Kuala Lumpur, 7 Sep, 2015: If you are a gold coin collector, the idea of having a debit card backed by your gold coins certainly has an appeal. Instead of just admiring the coins for their artistic value, you can now benefit from the coin’s intrinsic value. Just swipe the card as you would your regular debit card.
Another idea – giving small and up-and-coming business owners better and more access to corporate waqf. In short, corporate waqf tailored for microfinancing.
These were the two products presented by two INCEIF students to kick off INCEIF’s Idea Sharing session which aim to encourage a robust exchange of ideas on Islamic finance between leaders of today (industry practitioners) and tomorrow (INCEIF students). The presentation to the management of Maybank Islamic took place today at the bank’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian Ahmad Hannan Mohd Sorihan, who is a Masters in Islamic Finance Practice student, is himself a gold coin collector. When presenting on `SIF (Support Islamic Finance) Card: Account Holders Monetary Transactions Backed by Gold’ , he said, “I am fully aware that there is a lot more than needs to be studied and refined before the card can be commercially viable. But it is worth exploring because gold is an internationally accepted currency or commodity. A gold-backed debit card can complement the current payment system.”
Bangladeshi Hameedah, taking a leaf from the success of Grameen Bank – bank for the poor – in her home country, presented on `The Feasibility of Corporate Waqf as a Vehicle to Islamic Micro Finance’. The MSc in Islamic Finance student said: “Micro finance Institutions (MFIs) is one the initiatives to provide banking facilities to the poor. Yet, such institutions lack funds which made it difficult for them to reach the poorest people and hence, it becomes an obstacle for MFIs in playing its active role in the economy.
“My suggested new model of corporate waqf as vehicle for IMFIs will be an innovative initiative to ensure the institutions can sustain their activities to alleviate poverty. For instance, the corporate waqf can be used to revive the property waqf concept which was widely and successfully practiced at the peak of the Ottoman Empire,” added Hammedah.
INCEIF President & CEO Daud Vicary Abdullah said the objective of the Idea Sharing session was to provide an interactive platform for INCEIF students to showcase “new discoveries, innovation and ideas” to industry players. “I don’t expect to draw conclusion at the end of this session. More importantly, our students have direct engagement and get immediate feedback from industry practitioners. INCEIF is happy to provide our students an opportunity to build and maintain lasting relationship with the industry in an environment that encourages debates among them in support of new ideas.”
Maybank Islamic CEO Dato’ Muzaffar Hisham said: “We are encouraged by this two-way exchange between academic and practitioners. Of course, there are more to be done, more research before we can consider implementing the products. Some of the bank’s products started similarly. An idea that was further developed and refined before it is finally implemented.”
Maybank Islamic is the first financial institution to host INCEIF’s inaugural Idea Sharing session.
In the coming months, a number of students, including PhD candidates, will be sharing their ideas on a spectrum of Islamic finance areas. Among the topics to be presented are `Market Discipline and Islamic Banks: -The Case of Profit Sharing Investment Accounts’ and `A Risk Sharing Banking Model: Reduced Risk, Enhanced Liquidity, Improved Returns.’
As a university set up by Bank Negara Malaysia to bridge the gap between academia and industry, INCEIF places importance on regular interactions between students and faculty, and industry practitioners and regulators. At INCEIF, lessons learnt are beyond text books and classrooms.