A Bahraini Islamic fintech venture has rolled out a digital Islamic financing platform designed to overhaul the in-store retail experience and tap the multibillion dollar market opportunity. VINEETA TAN reports.
The new product by Islamic Finance Initiation Network (IFIN), a joint venture (JV) between Islamic tech behemoth Path Solutions and Islamic Finance Advisory & Assurance Services, better known as IFAAS, is a cloud-based platform connecting retailers with Islamic finance providers. This facilitates instant Islamic financing to consumers at the point of sale.
“The end-to-end digitalization of the financing process allows Islamic financial institutions to significantly reduce their costs, enhance their profitability and expand their outreach to be where their customers are, without laying another brick. On the other hand, with the whole financing process taking only 10 minutes to be completed, retailers can boost their sales, expand their product offerings and provide their customers with the unique shopping and financing experience that IFIN brings,” Dr Shaher Abbas, the founder and CEO of IFIN, explained. The new platform adds to IFIN’s portfolio already comprising Tayseer, an Islamic consumer financing platform, and Tatweer, an Islamic SME financing platform.
IFIN intends to bring its product to 20 countries over the next five years to capture a market it says is potentially worth over US$600 billion. According to a Nielsen study commissioned by IFIN, almost 90% of financial institutions and retailers surveyed in Oman and Saudi Arabia have expressed interest in IFIN’s offering.
IFIN’s proposition is an interesting one — by enhancing the payment journey for consumers, the platform could help drive conversion for merchants; simultaneously, the platform could increase the use of Islamic financing instruments as it serves as an avenue for Islamic financial institutions to expand their distribution network.