Developers who feel more satisfied in their jobs are better positioned to be more productive. We also know developers can gain a sense of fulfillment by making an impact beyond the walls of their company and elevating their community. An opportunity exists, which developers can meet, to support those who lack access to the financial system. Many countries are working to drive financial inclusion through different motions—to which developers can contribute. GitHub provides a set of tools and services, which can support your developers working to address this need.
For example, in Australia, there is a huge opportunity to continue the work aimed at reaching those who are not currently included in the financial system. There are still a large number of people that don’t have access to important services that many of us take for granted—an opportunity that financial inclusion tries to solve.
Let’s explore these opportunities and how GitHub can help.
Financial inclusion explained
The World Bank defines financial inclusion as providing individuals and businesses access to affordable financial products to meet their needs. This includes products, such as checking accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and payments, which are still not available to over a billion unbanked people around the world. Many of these are women, people living in poverty, and those living outside of large cities.
Open Finance (or Open Banking) is an approach adopted by banks like NAB (National Australia Bank)to help include more individuals in the financial system by providing them access to the best products and services in a secure way that addresses their needs.
To enable financial inclusion and Open Finance, there needs to be a channel to exchange data and services between banks, customers, and trusted partners (fintechs, for example); that is where application programming interfaces (APIs) come in. The easiest way to understand an API is to think of it as a contract between two applications that need a standardized and secure way to talk to each other. Once the contract is created and secured, it can be used anywhere to share data or initiate a financial transaction.
This API-driven innovation lowers barriers for those individuals who may have limited physical access to banks, credit cards, or traditional financial products.
How GitHub can help
The tremendous opportunities for Australia, New Zealand, India, and other countries to enable financial inclusion to its population are dependent on the quality of the APIs. The quality and adoption of the APIs is dependent on creating a great developer experience because they are the ones building the APIs and applications that will leverage them.
GitHub is used by 100 million developers and is widely-recognized as the global home of open source. Developer experience is at the core of everything we do and it empowers developers to do their best work and be happy. But how does GitHub help enable financial inclusion and Open Finance?
The Open Bank Project released a report in 2020 highlighting how providing a great developer experience can drive growth of APIs that enable financial inclusion. Several topics which were highlighted and where GitHub can help are:
1. Create solutions to help people
This is an important motivator for developers. If developers create solutions that can help increase financial inclusion, they should make sure those solutions are available to as many people as possible through the open source community. Since we know that open source is the foundation of more than 90% of the world’s software, there is a great opportunity to collaborate globally and build on solutions that already exist.
Because GitHub is the home of open source and has 100 million developers, there is no better place for developers to create solutions that will make the biggest impact.
2. Running Hackathons
Hackathons, like the Global Open Finance Challenge, which NAB collaborated in and was won by an Aussie start-up, are important for developers to share ideas with other developers and large enterprises. They help developers see what APIs are currently available and enable innovation and collaboration with a global reach. To run a successful hackathon, developers will need to have access to code and documentation, which has been open sourced—and GitHub is a key component to enable this.
3. Recognition for developers
If a developer has worked on a solution that is helping enable financial inclusion, it’s important to ensure their effort is recognized and supported. The most important part of recognizing the awesome work developers do is to make sure there is a single platform where this work can be shared. Thankfully, that platform already exists and any developer, anywhere in the world, can access it for free—it’s GitHub!
At GitHub, we also know that sometimes recognition isn’t enough, and developers need support. This is why the GitHub Sponsors program was created. We also created our GitHub for Startups program which provides support to the startup community around the world—many of whom are important contributors to Open Banking.
The success of an API is dependent on how easy it is for developers to understand and use. If developers are unable to quickly understand the context of the API, how to connect to it, or easily set it up to test it, then it probably won’t be successful.
The topic of API documentation and API Management is beyond the scope of this post, but it’s important to remember that open source is a key enabler of Open Finance and developers will need a platform to collaborate and share documentation and code. GitHub is the best platform for that, and we have seen at least a 50% increase in productivity when developers leverage documentation best practices enabled by GitHub.
Call to action
Developers have an amazing opportunity to contribute to the financial inclusion work that is happening in Australia and across the world. GitHub can help support developers to address this opportunity by giving them the tools and services they need to be productive and successful.
We’ve recently launched our weekly livestream on LinkedIn Live, GitHub in my Day Job, for those who want to learn more about how GitHub empowers developers across the community while providing guardrails to govern, and remain compliant. So, join us at https://gh.io/dayjob—we can’t wait to have you with us.