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The Heart of It: People-Inspired Innovation

Tracy Almquist
Aug 3, 2022

By now, I hope you’ve heard the news! This week, we announced that Jack Henry™ will now be going to market as one brand – one company – as we focus on strengthening the connections between people and their financial institutions. Simply put, we are putting people at the heart of everything we do.

I recently watched an interview with one of our founders, Jack Henry. Recalling the early days of the company, he said, “There was just Jerry and me, but we were a team. And that’s what this company still is – a team. And the primary objective is to do what’s best for the customer.” Over 45 years ago, Jack Henry and co-founder Jerry Hall set into motion a company with a culture that believes in doing the right thing and being a force for good – for our associates, for our clients, and for the communities that together we all serve. And there’s a lot of good we can be doing in the country right now.

It’s no secret that communities are struggling.

Today, 25% of Americans have unmanageable debt, 39% of people lack three months of savings, and last year, two-thirds of small businesses reported financial challenges, such as paying operating expenses.

These people are the driving force behind our mission to reduce the barriers to financial health – which starts with technology modernization.

Opening Up to Level Up

Let’s take a look at two innovative ways an open technology approach can help position your bank or credit union as a trusted ally for your accountholders in every aspect of their financial lives.

Solving for Financial Fragmentation

Consumers use between 20 and 30 different financial service providers and apps. They have checking accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, 529s, 401ks, HSAs, credit cards, merchant mobile apps, and P2P payments apps. How can they possibly figure out what to do next or how to do better with their money when they don’t have one clear and comprehensive view of their finances? It is no wonder people are struggling to make a plan.

This is precisely why Jack Henry collaborated with companies like Finicity®, Akoya®, Plaid, Yodlee, and Array to solve for financial fragmentation and improve the financial health of consumers. While each of these companies is unique in its own right, they all focus on aggregating data and providing personalized insights to accountholders. Array, for example, provides the necessary tools to engage and educate accountholders on their credit health while helping them identify areas to improve and make healthier financial decisions. Finicity, a Mastercard® Company, empowers consumers to share their financial data securely across a wide range of providers without giving their log-in credentials to third parties.

All of these solutions integrate with Jack Henry through the Banno Digital Toolkit℠. These tools not only help solve for financial fragmentation and improve financial health, but they position you at the center of your accountholders’ financial lives, reinforcing and extending your relationship as their primary financial institution.

Creating Your Niche with Embedded Fintech

While it can sometimes feel like your competition has an overwhelming advantage, you can compete with the big banks and big techs of the world (and you can do it without starting from scratch). With embedded fintech, you can quickly add innovative products and services to your offering that will directly impact the user experience and financial health of your specific customers or members.

Find yourself asking, “What can I do with an embedded fintech platform and strategy?” Lee Wetherington, Sr. Director of Strategy at Jack Henry, will tell you the answer is: “niches.”

I had the opportunity to talk with Lee a lot this summer about identifying niche markets and how to serve these sub-segments of your current market. His advice is to become obsessive about their needs and their circumstances, then mapping those needs to your existing strengths and identifying gaps that can be filled quickly with an embedded fintech.

*If you want to hear more from Lee on this topic, join us at Jack Henry Connect and register for Establishing and Serving Your Niche.

Inspired by You

The work that you do everyday to serve the people in your community is inspiring. You are making a huge difference in your communities every single day – whether you’re helping a single mom with a short-term loan (so she can pay the first and last month’s rent on an apartment and move her family out of their car), offering credit counseling to newlyweds who are saving for their first home, or helping a business navigate everyday cash flow challenges to grow and thrive. And we are here to help.

Jack Henry is an advocate for people – for you – and a champion of innovation. Discover what makes us different on the newly refreshed!

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