SC unveils Fikra to expand Islamic fintech in Malaysian capital market

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Securities Commission of Malaysia (SC) seeks to expand Islamic financial technology (fintech) into the country’s capital market through its FIKRA Islamic Fintech Accelerator (FIKRA) program.

FIKRA aims to identify and scale up relevant and innovative Islamic fintech solutions that can help address three main challenges, namely new Islamic Capital Market (ICM) offerings, accessibility and integration of social finance.

“Islamic fintech in the Malaysian capital market is still in its infancy, but there is great potential for exponential growth with the right ecosystem,” Chairman Datuk Syed Zaid Albar said in his speech at the launch of the program today. hui.

FIKRA is a collaboration between the SC and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

Zaid said global Islamic finance assets are expected to reach nearly US $ 4 trillion by 2024, the use of digital technology will be essential for Islam to enhance its potential.

Islamic fintech comprises digital solutions or technologies that are deployed in Sharia-compliant financial activities and transactions, while respecting and anchoring Islamic rules and values. This includes the promotion of transparency, fairness and equitable risk sharing in the financial field.

Zaid noted that the development of Islamic fintech is therefore an essential element for Malaysia’s continued positioning as a global center of Islamic finance.

It also provides an opportunity to align the capital market with outcomes with social impact, including poverty reduction, protection of livelihoods and meeting the needs of underserved and low-income segments.

“For new ICM offerings, FIKRA’s first task is to solicit ideas on new products designed with Islamic principles and values ​​at their core.

“We hope to encourage the growth of offerings that can deliver the unique value proposition of Islamic finance. This includes a broader embodiment of sanitation (halalan toyyiban) to meet the needs not only of Muslims but also of the community at large, ”he said.

Fikra, which means ideas, is designed to transform ideas into concrete solutions, supporting innovators throughout the value chain, from ideation, validation of solutions, construction of prototypes, creation of a pitch fundraising deck, up to preparing candidates for an effective pitch to potential investors and more.

Fintech startups, participating in FIKRA’s first accelerator initiative, will benefit from regulatory advice, program mentoring, social media, and more.

Meanwhile, UNCDF Executive Secretary Preeti Sinha said that to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is important to ensure that product offerings focus on building financial resilience. and the safety of the people we serve.

“As we seek to expand market participation, FIKRA can be a way for innovators to cultivate their solutions that can potentially provide a much needed and timely boost to the Malaysian ICM,” she said. .

The program is currently open for registration and is expected to begin in July 2021 for three months, ending with a public virtual demo day at the annual SCxSC Fintech 2021 conference.

Further information can be obtained on the UNCDF website. Applications close on June 30, 2021. – Bernama


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