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Technology Modernization

Change the Game With New Ideas and Exciting Possibilities: Reflecting on 2023’s Jack Henry™ Connect

Tracy Almquist
Nov 17, 2023

Last October, at Jack Henry™ Connect, more than 4,000 of the best and brightest minds in fintech took over Indianapolis.

For four amazing days, learning, collaborating, networking, and a whole lot of fun ruled the town! We focused on innovation, changing the game, and creating our own possibilities.

Speaking of creating possibilities ... who determines what is (or isn’t) possible?

That’s the million-dollar question – and the answer is simple, though its execution may not be. The answer is: we do. We all have the incredible power of creating new paths for the communities we serve.

One phrase that buzzed around the conference was, “we don’t not do things because they are hard.”

Successful bank and credit union leaders know that embracing what’s possible isn’t always easy, but the results are worth it. Technology is quickly advancing and those of us at the forefront have the privilege – and responsibility – of seeing how the new world of fintech will impact the financial lives of accountholders.

Lee Wetherington, Sr. Director of Corporate Strategy at Jack Henry, said it best when he told the room it’s our job – community and regional banks and credit unions and technology providers and partners – to “abstract away the complexity.” We need to remove the noise and chaos caused by financial fragmentation. It doesn’t have to be so hard for accountholders to get a full picture of their finances.

At Jack Henry Connect, the focus is always on providing the education and tools you need to support your communities. There were nearly 300 sessions to choose from – and of those, I’ve selected three top pivotal moments to share that will help us bring new possibilities to life:

1. The moment we met the future of core.

What barriers would you break down if you could deliver personal service faster, cheaper, and more intelligently?

If you could monitor events and reports in real time, run your entire financial institution in one place, and centralize and configure account origination? What if a fraud detection system could stop fraud before a transaction ever processes? What if you could serve unlimited niche audiences and quickly deploy Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS)?

The entire Indiana Convention Center was buzzing with talk of technology modernization and the Jack Henry Platform.

It’s incorporated into so many solutions, platforms, and programs that anyone would have been hard-pressed to enter a session or talk to a vendor on the Tech Hall floor without the platform coming up – specifically, the impact it’s going to have on bringing solutions to life at your financial institutions.

The Jack Henry Platform has broken through the wall of impossibilities, making it easier for you to differentiate your strategy and rise above the competition. Ben Metz, Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Jack Henry, said, “This platform is about improving your experience with us, but more importantly improving your accountholders’ experiences with you.”

2. The moment we saw how fraudsters are using new technology to hide in plain sight (and what to do about it).

Fraud was the third-most talked about news cycle in the United States in 2022 and is currently second. The opportunists that capitalize on chaos are out there targeting you and your accountholders. For instance, account takeover attacks – a form of “low-risk, high-reward” fraud – have hit 22% of the adult population in the US.

Why? Fraudsters are being educated right in front of our eyes on how to run scams … on Signal Messenger, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and Facebook Messenger. All with private groups that share tools, tips, tricks, and even handbooks!

The impact of fraud attacks on financial institutions is huge: it deteriorates accountholder trust and confidence and puts your reputation at risk.

During the conference, it was announced that Jack Henry has launched a next-generation financial crimes platform, Jack Henry Financial Crimes Defender™.

"Fighting fraud with real-time data is the equivalent of catching an intruder at the front door, before they get into the house," says Matt Riley, President of Complementary Solutions at Jack Henry. "Financial Crimes Defender lets financial institutions detect and prevent fraud at first sight, ensuring assets and information remain within the institution. This is a game-changer for community banks and credit unions."

- Matt Riley, President of Complementary Solutions at Jack Henry 

This platform is part of the modernization strategy and is focused on delivering cloud-native solutions that help banks and credit unions innovate faster, differentiate strategically, and meet the evolving needs of the accountholders. It provides real-time fraud detection solutions of fraud involving check, deposits, transfers, ACH transfers, and real-time payments – helping to stop these fraudsters before they get started.

3. The moment we learned how to get the best out of FedNow® and the future of faster payments solutions.

The FedNow Network officially launched in July 2023 with 35 banks and credit unions plus the U.S. Treasury and numerous processors, including Jack Henry. The momentum continues to grow, as FedNow just passed a big milestone: 125 financial institutions are now live and expect to achieve ubiquity in the next two years.

Tede Forman, President of Payments Solutions at Jack Henry, and Ken Montgomery, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, took the stage to answer our questions about FedNow and the value proposition of the network. They shared use cases and their vision for the future of faster, real-time payments solutions.

When asked about the future of instant payments, Ken Montgomery said, “All signs suggest that adoption will accelerate. Those not moving soon will be at a competitive disadvantage. As the industry uses instant payments, that momentum will unlock more innovation and use cases that will in turn fuel more adoption for instant payments.” He added, “So my call to action is to waste no time to understand how instant payments intersects with your business strategy and enables the way people want to move and use money. Instant payments will be a fixture of tomorrow's economy. Instant payments are the future. And financial institutions need to be at the center of this transformation.”

- Ken Montgomery, First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

And these are just a few of the technological advances we saw at Jack Henry Connect this year. With technology like this, our possibilities truly are endless.

Our Greatest Hope

At this year’s conference, we connected with people, technology, tools, and resources to bring new ideas and exciting possibilities to life.

David Foss, CEO and Board Chair of Jack Henry, said in his opening remarks, “My greatest hope is that you walk out of here with some idea in your head that will help you go back to your institution and make some change, do something better, or introduce some new thing that you learned while you were here with us at this conference.”

I wholeheartedly agree with him. I get excited about the impact we’re making, but what energizes me personally is hearing the passion from our clients.

One attendee I spoke with said she left each session with multiple pages of notes and meetings already on her calendar for follow-up discussions with her team! She wanted it to be fresh in her mind and put action items in the hands of those working with the solutions. This was a sentiment I heard repeatedly at the conference and on social media, too. Attendees left excited to embrace what’s possible and a renewed passion for shaping the future of banking.

After all, possibility is a product of ingenuity and imagination, and it lies within each one of us.

Stay Tuned and Save the Date:

Several themes emerged during our time at Jack Henry Connect – all of which are top-of-mind for banks and credit unions alike: it appears everyone is wondering how to increase efficiencies across your organization, implement fraud detection solutions to reduce risk and fraud, increase revenue, and improve your accountholder experience. We’ll tackle each of these topics in our post-conference blog series on Jack Henry’s blog, FinTalk!

It was wonderful to see so many of you at Jack Henry Connect. And for those who couldn’t attend, we hope to see you next year!

Save the date ... our 2024 Jack Henry Connect will be held October 7 – 10 in Phoenix, Arizona!

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