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Nigerian fintech targets Kenya SMEs for growth

mobile money
Kenyans moved Sh4.35 trillion through their mobile phones last year. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

San Francisco and Lagos-based fintech start-up Flutterwave plans to grow its customer base in Kenya twofold and increase the volume of annual transactions by targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Flutterwave, which provides a payment service for global merchants and payment service providers processed 107 million transactions worth $5.4 billion (Sh543 billion) globally, according to company data.

“Kenya is our largest market after Nigeria. We want to grow in this space by targeting the SMEs which are the backbone of the Kenyan economy,” said Flutterwave Kenya country director and East Africa business head Elizaphan Mouko in an interview with the Business Daily.

Besides Nigeria and Kenya, the start-up also operates, in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, the UK and Rwanda.

The company’s payment gateway facilitates banks and businesses in Africa to process payments on the continent and abroad. Key investors include Mastercard and Greycroft Ventures. Additionally, the company has partnered with Visa and Alibaba’s “Alipay.”

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Launched in 2016, Flutterwave allows clients to tap its systems and work with Flutterwave developers to customise payments applications. Existing customers include Uber, Booking.com and e-commerce company Jumia.

In July 2019, the start-up joined forces with Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba’s Alipay to offer digital payments between Africa and China.

Kenyans moved Sh4.35 trillion through their mobile phones last year, fresh data by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) shows, pointing to the growing significance of the digital marketplace.

The total transactions rose by Sh361.39 billion compared to the amount that was transacted in 2018.

This means that an average Sh11.91 billion was transacted on mobile phones daily between January-December 2019 — some Sh990 million higher than the Sh10.92 billion daily average in 2018. The overall mobile payments in 2018 amounted to Sh3.98 trillion.

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