The technological development in the financial industry has been significant to the Islamic social finance sector, including zakat institutions. The recent debates among academics, industry professionals and other related zakat stakeholders have addressed the notion of zakat and technology.

The topic of zakat, technology and COVID-19 has now become a new arena among the experts for discussions. In response to this phenomena, the term ZakaTech may become relevant for current circumstances. The International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA – Malaysia) has pioneered this term, which the 4th International Conference of Zakat (The 4th ICONZ) further introduces it.

The 4th ICONZ uses this term to contextualise the discussion of zakat and inclusive development in a time of the post-COVID-19 outbreak. ZakaTech is thus defined here as the use of technology in the management of zakat institutions. The digital transformation in the operational activities of zakat institutions is expected to activate the contribution of zakat to inclusive development, moreover in the unprecedented time of COVID-19.

The 4th ICONZ that is conducted virtually in collaboration with the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Republic Indonesia, Trisakti University Jakarta and Airlangga University Surabaya, results in the following resolution:

  1. The 4th ICONZ raises the issue of inclusive development in which development post-COVID-19 becomes significant challenges for all countries around the world, moreover the emerging economies. The 4th ICONZ thus urges the activation of zakat in inclusive development that can assist the vulnerable communities who are impacted the most by the virus.
  2. The 4th ICONZ encourages a strong partnership and collaboration among the stakeholders of zakat to contextualise better the role of zakat in facing the consequences of COVID-19 outbreak. In this regard, the productive means of zakat distribution becomes relevant to assist vulnerable Small and Micro-Entrepreneurs (SMEs). That is, zakat stakeholders may take attention to this matter.  
  3. The 4th ICONZ discusses the technological management in zakat administration in time of new normal COVID-19. It is thus encouraged such adoption in both zakat collection and distribution that can help the management in actualising maslahah for all the parties involved.
  4. The 4th ICONZ presents the current practices of technological adoption in zakat management. Such adoption forms the practical and hands-on knowledge in which other zakat professionals can learn and pioneer the adoption in their respective organisations.
  5. The 4th ICONZ identifies several innovations in zakat distribution in time of COVID-19 outbreak. Such designs draw the relevance of zakat institution in leading the practice of social finance in which other similar institutions can take the lessons.     
  6. The 4th ICONZ raises the use of blockchain technology for zakat administration. As the debate on this matter among the experts has been growing, the future researchers may further study this topic.
  7. The 4th ICONZ is of the view on the urgency of considering the discussion of blockchain in zakat management from an administrative level. The material policies of related regulators, for instance; regulation draft of Ministry of Religious Affairs, The Republic of Indonesia (RPMA), may thus consider this matter.
  8. The National Board of Zakat, the Republic of Indonesia (BAZNAS RI) has been implementing blockchain technology at the first stage. The future development of blockchain adoption requires a conducive environment, notably support form regulator. The 4th ICONZ thus calls the establishment of a regulatory framework to create a conducive environment in zakat ecosystem, notably in Indonesia.   
  9. As the inclusive development becomes critical in the coming periods, such discussion of zakat in this matter should be continued. That is, the upcoming World Zakat Forum (WZF 2020) may extend the idea by gaining more insight from zakat stakeholders worldwide. The topic of activating zakat in economy recovery post-COVID-19 in the WZF member countries is thus advisable.