In what is a recurring feature, Finopotamus will profile interesting and intriguing tech professionals who are positively impacting the credit union industry.
For this issue, we spent time with Jack Henry & Associates’ Vice President of Jack Henry Payment Solutions Tede Forman. The Monett, Mo. -based technology and payment processing service company serves the financial services industry and counts more than 8,500 customers, including many credit unions, nationwide.
By W.B. King
While attending the University of Kentucky in the early 1980s, Tede Forman began his tech career working part-time shifts in the data processing department at a local bank.
“Technology has always excited me,” he said.
Over the course of his career, Forman has seen a shift in how technology departments and respective teams are viewed. Information technology, he noted, is now considered an “integral part of how businesses function, creating a partnership intended to solve problems and innovate” opposed to solely “processing data” and generating results.
“Such a partnership has brought people and processes together to grow the business, instead of them acting in silos. I’ve seen technology become much more important to the member experience versus being a necessary evil,” said Forman. “Credit unions are finding ways to work with their partners to streamline back-office operations as well as provide more modern and uniquely personal experiences to members. Institutions are using technology to collaborate, communicate and serve their members more efficiently and effectively.”
Traversing the Payments Landscape
Forman, who assumed his current position as vice president of Jack Henry Payment Solutions in July 2021, began his tenure with the company nearly 11 years ago as a senior director of Software Engineering, before assuming other high profile positions. Prior to joining Jack Henry, he served in numerous technology and payments roles, including director of information technology at WellPoint Health Networks (now Anthem) and senior information technology manager at Humana.
“I’m passionate about how technology can help credit unions stay relevant and competitive in today’s landscape and my position at Jack Henry allows me to help them on both fronts,” said Forman. The company, he added, has approximately 6,800 associates, 2,745 of which work in a technology capacity.
When asked what has recently surprised him most in the payments arena, he said the speed of change as well as “how much digital adoption has focused on the user experience.” The pandemic, he added, underscored these factors.
“I believe we’ll see small businesses and gig workers continue to leverage real-time payments to improve cash flow and better manage their finances,” said Forman. “As more players enter the space, credit unions will need to adapt to these shifts and determine where to place their bets.”
Regarding the impact COVID-19 will have on the future of payments, Forman said the need for faster digital payments has accelerated and estimates this sector will continue to see high growth.
“There’s a surge in usage and strong desire to have these types of payments from both the credit union and member perspective. For example, through the pandemic, we’ve seen mobile remote deposit capture (RDC) grow over 25% annually as more credit unions decide to onboard these capabilities