The Acting Secretary-General of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), Zahid ur Rehman Khokher, is very bullish on the Islamic fintech finance sector in Asia. In an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review that took place in Kuala Lumpur at the organization’s headquarters, Khokher said that he was certain that Islamic finance would push more broadly into the Asian market, beyond the 2016 estimated value of $1,893 billion.
Khokher based this on the fact that there are many key Islamic banking markets in this region. Many of these markets are flourishing on the continent while others are making great strides in expanding the opportunities that exist for Islamic finance.
Khokher went on to say that the IFSB has been closely watching global developments in the fintech environment. While these developments may be exciting and have grown within the Islamic financial environment recently, he is still of the opinion that there is a shortage of skills in the Islamic Financial Sector to fully exploit these developments now. He indicated that the central banks, the commercial financial institutions as well as the Shariah boards need to develop the human resources capability to exploit these fintech opportunities.
The assistant governor at the Bank Negara Malaysia, Marzunisham Omar, believes that it is time for Malaysia and the Islamic Financial sector as a whole to expand into the fintech wave. He sees Malaysia as the test-bed for these developments that would boost the Islamic fintech developments.
Britain is also staking a claim to enhance its already enviable reputation as a leader in the global financial technology wave by granting regulatory approval by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to an Islamic fintech firm, paving the way for the company to develop and market its products.