Alami aims to revolutionise Indonesia’s syariah finance industry
By Digital News Asia June 7, 2018
- Provides socialisation for society, Islamic banking partners to promote collaboration with fintechs
- Syariah fintechs expected to boost the financial literacy of Indonesian society
PT ALAMI Teknologi Sharia, Indonesia's first syariah financial technology aggregator startup, has officially announced the soft-launch of its digital platform on June 6 that enables Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to easily access financing from various Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Indonesia.
Alami is the first financial technology (fintech) syariah aggregator in Indonesia and its mission is to enable SMEs to access financing from the IFIs.
Alami CEO and founder Dima Djani, believes the startup will act as a catalyst to revolutionise the landscape of the Islamic finance industry in Indonesia by streamlining the SME financing process through digitisation.
"Collaboration between Islamic banks and fintech companies will contribute significantly in some aspects of the economy, in addition to rejuvenating the face of the Islamic financial industry," said Dima during the panel discussion "Islamic Banking 4.0: The Rise of Technology and Sharing Economy".
Specifically, Dima stated that the Islamic banking sector in Indonesia has less advanced technology relative to that of conventional banking.
"Collaboration is a cost-effective option, where Islamic banks can take advantage of the innovation from fintech companies. Alami, for instance, has implemented this collaboration with several reputable syariah institution partners since 2017," he further explained.
The Islamic finance industry in Indonesia has a wide array of service providers ranging from banking, insurance, multi-finance, pension funds and investments. Moving forward, the government has developed an Indonesia's Sharia Financial Development Roadmap 2017-2019. Up to 2017, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) recorded that sharia banks’ financial assets in Indonesia has reached Rp897.1 trillion. This asset value has not include stocks, where the proportion of sharia banking industry reached Rp355.9 trillion.
During the discussion that invites sharia and technological experts from Karim Consulting, Emirates Islamic to Tryb Group, it was concluded that Indonesia requires more aggressive initiatives on sharia finance to improve its competitiveness.
Karim Consulting CEO Adiwarman Karim said that it will be quite time-consuming and costly for Islamic banking industry to catch up with conventional banking. One of the most effective solutions is to utilize the digital services owned by the fintech companies.
Herston Powers, head of Investor Relations and Engagement Tryb Group stated on how collaboration between banks and fintech companies is a common practice globally, especially when it comes to financial inclusion to those traditionally underserved segments. This is the case in both developed and emerging markets.
Collaboration to sharpen market focus
The millennial generation is in their productive age, which translate to the opportunity to educate the market in a way that they are most familiar with, using technology.
Muslim millennials nowadays have taken advantage of digital services to exchange information about market trends and preferences in choosing everyday products or services ranging from food to beauty.
Therefore, to improve the competitiveness of Islamic finance in Indonesia, it takes Islamic financial products and services that are tailored to meet the preference of millennial Muslim generation.
One of the influential millennial figure, Tasya Kamila, pointed out the trend of young people, who have started to consider syariah aspects in everyday life.
"Millennial Muslims nowadays have been more aware on religious values when it comes to daily life choices. Some examples are their level of awareness about Riba or preference about Halal labels in their food and cosmetics. The shifting trends within the Muslim community arose due to easier access to information. This might impact the players in financial industry to serve this arising target market differently," said Tasya.
Tasya also added that the awareness of syariah finance needs to be improved considering that in recent years, there has been another increasing trend among millennials to become the 'CEO' of their own business.
Responding the above-mentioned trends, syariah fintech startup plays a pivotal role to not only reviving the national sharia finance industry, but also acting as a catalyst to educate sharia products better and providing equal access towards it.
Dima added, "Alami as a fintech aggregator is committed to accelerate the literacy and inclusion of sharia finance by empowering quality entrepreneurs to expand their businesses through easy access to financing, on a syariah basis," he said.
He also stressed that Alami will maintain the syariah compliance of its business model, as he realises that the mission is not to compete, but to develop the sharia financial industry in Indonesia.
"We hope that through innovation and technology contributed by Alami, the industry can be rejuvenated. We also aspire to develop a syariah-based sharing economy ecosystem in Indonesia now, and abroad next," Dima concluded.