The Issue of Anonymity in Digital Zakat

Identity brings in many benefits in the context of zakat distribution (as underlined in my earlier blog). Lack of identity or anonymity on the part of the beneficiaries is certainly not desirable. It should be obvious that a digital environment makes it possible for the zakat organization to collect many types of personal data. Zakat…

The Issue of Identity in Digital Distribution of Zakat

My last blog ended on a note that digitizing zakat payments to beneficiaries would be more efficient, as compared to payments involving hard cash or in-kind payments, by avoiding costs related to leakages, fraud and ensuring greater accountability. This comes with a few qualifiers, however. We assume that the technology and infrastructure is there. And…

Making Sense of Digital Distribution of Zakat

Zakat may be paid out by an individual muzakki (zakat payer) directly to an individual mustahiq (zakat beneficiary). This is the practice in countries where there is no organized or institutional mobilization and disbursement of zakat. Arguably, organized zakat management has many positives. Available evidence suggests that organized zakat management may be more efficient in…

Enhancing Islamicity with Fintech: Case of the Investment Account Platform (IAP) – II

The Investment Account Platform (IAP) is an internet-based multibank platform. It provides for an engine for efficient mobilization of funds. It offers new risk-reward concepts that is expected to benefit investors and entrepreneurs. So far, IAP has 7 partner banks, and has raised over USD 50 million from 300 plus investors for 13 projects. The…

Enhancing Islamicity with Fintech: Case of the Investment Account Platform (IAP) – I

The purpose of an Islamic financial system is to mobilize funds from savings-surplus units and allocate the same among savings-deficit units in the economy and to do this in accordance with the goals of the Shariah. Taking the Malaysian example, one may observe that the contracts/products involved in the process have changed over time. From…

A Visit to an Islamic Fintech Venture Builder

It was the last day of a training program I participated in Istanbul recently. Among the many site visits scheduled that day, the one that left a lasting impression on me was the visit to the headquarters of the alBaraka Turk Participation Bank at Istanbul. Sitting inside the premises of alBaraka Garaj, it was fascinating…

Awqaf in the Fintech Age

By Dr. Hisham Dafterdar This is an era where technological change is happening faster than ever. The speed at which high-tech development is taking place has given rise to very unnerving disruptive changes. The digital world is just too complex and convoluted. We are driven by things we can’t touch and things we can’t control.…

Smart Contracts & Islamic Finance

The rationale behind the concept of smart contracts makes enormous sense to an Islamic economist. The original goal behind the idea (Szabo, 1994) was to apply the principles of traditional contracting and related business practices to the design of electronic commerce protocols between multitudes of unknown parties on the Internet. The author(s) of this concept…