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The effects of eliminating Riba in foreign currency transactions by introducing global FinTech network

Mohammad Selim (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Bahrain, Sakheer, Bahrain)

International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management

ISSN: 1753-8394

Article publication date: 18 December 2020

Issue publication date: 4 June 2021

492

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effects of eliminating Riba in foreign currency transactions. Riba or interest arises when foreign currencies are bought and sold at different rates. From the Islamic perspective, the difference between the buying and selling rates of foreign exchange will constitute Riba. Also, this paper examines the effects of eliminating such Riba on major macroeconomic variables.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on the hadith which imply that if buying and selling rates of currencies or foreign exchanges are same, i.e. if one sells BD1 = Dh10 and Dh10 = BD1 on spot, there will be no Riba. This can be guaranteed if the Islamic banking system introduces the technology, often known as FinTech interest-free foreign exchange bank machines (IFfexBM), which will automatically dispense BD10 for Dh100 and vice-versa, both locally and globally, and it will have tremendous positive effects in the economy. Furthermore, the effects of introducing FinTech for eliminating Riba will be analyzed on economic and international trade activities by using aggregate expenditure (AE) and aggregate output model within the tenets of Islamic principles.

Findings

If Islamic banks (IBs) can introduce FinTech global network system where any client can buy or sell foreign currency at the same rate without any markup, it will increase the market share for IBs by increasing the number of customers and number of branches, and it will increase the inflow of funds and volumes of transactions, especially in international trade, global financial transactions and cross-border shopping. Such an increase in transactions will increase AE and AE will continuously shift up. Such an upward shift will have positive effects on equilibrium output, employment and prosperity.

Originality/value

This is, perhaps, one of the latest attempts to eliminate Riba from foreign exchange transactions by introducing FinTech IFfexBM in each and every locality. Such elimination of Riba will not only reduce the cost of cross-border transactions but it will also reduce cost in international trade and financial transactions among nations, and therefore, it will have expansionary effects on equilibrium output, employment and global prosperity.

Keywords

Citation

Selim, M. (2021), "The effects of eliminating Riba in foreign currency transactions by introducing global FinTech network", International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 506-523. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMEFM-01-2020-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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