Qatar uses fintech as key tool for development goals: Sheikh Abdulla

Qatar has recognised financial technology (fintech) as a primary tool for achieving long-term development goals for the financial sector, according to …

Qatar has recognised financial technology (fintech) as a primary tool for achieving long-term development goals for the financial sector, according to HE the QCB Governor, Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani.

The government, he said, is actively promoting Qatar as a regional centre for fintech as new, cost-effective technologies are becoming increasingly prominent worldwide.

Under the country’s Second Strategic Plan for Financial Sector Regulation 2017-22, fintech has been recognised as a primary tool for achieving long-term development goals for the financial sector, Sheikh Abdulla told Oxford Business Group (OBG).

This, the governor noted will require the right regulatory environment, competitive operating costs, government support, funding and a robust financial services sector.

“There is strong momentum and new opportunities in Qatar to implement fintech such as digital payments, money management, lending, remittances and investments,” Sheikh Abdulla said.

Alongside benefits, these innovations will also create new regulatory and operational challenges. Regulatory obstacles will need to be addressed through creating cross-border synergies in areas like knowledge sharing, investments and remittances.

To ensure the safety and security of the domestic banking system, the Qatar Central Bank prohibited trading in bitcoin in February 2018.

Asked how QCB would maintain a “stable and robust” financial environment, the governor said, “We have adopted a proactive approach to address local and regional economic challenges. Our objective as a central bank is to focus on exchange rates, prices and financial stability. Therefore, we formulate our policies based on evolving circumstances, implement various prudential requirements and focus on improving communication channels.

“Additionally, we are continuing our efforts to strengthen the regulation and supervision of the sector in order to mitigate systemic risks.”

The QCB implemented International Financial Reporting Standard 9, with effect from January 1, 2018, after studying its impact on the capital ratios of local banks. Domestic economic conditions improved significantly towards the end of 2017; the current account recorded positive growth, while trade surplus grew by 44.8% during 2017.

Meanwhile, the global economy continues to improve and oil prices are recovering, which will result in a healthy fiscal balance, Sheikh Abdulla said in his interview with OBG, which has been included in The Report: Qatar 2019.

Given these favourable macroeconomic conditions, liquidity and funding structures in the sector have strengthened significantly and banks continue to report stable profitability. In 2017, capital adequacy ratios stood at around 16.8%, while non-performing loans were at 1.6%.

Higher capital adequacy levels and quality of assets indicate that the local banking sector is able to withstand severe stress scenarios. Banks were advised to develop contingency plans to meet emerging challenges and stress conditions in consultation with the QCB.

Higher growth in domestic deposits and a surplus in primary liquidity reflect a return to normality for the banking sector, which is now well equipped to support the private sector – especially small and medium-sized enterprises – and drive the economy towards self-sufficiency.

On the points that need be considered for creating a centralised Shariah committee, he said, “The planned launch of a centralised Shariah committee forms part of the broader, global approach to developing the Islamic financial services industry. In establishing such a framework, some key objectives will need to be considered.

“The committee should unify general Shariah rules for each Islamic financial product to facilitate legal and regulatory supervision according to their legal structure and risk profile. This would help enhance the confidence and stability of the market, as well as improve transparency, integrity and market compatibility among Islamic banks.”

Additionally, the committee should implement general principles to regulate and control board activities and auditing functions at Shariah-compliant banks. It should also facilitate arbitration and dispute settlements between Islamic banks and other stakeholders, the QCB governor added.

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PM: Islamic banking players must invest in technologies

… Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the application of smart technology within the financial industry – financial technology (fintech) – has …

Dr Mahathir said the evolutionary pace in the Islamic banking and finance industry has intensified in recent years where concepts of Islamic finance have been incorporated into many financial products to meet the changing needs of consumers, businesses and investors. — Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic banking and finance players must be intensely invested in technologies to transform the way they conduct banking services and disseminate their products more effectively and efficiently.

In making the call, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the application of smart technology within the financial industry – financial technology (fintech) – has positively disrupted the industry, as well as other industries such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and asset management.

“The latest technology embraced by fintech leverages on the Internet, mobile devices, social media integration, big data analytics and artificial intelligence makes financial transactions more automated, user-friendly and more convenient, thus (giving) a superior customer experience.

“Fintech has also penetrated the Islamic finance space despite it (the technology) being considered in a very early stage.

“However, the potential disruptions to traditional Islamic finance should not be underestimated. The disruptions can swing both ways,” he said at the 15th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2019 yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said the evolutionary pace in the Islamic banking and finance industry has intensified in recent years where concepts of Islamic finance have been incorporated into many financial products to meet the changing needs of consumers, businesses and investors.

He said the landscape has been supported by a well-developed regulatory, prudential, legal, accounting, framework and reinforced by the necessary research and development.

“Initiatives to promote greater awareness and education among Muslims and non-Muslims have also been intensified,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing options from fintech provide solutions for individuals and small and medium enterprises that require financing but do not qualify for financing from traditional Islamic financial institutions.

He said investors were also entitled to higher potential returns by investing directly into the business ventures that they finance via the online financing marketplace.

“Overall, fintech in the Islamic finance space positively contributes to the evolution of the Islamic finance products and services offering.

“Elimination of credit intermediaries results in lower prices and/or higher potential returns,” he elaborated.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia has spearheaded a number of innovative developments in Islamic finance, with the aim to spur the vibrancy of the industry, such as the issuance of the first Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk and Green Sukuk, as well as the launch of the Investment Account Platform.

The Prime Minister said the industry’s move towards embracing value-based intermediation, which was issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2015, would further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership position and advance the growth of Islamic finance towards generating positive, sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment.

“Islamic finance can be a catalyst for the growth of green developments globally.

“It will require continued collaboration with global and local stakeholders to converge in standards and reporting, as well as to spur innovation, to reduce barriers and cost for issuers and increase transparency and awareness for investors,” he added. — Bernama

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Are Credit Score Apps Safe?

There is also Credit Karma. It is said to be the most commonly used credit score app there is out there. The features of this app make it easy to use as …
credit score

Which should you use? Is your information safe?

All the long-term investment decisions like houses, cars, mortgages, education that you would want to engage in, depend on your credit score. Yes, it determines to a large extent if any of the mentioned plans or decisions will be available to you. Although you have the option of outright purchase of any of these mentioned plans i.e. if you have the cash, we all know that the world runs on credit. Your credit score could be good or bad. i.e. you have a number of points that fall well within the average for your country or well below the average.

So, the question is, what is a credit score?

Your credit score is sourced from the credit bureau based on credit report information. It is characterized as a numerical expression founded on a level breakdown of an individual’s credit files to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. This information is important to lenders like banks, credit card companies etc. who use the information so as to mitigate against the risk of bad debt, losses of revenue, set the credit limit for an individual, also know what interest rate should be given to an individual. It also helps these lenders know which individual will bring in consistent revenue.

Other organizations who are firmly interested in an individual’s credit score are mobile phone companies, insurance companies and landlords. Now, most people would want to monitor their credit score online since it is a major part of our lives. How do we do this? Well, there are credit score apps that help you monitor your score and some of them are pretty safe to use. They give you the choice of some great features that can be used to track your credit score towards making major purchases.

There are various lenders like banks, insurance companies, mobile phone companies, credit card companies that encourage individuals to track their credit score regularly. You can also check your credit score every month reliant in the credit card you use. To further encourage individuals to track their scores some lenders will send you emails as regards your scores, that you can easily check online at your convenience.

There are some reliable credit score apps available out there and are considered to be secure. They have helped individuals manage their credit score and are made available by the three credit bureau agencies. They are Transunion.com, Experian.com and Equifax.com. They provide a safe, well-maintained security feature so customers can manage their credit scores via the apps. Therefore, the safest credit score apps are those that come from trusted and established bases.

FACTS which stands for Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions was passed in 2013 and since then most individuals can access their credit information through the site AnnualCreditReport.com. The site and app is a secure one and even has an SSL encryption on it.

Which well known credit score app is secure to use for managing and tracking of your credit information? We are now informed that some credit score apps are safe to use with no fear of your privacy guard for example been compromised, it is crucial at this point to mention some of the safe apps to use.

One of the three credit bureau agencies i.e. Experian.com, which offers the Experian app which is a pretty commonly used credit score app also applies the Experian credit score rating model. Whether you are an Android or iOS user, the Experian credit score app is available to you with its free credit services. It also offers monthly credit score updates to all users of the Experian app. There is also Credit Karma. It is said to be the most commonly used credit score app there is out there. The features of this app make it easy to use as individuals can easily create an account even without the option of divulging their credit card numbers plus there is the opportunity to update your scores week by week to ensure your credit score is not impacted in any way via a ‘soft pull’. What this means is, an individual can check his or her own credit report or grant permission to a lender like a bank to check your credit, or even credit card companies check your credit before approval of a loan or a credit card. Soft pull does not impact on your credit scores and they also do not appear on your credit report.

Another app which is secure and safe to use since it is provided by a reliable source is Mint. It gives users the opportunity to take advantage of helpful financial services, they can monitor their accounts inclusive of all other financial details like their credit scores.

Since the above mentioned apps are made available by reliable sources, we can safely say they are good to use to monitor, manage, keep in constant touch with your credit score. Remember, all major purchases like a house, a car, mortgage, education even a vacation, are done through your credit score so it is very important that you keep this track this score regularly to ensure that everything is okay with it and there are no issues or irregularities and if you do find any irregularities in your report, since you have an app that helps you monitor is say weekly, you can bring the attention of the credit score app provider to point you in the right direction towards getting the issue resolved.

Also, remember there are good and bad credit scores. For Americans, an average credit score would be 682 points, if it’s above this, that is truly great. A low credit score would be between 580-619, which is considered as not good. There are some ways to improve this score like late payment removal which can drop your points by as much as 60- 90 depending on how long the late payments have been, also pay off balances on your cards responsibly.

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Islamic banking players must invest in technology, says PM

… Mahathir Mohamad said the application of smart technology within the financial industry — financial technology (fintech) — has positively disrupted …
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a joint press conference at Putrajaya March 13, 2019.— Picture by Yusof Mat IsaTun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a joint press conference at Putrajaya March 13, 2019.— Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at a joint press conference at Putrajaya March 13, 2019.— Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Islamic banking and finance players must be intensely invested in technologies to transform the way they conduct banking services and disseminate their products more effectively and efficiently.

In making the call, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the application of smart technology within the financial industry — financial technology (fintech) — has positively disrupted the industry, as well as other industries such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and asset management.

“The latest technology embraced by fintech leverages on the Internet, mobile devices, social media integration, big data analytics and artificial intelligence makes financial transactions more automated, user-friendly and more convenient, thus (giving) a superior customer experience.

“Fintech has also penetrated the Islamic finance space despite it (the technology) being considered in a very early stage.

“However, the potential disruptions to traditional Islamic finance should not be underestimated. The disruptions can swing both ways,” he said at the 15th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2019 here today.

Dr Mahathir said the evolutionary pace in the Islamic banking and finance industry has intensified in recent years where concepts of Islamic finance have been incorporated into many financial products to meet the changing needs of consumers, businesses and investors.

He said the landscape has been supported by a well-developed regulatory, prudential, legal, accounting, framework and reinforced by the necessary research and development.

“Initiatives to promote greater awareness and education among Muslims and non-Muslims have also been intensified,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing options from fintech provide solutions for individuals and small and medium enterprises that require financing but do not qualify for financing from traditional Islamic financial institutions.

He said investors were also entitled to higher potential returns by investing directly into the business ventures that they finance via the online financing marketplace.

“Overall, fintech in the Islamic finance space positively contributes to the evolution of the Islamic finance products and services offering.

“Elimination of credit intermediaries results in lower prices and/or higher potential returns,” he elaborated.

Dr Mahathir said Malaysia has spearheaded a number of innovative developments in Islamic finance, with the aim to spur the vibrancy of the industry, such as the issuance of the first Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk and Green Sukuk, as well as the launch of the Investment Account Platform.

The prime minister said the industry’s move towards embracing value-based intermediation, which was issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2015, would further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership position and advance the growth of Islamic finance towards generating positive, sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment.

“Islamic finance can be a catalyst for the growth of green developments globally.

“It will require continued collaboration with global and local stakeholders to converge in standards and reporting, as well as to spur innovation, to reduce barriers and cost for issuers and increase transparency and awareness for investors,” he added. — Bernama

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Islamic banking players must invest in technologies: PM

… Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) said the application of smart technology within the financial industry – financial technology (fintech) …

KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic banking and finance players must be intensely invested in technologies to transform the way they conduct banking services and disseminate their products more effectively and efficiently.

In making the call, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) said the application of smart technology within the financial industry – financial technology (fintech) – has positively disrupted the industry, as well as other industries such as mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising and asset management.

“The latest technology embraced by fintech leverages on the Internet, mobile devices, social media integration, big data analytics and artificial intelligence makes financial transactions more automated, user-friendly and more convenient, thus (giving) a superior customer experience.

“Fintech has also penetrated the Islamic finance space despite it (the technology) being considered in a very early stage.

“However, the potential disruptions to traditional Islamic finance should not be underestimated. The disruptions can swing both ways,” he said at the 15th Kuala Lumpur Islamic Finance Forum 2019 here today.

Mahathir said the evolutionary pace in the Islamic banking and finance industry has intensified in recent years where concepts of Islamic finance have been incorporated into many financial products to meet the changing needs of consumers, businesses and investors.

He said the landscape has been supported by a well-developed regulatory, prudential, legal, accounting, framework and reinforced by the necessary research and development.

“Initiatives to promote greater awareness and education among Muslims and non-Muslims have also been intensified,” he said.

Mahathir said crowdfunding and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing options from fintech provide solutions for individuals and small and medium enterprises that require financing but do not qualify for financing from traditional Islamic financial institutions.

He said investors were also entitled to higher potential returns by investing directly into the business ventures that they finance via the online financing marketplace.

“Overall, fintech in the Islamic finance space positively contributes to the evolution of the Islamic finance products and services offering.

“Elimination of credit intermediaries results in lower prices and/or higher potential returns,“ he elaborated.

Mahathir said Malaysia has spearheaded a number of innovative developments in Islamic finance, with the aim to spur the vibrancy of the industry, such as the issuance of the first Sustainable and Responsible Investment Sukuk and Green Sukuk, as well as the launch of the Investment Account Platform.

The Prime Minister said the industry’s move towards embracing value-based intermediation, which was issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2015, would further strengthen Malaysia’s leadership position and advance the growth of Islamic finance towards generating positive, sustainable impact to the economy, community and environment.

“Islamic finance can be a catalyst for the growth of green developments globally.

“It will require continued collaboration with global and local stakeholders to converge in standards and reporting, as well as to spur innovation, to reduce barriers and cost for issuers and increase transparency and awareness for investors,” he added. — Bernama

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