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Business Strategy

The Jack Henry Approach to Openness

David Foss
May 12, 2021

About two years ago, I sent a letter to bank and credit union CEOs and Presidents conveying what open banking is and what it means to Jack Henry. Since that time, the demand for improved digital experiences, centered around the needs of customers and members, has made open banking essential. In today’s market, people aren’t just comparing financial institutions when making decisions on where to bank – they’re comparing experiences. They want the freedom and flexibility to bank according to their needs and not the limitations of their financial institution.

Why is open banking critical?

To thrive in this market, banks and credit unions require an open platform that focuses on the ever-evolving needs of accountholders. Open banking does just that. Open banking:

  • Focuses on customer/member experience.
  • Is powered by technologies that engage and protect members.
  • Fuels near and long-term growth opportunities for financial institutions.
  • Creates a clear distinction between financial institutions that embrace open banking and those who do not.

At the center of all of this is collaboration. This means having open APIs (application programming interfaces) that allow third parties to design and build new apps and servers faster than you can build on your own. While this once was a plan for the future, the implementation of open banking as a practice has been expedited due to the pandemic. Banks and credit unions that do not adapt to the new climate could see a drop in customers or members.

People want to feel connected while banking on their own terms. Openness is how banks and credit unions can achieve this.

What does an open approach look like?

Depending on who you ask to define it, an open approach can look pretty differently across the board. For Jack Henry, openness is at the heart of who we are and has been since we began nearly 45 years ago. We are an open company with open technology.

Prior to the era of open banking and the COVID-19 pandemic, Jack Henry had open APIs, all of which allow us to meet the diverse needs of the financial institutions we serve as well as their consumers. Over the course of the last year in particular, we’ve talked about the importance of openness and how it’s been beneficial in the pivot to digital communications and services during the pandemic. Our open technologies have meant that banks and credit unions can connect with their accountholders in a meaningful way outside of the branch.

What’s next?

While I may not know exactly what the future holds, I do know tomorrow is calling us forward. Jack Henry’s open philosophy and approach to technology and culture has always supported the strategic agility banks and credit unions require and the high-quality experiences their customers or members deserve. We continue to steadily work toward building open, user-centric digital technologies that allow banks and credit unions to support their customers and members when they need it and where they need it. That’s what an open approach looks like to us.

If you’d like to learn more about Jack Henry’s open philosophy, watch this video featuring Jack Henry’s President and CEO, David Foss.

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