Microsoft, Flutterwave To Fast-Track Payment Innovation In Africa

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Microsoft, Flutterwave To Fast-Track Payment Innovation In Africa
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Microsoft has announced a five-year strategic technology partnership with Flutterwave. Flutterwave will build its next generation platform on Microsoft’s Azure, with the goal of fast-tracking payment innovation in Africa and, in so doing, accelerating the growth of small businesses across the continent. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to Africa’s progress and development.

According to estimates, about 90 per cent of the continent’s population is employed by SMEs. Beyond employment, these businesses are often at the forefront of innovation, providing solutions to Africa’s most pressing societal challenges. Though small businesses and startups are the bedrock of the African economy, they are required to navigate enormous obstacles simply to succeed.

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A key challenge for SMEs and startups is a lack of access to financial services and the inability to transact seamlessly across local payment methods. While about 90 per cent of transactions in Africa are still cash-based, as many as half of small businesses are without access to credit.

“To drive sustainable growth in Nigeria, small businesses need the ability to participate more actively in the local and even global marketplace. This begins with digital financial inclusion. If we want to build a more resilient country and ultimately a more prosperous continent, we must begin by giving these businesses the digital financial services they need, not just to survive, but to thrive,” says Ola Williams, Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria.

Flutterwave’s mission has been exactly that – helping businesses overcome challenges surrounding access to financial services and connecting them to the global stage. It does this by enabling multiple payment modes, including local and international cards, mobile wallets and bank transfers. In fact, since inception, Flutterwave has made important inroads around the democratisation of payments in Africa.

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