its most valuable feature.
When OSS is open to contribution, this can propel thousands of skilled programmers around to world to improve the software and make it faster, safer and better – benefiting countless other developers and, in turn, their software users.
OSS allows you to look at the source code yourself and determine whether it is of good quality or not. This is something that is not possible with commercial software.
Apart from helping you to determine the quality of the software, this opacity vs transparency issue, also impacts the next point on this list, security.
Compared to commercial software, OSS gives you a much greater degree of control. Users can scrutinise the code and change the parts they don’t like, or add functionality where they need it.
Using OSS instead of commercial software can enable your organisation to react more quickly to new requirements. Instead of waiting for your supplier to understand, prioritise and deliver the features you need, you can develop them yourself!
The life and ongoing usefulness of OSS is not dependent on the health or activity of the company that created it. Even if the creating organisation ceases to exist, the software can continue to live and evolve in useful ways.
Lerex OSS in embedded finance
As we can see from the above list, OSS brings with it a long list of fabulous practical benefits to developers, companies and, once implemented, to their customers.
We are excited about the arrival of OSS to another vibrant corner of the technology industry – embedded finance – and fervently believe that their combination will accelerate innovation and increase the value add provided by our industry. How?
Here are three examples of its likely impact:
- OSS will massively reduce the amount of time it takes to develop new digital solutions, literally, from months to days.
- By freeing programmers from having to invest time in generic, repetitive developments It will allow them to focus more time on the really unique areas of their products – on their real differentiations and on features with a high value-add.
- OSS will reduce the time to develop minimal viable products (MVPs) to, literally, days. This will make it easier to raise money from investors and also accelerate the time to reach revenue generation.
In short, the ‘head start’ provided by OSS will reduce risks and up-front costs – and accelerate revenue generation.
Lerex is proud to be at the forefront of such an innovation, to help the payment market develop time to market and cost-effective digital solutions.