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Indonesia’s Sharia Economy Empowered by Tech

Indonesia-based e-commerce start-up partners with the country’s Waqf Board (BWI) and other non-profit organisations in creating a cash waqf feature on its platform. This is to support the cash waqf movement launched by the government and to further support national economic growth.

Quoted from the official BWI website, cash waqf is an endowment made by a Muslim person, group, institution, or legal entity in the form of cash. The form of cash waqf distribution can also be in securities. President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) had said that the national potential for cash waqf reached more than US$13B.

Through this feature, the e-commerce platform users can distribute cash waqf starting from US$0.69 to almost US$7,000. To do this, users may go to the online platform and select cash waqf. Then select a waqf channelling partner and payment method. After the transaction, the user will receive a report regarding the use of waqf.

Currently, Indonesia’s Cash Waqf Linked Sukuk (CWLS) has collected more than US$3.7M. As of the end of last year, the total cash waqf collected and deposited in the bank was more than US$22M. Meanwhile, the project-based waqf is around US$40M.

Head of the BWI Implementing Agency said that the potential for large cash waqf needs to be maximised, one of which is through a digital platform. This is so that the impact of the great potential of cash waqf can be felt by the community effectively.

Apart from this cash waqf feature, the company also presents several other features in their online platform that can be used to share kindness among the Muslim community. Starting from the features of Donation, Zakat, Fidyah, Charity Box, and Qurban.

The value of Zakat Maal transactions on the platform, (a form of almsgiving to the Muslim Ummah treated in Islam as a religious obligation or tax, which, by Quranic ranking, is next after prayer in importance), has doubled in Ramadan 2020 compared to Ramadan 2019. On the other hand, users have collected more than US$5M through the Donation, Zakat and Qurban features throughout 2020.

The e-commerce company said that it will continue to support the government’s efforts to create an increasingly advanced sharia economic ecosystem using technology. Meanwhile, another Indonesian e-commerce company aims to boost the country’s sharia economy even more. The company launched a Serambi Masjid application during Ramadan which allows people to donate to the mosque digitally. The tech unicorn hooked the Indonesian Mosque Council and the Mosque Prosperity Council (DKM) in Jakarta and Bandung.

Mosques that collaborate with the e-commerce company through the Serambi Masjid programme will have a unique QR code that can be accessed by the public through posters affixed to each mosque to pay for donations to the mosque. The e-commerce company invited the public to take advantage of its services and features so they could pray and do good deeds more easily and comfortably. They added that the programme is a solution for people who want to continue carrying out activities such as Infaq and Shodaqoh for mosques digitally.

The Chairman of the Indonesian Mosque Council hopes that the programme will help mosques and the wider community. As the second Ramadan is in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has had many impacts, especially for people to be able to worship directly at the mosque.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, recent research shows that digital wallets or e-wallets are more widely used by Indonesians during Ramadan. The percentage is higher than bank services such as debit or credit cards. The use of digital wallets also aims to avoid physical contact to anticipate transmission of COVID-19.

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