KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia could become a world pioneer in Islamic financial technology (fintech) as the country is already a world leader in the Islamic finance sector.
Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) chairman Datuk Wira Rais Hussin said Malaysia is in a strong position to harness various opportunities that Islamic fintech has to offer.
He said according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Islamic bank loans had expanded by 8.9% year-on-year in 2018, compared with the 2.5% that conventional banks generated.
“This has highlighted the rising demand around the world for syariah-compliant financial services. Islamic finance is now entrenched in Malaysia, accounting for 32% of financing to customers.
“Yet, according to the IMF, Islamic fintech is still in its infancy in Malaysia, with just a handful of start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Both are not as agile in accelerating its transformative potential as compared to countries such as Indonesia, ” he said in the Thoughts column in www.bernama.com.Rais said the growth of Islamic fintech in the country would impact development in rural areas, especially among ethnic Malays.
“This will become the backbone for this community as unique financial-inclusion opportunities will ensure they can catch up and increase their contribution to Malaysia’s socio-economic development, ” he said.
“MDEC is now poised to take a leading role in catalysing the transition to Malaysia 5.0 as a new narrative for the nation. This includes introducing and using emerging technologies that are now considered as essential tools in the new digital economy, ” said Rais. — Bernama
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