FLUTTERWAVE: the million-dollar fintech company
Flutterwave is a digital payment platform which enables users of a particular product pay for services rendered to service providers in their local currency without any hassle or stress.
In essence, Flutterwave can be seen as “middle-man,” which stands in-between the service provider, the customer, and the bank by integrating them into its platform for ease of business. Flutterwave allows its clients to tap to its API (Application Programming Interface) in conjunction with Flutterwave’s developers to customise payment applications. Some of its clients include Arikair.com, Jumia, Uber, etc.
It was founded in 2016 after its co-founders Iyinoluwa Aboyeji and Olugbenga Agboola worked alongside a team comprising of bankers and software engineers from Standard Bank, Google Wallet, Andela, PayPal, etc. Flutterwave helps African businesses establish themselves globally by smoothing the exchange of funds for more than 150 currencies. It is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, and Johannesburg.
Flutterwave currently has two main products:
Barter is a revolutionary service created to help clients in making monetary transactions online with ease.
Before the advent of Barter Nigerians who had only Nigerian debit cards found it almost impossible to pay for services on Amazon, Netflix, Apple Music, etc.
To solve this challenge, Barter was introduced. It allows users create virtual dollar debit cards in seconds which in turn can be used to carry out such transactions without any hassles. This virtual dollar card can be used multiple times for transactions in dollars.
Unlike all other payment platforms where strict identification is required, and approval takes a longer time to process, Barter requires only a valid/working email address and a phone number and then relies on the customer details gotten by the user’s bank.
Another feature of interest from Barter that can be accessed easily via its app, is that users can make monetary requests from other users on the app, where such request could either be accepted or declined respectively.
Now, assuming you and a couple of your friends contribute N1,000 at the end of every week for something you all want to get, you can make a request on the app by simply inputting the amount you need (N1,000), what the money is meant for, followed by the person’s phone number or email and your pin and send. This then shows a notification on the receiver’s dashboard that you need the N1,000 for the specified reason and the receiver can either accept or decline the said request.
Barter has really breached the gap in the way people perform transactions.
A snippet of money request on Barter App
I sometimes refer to it as the “Big bro” in the online payment providers ecosystem.
Barter dollar account does not allow
- Someone to buy or exchange cryptocurrencies
- Money Transfer and on currency trading sites
Some other features of Barter include:
- It allows you to manage your payments and subscriptions (DStv, Gotv, Mobile data, Electricity bills, etc.), where you can pay via QR (you simply scan the QR code to make payments).
- Its service charge to banks is cheaper than what traditional banks require.
- It gives cash back for mobile top up requests.
- It also makes you have sufficient control over what you are spending.
- Allows you to save up for that future project you want to work on later.
- Request for loans.
This is another service introduced by Flutterwave. It is an online payment gateway where payments can be made and accepted from anywhere in the world with ease. Its primary goal is to enable the ease of transactions.
All transactions made using Rave by Flutterwave is encrypted. As expected of any secure payment gateway, Rave by Flutterwave ensures you authenticate payments made with your card using a one-time password, among other options (USSD or direct debit).
You can sign up for a free Rave account and enjoy the features mentioned above from https://rave.flutterwave.com/signup
In 2017, because of Flutterwave’s revolutionary payment solutions, it received $10 million in funding from American venture capitalists. One of its co-founders Iyinoluwa Aboyeji was featured in a special piece by CNN Money.
Also, for its excellent work in the digital payment niche, Flutterwave was awarded as the ‘Best Payments Company’ at the Ghana eCommerce Awards Ceremony in 2018.
According to the company, it has processed 100 million transactions worth $2.6 billion since inception.
In 2019, to foster the payment transaction between China and Africa, Flutterwave partnered with, Alipay, Alibaba’s digital wallet and payments platform. In 2013, Alipay surpassed PayPal in payments volume and currently claims a global network of more than 1 billion active users, per Alibaba’s latest earnings report. The partnership and integration is expected to capture payment activity around $200 billion.
As part of its goal in reaching out to the next generation, Flutterwave collaborated with Greensprings School, where her students were taken on a 4-weeks internship, and they were able to design two fintech products, which will soon be launched into the market.
From these yearly recognitions, it is evident how Flutterwave is among the best online payment providers. There are many advantages associated with Flutterwave, which include:
- Zero set-up fee policy: Its zero set-up fee policy is a great incentive for start-up and small-medium enterprises(SME’s).
- Different currency transactions: The Rave platform accepts multiple currencies transactions, i.e. you can be in Nigeria, and someone in the U.S. can pay for your service.
However, since a lot of its clients also conduct their business offline, there is a need to integrate some new methods to exploit this opportunity like introducing point of sale (POS) machine for their clients’ offline business.