Henk Jan Hoogendoorn is the Chief Monetary Sector Officer on the Qatar Monetary Centre (QFC), and Dr. Dalal Aassouli is Assistant Professor of Islamic Finance at Hamad Bin Khalifa College (HBKU).
Islamic Fintech is an rising sector that focuses on delivering moral and truthful monetary companies to its shoppers and customers, primarily based on Islamic finance ideas. The audience can embrace the Gen Z and Millennial generations, who’re drawn to accountable and truthful entry to their monetary wants together with in saving, investing, donating and lending. Fintech options, by handy wallets, platforms and Apps companies accessible by cell phones are rising quick as a handy resolution. Lots of the merchandise can be found in white label resolution for banks, whereas others like ALGBRA take a Revolut strategy by including extra life-style parts to its app.
In Europe, the place the Muslim inhabitants averages round 3%, there’s a rising want for Islamic Finance options – together with to buy a house. The classical interest-based mortgages don’t work nicely for everybody and we’re progressively witnessing many “hire to personal” Fintechs rising within the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Apparently that is additionally of curiosity to non-Muslims.
At this time, quite a few UK-born Islamic fintechs that accomplice with banks within the Center East and Asia use tokenization as a device to democratize investing in sukuk and different funding alternatives resembling crowdfunding exist.
The opposite areas the place Islamic fintech can play an vital position, is to offer monetary companies to teams that historically have difficulties in acquiring entry, resembling SMEs and migrant employees.
There are two faculties of thought: “to be – or to not be “Islamic”. Some fintechs don’t need to be labeled as “Islamic” as their focus is moral and truthful monetary companies. Including an Islamic label would of their thoughts not essentially be readily understood by the broader goal group that’s drawn to the moral finance. Others see an important alternative to supply Islamic finance for a wider and rising Muslim neighborhood in Europe.
The challenges to get funding for Islamic fintech will not be dissimilar to different fintech propositions. Angel and seed buyers are typically discovered for the early phases. For sequence A and past it turns into harder given perceived market limitations, and on the whole there’s a concern that VCs and different skilled buyers could have extra affect on technique improvement. This might imply that the “Islamic” factor of Islamic fintech must be versatile.
At a current roundtable of Islamic fintechs in London, hosted by QFC, all members genuinely felt the necessity for dramatically scaling up worldwide funding in Islamic fintech.
International fintech investments exceeded $200 billion in 2021 with greater than 5,600 offers. With the rising Muslim inhabitants, rising sustainable improvement challenges and post-pandemic restoration measures, the deployment of modern Islamic Fintech options can help the transition to extra sustainable economies whereas selling monetary inclusion and stability. Three actions areas can scale-up investments in Islamic fintech:
Increasing fintech innovation for sustainability: Fintech generally is a key enabler for sustainability and inclusivity. As funding alternatives come up in lots of Fintech segments, Fintech startups have to develop extra modern technology-based options aligning monetary efficiency and influence. Improvements in Islamic fintech have the potential to speed up the stream of capital to a extra sustainable digital financial system. It could additionally assist meet international coverage goals, particularly in terms of local weather change mitigation in addition to reaching the sustainable improvement agenda for total societal good. To take action, Islamic fintechs have to work on boosting sustainability innovation so as to appeal to the rising influence investor base along with conventional Islamic buyers. In accordance with the International Sustainable Funding Alliance, international sustainable funding in 2020 reached $35.3 trillion in 5 main markets (the US, Canada, Japan, Australasia and Europe), a 15% enhance over two years.
Enhancing regulation: A research by the Financial institution of Worldwide Settlements (BIS) finds that Fintechs increase extra capital in international locations with greater regulatory high quality. Whereas greater than 60 international locations have established regulatory sandboxes to enhance fintechs’ entry to finance and foster innovation, solely only a few are positioned within the OIC area, which creates excessive regulatory uncertainty and due to this fact limits fintechs’ capital elevating capability.
Selling the event of Islamic fintech enterprise capital funds: Enterprise capital funds can play a major position within the improvement of modern enterprise fashions. Their position in offering early seed funding to modern fintech startups is crucial to mitigate their funding hole.
Whereas the provision of Islamic fintech VC funding stays scarce in comparison with different standard markets, Islamic fintechs must concentrate on innovation, relevance, and scalability of their options to safe VC funding. Concurrently, authorities grants in addition to partnerships between Fintech acceleration and incubation packages can promote the institution of extra Islamic VC funds.
In Malaysia and Indonesia, each with massive Muslim populations, Islamic fintechs have emerged strongly and entry is being created for early-stage investments. With the Islamic fintech sector maturing, the time is now for international locations with massive Islamic banking establishments and rich sovereign wealth funds to take the lead and create VCs and funds that may facilitate later stage investing globally in Islamic fintech or the broader Islamic digital financial system.