Meet our customer hero
An innovator at the edge of the desert
As a leading financier in some of the world’s fastest growing markets, EFG Hermes Holding has long prospered through innovation. Over its 38-year history, the company has evolved from an Egyptian investment bank into a Universal Bank in Egypt with the leading investment bank franchise in FEM. Its novel BNPL platform valU, unveiled in 2017, allows users to receive instant credit decisions on their smartphones and make purchases from retailers throughout the Egyptian market. The technology, which is especially popular among young people, is the first of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa region.
As valU grew in popularity, and EFG Hermes Holding continued to introduce new fintech solutions, management realized that its IT systems needed far more agility. Since valU’s launch, its growing suite of applications had been strung together with rigid point-to-point connections. In this environment, IT staff had little backend visibility. Replacing applications often led to service interruptions, and updates to the valU mobile app faced regular delays. To ensure exceptional customer experience, EFG Hermes Holding knew it needed to move toward a nimbler, secure, and easy-to-maintain services architecture: one that would reduce the cost of maintenance, make data sharing seamless, and enable IT personnel to make both back- and front-end changes faster.
Inside EFG Hermes Holding’s Cairo headquarters, management had a solution in mind. The choice of webMethods came down to several factors. First, it offered an end-to-end suite of integration products. The webMethods’ Integration Platform could give the company a powerful integration solution to quickly connect all internal systems and applications. WebMethods’ API Management enabled it to share data with its partners in a manner that was safe, secure and thoroughly monitored—and ultimately get new products and services out faster. EFG Hermes was also drawn to Software AG’s flexible sales model, its strong network of Egyptian partners, and its comprehensive view of how a transformed enterprise architecture could yield major benefits for business. “We were not just pitching EFG Hermes a product,” says Moataz Ganzory, Territory Manager for Egypt and Libya at Software AG. “We were pitching them a vision.”
In the year since EFG Hermes Holding and Software AG inked a deal, progress toward that vision has been swift. Working closely with a team from Majara Solutions, a longtime Software AG partner in Cairo, developers overhauled the integration of critical front- and back-end channels—from the ever-evolving valU mobile app, to customer relationship and risk management applications. Today the software is processing more than 1.5 million daily transactions—which has already led to tangible benefits. According to Mohamed Sayed Fathy, Chief Information Officer at EFG Hermes Holding, the shift from point-to-point integration to webMethods API Management and integration has reduced the frequency of back-end changes by 40%, led to a 60% reduction in the time to bring new products to market, and made it far easier to replace applications without interrupting services. webMethods’ API Management, moreover, has meant integration with external partners is now easier and faster than ever.
And there are big things to come. Until now, EFG Hermes Holding has focused its webMethods deployment on valU—which helped propel the app to a record 229,000 new users in 2021 and a distinction as one of Forbes’ top five fintech firms in the Middle East. Discussions are now in the works about extending it to other business units and subsidiaries, including new fintech initiatives within its ever-growing nonbusiness financial inclusion platform. As Fathy explains, EFG Hermes Holding views digital agility as an essential component to its ability to thrive in an ever-changing industry—and its partnership with Software AG leaves it far better equipped to navigate that road ahead.
“The financial services industry is in the midst of an unprecedented technological transformation,” Fathy says. “Having an agile digital agility layer is more important than ever. And we’re thrilled to have found a partner with the software, and the vision, to help us continually improve our operational excellence, and ultimately deliver industry-leading products to our customers.”