Thursday 7 March 2019 7:16 am

UK and Turkey launch joint initiative to develop Islamic fintech

The UK and Turkey have launched a new joint initiative to develop digital financial technology in the Islamic world.

Firms hope to open financial services to the “unbanked population” through cooperation in the Islamic fintech market.

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A report by the UK-Turkey Islamic Finance working group, which is supported by The City UK and Borsa Istanbul, found that six per cent of the world’s population opt out of the financial system for religious reasons.

A total of two thirds of the global unbanked population own a smartphone, creating a market for sharia-compliant fintech products, the industry groups said.

The City UK international strategy advisor Wayne Evans said :“Islamic, or Participation, finance has the potential to transform the world of finance, not only for the 1.8bn Muslims globally, but for anyone who is attracted to its equity-based, risk-sharing, and socially responsible model.

“Many people who, for religious reasons or otherwise, do not currently access the banking system, can now access Sharia-compliant FinTech products.

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“The cooperation between the UK and Turkey in this area will help to further the development of Islamic finance FinTech solutions as well as deepen the trade and investment relationship between the two nations.”

Dr Recep Bildik, director at Borsa Istanbul, added, “Participation finance helps reduce poverty, expand access to finance, develop the financial sector, and build stability and resilience with its interest-free, asset-based/backed, risk-sharing and sustainable features.”