Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) have awarded the inaugural Impact Challenge Prize to Indonesia’s duithape and Malaysia-based Pod and concurrently presented Islamic fintech entrepreneur Umar Abdullah Mahmud Munshi with the Impact Challenge Prize.
Launched this year, the Impact Challenge Prize and Emerging Leader Prize were presented in conjunction with The Royal Award for Islamic Finance, which was bestowed upon Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, a Shariah scholar widely recognized for his contributions to the global Islamic financial industry.
The Impact Challenge Prize recognizes digital and innovative solutions based on Islamic finance principles, that aim to improve the economic and social resilience of financially impacted communities worldwide. Jointly organized with the World Bank Group Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Finance Hub in Malaysia and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation, 50 applications from 14 countries were received, from which, half were shortlisted to join an accelerator program. A panel of judges comprising senior representatives from BNM and SC, IsDB, World Bank Group and the venture capital industry then selected the two winning teams based on their inventiveness, impact, feasibility/commercial viability and scalability.
With roots in Indonesia, duithape is a biometric-based mass payment system targeting the unbanked. Its digital payment system enables financial providers to disburse Shariah compliant microfinancing via a cashless in-merchant transaction to micro and SME borrowers, including those in remote areas.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Pod is a financial wellbeing platform for gig workers and the underserved in Southeast Asia. It helps users save money and access Shariah microfinancing and financial products while leveraging artificial intelligence to provide borrowers with an alternative way to build credit records which in turn enable them to access financing products from banks.
The Emerging Leader Prize recognizes young international talent who have made outstanding contributions in advancing innovative ideas in the field of Islamic finance. The inaugural prize was awarded to Umar Abdullah Mahmud Munshi, the co-founder and group managing director of Ethis Group, which is involved in fintech, impact investment, and Islamic crowdfunding platforms and which has facilitated impact investments from over 50 countries to fund SMEs and social housing projects. Umar is also the president of the Islamic Fintech Alliance founders’ group, a global group that encourages collaboration and learning among members, from more than 10 countries.