Malayasian pilgrims to Mecca during Haj and Umrah will be able to withdraw money from ATMs, while still complying with Shariah law, following a deal between e-Kencana Sdn Bhd (eKSB), the national electronic wallet operator in Malaysia, Saudi-based Al Rajhi Bank and ACI Worldwide.
ACI says that eKSB will implement its payments engine, Base 24, as well as Card Management System and Smart Chip Manager, to implement a Syariah-compliant Islamic Payment Switch (IPS). Shariah law prohibits the collection or payment of interest.
EKSB operates Malaysia's national e-purse scheme, MEPS Cash, for which customers are issued ATM cards. For the IPS initiative, eKSB has partnered with Al Rajhi Bank, a Saudi Arabia-based firm with a presence in Malaysia, to provide prepaid cards. EKSB will host the payment switch in Malaysia.
The cards will enable electronic fund transfers between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia so that pilgrims can easily access their money.
The Base 24 system will be used to authorise and route transactions, allowing eKSB to deliver services through ATMs, kiosks and self service devices. Pre-paid debit cards will be produced and managed using ACI's Card Management System and Smart Chip Manager.
The bank says that it intends to offer the IPS service to non-customers in the future.