In our latest interview, Jeff Hempker, President of Avivatech, shares his vision for the future of technology and how his company is contributing to it.
Jeff Hempker,President, at Avivatech
Jeff Hempker is the president of Avivatech, a Georgia-based tech company that specializes in check and cash automation solutions. With almost three decades of experience in financial services, he leads Avivatech's growth and innovation, overseeing sales, marketing, technical support, and product management. Before Avivatech, he held executive positions at Digital Check Corporation for 18 years. Hempker has a Bachelor of Science from Ohio University and an MBA from the University of Georgia. He enjoys fishing and gardening in his free time and is married with two children.
Jeff, please tell us a bit about yourself and give us a brief overview of your professional journey.
Having grown up in the 80s, I have vivid memories of the profound impact those early consumer electronics had on my “quality of life.” The personal computer, VCR, and first-generation cellular bag phones were all game changers in their day. Technology innovation and ultimately how technology is used to improve our way of life has always interested me. My entire 30-year career has been spent in and around financial technologies. More specifically, I am fascinated with how innovation in financial technology has allowed traditional payment methods to remain efficient and relevant throughout the last three decades while the broader modern-day payments ecosystem has expanded into more sophisticated areas.
My life-long interest in technology has led me into an industry that continuously pushed for new innovations in software and hardware technologies: financial services. In my early career, I held various product and business development roles that led to my passion for solving complex business problems for the end user, which is ultimately the center of Avivatech’s mission.
Avivatech is an innovative software company that specializes in cash and check software automation solutions for branch banking and retail payment environments. As the founder and president, it is my privilege to lead such a world-class team that is passionate about innovation, delivering results, and making a positive impact on our customers’ day.
Tell us about Avivatech and its distinct offerings in the financial services industry.
In 2021, Avivatech was founded because of Digital Check’s acquisition of Benchmark Technology Group. Both businesses operated growing software initiatives that specialized in payment automation software products. Launching a new company was an opportunity to combine these two software initiatives into a single branded company, called Avivatech. Today, Avivatech is uniquely positioned as a technology company that specializes in delivering both cash and check automation software solutions to both banks and retail businesses.
Avivatech brings our first-hand knowledge of payment operations to build innovative cash and check automation tools for banks and retailers. Both industries are in need of a technology refresh when it comes to handling their cash and check payments. So much of the technology that exists today is based on innovation that occurred two decades ago. Today, most banks process checks and cash separately, while many retail locations and enterprises are continuing to manage and count cash transactions by hand. Avivatech offers modern software automation technologies that reduce transaction times, improve accuracy, automate balancing, and provide enterprise-wide access to branch and store-level detail through intelligent dashboards.
What are the vision and mission of your organization? What are the core values upon which Avivatech is situated?
Our mission is simple: deliver superior experiences for our users that improve outcomes. We do this by following three principles. First, we do what we say we’re going to do. Second, we deliver solutions that are easy to use, improve performance, and are reliable. Finally, we offer friendly service and ensure it is enjoyable to work with us. If we can’t do these three things, nothing else really matters.
Vision has always been explained to me as some future desired destination. Our vision, or destination, is to build life-long relationships so that no matter how many times we reinvent ourselves, our customers continue doing business with us because of the relationship and trust we’ve developed as partners. That’s my vision for Avivatech.
How do you think automation has disrupted the financial services sector? Tell us how Avivatech is contributing to and supporting this disruption.
Automation is a positive disrupter in banking and retail environments as it streamlines operations and saves time for staff – a vital solution given the current labor shortage. Despite the misconceptions, true automation is designed to help staff, not replace them. We’d be facing an even bigger operational throughput challenge without the automation that is already in place. I sincerely believe automation-based innovators could be the most likely unsung heroes of the current day and will continue to solve labor shortages through the remainder of the baby boomer retirement era.
At Avivatech, our entire technology roadmap is about helping our customers attain more efficient transactions and total control of their business through automation-based software technologies. If efficiency from automation is a disruption, it would be rewarding to become the most disruptive technology provider in the business.
How do you spearhead the big-picture strategies of Avivatech? What growth plans do you have for the organization?
Avivatech is built on an actionable strategy. Nothing I’ve taken on in my career has been more challenging or rewarding than building strategy. However, building strategy is only half the work, the rest lies in implementation. While a few people can build a great strategy, it takes the entire organization to make an implementation successful and achieve our goals.
In terms of growth, I’m expecting an exciting decade for Avivatech. We’ll use all available levers to meet our long-term goals.
What does a typical day at work look like for you? Do you segment your day to manage all the necessary agendas in a day or do you go with the flow and address things as per priority?
After launching Avivatech a little more than 18 months ago, establishing a daily routine is still a work in progress. Most days I yearn for a more structured and segmented approach, but our business is still in a building and revenue acquisition mode which requires a more fluid and agile approach to each day.
What is the most exciting part of your job? What keeps you motivated to give your best at work every single day?
There is a competitiveness in most of us that provides the drive to be successful. What drives me the most is the dedication and commitment of our exceptional team. The small successes each day excite me the most and keeps our team working toward our goals.
Being a seasoned leader, what tech trends do you think will shape the future of the financial services industry?
It’s hard not to imagine that AI and automation-based innovation will continue to have the most profound impact on the future use of all sorts of technologies. At Avivatech, automation software technologies are shaping the way we process, manage, and forecast cash and check volumes, and we see first-hand how automation has transformed our customer’s bank operations and quality of life.
What are your go-to sources to get all the latest updates in the market?
I always learn something new from talking with customers. I’ve always found them to be open and willing to share feedback. They share unmatched insights on how to improve the market and improve our products. A close second for me also includes industry advocacy groups. High-quality industry organizations such as AFT (www.aftweb.com) have stood out for years and continue to deliver high value for their members.
What is your approach to maintaining a balance between personal and professional life?? What hobbies do you enjoy pursuing the most?
This is probably the biggest challenge I face. What makes work-life balance so difficult is that the work is never complete! Without a routine, you find yourself bouncing from one priority to the next with no end in sight.
When I’m not focused on Avivatech, I love spending time at home with my family. That is a source of joy and relaxation for me. I also enjoy a nicely manicured lawn. Other more adventurous hobbies include bass fishing tournaments, golf, and exercising.