Shariah-compliant fintech is attracting increasing attention from financial institutions, investors and entrepreneurs looking to target the world’s more than 1.8 billion Muslims.
In 2018, New York–based Wahed Invest, a digital wealth-management firm that follows Islamic Shariah-law tenets, raised $8 million from MENA investors to expand in Arab countries including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Its robo-advisers help clients make halal investments in global portfolios that include stocks, gold and sukuk (Islamic bonds).
While some new technologies are still controversial topics in Islamic finance, more Islamic banks are partnering up with Shariah-compliant fintechs to target new customers and penetrate new markets. For example, last year saw Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Development Bank sign a deal with Tunisia’s I-Fintech Solutions to develop several blockchain-backed digital tools.