FintekNews is pleased to offer our weekly feature column “3 Questions”. Each week, we feature a thought leader within a unique sector of fintech and ask them to answer just 3 questions for our audience in their vernacular. This week, we are pleased to introduce you to Russ Bernthal, President of ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates. ProfitStars is a leading software, solution, and technology innovator, with headquarters in Allen, TX.
NAME: Russ Bernthal
WEB ADDRESS: www.profitstars.com
How did you personally become involved in fintech?
I owned a technology company that didn’t specifically focus on the financial sector. However, Jack Henry & Associates was impressed with the power of our technology and recognized the potential impact it could have in the fintech industry. So, JHA acquired the company in 2005.
Since joining Jack Henry & Associates, I’ve really grown fascinated by the industry’s evolving complexities. It’s exciting to be part of a space that’s changing so rapidly; what banking will look like in the future is still largely undetermined. Jack Henry & Associates is one of the forward-thinking groups figuring out how brick and mortar branches will evolve, what role digital will play, how loans will be processed, and more. It’s rewarding to be one of the innovators helping financial institutions navigate these changes.
What area/s of fintech do you believe will grow the most in the coming 5 years?
An area that has been growing and will only continue to grow is customer service and experience. The progression of how we interact with consumers is increasingly vital for institutions to remain relevant by properly engaging through intuitive, digital interfaces. Organizations that can identify and address changing needs and customer preferences, especially for millennials, will experience a substantial competitive advantage.
Another area that will grow is cybersecurity − the need to protect all of our assets within financial institutions. Increasingly frequent and sophisticated attacks represent a continual threat to our industry and consumers’ trust in our institutions. The hefty cost of security can pose a significant challenge to financial institutions of any size.
What are the biggest problems facing the fintech industry in the future?
There are a number of challenges currently facing the industry that come from the competing pressures of regulation and innovation. The cost of regulation is increasing, yet we’re simultaneously facing pressure to innovate more quickly. Regulation prompts approaches that largely err on the side of caution and conservatism, but to innovate with an impact, we must be flexible and nimble. It’s an ongoing balance that will likely always be front of mind.
Russ Bernthal is the president of ProfitStars, a division of Jack Henry & Associates. ProfitStars combines JHA’s solid technology background with the latest breakthroughs in six performance-boosting solution groups – Financial Performance, Retail Delivery, Imaging, Payment Solutions, Information Security & Risk Management, and Online & Mobile.