C&W makes partners Malaysia's IA Group for Islamic banking push

Source: Callataÿ & Wouters

Callataÿ & Wouters, a provider of core banking and multi-channel distribution solutions, today announced the formalisation of its partnership with the IA Group Sdn Bhd (IA), a Malaysian management consulting, technology and outsourcing company.

The two companies are partnering to develop an Islamic banking solution for the region and global market. IA and Callataÿ & Wouters will jointly develop, implement, support and market the Thaler Islamic Banking solution in Malaysia initially, with plans to extend the service globally.

Malaysia's status as the region's hub for Islamic finance will be enhanced with the formalisation of partnership between these two entities - to develop and deploy a new Islamic banking product for the global market.

The partnership was formalised in Kuala Lumpur today by Datuk Dr. Hamzah Kassim, Chief Executive Officer of IA and Mr Johan Martens, Global Head of Sales & Marketing at Callataÿ & Wouters. The event was witnessed by Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz, Chairman of Malaysia's National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC).

The partnership marks Callataÿ & Wouters' expanding presence in South East Asia and its commitment to the Malaysian market, a significant growth area in Islamic banking. As of the end of 2008, Islamic banking assets in Malaysia accounted for 17.4% of total banking assets in the local financial system.

The joint efforts between IA and Callataÿ & Wouters over the past year will see the first customer in Malaysia going live by early 2010 with the Thaler Islamic Banking solution.

Thaler is a scalable core banking system that includes functionality for deposits, loans, securities, treasury and payments. Modular, scalable, and highly flexible, it can address a wide range of core- and analytical-banking activities in multiple channels. It is designed to run either as an end-to-end solution, covering the entire range of core banking activities, or on a modular basis to support individual lines of business, such as retail, private wealth management and direct banking.

With Callataÿ & Wouters' expertise in the core banking field, and IA's knowledge of Shariah compliance and experxperience in the large scale technology project implementations, the offering is expected to appeal to institutions across the world looking for a Shariah-compliant solution.

Both IA and Callataÿ & Wouters predict in the region of RM 100 million worth of implementations within three years following the introduction of the solution in Malaysia. Datuk Dr Hamzah Kassim, Chief Executive Officer, IA, said that the partnership augers well with the Malaysian government's call for more Malaysian companies to go global as there are huge potential markets out there where Malaysia has a niche and being recognized internationally - especially in Islamic banking and halal industry.

Datuk Dr Hamzah Kassim added "Callataÿ & Wouters' expertise in core banking and strong track record for consistent client delivery, make them the ideal partner with which to collaborate on forthcoming projects in the region. With Thaler on SAP, not only do we see a scalable end-to-end platform that is flexible enough to meet client requirements, but the real potential to develop a global solution that we could go to market with. Similarly, with Callataÿ & Wouters' strong presence in Europe, IA can also position strategically to tap into the growth of Islamic finance in the European market. "

Marc De Groote, CEO, Callataÿ & Wouters, added: "As Islamic banking continues to grow around the world, Shariah-compliant solutions have to look to provide alternative banking and services particularly in Asia and the Middle East. For Callataÿ & Wouters, the partnership with IA presents an opening to not only acquire new customers in the region, but also to venture into a new line of business, offering a solution with global reach and opportunities."

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