Native American Bank goes digital
The Colorado-based has collaborated with to enhance its digital presence and services. The new facilities will enable Native American Bank to reach those communities previously underserved by their products.
New services will include payment processing, account opening and a mobile app for employees who will be able to access branch banking facilities from anywhere. Jack Henry & Associates is a trusted entity with 40 years of experience in user-centricity and now focuses on future-ready digital solutions.
The Native American Bank has been dedicated to serving the indigenous communities, said Thomas Ogaard, president and CEO of Native American Bank. He explained: “For many of our customers and prospects, it's easily a 60-mile round trip to the branch, making it difficult and inconvenient to complete their banking needs. With Jack Henry, we are gaining the sophisticated technology needed to make banking more accessible.”
Ogaard said collaborating with the digital tech company to create a cyber bank platform, was an investment in the future. “We already partnered with Jack Henry for our core, so we were confident that the company's combination of modern technology, open culture, and exceptional, reliable service would make them the ideal fit to further our mission. I'm proud to say that today, financial services are more readily available to the Native American community than ever before."
Native American Bank recently opened a new branch in Denver which offers self-service stations. Ogaard said the new mobile app was an appropriate progression of that. "With Jack Henry's enterprise mobile solution, we are modernising the branch experience and making customer interactions more efficient and meaningful, allowing our staff to spend more time building and expanding relationships and less time on manual processes or paperwork."
Meanwhile, senior vice president of Jack Henry & Associates and president of Jack Henry Banking, Stacey Zengel, added, "Native American Bank encompasses what community banking is all about: helping consumers and businesses better manage their finances. We are proud to expand our partnership with the bank as it leverages our advanced digital account opening and branch mobility solutions to provide more convenient options for its customers. We support Native American Bank in its mission to improve banking and financial wellness across its community."
Zafin: Banking is now in the era of the tech ecosystem
The development of tech ecosystems is placing the future of post-COVID banking in jeopardy. At a time when Big Tech can replicate the functions of traditional financial institutions, what can banks do to retain a grip on the market?
John Smith, EVP Ecosystem at Zafin, has a few ideas. A SaaS cloud-native product and pricing platform for financial institutions, Zafin is preparing the next generation of banks to cope with this precise challenge.
Smith is responsible for the strategic and tactical management of the company’s ecosystem, including the creation of new business models to support growth and differentiation. We asked him four questions:
Q. Have the events of the pandemic caused an irreversible shift in the digitalisation of banks? If so, is COVID the sole cause or are there other factors?
It’s a great question and one that I am asked a lot. Without a doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven a significant shift in the acceleration of digital. In fact, I’ve seen some estimates show there to have been as much as four to six years of digital adoption growth since the initial lockdown started.
While the pandemic may be the primary reason for this growth, two other drivers include fintech disruption and the high costs of operating a traditional retail bank. Both of these factors have caught the attention of banking executives as they set their minds on accelerating digital transformation with a focus on high return, low risk.
Q. Some commentators believe banks must learn from Big Tech in order to survive. Do you agree? Please expand.
I agree completely; we’re living in the era of the ‘ecosystem’. All the seismic shifts we’re seeing in technology, be it aggregation, embedded finance, DeFi or hyper-personalisation are all enabled by the foundation of an ecosystem.
When financial institutions work with a strategic partner like Zafin, which has made the strategic investments in a best-in-class ecosystem, they’re able to capitalise on opportunities more quickly and safely, and will be better positioned for growth now and at the other side of the pandemic.
Q. What are currently the obstacles to adopting Open Banking? Is it more likely to 'take off' in some regions rather than others?
I would argue that Open Banking has been in the US for some time and will only continue to grow there. By definition, Open Banking is about the secure sharing of financial information that customers are aware of and have authorised. Under that definition, we’re seeing aspects of this well underway even though its full potential remains to be seen.
Third-Party Providers are a natural outcome of Open Banking, whereby they can create propositions beyond what a bank normally does to enable banking functions such as payments, borrowing, saving and so on. Once again, some of these are already present through industry-led initiatives, whereas regions such as the EU have taken the pathway of regulation such as PSD2.
The industry-led initiatives we’ve seen in the US have also had the added advantage of guard-rails that regulatory bodies like FFIEC and CFPB provide. There are also other technology-led initiatives such as API definitions that are set out through the FS-ISAC.
I would argue the future of Open Banking in North America will be through the natural evolution of the guidelines and API definitions that have been published, as well as the natural progression of industry initiatives.
Q. Are there any other bank tech trends you'd like to discuss?
Coreless banking. Zafin has been pioneering some of the work around externalising functions out of the legacy core to drive a more ‘fintech nimble’ bank, while not having to deliver a ‘heart and lungs’ core bank replacement.
Real life examples of this include moving some of the core functions of a banking system, such as product and pricing to a platform like Zafin. Origination, onboarding, KYC, risk, and compliance are all other examples of externalising banking functions for added agility.