Jakarta (ANTARA) - The gap between sharia financial literacy and conventional financial literacy needs to be addressed, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has said.

The 2022 National Literacy and Inclusion Survey conducted by the OJK pegged the sharia financial literacy rate at 9.14 percent and conventional financial literacy rate at 49.68 percent, Head of Literacy, Inclusion, and Finance at the OJK Aman Sentosa informed.

"The point is: indeed, there is still a gap between sharia finance literacy and conventional finance literacy. But this, we still need to be grateful because there is some improvement, despite being far below the rate of conventional finance literacy," he said at the Indonesia Sharia Finance Olympiad (ISFO) here on Monday.

The gap between the two variables needs to be made smaller through massive information dissemination among the people, including students, about sharia finance so as to improve their literacy on the topic, he added.

Sentosa highlighted the risk of people falling victim to fraudulent schemes if they are not well-informed about the aspect—to the point that they may lose their trust in financial services providers as a whole.

"Low financial literacy leads to intense dissatisfaction and high rates of public complaints to the Financial Services Authority about financial services, including reports about faux investments, illegal lenders," he elaborated.

At the same event, Secretary General of the Indonesian Association of Islamic Economists (IAEI) Astera Primanto Bhakti said Indonesians do not have a really good grasp of sharia finance yet, despite the need for such understanding growing ever more vital each year.

"There is always the dichotomy of conventional versus sharia among the people. when, in (reality), there are many sharia economy activities done by people, for example, transactions which begin with akad (Islamic contract)," Bhakti pointed out.

The OJK hosted the ISFO, a quiz competition on sharia economy and finance, as part of an effort to improve people's, particularly students’, sharia financial literacy, he added.

He said he expects that the three winners of the competition would help spread knowledge about sharia economy and finance among others.

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Translator: Sanya Dinda Susanti, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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