UK-based Islamic fintech start-up Kestrl will be developing and implementing personal finance management (PFM) features for Bank Islam Malaysia’s new digital bank proposition, Be U, broadening Kestrl’s remit from being a consumer app offering into a software-as-a-service provider.
Kestrl, founded in 2019, provides Shariah compliant personal finance management services, applying machine learning and behavioral science to users’ transaction data to create a monthly budget, automatic savings, and personalized investment/savings recommendations. Primarily serving the UK market, its partnership with Bank Islam would see the Islamic fintech start-up foray into Malaysia.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with as forward thinking an organization as Bank Islam to develop its digital bank. Offering personalized solutions to Muslims without them feeling they’ve had to compromise is at the heart of Kestrl’s values, and we look forward to applying our existing PFM tools, as well as developing some new features for the Malaysian market, to build a truly differentiated offering for the bank,” said Areeb Siddiqui, CEO of Kestrl.
Bank Islam launched Be U in July. It is touted as Malaysia’s first digital bank built natively on the cloud. Eyeing to diversify its revenue streams by tapping new market segments with the digital offering, Bank Islam expects to build a user base of at least 350,000 for its Be U app over the next 12 months. The PFM offering, slated to be introduced by the end of this year, is targeted at attracting younger, digitally savvy customers.
The Be U digital bank comes at a time when Bank Negara Malaysia extended five digital bank licenses to different entities, including KAF Investment and AEON which are both intending to serve the Malaysian market on a fully Shariah compliant proposition.