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Monthly Posts: February

e-Finance Awards Gala – 9th Edition – February 28, 2012



Just two days after the Academy Awards night, we had another gala to be witness too. This time as nominees, not only TV spectators of a fabulous show. I'm talking about the e-Finance 9th Awards Gala, held at JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, yesterday evening.

Yes, it is true, it does not have the same international awareness as the Oscars, but it does manage very well to bring together the most important players in the Romanian IT&C and Finance sectors. And it does have its own "red carpet", nomination categories and award statuettes. Not golden, though :)

I know that, because I'm looking at one. Oh, in case I forgot to mention it right from the start, we were not just nominees, we were winners. Together with CEC Bank, for our more than 10 years long outstanding collaboration and for the recent qPI-TREZ project, designed to optimize the bank's treasury operations. That's why I have sitting on my desk a beautiful statuette as proof that Allevo and CEC Bank are the e-Partnership category winners. It was supposed to be inspirational :)

And we had our own Meryl Streep, in the person of Corina and our own Michel Hazanavicius, the "best director", the one and only Sorin… Guiman, attending the gala.

As the Oscars had very funny comedians being very funny and Cirque du Soleil, still being very impressive, the e-Finance guests were engaged in a more artsy initiative. They received poems from the four Romanian poets invited to the event.

Here is the poem that Corina received (so sorry for the English-speaking readers, the original poem is in Romanian. I have tried to adapt it, but I'm not really a poet to make the translation of it look and sound like something artistic):

"Pagoda din munti


daca ai fi

o tulpina de bambus

ai putea fi stalpul

unei mici pagode din munti


sau doar pipa

din care un batran

nestiutor de carte

si-ar fuma tutunul sau

opiul de fiecare zi


dar daca ai fi

doar o tulpina de bambus

nu ti-ar pasa

daca esti pipa sa stalp


Cu prietenie, Horia Garbea

Februarie 2012"

"The Mountain Pagoda


if you only were

a bamboo stalk

you could be the pillar

of a small mountain pagoda


or only the pipe

from which an old man

ignorant to knowledge

would smoke his tobacco

or everyday opium


but if you were

just a bamboo stalk

you wouldn't care

if you are a pipe or a pillar"


on the spot translation by me:)

Last but not least, congratulations to all the winners of this year's gala.

Now, I would like to stay and chat, but we are popping up the champagne, to celebrate the award among colleagues. See ya!



Allevo at SWIFTRemit Business Day in Casablanca



Casablanca - known as the biggest city and port in Morocco or even more likely, the set for Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman's love story. Too bad Rick's Café didn't really exist, because I would have liked to sit there and listen to Sam (Dooley Wilson) playing As Time Goes By. But that's me, Corina and Dan did not go there for the romance of it :)

Cause on the 15th of February this year, no more than 70 years after Bogart coined the now famous phrase "Here's looking at you kid", Casablanca was the host for SWIFTRemit Business Day.

Corina and Dan were there, to share about the unique channel to rapidly expand remittances services, about the value and challenges of SWIFTRemit, about remittances trends and challenges in Africa, about innovation in this area and to listen to insights from banks like Caixabank or Attijariwafa. They were also there to talk during the Implementation and integration options sessions, about Allevo's product qPI-Remit .

For those of you not familiar with this product, just a very brief note: qPI-Remit, based on SEPAReady certified qPayIntegrator, is an end-to-end remittance processing solution, dealing with the collection, processing and distribution of remittances. It started quite an interest, as during the breaks my colleagues were busy answering questions, providing additional information and showing demos.

A few general info facts mentioned during the presentations: the last count of worldwide migrants accounted for sums up 250 million people, with transfers in 2010 of 456 billion USD (in Morocco the value raised up to 10% of GDP, summing around 6.9 billion USD). There are some issues in Africa due to huge costs (a medium of 19 USD for 200 USD transferred), reduced competition (90% MTOs - Money Transfer Operators, 2.4% banks and 7.6% postal offices), exclusivity (Nigeria has banned the introduction of exclusivity clauses).

Over all, the agenda was interesting and well structured and the event very well organized, enjoying the participation of over 70 attendees. Both Corina and Dan, were very impressed with the organizer's courtesy and attention, and felt like the entire event had an "open for collaboration" aura, between different vendors, between vendors and banks. We hope we'll enjoy the same friendly atmosphere in Dubai as well. And even more, qPI-Remit made new acquaintances.

So, let's hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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