Preface

he interest in developing Islamic fintech in Malaysia and the efforts in achieving it are constantly on the rise. Several startups have launched Shariah-compliant fintech solutions. Shariah advisory boards at regulatory and industry levels have discussed various Shariah issues related to fintech.

Resolutions and exposure drafts have been issued or modified by regulators to cover a wide range of Islamic fintech activities. Some government agencies have established dedicated departments to support fintech and the Islamic digital economy. Universities and training centres have started offering specialized courses and programmes to provide the requisite human capital, while research centres have invested in substantial efforts to push the industry forward by conducting extensive research and providing consultancy services. This report documents a representative sample of such efforts.

The report aims to provide stakeholders with the necessary information about the fintech landscape and ecosystem in Malaysia. It gives a guide to local and foreign fintech entrepreneurs on how to establish and to grow their Islamic fintech startups in Malaysia. It provides an overview of the regulatory environment and the supporting institutions in Malaysia. It explains funding opportunities and human capital development initiatives. The value proposition of Islamic fintech as a driver for innovation in Islamic finance is also presented in this report. The report also discusses the product development process of Islamic fintech solutions and the necessary Shariah governance framework to ensure Shariah compliance of Islamic fintech solutions.

Various business models, value propositions, key activities and achievements for selected cases of Islamic fintech startups in Malaysia will be highlighted in this report. The cases have been selected carefully to cover different areas of Islamic fintech within different market segments. It aims to display diverse techniques for innovation in creating Islamic fintech solutions. These case studies will provide investors, as well as talented entrepreneurs who wish to be a part of the Islamic fintech ecosystem, with significant insight into the opportunities that Malaysia’s Islamic fintech ecosystem has to offer.

In order to provide more depth and insight about Islamic fintech entrepreneurship, first-hand interviews were conducted with the founders and CEOs of some prominent companies in the Islamic fintech ecosystem. These experts who hail from diverse backgrounds, demographics and areas of expertise, provide a different perspective to various issues regarding Shariah, use of technology and business modelling. Despite their differences, they all share one common experience; they have navigated the unchartered territory of Islamic fintech in Malaysia and have had the first-hand experience of providing Islamic fintech solutions in this country. These are valuable insights to all who are interested in exploring Islamic fintech.

Dr Kinan Salim

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Baharom Abdul Hamid

Dr Moutaz Abojeib