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Saturday, 12 July 2014

Insurance at your fingertips with Amana Takaful New Mobile App

Amãna Takaful, the only fully-fledged Takaful operator in the country and the flag bearer of the Takaful way of insurance in Sri Lanka, introduced its new mobile application for iPhones and Android devices. The new mobile app can be downloaded for free and it enables Amãna Takaful customers to check their policy details speedily and conveniently, from anywhere in the world.

Commenting on the launch of Amãna Takaful’s new app, Mohomed Iqbal, Head of Information Technology, Amãna Takaful stated, “At Amãna Takaful we strive to provide our customers with the best services and products. As a company, our goal is to always deliver the highest levels of convenience to our clients at all times. We continuously review our processes and embrace innovations and the latest trends. This new mobile app will allow us to provide our customers with access to our key services from anywhere and at any time. This app also allows us to connect more effectively with our customers and the communities we serve.”

The Amãna Takaful mobile application provides an array of services including motor policy renewal, purchase of travel insurance, third party motor polices and online payment options. The app also offers additional convenience with motor claims notifications and tracking. With the new Amãna Takaful app, customers can easily check the status of a claim by entering their vehicle number. A customer can use the app to report an accident and can thereafter continue their journey uninterrupted. This feature was added to the app to make it easier to report claims with the use of supporting photos. Life policyholders can now track their Life Fund balances, unit rates and also make premium payments online. The app is available exclusively for policyholders and provides a seamless, hassle free service that enables customers to access their account details online, at any time.

Amãna Takaful has been recognized for its innovation and quality of service for over 15 years, and has been acknowledged as one of Sri Lanka’s fastest growing composite insurers. The company continues

to be in the forefront of the insurance industry in Sri Lanka and caters to a vast variety of customers. This was recognized recently at the SLIBFI awards where the company received two gold awards for the “Best Islamic Finance Entity of the year” and for the “Product of the year” for KruthaGuna”, its unique hospitalization insurance policy for customers over 55. “The Takaful way of insurance operates on the principle of risk sharing and mutuality. As Amãna Takaful looks ahead to 2015, the company will continue to evolve and offer an array of personalized and efficient services to its discerning clientele.

(Hiru Business News / 11 July 2014)
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Egypt zakat house to promote transparency

The Egyptian government has taken new measures to regulate zakat, ensure funds donated to help the poor during the holy month of Ramadan reach their intended recipients and prevent them from reaching extremist groups.

In a June statement, the presidency announced the establishment of the Egyptian House of Zakat and Charity, an independent body run by Al-Azhar that will oversee the collection and disbursement of zakat funds across Egypt.
Al-Azhar has started to lay the groundwork for the zakat house, meeting with experts a few weeks ago to work on a draft law to regulate the house's work and its organisational structure.
The zakat house is intended as a "safe and reliable entity through which Egyptians can distribute charity to deserving recipients, such as the poor, students and those who are ill, based on legitimate disbursement channels, in a bid to prevent the waste of these funds on non-deserving recipients", said deputy imam of Al-Azhar Abbas Shuman.
Al-Azhar's legal advisors are now drafting the law as well as the statutes of the house to ensure it is independent from the government and under the supervision of Al-Azhar, he added.
Egyptians donate up to 17 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) each year in zakat funds, according to Al-Azhar University's Saleh Kamel Centre for Islamic Economy.


Last year, the Ministry of Endowments called for zakat funds to be placed under the strict control of state institutions and called for transparency in the announcement of budgets, expenses and bonuses to ensure funds are not used to serve the interests of political parties or extremist groups.
The ministry also called for the establishment of an independent body that could work with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to create a network linking beneficiaries to disbursers and civil society organisations, in order to guarantee funds reach the intended recipients.
"Given the increasing danger posed by takfiri groups, a mechanism must be created to prevent zakat funds from reaching extremist groups and being used towards murder or acts of intimidation," said Al-Azhar Islamic Research Academy member Sheikh Abdul Aziz Hegazi.
"Therefore, an institution must be established to fulfil this role under the auspices of Al-Azhar, the largest religious institution in the Islamic world," he told Al-Shorfa.
This is something Egypt has lacked in the past decades, he added.
"This institution will develop mechanisms and strict controls for the collection of zakat funds and ensure they are not disbursed to undeserving recipients or used for purposes other than those for which they were collected, such as political propaganda or diverting them to extremist groups," he said.
Improving the zakat collection and disbursement process has been urgently needed, but the new process will need time to succeed as huge databases will need to be developed, he said.


Thirteen Arab countries have a system in place for the collection and disbursement of zakat funds in order to use them as effectively as possible to fight poverty and improve human development, Al-Azhar University Islamic studies professor Amna Noseir told Al-Shorfa.
Egypt can benefit from the experiences of zakat houses in other Arab countries, she said.
Egypt's new zakat house should establish a link to the databases of non-governmental charity organisations "in order to create an integrated system for the elimination of poverty, and to avoid duplication in charitable projects", she said.
(Al-Shorfa.Com / 09 July 2014)
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