Working in a 'fintech' startup


First of all, I am a big fan of what you guys are doing, may Allah bless you all and expedite your efforts in helping the ummah.

The question: I recently starting working as an assistant project manager at a software startup based in the US - and I’m not entirely sure if my income is Halal or not.

Basically what our company does is that it buys credit report data from the big-3 - TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian and use it to build a variety of products to help businesses like fintech, financial institutions give better credit insights to their customers.

We offer features like credit score insights, debt analysis, credit score simulators, etc. I recently started working here and to be honest, I am not entirely sure about how everything works. From what I understand, we’re merely utilizing an existing piece of data ‘consumer credit reports’ to build simple yet intuitive components that our clients can utilize in their apps, websites, etc.

The company has gained a lot of traction recently and our clients are growing by the day, we are working with big names in the finance industry and the list is growing day by day.

My job(for now) is assisting in the workflow, I merely translate our correspondence with the clients regarding features, bugs, requests, etc. into tasks which I then assign to the appropriate team member, I will not be interacting with the clients in any way shape or form. That is to say, I am only involved in our internal operations to a certain degree.

Sorry for the rambling, my concern is that the industry I’m working in is heavily involved in Riba and I’m not sure if that makes my job Shariah-compliant. Please let me know if you need to know more details.


May Allah bless you.

Am I correct to think that these are what the company is offering to its client?

Correct, that as well as ID Protection via a 3rd party (we are simply reselling their service in conjunction with our products) and
Offers Engine: They can get access to data through the Offers Engine which segments users into various buckets that are predefined with the FI. So it’s at an aggregate level.

I asked my product manager a few questions which might be useful.

How does our product help financial institutions, banks, credit unions and the end users?
Our credit monitoring tools help end users gain a better understanding of their credit score and how to improve it. Good credit allows users to apply for more bank products with better interest rates. It also monitors for any suspicious activity on the users credit profile and will alert of any changes. ID protection also monitors and alerts on the users personal information (like drivers license, passport, SSN etc.) This ultimately helps keep their finances and information secure.

Let’s assume that interest is no longer part of the occasion, like, there is still lending etc. but all transactions are completely interest free, no questions asked, would our product still have relevance/ meaning in the world of finance?
The benefit to financial institutions is the data. This gives them more visibility on the users financial situation and who else they are banking with which allows them to do more targeted marketing.
Without interest, the product would still help users keep their financial information secure which in turn is beneficial to the financial institution. Obviously the FI wouldn’t benefit as much from the loan conversion if they were not making interest off of it.

I am working as an Assistant Project Manager, currently I am helping out with our Banking Integrations - we integrate our products in digital banking platforms to generate revenue via financial institutions using said platforms.

Jazak Allah!

From what I understood your company will be offering to its clients information which will then be used by them to tailor their own product offerings.
If this is the case, then in itself its not impermissible, even if some of the clients will be using your services to go back and create haram products.

If your company was directly involved in the creation of interest based products, or were advising financial institutions on how to and who to lend etc, then it would have been problematic for you to work there.

If I have missed anything then let me know.

And Allah knows best!

Correct, we are simply making information that is already out there (credit score info from the 3 bureaus) available for our clients.

The ‘Offers Engine’ allows us to aggregate the data as our client wishes e.g. they could ask us to segment the data like ‘All customers with credit scores above 600,700, 800 etc.’ this would allow them to target certain products according to the segment of their choice.

Basically they can ask us for buckets of data according to a logic of their choosing and we can give it to them.

But I believe your point still stands, even in this case we are not directly involved in the creation of interest based products - the institutions would already have this information on hand, our engine would simply allow them to target their products as they wish without having to push products on a segment who does not qualify for it or is very unlikely to be interested in it.

According to some of the sales calls I’ve watched, we don’t charge our clients a flat fee for our services etc. they get charged for each transaction i.e. they may offer our services on their digital banking app but won’t be charged a dime if nobody is using our features.

So, I think there is no harm in this InShaAllah…please let me know if I understand this correctly. Thanks for clarifying, Mufti. I appreciate it. I am genuinely grateful to the entire team for setting up such a platform, it is certainly needed in this day and age.

May Allah protect us all from what He has deemed impermissible and may He guide us all to the Straight Path.

Jazak Allah.