Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has a positive outlook for the use of financial technology (fintech), saying that innovations relating to fintech could bring about new financial and banking services in the country.
The Malaysian leader was speaking at the 15th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum in early April 2019. Mahathir called on Malaysian banks and financial institutions to focus on the developments in the fintech arena in order to upgrade their businesses. He added that companies must now find applications for social media, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data analytics, in order to keep up with the changing business landscape.
The Malaysian premier said that neither conventional nor Islamic banking and financial institutions can afford to ignore these new technological developments.
Additionally, the Gulf Times reported that the introduction of digital Islamic banks and other online Islamic financial services has increased access to financial services for customers in the region. In several regions, many Muslim-majority countries are rolling out accelerators and incubators to bolster innovative fintech projects and startups.
Fintech news and media outlet, IFN Fintech, also revealed that there are now 115 Islamic fintech firms across 26 countries worldwide, carrying out a wide range of activities including crowdfunding, P2P finance, instant payments, digital banking, robo-advisory, and AI and data analytics.
Robocash Group, for example, is an online lending and funding marketplace that provides a digital personal financing tool carried out in compliance with Shariah law.
This service, including other projects, signals that there is still untapped potential in Islamic fintech in many countries.
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