Jack Henry & Associates, Inc.
Embedded fintech creates value for community financial institutions
Live financial institutions
No cost for Banno clients
Average time to go live
“We’re building digital-first, cloud-native infrastructure for the new era. That's our focus.”
Jack Henry & Associates
Jack Henry & Associates
- Founded in 1976
- Based in Monnet, MO
- 8,500 clients
Jack Henry (NASDAQ:JKHY) is a leading Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider primarily for the financial services industry, and is an S&P 500 company serving approximately 8,500 clients nationwide through three divisions: Jack Henry Banking® provides innovative solutions to community and regional banks; Symitar® provides industry-leading solutions to credit unions of all sizes; and ProfitStars® offers highly specialized solutions to financial institutions of every charter type and asset size, as well as diverse corporate entities outside of the financial services industry. Jack Henry is focused on empowering clients and consumers with human-centered, tech-forward, and insights-driven solutions that drive value and extend relationship-based business models in the digital-first era.
Jack Henry expanded its relationship with Autobooks in 2021 to embed payment and invoicing capabilities into the Banno Digital PlatformTM. Through this collaboration, more than 500 community banks and credit unions and over 7.3 M registered users of the Banno Digital platform received complementary access to an upgraded set of tools they need to provide businesses in their communities with local support backed by full-service digital solutions.
Greg Adelson is President and Chief Operating Officer of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. He joined Jack Henry in 2011 as Group President of iPay Solutions™. Adelson has more than 20 years of electronic payments experience.
In this conversation, Greg Adelson discusses Jack Henry’s Banno™ digital banking, a modern, digital-first, open-API platform that empowers community financial institutions to differentiate and compete. Adelson believes embedding friendly, hi-grade fintechs (like Autobooks) at scale — and at zero cost and zero lift for banks and credit unions — is crucial for financial institutions looking to evolve their product/service offerings in meaningful timeframes, and to remain competitive against a growing ecosystem of nonbank disruptors.
The following conversation was edited for clarity and brevity.
Jack Henry has a partner-friendly culture
ADELSON: We're very partner-friendly, and it really goes back to the culture that we've built. Over our 45-year history, we’ve had a very open philosophy and a willingness to integrate external vendors and fintechs — even direct competitors — anybody that will make our ecosystem better and more valuable for our clients.
We start with our own product set. We have over 300 products, but we may not always have the best product at a given point in time. Being open and helping our clients integrate best-of-breed products is central to who we are because our goal is to do whatever it takes to make our FIs successful.
We engage fintechs in a few different ways. Our vendor integration program (VIP) integrates fintechs with our cores, or sometimes by extension with our digital banking platform, but it’s a technical connection and there’s no real relationship there. Then we have others with whom we form referral or reseller relationships. This was the origin of our relationship with Autobooks.
Partners have to bring the value
ADELSON: If you really want to collaborate with Jack Henry, you have to bring something to the equation. You have to bring a solution set that fills a gap or a need in a specific space that either we can't, or maybe others can’t, fill.
Practically speaking, you have to be able to provide real value to our clients. We look for opportunities for win-win-win relationships. We are all about doing that, and we take those opportunities very seriously. But everybody wants to partner with Jack Henry because we have 8,000 clients! And so we are selective, strategic and intentional about who we ultimately decide to partner with. We’re looking for the highest-grade fintechs who have proven track records in terms of innovation, quality, management, business model and runway.
Digital is the path forward
ADELSON: Digital is central for us. We’ve been executing on a digital strategy for a number of years, and the pandemic only validated our strategy and accelerated our execution. We are not only investing in online and mobile banking, but digital infrastructure in general. We’re building a digital-first, cloud-native tech stack for the new era. That's our focus and long-term commitment.
As for our Banno Digital Banking Platform™, we're a little biased, but we do believe that it's by far the best consumer digital banking solution out there. We’re now finishing work on our business digital banking solution. The first stage of that will be out this summer .
We’re really excited about Banno Business. We’ve built some key differentiation with Banno ConversationsSM, and we’ve fully plumbed into the open banking rails with API connections to all four major financial data exchange networks: Plaid, Akoya, Finicity, and Envestnet Yodlee. Taken together, you get access to the entire banking ecosystem through one open platform. We’re really the only provider doing that.
The Banno Digital ToolkitSM
ADELSON: The Digital Toolkit is a set of open APIs, the same APIs on which the Banno digital banking platform operates. Financial institutions can share these APIs with fintechs of choice and other companies for easy integration and embedding of new capabilities into the institution’s digital banking experience. We use those same APIs to expedite the embedding of certain hi-grade, strategic partners, like Autobooks, at scale.
Autobooks used our Digital Toolkit to embed small-business ‘send-invoice/get-paid’ capabilities, and we made those capabilities available to all banks and credit unions on the Banno Digital Banking Platform™. This drives a deeper relationship than what you might get with some of our competitors.
Autobooks and the importance of an embedded strategy
ADELSON: By embedding hi-grade fintech at scale, we lighten the load on our banks and credit unions — it minimizes the time they have to spend vetting the fintech ecosystem and going through that integration process themselves. Financial institutions have to take care with just how these integrations are done in order to keep their brands front and center. Embedding new products and services — versus link-outs and bolt-ons — preserves the institution’s identity and the integrity of the digital banking experience.
It’s great to have a sophisticated partner like Autobooks who can take our Digital Toolkit and go build a UI that is embedded into our platform, so it looks like it's all one application and not something that's different. Autobooks did that on their own. As a by-product of that effort, we turned on several hundred institutions literally in one day!
The future with JHA PayCenter™
ADELSON: JHA PayCenter is a payments hub which today has connections to all the faster payment networks, including Zelle® and The Clearing House. We’re also working with the Fed, and we'll be part of the FedNow Pilot Program. PayCenter has also created opportunities for what we want to build out long-term with cryptocurrency and least cost routing. It’s about taking all of our payments and aggregating them into the hub and making decisions on how we want to send those payments: ACH, wire, card, and the like.
PayCenter really lives at the intersection of digital banking and payments. The line between digital banking and payments has been blurred. We embedded payments inside Autobooks, and Autobooks embedded ‘send-invoice-get-paid’ inside our Banno Digital Banking Platform™.
Doing what's right for our community-based clients
ADELSON: Why does Jack Henry exist? We’re about keeping community financial institutions at the center of their account holders’ financial lives. We’re about helping community financial institutions improve the financial health of their customers and members — and thereby keeping local communities strong. Community banks and credit unions are truly the lifeblood of our economy. And we want to provide them with solutions that keep their communities strong and resilient.
But we can't do it all ourselves. So having relationships with companies like Autobooks is what really strengthens our ecosystem, adds important, timely and innovative options for community financial institutions, and brings vital capabilities to micro- and small businesses.
Autobooks is far and away a leader in the small business space but also a model for how to work with others. You know how to work with large institutions, small institutions, core companies — most of the fintechs out there ought to take a page out of your playbook, especially if they want to learn how to work well with a company like Jack Henry.