A Malaysian consortium comprising representatives from various industry organizations, the government, academia and civil society has set up a dedicated program to foster Islamic fintech innovation.
The program is known as i-Connect, an initiative by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, the country’s highest scientific advisory body, parked under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. Founding members of the consortium include representatives from Bank Negara Malaysia, Securities Commission Malaysia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, Lembaga Zakat Selangor, Association of Islamic Banking and Financial Institutions Malaysia, MERCY Malaysia, Fintech Association of Malaysia, Malaysia Takaful Association, Amanie Group, Silverlake Group, Ethis Group, MicroLEAP, Vialing, Microcorp, Pointsnet, International Islamic University Malaysia, Universiti Malaya and the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) which is steering this consortium.
A fund has been established under the program to support innovation in social financing of smart solutions and digitalization of Shariah compliant financial solutions. Application for the grant is now open. “Together, the consortium aims to develop homegrown high-value innovations in fintech for Islamic finance by bridging the gap between research and development and business through knowledge-based innovation,” explained INCEIF President and CEO Dr Azmi Omar, one of the founding members of i-Connect.