Developing a waqf market and reconceptualising awqaf governance via regtech

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As a charitable institution, waqf is envisaged as an inherent segment of the Islamic financial services industry with potential to develop into a market for Islamic social finance. While the industry records growth and development with huge profits in its banking, takaful and capital market segments, it has been observed that pursuit of profits has overshadowed social and financial equity goals and thus disproportionately promoted in Islamic finance. Yet, waqf, with over trillion dollars' worth assets to its credit to advance these goals, is neglected and the assets left undeveloped and idle due to governance issues. Thus, eligible beneficiaries of those assets in several Muslim nations suffer with illiteracy, poverty and lack of healthcare among other social challenges that need social finance solution. Hence, the need to reconceptualise waqf governance in order to reawaken and develop it to assume its role not only as a social financing institution but for financial inclusion. Regulatory technology is turned to as answer to the governance needs to establish and develop a waqf social capital market, along with fintech for delivery of related products/services. In this chapter, a qualitative methodology with exploratory approach is employed in examining and analysing relevant data on waqf market in Islamic financial services industry to advance and contribute in the social financing drive in global developmental agenda. The chapter demonstrates the capabilities of fintech-powered waqf and regtech solutions therein in matters of waqf registration and/or establishment, e-KYC/KYD, detection and elimination of fraud, statutory reporting and compliance, etc., while leveraging on blockchain, mobile and cloud computing technologies. Thus, deploying regtech unlocks opportunities in waqf towards fulfilling the social financing goals of Islamic finance. Attaining this however requires synergy and collaborations for research in the workability of the technologies in compliance with Shariah and law, among all stakeholders in Islamic finance and economy.
Waqf market , Governance , Regtech
Muneeza, A. & Mustapha, Z. (2020). Developing a waqf market and reconceptualising awqaf governance via regtech. In Mohd Ma'Sum Billah (Ed.), Awqaf-led Islamic social finance innovative solutions to modern applications (pp. 116-133). London: Routledge.

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