The newly formed interest-free Hijra Bank S.C. in Ethiopia has gone live successfully on iMAL Islamic core banking platform on September 4th, 2021, only one month after signing with Path Solutions, the only AAOIFI-certified financial technology firm. Hijra Bank has benefited from accelerated project timelines which have massively reduced the cost of deployment. It is the first Ethiopian bank to implement the said platform.
Following the legislation of the interest-free banking proclamation, the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has given the green light to Hijra Bank, the second full-fledged interest-free bank in the country to become operational in 2020. At that time, Mukemil Bedru, the board Chairperson acknowledged the dearth of skilled personnel and the procurement of Sharia-based core banking technology as most core banking systems available in the market are not designed to accommodate Islamic banking.
“There are only a handful of companies providing core banking systems specifically designed as per the Sharia law”, he said. After a rigorous selection process, the bank finally selected iMAL from Path Solutions. A key factor in their decision to select next-generation iMAL is a combination of Sharia compliance, feature-rich functionality, and affordability.
“We worked closely with Path Solutions’ agile and passionate team to go live in record time. We are proud to be partnering with them to reshape the Ethiopian banking landscape, and to working towards Hijra Bank’s vision to become the country’s leading interest-free bank”, Bedru commented.
“Our bank is now well-positioned to leverage technology innovation to drive operational efficiencies and introduce new products and services to market quickly. Bringing the community interest-free banking products and services will have a positive contribution toward the country’s economy and the entire society”.
“Hijra Bank has set a very challenging task to go live within one calendar month from the start of the project, and we are pleased to announce that the bank has gone live successfully within exactly one month from kickoff. The speed with which the bank has reached go-live is a testament to Hijra’s leadership team managing flowless execution, to our team’s know-how, capabilities, and experience, and the platform’s elasticity and flexibility, and it’s one of the main reasons why Hijra Bank chose iMAL as their Sharia-compliant software platform”, stated Mohammed Kateeb, Path Solutions’ Group Chairman & CEO. “Hijra Bank is now empowered to not only realize its growth strategy cost-effectively but also to bring cutting-edge interest-free banking services to the 25 million Muslims in the country”, he said.
Path Solutions has a worldwide reputation for robust, innovative interest-free banking software, fast implementations combined with extensive presence and commitment to the African continent. This partly remote implementation has enabled Hijra Bank to open its doors to customers in the shortest possible time of only one month.