The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) has launched FIKRA ACE, a three-year initiative built upon its FIKRA Islamic fintech accelerator program, to enhance the Islamic capital market ecosystem.
Evolving from a single accelerator approach, FIKRA ACE now consists of three components: Accelerator, Circle and Excel.
Accelerator is the Islamic-focused accelerator program; Circle is a networking platform to connect stakeholders of the Islamic capital market and the fintech community; and Excel is a platform for collaborations with higher learning institutions for capacity building.
Essentially, the initiative involves identifying companies with fintech solutions to nurture, grow and connect with the Islamic capital market ecosystem as well as support Malaysia’s Islamic fintech industry by building capacity and a talent pipeline.
Organized in partnership with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation as the ecosystem and strategic partner, the program for the 2023 cohort is slated to begin in August, with applications open until the 4th August.
The first cohort of FIKRA ACE will focus on three areas: Islamic social finance, Shariah compliant SRI and Islamic fund and wealth management.
“Malaysia has the capability to sustain a thriving Islamic fintech ecosystem by capitalizing on its global leadership in the Islamic capital market,” commented SC Chairman Dr Awang Adek Hussin. “As we witness the remarkable growth and innovation in Islamic fintech, we are reminded of the potential it holds for both the Islamic finance industry and the broader global economy.”
According to the SC, Islamic fintech transactions in OIC countries totaled US$79 billion in 2021, 0.8% of global fintech transaction volume. The segment is projected to grow to US$179 billion by 2026 at a 17.9% compounded annual growth rate.
Launched in May 2021 by the SC and the UN Capital Development Fund, FIKRA is Malaysia’s first fintech accelerator program designed specifically for the Islamic capital market. The three-month program provided start-ups with regulatory guidance, mentorship, pilot testing of solutions as well as connected start-ups with potential investors and partners.