FOREWORD

he year 2020 has been a challenging one to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic not only triggered a global health crisis, but also created a financial emergency which has caused the whole world to suffer severe negative economic impacts.

Thousands of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have shut down, leaving countless numbers of people unemployed with little hope to acquire new jobs. Such a situation urgently calls for inclusive solutions that have potential to address the challenges effectively in order to eliminate the hindrances in the path of citizens striving to fulfill their financial needs. With the adversity created by COVID-19, developing Islamic fintech is now more crucial than ever before, specifically in catering to the financial needs of the SMEs and the B40 community. Fintech holds the potential to provide inclusive and sustainable financial solutions that can uniquely cater to the financial needs of all segments of the society.

While the Islamic fintech ecosystem is still in its infancy, it has great potential for rapid growth. However, in order to materialize such potential, and make efficient use of it, there is a need for a conducive ecosystem. And for that, Malaysia has a great advantage as it can leverage on its position as an Islamic finance hub. Malaysia’s robust regulatory environment, comprehensive fintech landscape, supportive Islamic finance community and the government’s commitment to champion the Islamic economy, has already paved the way for Malaysia to be a global Islamic fintech hub. With such vision and advantages, Islamic fintech startups in Malaysia can secure long-term growth prospects by scaling up to serve the global Islamic economy, consisting of almost 1.8 billion people around the world.

Therefore, it is high time for the stakeholders to work together and develop a conducive Islamic fintech ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, investors, and the talented human capital, along with the regulators providing them with a clear direction and roadmap to make Malaysia the global Islamic fintech hub.

As part of our role in supporting the ecosystem for Islamic fintech in Malaysia, this report provides all the relevant stakeholders with a comprehensive landscape of the Malaysian fintech ecosystem. It equips them with the necessary information to understand, and then participate in the growing field of Islamic fintech in Malaysia with their own talent and expertise.

Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Azmi Omar

President and CEO
INCEIF

Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin

Executive Director
ISRA