IBF Net (L) Ltd has embarked on a blockchain-based initiative to create a Relationship-Based Transactions (RBT) ecosystem under Digital IBF Lab, its newly created flagship. 

Explaining the nature of Relationship Based Transactions (RBTs), the concept note prepared by IBF Net asserts that RBTs take place in all sectors of the economy – philanthropy, not-for-profit and for-profit – that are necessitated by recurring nature of client needs. RBTs through repeated interaction among the actors induces trust, commitment, loyalty and a long-term relationship between them.

At the same time, existing platforms that facilitate Islamic charity payments – zakat, sadaqah, cash waqf – usually provide for a one-time cash flow from the donor to the beneficiary. “Given that the donors motivated by a specific cause may like to observe the impact of their donation or see the project cross specific milestones in terms of output and outcome, there is need for an enhanced framework that permits multiple micro payments efficiently under a single precommitment”, says Mohammed Alim, CEO, IBF Net. “In addition to providing for the above framework, use of blockchain technology is expected to bring in its numerous other benefits, e.g. enhanced transparency, reduced cost of intermediation and an enhanced donor base (crypto-donors). From the standpoint of the agent (charity), the new framework should mitigate donor attrition risk. The notion of “feel the impact as you give” is expected to induce relationship-based donation and a longer-term bondage between the actors (donor, beneficiary and intermediary)”, according to Mohammed Naquib  who heads the new initiative.

IBF Net will be developing a unique product “RecurPay” on Tezos platform that will facilitate recurring and automated micro-payments and that brings the assurance of the  Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform to the area of micro charity for zakat, sadaqa, and cash-waqf with recurring and automated  payments. Since available evidence suggests a renewed focus on the Islamic social finance sector, the project should open doors of trust, transparency, assurance, and security for its multiple stakeholders – the NGOs, charity organisations, and relevant government bodies across the globe.

The project, in its next phase is expected to shift its focus from philanthropy and benevolence to trade and commerce. Platforms that currently facilitate electronic trading in halal businesses usually accommodate traditional sale transactions in halal commodities and services with or without deferred payment facility. According to Dr Mohammed Obaidullah, who has extensively published on the subject (*), Shariah provides much greater flexibility with respect to the transaction related variables – price, quality and quantity of object of sale, terms of payment and delivery etc. – than what is commonly understood. IBF Net looks forward to developing the idea of relationship-based and recurring exchange transactions on a blockchain-based platform as part of its RBT ecosystem initiative.

The Concept Note on RBT Ecosystem may be downloaded from this link (https://ibfnet.my/lab/).

* A paper published in 1997 by Dr Obaidullah was a maiden attempt to undertake a detailed analysis of Istijrar – a product based on the concept of RBT. Download the paper here.

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IBF Net is a leading education provider that was founded in 1999 as the maiden online community in the field. It was awarded the Global Excellence Award by International Islamic Finance Forum (IIFF) in 2007 for its pioneering initiative in developing the first ever suite of certification programs in Islamic banking, insurance and investments. Currently, it operates as a Labuan International Company with its corporate office in Kuala Lumpur.

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