Wahed, a financial investment company that aims to advance financial inclusion through accessible, affordable, and values-based investing, today announced that it has opened a physical branch in Central London and launched a new debit card to help the UK’s 3.9 million Muslims manage their money.
At a time when high street banks have closed half of their bank branches in the UK over the last 7 years, Wahed is bucking the trend by opening its first physical outlet.
The new 140-square meter space (photos available here) at 89 Baker Street in London will allow new and existing Wahed customers to engage with its offerings including the opening of spend and save accounts, wills advice, investments and private equity.
Wahed’s new branch will be officially opened on January 24 by a collection of Wahed ambassadors including Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Wahed also announces that it has launched a new gold-backed debit card (photos available here) that will allow customers to use Wahed as their main spend and save account, making purchases using their new Wahed card with their money held in a gold ETC. This avoids their money staying inside the traditional banking system where it would be exposed to interest, known as Riba in the Islamic faith. Initial tests of the cards will take place in February.
Many people, including millions of Muslims, have been left behind as the new generation of fintech apps have added features like gamified stock trading and crypto exchanges. Wahed is building a responsible service for investors keen on security, not risk-taking, and has grown to over 300,000 customers worldwide. With Wahed, customers can open an account on their phone and speak to human beings about their investments, either over the telephone or in the new Central London branch.
“During a period of economic uncertainty when bank branches are closing at an alarming rate, we’re optimistic about the future and opening a physical branch to cater for our customers,” said Junaid Wahedna, founder and CEO of Wahed. “Wahed’s new gold-backed debit card allows the Muslim community to utilise technology to access and invest their money in a responsible and secure way, storing it safely and ethically without risk of exposure to Riba. Combined with the new branch, our community-focussed finance service provides Muslims with banking and investment opportunities that align with their faith.”
Wahed has raised over $75 million in funding from high-profile backers including international footballer Paul Pogba, family offices and institutions. Its mission is to change how the Muslim community participates in global financial markets by making investing accessible and ethically compliant for the 1.8 billion Muslims globally. For many Muslims, investing in line with their faith is made more complex due to the exclusion of companies that obtain their profits from interest.