Global Islamic Finance trends – Would the #digitization drive overcome a lack of standards?

Islamic Finance has seen massive growth since the recession in 2008 as sovereign and institutional investors consider them more stable than the conventional banking system. Fintech has been very popular in the West over the last few years, but the uptake to digitization in the Islamic Finance world has been relatively slow. 2018 is expected to be the year when Islamic Fintech players will start emerging across the world. This has its own challenges, in terms of awareness, regulatory standards across Sharia jurisdictions and product innovation. Islamic Fintech is on the rise in the GCC and Malaysia thanks to various ecosystems and institutions. Bahrain has recetnly launched ALGO Bahrain, the first Fintech consortium specializing in Islamic finance. Eight more regional banks are expected to join in the next 12 months. Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain have all launched their regulatory sandboxes namely Innovation Testing Licence, RegLab, and Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox (expected to be the largest in MENA).