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World’s largest Islamic bank picks Thought Machine for Malaysian digital banking project

A new Shariah-compliant greenfield bank is coming to Malaysia.

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Mimi Thian/Unsplash.

It’s not just Western banks flocking to cloud-based banking technologies, today Al Rajhi Bank announced that its Malaysian subsidiary would also be making the jump.

The world’s largest Islamic bank by assets, with over $88bn in AUM, Al Rajhi Bank said its subsidiary would be using Thought Machine’s Vault core banking engine to power a new digital challenger bank that it is launching.

Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia is in the process of building a full suite of Shariah-compliant financial products, all under a new to-be-announced banking brand.

“We are launching a state-of-the-art digital bank which will be differentiated by its high levels of innovation, customer convenience and reliability,” said Arsalaan Ahmed, CEO of Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia.

It’s just the latest client win for Thought Machine, which in recent months has signed up Lunar, ING Bank Śląski and JP Morgan Chase, to name a few.

“As a leader in Islamic banking, Al Rajhi Malaysia Bank has a considerable opportunity to launch an exceptional next-generation banking service – and we have no doubt they will succeed,” said Thought Machine CEO and founder Paul Taylor.

The shift to cloud banking isn’t without its concerns, however. 

Earlier this year it was revealed that the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority is keeping a close eye on the centralisation happening around a few key cloud banking giants, including Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

While not quite at that scale, Thought Machine’s services are still built upon infrastructure provided by cloud providers like Amazon Web Services.

In November, Thought Machine raised $200m at a valuation of more than $1bn from Nyca Partners, Standard Chartered, ING and JP Morgan Chase, in order to dramatically increase the scale of its business and the clients it works with.

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