In 1992, Boyce Adams Sr. was working in the oil industry. He had a short-lived entrepreneurial venture under his belt—an oil and gas software company that succumbed to the 1986 crude oil collapse—and a family of five to support.
That year, a former business partner approached him to be a consultant on a new project. The partner had designed separate software for three individual clients, and he wanted to market one of them. Boyce’s job was to figure out which one would sell.
One software automated brickyards and another automated cable TV companies. But large conglomerates were quickly purchasing cable companies, and when Boyce researched brickyards, he found there were only about 200 in all North America.
But the third software automated accounting for financial institutions, and there were over 18,000 banks in the U.S. “That’s a software, I can sell,” Boyce thought. So he and his partners founded BankTEL.
The first decade was tough. Boyce was away from home most weeks, installing software and running training sessions. He sacrificed time with his family to build what would ultimately become a family business.
In 1996, BankTEL hit Boyce’s first benchmark—100 clients. And the company kept hitting benchmarks, even as big banks bought small banks and the overall industry consolidated. Now there are only about 5,800 banks in the U.S., but with over 1,700 clients, BankTEL has the largest market share. This, coupled with BankTEL’s roster of international clients, situates the company as an undisputed leader in financial institution accounting.
In 1998, BankTEL was sold to one of its clients, a Texas-based institution called City Bank. Boyce ran the company as a subsidiary of the bank. But in 2006, Boyce put up the only capitol he had—his retirement fund—and he and friends bought BankTEL back from City Bank, which remains a client even today. It was a risky move, but the Mississippi-birthed company had proven itself, even though many of its clients were from big coastal cities. Cash flow was stable, and the client-base continued to grow at a rapid pace.
In 2009, BankTEL became multinational, and Boyce’s son, Boyce Jr., joined an expanding staff and is now president of the company. Over the decades, clients have grown so loyal to BankTEL that some sit on its board and others have become investors.
In 2014, Boyce’s daughter, Jennifer Rose, an accomplished insurance broker, joined the company as an account manager, moving from New York City to San Francisco to handling BankTEL’s West Coast clients.
In 2016, the company launched ASCEND, the fourth version of its software, which offers 11 modules—nearly three times as many as when BankTEL was founded. Many of these modules were created in direct response to client feedback.