After receiving the green light from the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Hijra Bank, the second fully-fledged interest-free bank in the country has engaged in a highly competitive bidding and selection process which resulted in the selection and signing of an agreement with Path Solutions for the implementation of its AAOIFI-certified core banking platform.
Hijra Bank will be providing interest-free financial services – a strategy to capture the growing market share of the tech savvy devout customers wishing to comply with the principles of Islamic law, as well as those who prefer ethical and socially responsible banking services.
After over a decade of Ethiopians petitioning for Islamic banking products, Africa’s second most populous nation saw this year its second Islamic bank, increasing the people’s confidence in the sector and boosting the country’s financial inclusion plans. Additionally, with Ethiopia’s close proximity to Middle Eastern countries and major Islamic finance jurisdictions, and with the support of IsDB, the introduction of Islamic banking is expected to attract much-needed foreign investment and drive the government’s plan to liberalize its financial sector.
Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO said that the synergy of the partnership with Hijra Bank empowers them to deliver impactful technology solutions. “We are excited to collaborate with Hijra Bank and to support them in realizing their vision of bringing Islamic finance to Ethiopia through advanced technology and great customer experience. Hijra Bank will be able to utilize flexible, scalable and highly customizable core banking platform catering to the diverse needs of their individual and corporate customer segments across Ethiopia. We look forward to the successful implementation and to enabling Hijra Bank to effectively compete on innovation in the new open banking era”, he said in a statement.
As a newly established bank, Hijra Bank will have the advantage of capitalizing on the latest version of iMAL from Path Solutions and reap the benefits of the robust growth opportunities of digital banking since more customers in the country are becoming literate of the digital services. The bank believes it is now the perfect timing for their incorporation to gain a foothold in an ever-growing financial market space by meeting the demands of more knowledgeable and sophisticated customers.
Dawit Kenno, the newly appointed acting CEO of Hijra Bank, said, “Along the lines of our vision to be the most preferred interest-free bank in Ethiopia, we need to create a robust foundation to drive growth and to have the agility to innovate continuously, especially with the fast evolvement of financial technology to remain relevant ahead of the competition. Path Solutions understands the vital role of IT in our business to bring value, ensure convenience, functional and service quality and improve profitability. The company’s Islamic banking domain know-how and extensive international experience will allow our bank to launch unique interest-free banking products for the best market fit along with an outstanding customer experience”.