By: Deji Aroloye

Disruption is one of the buzzwords thrown around in today’s business world. While we may say the word is being overused, the forces of disruption are sweeping across across industries and transforming organisations at a faster pace.

Africa is the world’s second largest continent in terms of land area and population. It has a growing youth population and abundance of mineral resources. Despite this huge potential, Africa is still faced with myriads of challenges which include high unemployment rate, poverty, political unrest, and bad leadership.

There is a need to innovate and embrace technological changes for Africa to leapfrog its economy and become successful and relevant in this 21st century. Recently, we have begun to see increase in the adoption of digital technologies on the continent which can be leveraged to drive economic growth and create prosperity for the people in the region.

More people now have access to affordable smartphones and data plans. There are now 525 million internet users according to a report published on the website of Business Insider SA with key countries like Kenya having 83% of its population online while South Africa is 56% and Nigeria is 60%.

Addressing Africa’s Financial Infrastructure deficit

Financial inclusion has become a major key to unlocking shared prosperity and reducing extreme poverty. In Africa, there has been an increase in the growth of financial inclusion from 23% in 2011 to 43% in 2017. Behind these statistics are forward-thinking government policies and digital financial services rendered by African fintech companies.

There was a time sending and receiving money across Africa was almost impossible. That’s why it is not out of place to celebrate the advances and entrepreneurial success digital and mobile payments have brought in the same continent no matter how small they may appear. But there is a greater challenge ahead; about 62 percent of sub-Saharan Africans remain unbanked according to World Bank Global Findex.

Flutterwave rising to the occasion

Flutterwave is one of the Fintech companies solving the pain points in Africa’s financial landscape. Founded in 2016 by two Nigerian entrepreneurs, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola, the company is on a mission to building payment gateway that connects Africa to the global economy. Flutterwave’s products are making it easier for Africans to build global businesses and enabling them to make and accept any payment, anywhere from across Africa and around the world.

Below are two main products offered by Flutterwave:

Rave: The product makes it easier for businesses to accept a range of payment methods include card payments, bank account payments and mobile wallet payments from customers globally. Rave supports over 150 currencies. African businesses can accept debit/credit payments from customers in 154+ countries with credit/debit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Verve and many more.

With Rave, customers in the US, South Africa, and Nigeria can safely use their bank accounts to pay directly to merchants in Africa. Mobile transfer services like M-Cash, M-Pesa, TIGO, MTN, and VODAFONE are also connected to Flutterwave integrated platform.

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Barter: The product is designed to encourage a healthy financial lifestyle and help people to make smart decisions on how to spend and save money. From the Barter App, Peer-to-Peer payments, management of Subscriptions, and borrowing money to foot bills can be done with ease and in a faster manner. There is also analytics to show spending patterns and insights. The App has about 30,0000 users according to the information on the company’s website.

Flutterwave’s Partnerships and Milestones

Some milestones that Flutterwave has recorded are worthy of mention. In 2018, the company announced it had been able to process about $2.5 billion worth of transactions through its innovative product, Rave, within two years of the company’s operation.

In another feat, the company secured a partnership with Chinese eCommerce giant, Alibaba, which allows Flutterwave to be integrated to Alipay with all its merchants having access to over 1 billion Alipay users.

Funding has also been raised by the payment company since its inception three years ago. In 2016, Flutterwave raised over $10 million in a Series A round of funding led by Greycroft Partners and Green Visor Capital. Y Combinator and Glynn Capita also participated in the investment.

Concerns about safety of online transactions

Today, people are concerned whether digital payment services are secure, safe and reliable. Thanks to the online fraudulent transactions that have left sad experiences for not a few. However, Flutterwave provides its customers with secure and trusted payment solutions. It has strived to ensure compliance with both global standards of data protection and security and local regulatory measures.