AEG Newsletter

Fourth Quarter - 2021 | Issue #16

 

      

 

 

 

 

 

“2021 has been very successful with many achievements and important milestones”

 

Word from the CEO

I would like to seize the opportunity to wish a blessed holiday season and a very happy new year. May your days be filled with warmth, success, and prosperity.

2021 has been very successful with many achievements and important milestones. We have developed some new solutions and services, met our targets, met our deadlines, satisfied our clients, signed new contracts, and we are looking forward as ever to do more for our clients and the financial community. It is worth mentioning that all of this has been done despite the challenging limitations imposed by the pandemic. However, we dare say that AEG is capable of keeping up with everything seamlessly and flawlessly with the collective efforts of all teams in all of our branches.

The fact that over 58% of world population are vaccinated by now, and the fact that it has been over two years of adapting to the pandemic and the new norms, I believe that 2022 will be a lot easier on all of us. On the business level, 2022 is promising, as we have so many plans and targets to achieve. We will be enhancing our software, we will be developing new solutions, there will be more webinars and interactive events, and last but not least, there will be new partnerships that will expand our capabilities and add to our portfolio.

Dr. Mohamed Sadek – CEO and General Manager

Events

This year, events were restricted to virtual media due to COVID-19 and its new variants. The most eminent events include the SWIFT African Regional Conference, the Cybersecurity and CSP Training Webinar, and the Bahrain Economic Development Event.

SWIFT African Regional Conference

SWIFT ARC took place virtually this year due to the global pandemic. It brought together financial services professionals from over 55 countries across Africa aiming to discuss the latest trends and issues across Africa in the quest of shaping the future of the financial industry in the continent.

AEG is always close to its African customers, not only through conferences and tradeshows, but also through two operating branches in the continent (Egypt and Algeria). Furthermore, AEG is always in the course of catering for the needs of banks in Africa and contributing to the development and prosperity of its financial industry.

Cybersecurity and CSP Training Webinar

As part of its initiative to help and support the financial community to remain secure and compliant with SWIFT CSP, AEG started a series of informative webinars in November that will recur during the first quarter of next year. AEG is giving free training sessions on cybersecurity and CSP compliance in order to help its clients have a firmer grasp of all emergent risks and threats that can put them in a vulnerable situation. AEG’s aim is to ensure that its clients are capable of maintaining high levels of security and compliance.

Bahrain Economic Development Event

AEG team in Bahrain was selected to deliver one of two keynote speeches at “The Path Ahead for Payment Providers” conference as part of the Bahrain Economic Development Board’s (EDB) efforts to bring the key players in the payment industry in a single Forum. AEG’s topic was on “the global direction of cross-border payments” and the speech was very well-received by the audience which comprised a relatively tight circle of C-level attendees and top-level managers.

2021 Overview

AEG is Officially a SWIFT Go Service Vendor

AEG gpi-PRO now supports SWIFT Go, a new service by SWIFT that gives financial institutions the added value of enabling their customers to send low-value cross-border payments directly from their bank accounts in a predictable, fast, highly secure way anywhere in the world at a very competitive price. This feature is available to the entire gpi community starting Nov-2021, with calibration period of 4 months between Dec-2021 and Mar-2022.

AEG gpi-PRO’s design agility allows for changes that give the application the stretch to cater for the specific requirements of SWIFT Go. In fact, AEG gpi-PRO has been acknowledged by SWIFT as a compatible application for the year 2021, and our development team will definitely make sure to keep it going for as long as this new technology shall live.

Directory link: https://www.swift.com/our-solutions/global-financial-messaging/payments/swiftgo

AEG Throughout 2021

This year has been filled with successes and accomplishments in the various aspects of developing solutions, widening scope of offerings, implementing big projects and serving our customers.

This year, there have been some radical changes on the level of our cloud services. With the increasing number of hosted banks on our cloud, we have developed the services to be more suited, secure, and effective with high availability leveraging 3 active sites.

On the other hand, it has been a fruitful year on the level of software development with the launching of AEG-UPC for universal payment confirmation, AEG MidSys3 for Target Instant Payment Settlement, AEG MT-ISO Converter which allows banks to translate their MT messages to ISO20022, AEG gpi-PRO being listed a SWIFT compatible application to cater for gpi requirements, and now supporting SWIFT Go and making it to the list of SWIFT Go vendors. In addition, there have been some new tools, some of which were developed in house like AEG Internet Proxy and AEG Snap Tool, and others through our partner “Ivanti”: Smart Control, Smart Patch, and Team Password Manager.

AEG always seeks to provide the best state-of-the-art technologies to its customers, and makes sure that all their needs are met before they are even aware. It is with cooperative powers, dedication, and loyalty to its customers that AEG distinguishes itself and keeps going.

AWS Cloud Project in Bahrain

AEG has partnered with the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) Group on the project of migrating the bank’s international remittance system (SWIFT) to Amazon Web Service cloud (AWS) in line with the Government of Bahrain’s cloud adoption strategy.

This step, taken by NBB, sure will pave the way for banks and financial institutions in the region to do adapt this service for better cost management, service availability and security compliance. Ensuring best levels of information security compliance is one of the key differentiators for this service as AEG is a certified SWIFT Service Bureau and is compliant with all advisory security controls as well as the mandatory ones.

AEG Smart-B Project in Jordan

In July 2021, the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) announced the inclusion of the Jordanian Dinar as a settlement currency in Buna (the cross-border payment system owned by the AMF), and the signing of an agreement enabling Buna to execute cross-border payments in Jordanian Dinar. This brought about the need for an integration solution to facilitate the communication between the banks connected to Buna and the banks in Europe.

AEG stepped up and developed AEG Smart-B – a solution that did just that. It was successfully piloted in Jordan in collaboration with SWIFT and Buna. It has been a very effective project; RTGS and IPS are up and running after finishing the testing phase needed.

AEG Smart-B handles all the integration needed to easily become a Buna participant. The application was developed in a flexible and customizable way to meet the requirements of Buna workflows for RTGS and IPS payments.

SNB KSA Project: Corporate Payment System Integration

AEG is almost closing the second phase of its big corporate payment system project at the Saudi National Bank (SNB).

SNB is headquartered in Riyadh – KSA; it was founded in 1953 under the name of the National Commercial Bank (NCB). In 2021, one of the largest mergers in the region took place between the NCB and Samba Financial Group, forming the SNB – the largest financial group in Saudi Arabia, owned by the Saudi Government.

The first phase’s scope of the project was to create a SWIFTNet platform for corporates to communicate with the bank (NCB back then) using SWIFT standards MA-CUG or SCORE. AEG was able to serve the requirements of this project through its inhouse developed solution AEG-CPS (AEG Corporate Payment System). The project was initiated in September 2020, and it went live in July 2021, enabling the bank’s corporate customers to send and receive financial messages and perform various financial transactions like corporate payments, payroll, collection, request to pay, etc.

The second phase started after the merger took place, when the bank requested to migrate the existing clients of Samba Financial Group to the new platform to use SWIFT compatible standards. Phase 2 is to be closed during the first month of 2022 as we are currently in the last stages of testing and finetuning.

More services are currently being discussed with the bank to be performed in future phases, which can further widen the capabilities of the bank’s corporate services and offerings. It is our pleasure to serve such huge clients and to know that they are satisfied with our services and our conduct.

2022 Outlook

2022 is going to be a busy year for us with many goals to fulfil and various milestones to reach.

A great focus will be given to CSCF 2022 as we will be guiding our clients towards compliance as always. AEG will still be offering its CSP services including a SWIFT CSP preassessment, remediation services, SWIFT CSP audit, and attestation services.  Further, there will be a number of awareness and training events that can assist the banks in the process of fulfilling all the requirements of the program. In fact, there will be training webinars on security and MT to ISO migration as well.

As for our software development activity, we are currently working on various ideas and projects to be revealed at a later stage. However, at the moment we are almost done with enhancing our reporting system to include message monitoring, tracking and control features, and it will be ready during the 1st quarter of next year.

Moreover, we are developing our enterprise cyber security services: threat intelligence, incident response and managed services. Equally, we will be widening the scope of security services through introducing new software and new partnerships. We are in the course of partnering with a very renowned company and one of the biggest names worldwide to add to our portfolio, especially in the field of fraud management and safe payment solutions.

On the level of expansion and serving our clients more efficiently, we are opening a new branch in Qatar close to Qatari customers that allows us to offer local support and address the needs of the market, especially security-related services. This new branch would be dedicated to cater for banks and corporates in Qatar and their special requirements amid World Cup 2022.

We are anticipating a promising new year. We believe that the recovering process will go at a faster pace, on a global level, speaking of the world pandemic, and on the national level, speaking of the economic crisis happening in Lebanon. As for AEG, there will be a number new of products and services that will be highly requested during 2022.

 

 

 

In This Issue

 

 

01.    Events

 

 

02.    2021 Overview

 

 

03.    2022 Outlook

 

 

04.    2021 Highlights

 

 

 

 

 

“AEG’s aim is to ensure that its clients are capable of maintaining high levels of security and compliance”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“2021 has been filled with success, innovation, and accomplishments”

 

 

 

 

 

 

2021 Highlights

ü AEG gpi-PRO was listed as SWIFT Compatible Application for the year 2021

ü AEG Universal Payment Confirmation was self-attested and published on swift.com

ü AEG was listed on SWIFT’s directory as CSP Assessor

ü AEG was listed on SWIFT’s directory as Cyber Security Service Provider

ü AEG was listed as SWIFT Go service vendor

ü 1 New partnership

ü 150+ Successful on-site interventions

ü 10,000+ Successful off-site interventions

ü 150+ new contracts signed

ü 9 new solutions, 6 of which are inhouse-developed

 

 

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