New York-based FinTech player Wahed, the parent company of the halal financial investment platform Wahed Invest, has received a new regulatory license from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the regulator of the South African financial markets.
Launched in 2017, Wahed runs an online investment management platform in the United States which ensures its portfolio does not include investments in companies in restricted sectors such as gambling, firearms and alcohol.
Acquiring a new license has been a huge achievement for the FinTech company as it ramps up efforts to deliver investment services in the country.
With this regulatory approval, Wahed will be able to locally launch its app, which makes it easy and affordable for customers to start investing locally and internationally.
South Africa is a key market for FinTech expansion in Africa due to the severe economic inequality which still exists in large parts of the continent. When added to generally low levels of financial literacy, it is difficult for emerging investors to make informed decisions about money.
FinTech solutions such as Wahed can help leapfrog these challenges, with its focus on transparency, minimal transaction fees and financial inclusion.
“We are delighted to provide financial products that put the customer first. South Africa has a thriving fintech ecosystem, an established banking sector and a population that is hungry to reap the benefits of a new and better way to invest,” said Rashaad Kalla, General Manager for Wahed in South Africa.
The authorisation of the South African license comes at a time when Wahed is pushing for international expansion.
It now has nine regulatory licenses around the world.
“We are looking forward to making an impact in South Africa. We know we can help bridge the wealth divide in South Africa through our products,” Junaid Wahedna, CEO of Wahed, said.
“We combine fintech and values to create simple, accessible and halal products – we are honoured to be trusted and to launch in South Africa.”
Headquartered in New York, Wahed has attracted over 200,000 customers around the world.
The company is backed by Saudi Aramco.