In 2020, Flutterwave expanded its operations into Rwanda with a payment service provider, as part of its East African expansion drive. "Rwanda is one of the easiest countries we have been able to penetrate because we were able to get our licence very easy, quickly and fast," Olugbenga Agboola, Flutterwave's co-founder and CEO, said at the time.
Three years later, the African unicorn has acquired two more licenses from the National Bank of Rwanda; to provide remittance and also operate as an electronic money issuer. "With [these licenses], we will leverage our extensive global reach and continuous growth in emerging markets to provide MSMEs in Rwanda with the tools they need to stimulate the economy, facilitate seamless cross-border transactions for Rwandans and support the expansion drive of global and Rwandan businesses," Agboola said in a statement seen by Benjamindada.com.
According to Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Rwanda account for about 97% of businesses and contribute almost 55% to the total GDP.
The company said it will deploy a range of products in Rwanda, including Send by Flutterwave, its cross-border money transfer solution. "Also available will be Flutterwave for Business and its suite of products, including Store, payment links, invoices and checkout to help individuals and businesses in Rwanda make the most of the booming eCommerce market," Yewande Akomolafe-Kalu, Head, Branding and Storytelling at Flutterwave, stated.
"As Rwanda continues executing important reforms to enhance the ease of doing business and implementing its Fintech Strategy 2022-2027, Flutterwave keeps contributing towards achieving a cashless economy by innovating and employing digital technology to support businesses and stimulate the economic growth of countries where we operate," Leah Uwihoreye, Flutterwave’s East Africa Regional Lead, Regulatory and Government Affairs, said. "The licenses will enable us to provide safe, secure and seamless payment services for individuals and businesses in Rwanda. This is definitely a starting point for Flutterwave as we continue to expand across East Africa." Currently, in East Africa, Flutterwave operates in Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.
The fintech company which has come under several regulatory issues in the region have been on a license acquisition spree. Last month, Flutterwave obtained payment services provider and payment facilitator licenses from the National Bank of Egypt, as part of its North African expansion strategy.
In 2022, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) granted Flutterwave a switching and processing license—CBN's most valuable payment processing license. Prior to this license, Flutterwave operated in Nigeria with its Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) and International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) licenses.