UK fintech Minted to launch in July with 2021 digital bank plans

via FinTech Futures

Minted, a UK-based sharia-compliant gold trading platform, is gearing up to launch this summer, Salaam Gateway reports. Users will be able to buy gold either in monthly instalments or in a one-off payment.

Yet to land its electronic money licence from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the fintech launched its beta version at the beginning of May. It plans to launch its web and mobile platforms in July.

The start-up’s sharia-compliant offering is based on the guidance provided on gold by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

As well as a gold trading platform, Minted is also developing an auto-investing plan, and it envisions launching a digital challenger bank in the first quarter of 2021, along with debit cards.

Minted buys physical gold from refineries in the UK, as well as from Nadir Gold in Istanbul. All these refineries are listed on the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) as good delivery partners.

“A range could be that we buy from Spot Price plus 1% up to 4%, depending on the market circumstances of supply and demand,” co-founder Shahad Ahmed tells Salaam Gateway.

Ahmed previously founded a telecom software provider in Birmingham, and most recently worked at an Istanbul-based customer service technology provider.

He says that once Minted buys the gold, it stores it in an independent bank-grade vault facility in Mayfair, and is protected by a corporate trustee arrangement with London-based accountancy firm More Group.

“To add further reassurance, Alliot’s of London performs an independent custody audit on a quarterly basis to ensure that vault holdings match up with customer holdings,” Ahmed adds.

Minted offers free insurance for 12 months before charging £1 a month, and it can even send the physical gold to a verified address upon customer request.

Alongside Ahmed, the fintech is equally owned by two other co-founders, CEO Hamzah Almasyabi and chief operating officer Haroon Siddiq. Both Almasyabi and Siddiq previously worked at CAN, the world’s largest direct selling telco services provider.

Now a team of 15 with its tech team based in Istanbul, Minted already has a £500,000 pre-seed round behind it thanks to corporate investor AE Invest.

The start-up says it has 200 individual clients and has processed roughly £150,000 worth of transactions to date. The aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year.

“[We] realise that the Muslim market is currently underserved when it comes to investment products and we feel our proposition at Minted is a fantastic low-entry, sharia-compliant proposition for Muslims to invest in a commodity they are familiar with,” says Ahmed. “We aim to eventually become a unicorn of ethical investments.”

The start-up’s next funding step will be to raise around £1 million. It aims to expand to Germany and France at the end of next year, Brexit negotiations dependent. Further afield, it would look to partner with firms in the US, Turkey, Africa and South Asia.