Solid ground for dream products

SEPA took the king’s crown, and I’m not going to insist on the details, maybe just to mention that Ruth Wandhöfer, Citi, announced that EBF will work on the SEPA guidelines and will come with clarifications on national products which at the first glanced appeared to be niche products, to which appropriate transitional period might be applied, but at a closer look are just flavors of credit transfers or direct debits. So… keep an eye on the EBF site!

Other interesting subjects were discussed there, and I will mention just those debated in the sessions I could attended, as I also had duties in our stand as part of being an exhibitor.  I will mention the discussion on the convergence of the trade finance and corporate payments, where Enrico Camerinelli, Aite Group, made a classification of the supply chain finance instruments and added to traditional documentary credits and open accounts the “other” category, in which he included leasing and project financing. The two bankers, members of the panel, agreed that in the new landscape banks will lose the payments business if they are going to focus on specific processes without approaching the entire chain and offering their corporate customers a better visibility on all their processes.

In the same top with the SEPA gospel we now have the innovation blues. It has even a broader audience and its rhythms will accompany us longer, especially after the regulation and the end date will drive the SEPA discussions from the elaboration phase into trivial maintenance.  Guy Moons, Clear2Pay, had a very practical remark that instead of trying to guess who is going to be the winner scheme, banks should focus on implementing robust solutions, built on open standards, which will allow them to build winner products, a link to Standard Charter dream pack offering.

Hays Littlejohn, UBS AG, came with the front office view on what technology can bring to payments, one of the points being the leverage of the social networks as a means by which social friends can bring their own references to banks. I started to smile thinking at one of our customers, a microfinance institution which offers group loans to its Kenyan clients and who has already implemented a similar model: instead of collateral they are using guarantees offered by “social friends”, in their case a group of relatives and friends.

Let’s see how gospel and blues are evolving in the European space where, right now, Sirtaky is on the spot…

As a Partner World Advanced partner, Allevo is participating in IBM’s Global Solutions Directory.

Our financial transactions centralized processing solution

qPayIntegrator – is included in the Global Solutions Directory, with solution details,problems addressed and business opportunities created by this solution.

This year Madrid was chosen as the town fit for hosting such an event, the conference and exhibition taking place at the beautiful Feria de Madrid convention center.

We have by the past exhibited at this event with our former identity, Business Information Systems, 2011 being a premiere for presenting ourselves under the new trade name of Allevo.

There is a very rich amount of information on EBADay, which has traveled over Twitter with the speed, well not with that of light, but with that of web 2.0. Even our Allevo Daily was 50% taken over by EBADay stories, tweets, pictures & videos.


It is very interesting to get to see stories reported through such diverse pairs of eyes. Of course the Finextra guys did their utmost and came forward with a professional very Sibos-like TV: the EBADay TV, which could easily take more than just 2 days to fully follow. Then a whole lot of people shared insights plus their own understanding and opinions in either thorough blog posts or simple tweets. For someone who only virtually observes the event, such as myself, this type of community is a real gold mine. There’s plenty of things to see and a-ha moments to catch.

Judging from outside, the main word on everybody’s lips was, as announced and expected, the one and only: SEPA. It comes as no surprise that people calling for an end date of the end date have lately started to multiply.


My colleagues temporarily dispatched to Madrid confirmed that the main subjects of debate were centered around this topic: is there need for two distinct end dates or only one? One end-date for SEPA credit transfers and another one for direct debits or would it be possible to set one single *mandatory* deadline which could cover both?


Aside from the star of the show, SEPA, and other collateral boring subjects, such as Basel III regulations and alike, the next buzz word the EBADay tweet-cloud highlights is innovation. And something that always comes up when talking about innovation is collaboration. On collaboration I’m only going to quote JP Morgan’s James Barclay, whose line I picked up via EBAday 2011: the Sepa journey nears its end: “Collaboration has driven me to a shrink – the last stage of collaboration is an EBADay panel”.


So what my colleagues have shared of their own personal insights is that there is hope for SEPA after all. EBADay seems to have made people very optimistic on the subject or anyhow, more than before June 15th 2011.



On our third exhibition at EBAday taking place in Madrid we introduced ourselves as Allevo.

Payments professionals from across Europe gathered in Madrid on 15-16 June. There were two days of intense networking and debate at the sixth annual EBAday forum, organised by the Euro Banking Association in collaboration with Finextra Research.

We have participated with an exclusive delegation, our business analysts and the operations manager showing live demos in Allevo’s stand, no 15. We were more busy than expected, many visitors dropped by to see demos conducted by our experts. The main stars were SEPA, of course, the solution for corporations and workers’ remittances.

Last week we showed up for the first time under the new Allevo trade name, by attending SPIN, an annual conference & exhibition organized by the Italian Banking Association, focused on international payment systems and services. Unfortunately I’m such a poor photographer that the photos I’ve taken from the exhibition hall cannot give you an idea about how nice our stand was, the fanciest we’ve had until now in my opinion.

SPIN was a very good opportunity to learn about the diversity of the Italian market, about its concerns and, why not, about its power: three parallel sessions, rich content and various subjects, speakers representing almost all the segments of the domestic and international market. I was surprised to find the involvement of the academy in this domain, at least four speeches being held by professors from Italian universities.

As one of the most important players in the Italian market, CBI Consortium – our stand neighbor at Sibos Hong Kong, provides to Italian companies a standardized platform to work directly with their partner banks, the interest of the most attendees being directed to new ideas in product management. The playground being based on the same infrastructure, the technicalities will not make the difference anymore and the competition will be mainly on price, quality, and distribution.

Everyone is fishing for new ideas, if not with the purpose of achieving leadership, at least not to miss the start!

The Romanian SEPA pioneers found the most difficult tasks in implementing SEPA were the legal aspects and the pricing of the new SEPA products.  It seems these are not only Romanian opinions. The legal aspects were extensively discussed during SPIN, starting with the PSD impact on payment services to legal aspects of B2C relationship.

A plenary and a panel were dedicated to the SEPA end date subject.  And now… you’ll make the match with my title! Alexandre Rivera pointed the opinion of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance on the SEPA regulation text, now in final discussions stage in both Council and Parliament. Regarding SEPA awareness he mentioned his daughter who watched a SEPA video on YouTube and asked him whether his work is so boring.  He is right; you can try on YouTube for yourself and if you haven’t heard about SEPA until now, maybe that’s the reason why.

Despite of this reality I found the SEPA regulation evolution a very interesting subject, with passionate public positions as Gerard Hartsink had in the EPC Newsletter No 7 On Payments and Light Bulbs, and many other comments and replies from almost all the stakeholders, before and after the proposal has been published. Now it seems almost a masochistic game which is going to an end. This July the text revised by the Council and the Parliament will be reconciled and sometime this autumn we’ll finally have the end date of the end date!

I would like to add that we were lucky enough to be in Rome during a taxi strike! However, we eventually managed to attend the gala event and we can guarantee that Italian food, wine and charm deserve their fame.

A big thank you goes to everyone who joined us on the lovely evening of June 7th at the Pescarus restaurant’s terrace.

We tried preparing all we could think of in good time – a nice cozy location, good food and drinks, happy and almost complete company staff, a carefully selected series of speeches, trying not to fill too much of the little time available and also stick to the essence.

We thus invited Mrs Mona Ursu who has worked side by side with us for creating the new brand of Business Information Systems: Allevo. Then after we had Mr Ruud van der Horst up on stage; he had a beautiful speech about the path we’ve taken from the BIS of 10 years ago to the nowadays’ Allevo. Stephan Kraft from SWIFT brought a few words on our long-time partnership. To make the speech series more fun, we invited on stage Mr Constantin Nita from Hallewood Romania to tell our guests something about the famous Black Maiden wine we were going to offer upon departure. Also, we were honored to have Mr Adrian Georgescu, the author of the book chosen as gift to our invitees, say a few words to the audience and sign books for those seeking a personalized autograph.

We know not everyone is a Facebook addict, but we still decided to upload photos from the event on Allevo’s facebook page, the album being available publicly even to the Facebook-less people.

Once again, we’re sorry our 2 lovely Alinas, Nicu, Cristina, Costi and Mihnea could not be among the hosts. Likewise, we regret not to have been honored by all our partners and customers, but we can understand what they meant when saying “duty calls”.


Allevo (Business Information Systems rebranded) along with FinMedia, the Romanian Banking Association and TransFonD – organized on 9 June the 1st edition of a conference dedicated to payment systems – “Payments Business Conference 2011”.

The event took place at the JW Marriott Hotel Bucharest and gave the nearly 100 participants an up-to-date image of the projects in Romania and the European Union – primarily those related to SEPA.

The ARB President, Radu Gratian Ghetea, the Deputy Director of the Payment Directorate of National Bank of Romania, Razvan Vartolomei, as well as the Chief Strategy & Marketing of TransFonD, Razvan Faer, were in the opening panel.

Our special guests from SWIFT, Stephan Kraft, country manager for Romania, Marc Pommes Bordedebat, Senior Market Manager Payments, Banking Initiatives, and Judit Baracs, Senior Account Manager Payments Markets AT & EEC had important presentations. In addition, we’ve been provided the latest information by Rodica Tuchila, director of the ARB, about the stage of implementation of SEPA standards in Europe and Romania.

A much appreciated presentation was that of the manager of the SEPA project in TransFonD, Ionel Dumitru, who referred to the changes (without borders!) brought by the SEPA regulations to SENT (multilateral electronic clearing low-value interbank payments transferred between participants).

Specialists from Allevo, very thoroughly prepared, informed the participants about notable innovations in the field.Corina Mihalache, Business Analyst Allevo, presented workers’ remittances solutions, Dan Anghelescu, Operations Manager Allevo made an extremely useful reference for the payment solutions offered to customers as a service (SaaS) and payments as a service (PAYaaS) and Sorin Guiman, General Director Allevo, held a presentation on a possible future to transaction processing applications based on open source.

Sorin Dragomir, Omnilogic COO, a powerful infrastructure partner of Allevo, but also to the entire financial industry, highlighted the Omnilogic data center capabilities and, then, Cristina Cremer, director within TransFonD, stressed the benefits and functionalities of the e-Invoice service, offered through banks to large volume invoices issuers.

Conference Agenda (RO)

Corina Mihalache’s presentation (EN)

Dan Anghelescu’s presentation (EN)

Sorin Guiman’s presentation (EN)

Ruud van der Horst


Our first presence as Allevo was last week, in Rome, at SPIN, where we had a stand in the exhibition area.

SPIN is the Italian Banking Association (ABI) Conference & Expo on international payment systems and services promoted and organized in collaboration with Gruppo Italia SWIFT. The Conference had as participants representatives from international bodies, banks, associations, companies, consulting firms and market leaders.

The event was held on the 7th and the 8th of June, exhibition, plenary sessions and parallel sessions. Our delegates appreciated all organizing efforts and of course the Italian tradition during gala dinner organized in Rome, at an exclusive historic place. Here is Allevo’s stand 12, our business analyst Cristina Cioroboiu welcoming visitors to a live demo on Allevo’s Workers’ Remittances solution.

Allevo team

This is the almost complete Allevo team gathered together for a group hug picture just before our guests started arriving at the Pescarus Restaurant by the Herastrau lake.

Up: Ruud, Luci, Rasvan, Elena, Dan, Cristina, Emilia, Corina, Denisa, our new banner, Iulia, Dorina
Middle: Sorin, Andreea, Daniela, Bogdan, Ioana, Corina, Sorina, Lidia, Florina, Rocsu, Raluca, Dana, Roxana, Gabi, Cristea
Bottom: Ionut, George, Sopo, Paul, Sasha, Grig, Mihai, Cosmin

We are deeply sorry our two Alinas, Cristina, Nicu, Costi and Mihnea could not be present for this event, specially as they’ve put in a lot of work to make all this possible.

Later edit:

We’ve uploaded more pictures on our Facebook page: The brand new Allevo.

The first mention of Allevo launching on the 7th of June 2011, very promptly published in the online news of Market Watch – important Romanian specialized publication for the financial market and our long time collaborator.

The news can be read here (in Romanian).

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