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Malaysia launches FIKRA accelerator programme to develop Islamic fintech

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The Securities Commission has partnered with UNCDF to launch FIKRA Islamic Fintech Accelerator Programme

The Malaysia Securities Commission (SC) has partnered with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) to launch FIKRA Islamic Fintech Accelerator Programme (FIKRA), according to the media. It is the first regulator-led Islamic fintech accelerator for the Malaysian capital market to develop a vibrant Islamic fintech innovation ecosystem in the country. The global Islamic finance assets are projected to grow up to $4 trillion by 2023. Thus the SC is working to accelerate the usage of digital technology to enhance its potential.

Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, chairman of SC, spoke at the virtual launch and said that FIKRA had provided a collaborative platform that connects innovative startups with the SC, UNCDF mentors, industry experts and investors. He further added that “The goal is to build a vibrant and well-supported Islamic fintech ecosystem, one that nurtures talents, funds innovation, commercialises ideas and solutions, and creates jobs and opportunities.”

The SC expects FIKRA to identify and scale relevant and innovative Islamic fintech solutions to address the three main challenging areas: Islamic capital market (ICM) offerings, accessibility and social finance integration. This includes the promotion of transparency, fairness and equitable risk-sharing in finance. This development is quite essential to the position of Malaysia as a global finance centre.

FIKRA also provides an opportunity to direct the capital market towards socially impactful outcomes that include poverty alleviation, protecting livelihoods and supporting the needs of the underserved and lower-income segments. The participants will also be able to work closely with the programme’s industry partners like Bank Islam Malaysia, Gobi Partners, Kenanga Investment Bank and Permodalan Nasional.

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