Inside Flutterwave's plan for Tanzanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Flutterwave has been licensed as a payment services provider by the Bank of Tanzania to support Tanzanian SMEs overcome challenges presented by the nation's fragmented payment infrastructure.

Inside Flutterwave's plan for Tanzanian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

Flutterwave has gained approval from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to launch its payment service in the Republic of Tanzania.

With the approval, Flutterwave has opened its office in Dar Es Salaam—the largest city and financial hub of Tanzania—with the aim to drive connected digital payments and financial inclusion by enabling merchants and customers to trade efficiently through its platform across the country.

This is expansion is in line with the African fintech giant's plan to deepen its presence in markets across the African continent, as revealed at the Flutterwave 3.0 event.

“We’re excited to be bringing our products to the great businesses and individuals in Tanzania after the Bank of Tanzania approved our license as a payment services provider.” Collins Lagat, Storytelling Marketing Lead in East Africa stated.

According to the fintech startup, its products and services will look to support about 95% of Tanzania’s SMEs that represent about 35% of the country’s GDP overcome challenges presented by the highly fragmented and complex payment and banking infrastructure.

As at January, Flutterwave has processed over 200 million transactions worth over $16 billion across 34 countries in Africa including Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa.

Tanzania is among the world's 10 fastest-growing economies at the rate of 6.8 per cent, according to the 2020 African Economic Outlook report. The report further points out that Tanzania's inflation fell to an estimated 3.3 per cent in 2019 from 3.6 per cent in 2018 due to improved food supply. The Tanzanian shilling was fairly stable in 2019, exchanging at an average of 2,290 to the dollar, compared with 2,263 in 2018.

As of 2018, 81 per cent of digital platforms allowed Tanzanian consumers to pay with credit or debit cards. Additionally, 19 per cent of platforms could receive customer payments from bank accounts. The East African country of Tanzania has a population of 57.31 million people and uses the Tanzanian shilling (TZS) as its currency.

For Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave, “Tanzania has a flourishing SME industry across different business verticals e.g. tourism,  and Flutterwave’s goal is to deploy products and services that enhance and enable small and medium-sized businesses in the country to transact and expand operations to reach new customers and global markets.”

Flutterwave will provide key products and services that include Flutterwave for Business, Flutterwave Store, Flutterwave Market, Send by Flutterwave in addition to introducing customers to other payment partners such as Airtel Money, PayPal, and WorldPay. Last year, the Unicorn partnered with Airtel Money to enhance payment and transaction options for eastern African businesses.

“This expansion will not only benefit businesses in Tanzania but also businesses worldwide that are looking to tap into the Tanzanian market. This expansion takes us one step closer to achieving our goal of making Africa feel like one country through payments.” Nielsimms Sangho, Flutterwave’s East Africa Regional Manager told Benjamindada.com

Related Article: What you need to know about Flutterwave 3.0

What does this mean for businesses in Tanzania?

“Small businesses and solo entrepreneurs in Tanzania can now capitalize on Flutterwave Store to drive their businesses online. Stores allow you to tap into local and global customers.” Lagat said.

With the Flutterwave store, businesses can collect payments in over 150 currencies including Tanzanian Shilling, Dollar. Flutterwave further disclosed that Tanzanian businesses who sign up as merchants will get a chance to have their stories told to the world through its YouTube content series called Business Stories, as well as its Grow My Business webinar series.

Aside from the store, Flutterwave for Business is also available in Tanzania to allow businesses to accept payments from anyone, anywhere in the world. “We have made it even better by allowing you to generate payment links if you don’t have a website.” the fintech startup revealed.

Flutterwave describe the East Africa region as a “significant market for the brand”. With its operations and infrastructure reach in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and other East African countries through its partnership with the likes of Airtel Money, MTN’s MoMo, and Amole, Ethiopia’s largest mobile digital wallet platform.

The fintech unicorn said it will eliminate the significant barriers which have previously barred Tanzanian businesses and consumers from realizing the untapped potential of local and cross-border e-commerce.


Featured image: Flutterwave's 2021 leadership retreat in Zanzibar.