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Jack Henry’s core unbundling comes at a crucial time

The news: Jack Henry & Associates revealed a new technology strategy to offer unbundled core-banking solutions in the cloud, per a press release and an earnings-call transcript.

More on this: The strategy will be rolled out over the coming years and feature cloud-based core components.

  • Three of the US-based company’s component services are in beta: deposit processing, wire processing, and account opening. The fourth that it mentioned is for account servicing.
  • On the call, CEO David Foss explained what the company means by “unbundling”: It’s taking core-system parts and “making them discrete services that can be customized and rebundle[d].”
  • Jack Henry will offer both public-cloud options—Foss cited Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure as examples—and private-cloud choices.

What’s in it for banks? Foss outlined intended benefits of the solution for help client financial institutions (FIs), such as:

  • Enhanced flexibility, which includes opting for a partial core conversion instead of a full one.
  • Enabling them to choose only the services that they want.
  • Faster time to market.

In the press release, Foss touched on the growing competition banks face from non-bank entrants, calling it “an unprecedented level of financial fragmentation” and adding that consumers are using a large number of providers. On the call, he said Jack Henry’s solutions can help community and regional FIs compete in this landscape.

  • Foss also said that Jack Henry wants to go beyond being a core-banking processor and offer “a full banking ecosystem.” It’s giving banking clients access to third-party vendors like Finicity, Alloys, Dell, and Autobooks.
  • He noted that Jack Henry has over 850 fintech partners and nearly 8,500 FI clients. He also pointed out Jack Henry’s open-banking support, as well as its relationships with four big companies in the space: Aside from Finicity, it works in Plaid, Akoya, and Yodlee.

The big takeaway: Jack Henry’s tech-strategy unveiling will help it to shore up its competitive standing amid moves by others in the core-banking space and improve its customer satisfaction.


  • Rival core-banking incumbent Fiserv is buying the rest of banking-tech provider Finxact for around $650 million, building on its early investment in the company. Adding Finxact gives US-based Fiserv Core as a Service, a cloud-based core-banking offering, that clients can access based on their usage.
  • UK-based Thought Machine is an up-and-coming challenger reaching unicorn status with a recent $200 million funding round. It counts big incumbent banks JPMorgan Chase and Standard Chartered as both investors and clients.

Customers: Jack Henry, along with Fiserv and FIS, faces dissatisfaction from banking clients, per survey data from Cornerstone Advisors.

  • For example, 56% cited speed to market and pace of new improvements as their top frustration.
  • Additionally, 44% cited integration difficulty with third-party systems, and 39% noted limited customization ability for their system.