Al Faris unveils iExchange

Al Faris has unveiled iExchange for money exchanges as it aims to bring automation and bilingual capabilities to the front desk of businesses throughout the Middle East.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  January 9, 2002

Al Faris has unveiled iExchange for money exchanges as it aims to bring automation and bilingual capabilities to the front desk of businesses throughout the Middle East. Boasting strong back end integration with systems such as Oracle Financials, the front desk management application required a massive 6,750 days to develop and a ‘substantial’ amount of investment.

Haitham Al Faris, president & CEO of Al Faris Information Technologies, believes that the company will see a handsome return on its investment due to the demand for an application such as iExchange from the region’s money exchanges. He explains that the market’s existing applications do not offer the user enough functionality while questions remain over their scalability and reporting features.

The company’s sales & marketing director, John Handscomb, argues that it is the applications duel language capabilities that will set it apart from the competition as the need for a bilingual product is key to transacting both locally and globally.

“Everyone that we spoke to in the Middle East wanted to have an Arabised product, otherwise you need English speaking and writing staff and customers,” he says.

By using iExchange, users can enter information for the same transaction in either English or Arabic. This, Handscomb explains, is especially useful when transacting with non-Arabic speaking financial houses.

“You can now have transactions that are started here in Arabic sent to America, for example, where they can be read in English. The region shouldn’t have to be forced to use a foreign language when they can use their own [language] to transact businesses,” he says.

The ability to use both languages has a knock on effect for the rest of the business, he continues, as money exchanges no longer require fluent English speakers. The application also reduces the error factor for people lacking fluency, he says.

The advanced reporting features of iExchange, such as the ability to run ad hoc reports quickly and more efficiently, and the advanced back end integration can also assist money exchanges when it comes to the thorny issue of money laundering.

“[Although] it doesn’t address the problem head on it does help. If you have a solution like ours [money exchanges] can tighten up the back end because [they] can see who is involved in the transaction. If it is an existing customer you can pull up the customer details. More importantly, if it is a one of customer you can pull up the ad hoc reports far more easily as [it is these] customers who are typically responsible for the problem [of money laundering],” explains Handscomb.

Although version one of the product is now available, a second version, where ‘any bugs have been ironed out’ is already in development and should be released in March. The sales & marketing director explains that the move to the next version has been so quick due to the quality assurance work the company has completed with one of its early adopters, Al Muzaini Exchange.

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