The Importance of Improving Your Members’ Financial Health

piggy bank stethoscope
Shanon McLachlan Photo
President of Credit Union Solutions
Jack Henry

3 minutes

Industry organizations must work together toward this important goal.

Sponsored by Jack Henry

The U.S. is facing a financial health crisis.

For the first time since 2018, the percentage of people in the U.S. considered financially healthy decreased from 34% in 2021 to 31% in 2022, according to an article from the Financial Health Network. Additionally, the article reports, two-thirds of Americans are considered “financially coping” or “financially vulnerable.”2 This means Americans struggle to spend, save, borrow, or plan in ways that allow them to be resilient and seize opportunities.

At Jack Henry™, we are working to help you fight the U.S. financial health crisis in several ways.

CU Build

This past summer, our Jack Henry credit union community joined CU Build for its second annual build-a-thon.

CU Build’s mission is to spark innovation, cultivate learning, and foster development within the credit union community. This year, CU Build brought together 56 industry professionals from more than 20 credit unions across the U.S. with the goal of developing game-changing solutions to address key business challenges—including financial health.

There’s power in bringing together individuals of varying skill sets to solve real-life challenges, share knowledge, and leverage the cooperative principles of the credit union community to develop innovative solutions.

Jack Henry is proud to collaborate with CU Build and help you build a stronger financial future for your members.

Financial Institutions in Action

As a financial institution, you play a key role in mitigating the financial health crisis in the communities you serve.

Developing and implementing strategies to guide the financial well-being of your members is the first step to addressing the financial health crisis we face today. It’s also a significant and largely untapped opportunity for you to stand out in a crowded market by putting your members at the forefront of your operations.

This past year, I had the opportunity to travel and meet with many of you at your credit unions and industry events.

While so many incredible stories were shared, one common theme stood out: improving the financial health of members.

From educational programs to internships and apprenticeships, our bank and credit union communities are working hard to move the needle when it comes to improving the financial health of Americans.

As our bank and credit union communities continue to make great strides in educating our youth, you’ve inspired Jack Henry to do the same.

To support you and our mission to empower people and financial institutions to gain the financial freedom to move forward, Jack Henry established an apprenticeship program for STEM students working on quality assurance automation. We currently have three high school students enrolled in the program and plan to offer more students the opportunity to join in the coming year.

Fighting Financial Fragmentation

In a recent press release, Jack Henry announced its new relationship with Mastercard®.

Together, we’re enabling financial institutions to provide members with the ability to securely view all their financial accounts within and outside of their primary financial institution. This is a huge step toward fighting financial fragmentation, which is largely responsible for the financial health crisis we face today.

In fact, members today have between 20 to 30 financial relationships spanning the financial services spectrum, making it nearly impossible for members to see a full, 360-degree view of their finances.

Without a holistic understanding of their finances, members become disconnected from their financial position, struggle to illuminate and adjust spending habits, and fail to recognize what steps they can take to improve their financial health.

Our relationship with Mastercard is one of the many steps Jack Henry is taking to strengthen connections between people and their financial institutions through technology and services that reduce the barriers to financial health.

Together, we’re making a difference.

Shanon McLachlan is president of credit union solutions at Jack Henry™, a CUES Supplier member. McLachlan directs the company’s strategy and solutions for credit unions. He joined Jack Henry in 2015 and has more than 25 years of experience in financial services. Learn more about improving your members’ financial health with Jack Henry.

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