Finterra is a leading technology-based company providing blockchain-driven Islamic applications that address global issues. Established in 2017, the company currently has presence in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, and India, with plans for further expansion into the markets of Africa and the rest of the Middle East.
Finterra’s ecosystem comprises of core banking, digital banking, and blockchain solutions, that have been developed to bridge the gap between users, merchants, and financial institutions. This ecosystem offers a truly inclusive platform to consumers through various verticals, including an Open Source Development platform, e-Commerce platform, and an environment that supports the development of Islamic Social Finance.
Further, Finterra’s flagship product, the WAQFChain has been developed to revitalize the Islamic Social Economic system for the digital age using blockchain technology. With relevant regulatory compliance built into the platform, the WAQFChain solves core challenges in unlocking and integrating options for Capital raise, WAQF management, and Asset management.
Thriving to Make Blockchain a Social Solution
Since its inception, Finterra’s mission has been to promote community growth and technical advancement in areas of transparency, traceability, and OMNI Channel Digital Banking. The company is a brainchild of a roundtable of visionaries who sought to make finance simple. Finterra was founded on the concept of merging advanced technology with financial services to offer people a global “Social Solution for Blockchain.”
Finterra envisions and aspires to be the global leader in the next generation of FinTech. The company is passionate about bringing forth a solution that would create social and commercial value. The company has also developed viable solutions that solve core challenges in unlocking the value of endowed Islamic assets (also known as WAQF) while integrating crowdfunding technology for the development of endowed assets.
With this revolutionary solution, Finterra can unravel numerous endowed assets globally that were previously deadlocked due to regulatory restrictions. Additionally, the company has incorporated impact investing elements and crowdfunded participation in every single WAQF project that would enable Finterra to achieve its mission.
Visionary Leadership That Guides the Industry
Hamid Rashid is the Founder of Finterra, an award-winning Blockchain R&D technology organization. Responsible for developing the first-ever WAQFChain, a crowdfunding platform for Waqf development built on the blockchain, and the Gallactic Blockchain, he is a specialist in technology IP development, technology commercialization, venture capital investment, and property investments.
Hamid is also an accomplished hands-on strategic visionary who brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to create brands that deliver reliable tangible results to stakeholders. Having served for the likes of corporate giants such as HP, he has established a record of outperformance across an array of financial strategies. He has over eighteen years of Technology Consulting experience in Enterprise Software Business Management and Business Development within the B2B and B2C sectors.
Hamid holds a master’s degree in IT and Management, and a Certificate in Organizational Leadership. He has been invited to speak at various esteemed institutions such as the World Bank, WIEF, Central Banks, Securities Commissions, and at leading international conferences and forums. Hamid is also often quoted by the likes of Thomson Reuters, The Edge, New Straits Times, Malaysian Business. Besides, he has been featured on the front page of the White-Collar Magazine in Kenya as well as appeared in Dubai TV, CNBC, Bernama TV, and many other channels.
Innovating Next Generation of Fintech
Finterra has been the world’s first technology creator that has successfully managed to disrupt the Islamic social finance landscape since the fall of the Ottoman empire. The company has strived and brought about a change in this landscape, where it is the first to implement Islamic social Finance on the blockchain. Finterra has successfully implemented technology leveraging on blockchain and AI to impact the social-economic structure of the world.
Thanks to Finterra, Hamid says, “Gone are the days where WAQF was only considered for the rich and affluent. Gone are the days where every Islamic follower had only capitalistic economic instruments to invest in and rely on for economic operations of his/her life. The company has finally bought a change where it is paving ways for reviving an old form of economic models of the society famously called Islamic social Finance.” Finterra is also enabling large societies to finally move from a debt-based economic model to a value-based economic model.
Finterra achieved all these by implementing and promoting its flagship platform called ISF (Islamic social Finance), which included Sadaqah, WAQF, and Zakat blockchains where these Islamic economic instruments are true democratization of the real principles in Islam. This platform, in turn, helped the company to produce multiple adjunct products that enable the true realization of Islamic social Finance which is available to the public in terms of E-Wallet, Payment gateways, crowdfunding platforms, Musharaka platforms, and many others.
Redefining Industry Dynamics with Key Alliances
Finterra believes in achieving its goals through strategic partnerships. In doing so, the company has partnered with some of the world’s leading organizations to ensure its product and services are world-class and revolutionary while at the same time regulated. In addition to this, Finterra also works closely with Banks, regulators, educational institutions as well as government bodies to make sure it is constantly keeping up with fast-changing needs and requirements of the industry.
Insights into Expanding Horizons of Modern Technology
According to Hamid, human imagination always conjures up grand visions of cyborgs of the future. However, in reality, people have just augmented parts of the body and mind like glasses, hearing aids, etc.
While in common knowledge, these are the only disruptions of technology in past years, scientists can already augment the human brain, increasing the storage capacity of the brain. Also, the creation of exoskeletons is the common site in the labs these days. Thus, technology is now on the cusp of moving beyond augmentation that replaces human capability and into the magnification of superhuman abilities.
Hamid says, while all the technologies, as mentioned above, enhance human capabilities, technology is also driven to augment the social, governmental, and legal capacities of human society in general.
First among them is the democratization of technology where blockchain technology has become a means for providing people with easy access to technical or business expertise without extensive (and costly) training. It focuses on four key areas — application development, data and analytics, design, and knowledge — and is often referred to as “citizen access,” which has led to the rise of citizen data scientists, citizen programmers, and more.
Blockchain also allows parties to trace assets back to their origin, which is beneficial for traditional assets but also paves the way for other uses such as tracing food-borne illnesses back to the original transmitter. It further allows two or more parties who don’t know each other to interact in a digital environment and exchange value without the need for a centralized authority, safely.
While technology has been leading ahead in leaps and bounds, the evolution of technology is creating a trust crisis. As consumers become more aware of how their data is being collected and used, organizations are also recognizing the increasing liability of storing and gathering the data.
Additionally, AI and ML are increasingly used to make decisions in place of humans, evolving the trust crisis and driving the need for ideas like explainable AI and AI governance.
This trend requires a focus on six key elements of trust: Ethics, integrity, openness, accountability, competence, and consistency.
Fostering Unique Infrastructure to Address Challenges
In its early days, Finterra faced several challenges surrounding:
- Blockchain regulations around KYC and AML. Blockchain-based companies needed to have an in-depth knowledge of the regulations if they wished to avoid legal setbacks, especially with the frequently changing guidelines of blockchain companies.
- User knowledge and acceptance of blockchain technology. Users in the blockchain space are divided into supporters and speculators. That is why it is crucial to work on educating, building, and preserving a community of supporters.
- The last challenge the company faces is the time it takes to develop working blockchain solutions successfully.
Exemplary Business Accomplishments
Finterra has been bestowed with numerous awards and recognitions for its innovative solutions and services. The company’s honors include:
- Super 30 Companies of the Year 2019
- International Islamic Leadership Forum & Awards (IILA 2019)
- Far East Business Leadership Awards 2018
- Most Influential Sustainable Entrepreneur Award 2018
- Global Responsible Business Leadership Awards 2018
- Malaysia Top Achievers Award (MATA) 2017
- MSMW Social Media Award 2017
The Way Ahead
Hamid firmly believes Finterra will keep its core focus in Islamic Fintech and keep launching fintech solutions like e-wallets, payment gateways, crowdfunding, and microfinance in various regions partnered with local institutions. This core focus in Fintech has created value to Finterra, which is valued at close to US$100 million currently.
Joint participation in WAQF development projects in Malaysia, Oman, India, and East Africa would allow Finterra’s fintech solutions to remain entrenched and relevant in emerging markets servicing the niche Islamic finance industry.
Islamic financial assets are forecast to total US$3.8 trillion by 2023, up from US$2.3 trillion in 2017, according to a Thomson Reuters report published in December 2018. Around 1,400 institutions were operating in the global Islamic finance ecosystem across 80 countries, as of 2017.
Moreover, Finterra is creating alliances for the use of its blockchain platform with financial institutions globally.