Not quite long after attaining unicorn status, Flutterwave is in the news again for good. The boisterous fintech company, that has taken the world of payment by storm, announced on Thursday it’s partnering with Africa’s largest network provider, the MTN Group, to facilitate mobile payment across Africa.
The partnership will enable Flutterwave to onboard MTN’s mobile money platform, MTN MoMo, which provides consumers and businesses with an electronic wallet, enabling electronic transfers and payments as well as access to digital and financial services.
Besides acquisition, Partnership with existing payments platforms has become another viable strategy for fintech companies seeking to expand to new markets. Many of them in the African market have partnered with mobile network providers who offer mobile money services, as it is an easy way to reach the underserved.
With their customer-base counting to millions of users, mobile money operators offer fintech companies such as Flutterwave, a sort of already-made customers to incorporate into their networks.
This new partnership will enable Flutterwave to offer MTN Mobile Money as a payment method to its business customers, the company said in a statement.
MTN MoMo which had 48.9 million active users and 581,514 merchants as of June 2021, will help Flutterwave to integrate markets in many African countries where MoMo services are operational.
“As we progress on our journey to becoming the largest fintech platform in Africa, we will empower millions of businesses to embrace e-commerce in our markets to accept digital payments from MoMo consumers. We believe this is an enabler to accelerating digitized payments in Africa. Building strong ecosystems through partnerships is central to our platform strategy and we will continue to invest in expanding the reach of our platform to consumers and businesses in Africa,” Serigne Dioum, MTN Group Chief Digital and Fintech Officer said:
The partnership will allow businesses integrating Flutterwave in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia to receive payments via MTN Mobile Money. The company said it will enable them to expand on its previous collaboration with MTN, beyond Uganda and Rwanda – with the potential of deepening adoption of digital payments and e-commerce in Africa.
The fintech and mobile telecom industries in Africa are both witnessing a boom, presenting opportunities for future economic growth that strategic partnership between players in the industries will help to achieve.
This year, Africa is projected to hit the half a billion mark of unique mobile subscribers and the continent will reach 50% subscriber penetration by 2025, according to the GSMA. Data from Statista also noted that Sub-Saharan Africa alone is responsible for more than 45% of the world’s mobile money accounts with the number of account holders exceeding half a billion by 2020.
Flutterwave said its partnership with MTN will positively contribute to this trend by increasing mobile money usage and penetration in Africa to improve local economies and livelihoods as well as create opportunities for individuals and businesses across the continent.
“Africa has one of the highest growth rates for mobile money adoption and e-commerce in the world. It makes sense that we help provide a seamless payment method to support and ensure African businesses reap the full benefits of the e-commerce boom in the region. Our goal has always been to grow a new wave of prosperity in Africa by creating more avenues for businesses in Africa to accept payments. With this partnership, we can achieve this while creating endless possibilities for our customers,” Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said.