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Kuwait Finance House Deploys EastNets' payment gateway solution for SWIFT Connectivity

Today at Sibos 2007, Eastern Networks (EastNets), a leading payment and security solutions provider for the government and financial service industries in the Middle East, has announced that Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has started migrating its bank-to-bank payment processes from a point-to-point connection to the SWIFT network, using EastNets’ SWIFT integration solution. The migration will enable the bank to streamline its daily operations, processing interbank domestic and international payments faster, and help its customers to conduct transactions with greater efficiency.

“Within six months of the implementation of the SWIFT integration solution, we expect to see greater efficiencies, fewer errors and a reduction in costs. As market leaders, we are constantly trying to maximise the effectiveness of our procedures in order to provide the highest levels of service to our clients and achieve impressive returns for our investors whilst complying with Islamic Banking principles,” said Anwar Bader Al-Ghaith, Deputy Assistant to the General Manager-Operations (KFH).

The application, while also fulfilling the bank’s requirement for interbank domestic payments to be recorded on accounting systems for reconciliation purposes, will provide KFH with the following benefits:
- True end-to-end integration with no manual intervention;
- Elimination of repeated data entry resulting in reduction of operational costs;
- Automatic error detection;
- Ability to define rules that determine which actions to take and how to route erroneous transactions;
- Reduced application development time and costs for new integration projects;
- Ability to define workflow processes and revise them quickly if needed;
- Capacity to process payment instruction files in different formats and those received through different protocols;
- Ability to map incoming message formats to banking system message formats through a “drag and drop” interface, without any need for programming.

“The popularity of automated connectivity solutions for the financial industry has recently soared in the Middle East, as directives to maximise bottom-line profits have made solutions such as payment gateway a cost effective option. Working together with our partner Microsoft, we are delighted to be expanding our operations to new markets and working with reputable institutions such as Kuwait Finance House,” said Hazem Mulhim, CEO, EastNets.

Developed on Microsoft .NET, EastNets payment gateway solution is designed to automate SWIFT messages between banks and provide a single window to a bank’s internal trade finance, core banking and investment banking applications. By using Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2006 as the core integration and process management engine, customers are able to implement a flexible and robust infrastructure for SWIFT connectivity. With the addition of Microsoft® BizTalk® Accelerator for SWIFT, KFH is also able to integrate all internal systems and generate SWIFT format messages for interbank payments and the settling of transactions.

Sheida Hadji-Ashrafi, WorldWide industry manager for payments at Microsoft, said: “The Middle East is growing rapidly and financial institutions in this region are looking to play a more significant role in global financial services. To compete on the world stage, it is vital these organisations comply with global standards, and modernising payments systems and infrastructures is a major focus for our customers. Microsoft can help financial firms respond to the challenges of payments market’s integration by working closely with key partners such as EastNets. Our goal is to provide technology that can be quickly and cost efficiently implemented and easily integrated with existing systems.”