Monday, 9 January 2017

Major Fintech Achievements in Islamic Finance in 2016

(Edited version of this article was published in my column at The Malaysian Reserve on Monday 9th January 2017)

Welcoming the New Year 2017, I would like to reflect on the progress of the financial technology (fintech) for Islamic finance. Despite the fact that fintech was not particularly familiar subject within Islamic finance communities until at least 2015, 2016 records quite remarkable achievements. Initial efforts by fintech entrepreneurs few years earlier became more concerted and prominent in 2016. The following are highlights which deserve recognition.

The Investment Account Platform (IAP), Malaysia’s first multi-bank platform for financial intermediation in the Islamic financial system, was launched on the 17th February 2016. Owned by a consortium of six Malaysian Islamic Banks, the IAP serves as a central marketplace to finance small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with an initial funds of RM 150 million. Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim, the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, in his keynote speech during Global Islamic Finance Forum 2016 referred to IAP as “the first Islamic banking intermediated internet-based platform that combines the expertise of Islamic banks and efficiency of technology to channel funds from investors to viable economic ventures”.

Eight Islamic Crowdfunding Platform operators from across the globe clicked together to form Islamic Fintech Alliance (IFT Alliance) and launched it on the 1st April 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The founding members are BlossomFinance (USA/Indonesia), EasiUp (France), EthisCrowd (Singapore), Narwi (Qatar), FundingLab (Scotland/Palestine), KapitalBoost (Singapore), Launchgood (USA) and SkolaFund (Malaysia). According to the alliance’s chairman and the founder of EthisCrowd, Umar Munshi, “the alliance was set up to boost the growth of fintech among Muslims with hopes that they bring significant positive impact especially to those in developing countries”. The alliance has three primary objectives namely, (1) foster safety and trust by establishing, promoting, and enforcing shared standards for Islamic financial technology, (2) broaden the reach of Shariah and social impact financial technology by supporting a network of innovators, and (3) support development of a sustainable global ecosystem by interfacing with and providing industry insights to regulators and other key stakeholders.

Robo Advisors are fintech innovations that have been disrupting traditional investment advisory services. Robo advisors provide online, automated and algorithm-based wealth management services without the use of human financial planners. On the 26th September 2016, New York-based Wahed Invest Inc. launched Wahed, the world’s first automated Islamic investment platform with “the aim of providing access to halal portfolio management for 2 billion Muslims around the world”. In addition to being the world’s first automated ethical investment platform, Wahed offers lower minimum investment amount of USD 7,500. Wahed is claimed to be the first global Robo Advisor to be accessible by the world’s lower socio-economic demographic. According to the statement during the launching, Wahed was available in the United States and would be rolled out to over 100 countries worldwide by 2017.

On the 28th September 2016, Finocracy announced Future Finance 2030, the first Global Islamic Fintech Hub which would be the focal point of the fast growing Islamic fintech space. The fintech hub will be at CH9, a business accelerator that envisions to enhance the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Bahrain and GCC region. Future Finance 2030, expected to launch in the 1st quarter 2017, will include key elements that will continue to power rapid expansion of Islamic fintech while building connectivity with the wider Islamic finance industry. The plan includes an accelerator program, a virtual network to connect various businesses, educational programs for executives and students, and a global hackathon series that will encourage Islamic Fintech development across emerging markets.

Two months after the launching of world’s first Islamic Robo Advisor, Wahed, on the 27th October 2016, the Kuala Lumpur-based Faringdon Group announced that it would be launching the Asia’s first Shariah compliant Robo Advisor. The online tool called Algebra will provide automated portfolio management advice. Open to investors across all geographies with a minimum investment amount of USD 200 per month, clients can choose funds from Islamic Master Select Portfolio. The CEO Stuart Yeomans said that “Algebra brings together the sound investment principles of Shariah compliant funds with the next generation investment tools".

On the 3rd November 2016, Securities Commission Malaysia awarded six Peer to Peer (P2P) licenses, one of which is the world’s first license for Shariah compliant P2P. The license was awarded to Ethis Kapital which focuses on funding small businesses and real estate development projects. Together with seven other crowdfunding platforms, Ethis Kapital is part of Ethis Ventures that builds, runs, and initiates Ethical and Islamic Crowdfunding platforms. According to the Chairman, Dr. Shahridan Faiez, Ethis Kapital has twin focus which are to support and develop the Islamic Sharing Economy in Malaysia and to grow into a serious global player.

Although launched last year, some of these initiatives have been targeted to only start their operations in 2017. Further progress of these initiatives and new innovative entrants will position 2017 for more excitements. Malaysia and Bahrain are very likely to take the lead. Malaysia has issued Fintech regulatory sandbox framework on the 18th October 2016 and Central Bank of Bahrain is considering fintech regulations. With facilitative environments provided by these two leading Islamic financial hubs, I am optimistic that more amazing achievements will be recorded in 2017 for fintech in Islamic finance.


  1. Do you need a loan .We are Legitimate and guarantee loan lender. We are a company with financial assistance. We loan funds out to individuals in need of financial assistance, that have a bad credit or in need of money to pay bills, to invest on business. I want to use this medium to inform you that we render reliable beneficiary assistance as We'll be glad to offer you a loan Contact us via Email:

    Services Rendered include

    *Debt Consolidation
    *Business Loans
    *Personal Loans.
    *Car Loans
    *Rent and House Loans

    Write back if interested with our interest rate of 4% annual. Contact us via Email:

    Please Note: All interested individual must send a message to our email for urgent response and details to obtain a Loan.

    Best Regards.

  2. I truly get pleasure from while I read your blogs and its content.

  3. Dear Customers,

    We are currently funding for Business start-up, business developments, business expansion, Project and we also offer working Capital loan ILM.) Ranging from (20,000.00 to 10,Million Maximum IM-Euro,Usd,Pounds) Our funding sources specialize in creative solutions to meet your needs. We satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. With Fast Process and Instant Approval.

    @2% interest rate
    Flexible repayment
    1 to 25 years duration
    Contact us today

  4. MIKE LARRY LOANS That Save My Family From Financial Bondage {}

    Hello Everyone, I am Collins Guzman from Texas USA, I will like to share this great testimony on how i got a loan from Mike Larry Loans, when we were driven out of our home when i couldn't pay my bills anymore, After been scammed by various companies online and denied a loan from my bank and some other credit union i visited. my children were taken by the foster care, i was all alone in the street. Until a day i shamefully walked into an old school mate who introduced me to Daisy Maureen. At first i told her that i am not ready to take any risk of requesting a loan online anymore, but she assured me that i will received my loan from them. On a second thought, due to my homelessness i had to take a trial and applied for the loan, luckily for me i received a loan of $80,000.00 from Mike Larry Loans. Am happy i took the risk and applied for the loan. my kids have been given back to me and now i own a home and a business of my own. All thanks and gratitude goes to MIKE LARRY LOAN COMPANY for giving a meaning to life when i had lost all hope. If you currently seeking for a loan assistance, you can contact them via: {} WhatsApp or Call +1 (318) (515) (7109)

  5. My name is Asha from USA am using this medium to publicize .I was in a terrible situation sometime last year. We urgently needed to get a new house, my credit score was really bad. We tried all we could to get a loan but all effort was in vain due to the bad credit ,i was surfing on-line and saw a post about this company and how they help fix bad credit and assist you in attaining great financial stability. I made contact and i was asked for a few details which i provided and in less than 5 days i had a reasonable amount of money in my account and am glad today that i was able to get the house we wanted in a short period of time. Are you in need of money or you also have a bad credit or even worse then waste no time but contact or +1 240 892 4311

  6. We are an organization set up to help people in need of
    assistance, such as financial aid. So, if you are going through financial
    problem, if you have a financial mess and you need funds to
    starting your own business or you need a loan to pay off debt or pay
    bills, start a nice business or you find it difficult
    obtain capital loan from local banks, contact us today via e - mail

    "So, do not let this opportunity pass you by,
    You are advised to complete and return the details below ..

    Your Name: ______________________
    Your Address: ____________________
    Your Country: ____________________
    Your task: __________________
    The amount of loan needed: ______________
    Term of the loan: ____________________
    Monthly Income: __________________
    Mobile Number: ________________
    Did you apply for a loan before: ________________
    If you have filed a previous loan, where you are treated honestly? ...

    Act fast and get out of financial stress, mess, and challenges
    contact REBECCA WILLIAMS LOAN FIRM today via e - mail:


    - Urgent Effective Love Spell - Save You Marriage Fast
    - If You Want Your Ex-Back - If You Always Have Bad Dreams.
    - You Want To Be Promoted In Your Office - If Your Work Refuse To Pay You
    - You Want Women/Men To Run After You - If You Want A Child.

    Interested Applicants Should Contact Us Via Email: ( )

    - Herbal Care - HIV-AIDS Disease - Do You Have A Low Sperm Count?
    - If You Are Unable To Satisfy Your Wife Sex Desire Due To Low Err Action
    - If Your Menstruation Refuse To Come Out The Day It Suppose Or Over Flows.

    Interested Applicants Should Contact Us Via Email: ( )

    - Cancer Cure - Diabetes Cure - Ringing Ear - Stroke Cure - Warts Cure
    - HPV Cure - Penis Enlargement - Hepatitis - Genital Herpes - Infections
    - Virgina Problem - Whooping Cough - Lower Respiratory - Cold Sore
    - Low Sperm Count - Bareness - Infertility - Staphylococcus Aureus
    - Zika Virus - Fibroid - Asthma - Tooth Pain - Sickle Cell - Diarrhea E.T.C

    Interested Applicants Should Contact Us Via Email: ( )

  8. We Offers Financial Consulting To Client, Companies Seeking Debt / Loan Financing And Seeking For Working Capital To Start A New Business Or To Expand Existing Business. Interested Parties Should Contact Us For More Information Through Via E-mail: ( )

    We Have Loan Programs Tailored For Any Profile And You've Come To The Right Place To Satisfy Your Business Needs. If Your Company Or You Know Of Any Company With Viable Projects / Proposals That Needs Financing, Kindly Write Us With The Loan Requirement. Please, Contact Us For More Information: ( )

    You Will Hear From Us. Well Nice To Meet You And I look forward to our Business Acquaintance. Interested Parties Should Contact Us For More Information Through Via E-mail: ( )

  9. Dear Loan Seeker's!

    We are Abdul Wei Financial Group! We offer accessible & affordable loans to individual and companies world wide. If you're still wondering if it's possible to secure loans without collateral or low credit score, well, it is possible. We offer loans at 3% ranging from US$50,000.00 to US$100,000,000.00. Contact us for more information e-mail:


  10. I got my already programmed and blanked ATM card to withdraw the maximum of $1,000 daily for a maximum of 20 days. I am so happy about this because i got mine last week and I have used it to get $20,000. Mike Fisher Hackers is giving out the card just to help the poor and needy though it is illegal but it is something nice and he is not like other scam pretending to have the blank ATM cards. And no one gets caught when using the card. get yours from Mike Fisher Hackers today! Just send an email to
    WhatsApp +1 (712) 600 2838 )

  11. Do you need a financial help? Are you in any financial crisis or do you need funds to start up your own business? Do you need funds to settle your debt or pay off your bills or start a good business? Do you have a low credit score and you are finding it hard to obtain capital services from local banks and other financial institutes? Here is your chance to obtain a financial services from our company. We offer the following finance to individuals-
    *Commercial finance
    *Personal finance
    *Business finance
    *Construction finance
    *Business finance And many More:
    and many more at 1% interest rate;
    Contact Us Via
    Email :
    Name :
    Country :
    Phone number :
    Amount Needed as Loan :
    Purpose of Loan :
    Email :
    Best Regards.
    Mrs.Carol Anderson

  12. have you been seeking to sell your one K1DNEY for money.. we can buy your one K1DNEY for a sum of 4,00,00,000.00 INR.. all interested can contact us now on: gabetovera963@ or whatsapp: +918494956293..

  13. I’m Charles David by name, i want to use this medium to alert all loan seekers to be very careful because there are scam everywhere, Few months ago I was financially strained, and due to my desperation I was scammed by several online lenders. I had almost lost hope until a friend of mine referred me to a very reliable lender called Dr Purva Pius ( A God fearing man) who lend me a loan of $237,000 under 72 working hours without any stress. I explain to the company by mail and all they told me was to cry no more because i will get my loan from this company and also i have made the right choice of contacting them i filled the loan application form and proceeded with all that was requested of me and to my shock I was given the loan, If you are in need of any kind of loan just contact him now via: {}

    I‘m using this medium to alert all loan seekers because of the hell I passed through in the hands of those fraudulent lenders.

    Thanks you Dr Purva Pius Loan service for your help.

    Do you need finance to start up your own business or expand your business, Do you need funds to pay off your debt? We give out loan to interested individuals and company's who are seeking loan with good faith. Are you seriously in need of an urgent loan contact us.Email: (

    1)YOUR NAME:_______________
    2)YOUR COUNTRY:____________
    3)YOUR OCCUPATION:_________
    5)PHONE NUMBER:____________
    6)MONTHLY INCOME:__________
    9)LOAN REQUEST:____________
    10)LOAN DURATION:__________
    11)CITY/ZIP CODE:__________

    E-mail: (

  15. Private Lender Bentex Funding Group Ltd.
    Greetings to you by (BFGL).
    We are a France-Paris based investment company known as Bentex Funding Group Ltd working on expanding its portfolio globally and financing projects.

    We would be happy to fund and invest with you in any profitable project if you have any viable project we can finance by making mutual investment with you. If you are interested, kindly contact us for more details.
    Looking forward hearing from you soonest.
    Yours truly,
    Mrs Rose Larsson.
    (Personal Assistant)
    Bentex Funding Group Ltd(BFGL)
    501 Avenue Montaigne,75008 Paris-France
    Paris-France.Bentex Funding Group Ltd (BFGL)