Nigeria’s fintech and Africa’s leading payments technology company, Flutterwave has announced that it has been granted a Switching and Processing License by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Switching and Processing license will enable Flutterwave to be able to process financial transactions for other fintech companies and other financial institutions as well as be able to issue payment cards to customers without the need to rely on any other intermediary.
The licence is regarded across the industry as CBN’s most valuable licence for any fintech company to acquire. Prior to this, Flutterwave has operated with the Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) and International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) license.
Commenting on the latest development, CEO and Founder, Olugbenga GB Agboola, said:
“This is big news for our customers, partners, investors, and other stakeholders. It is an important milestone in our growth story. Building a thriving payments ecosystem in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is in line with our goal of developing a world-class and secure payment infrastructure for global merchants and payment service providers across the continent.”
On his part, Flutterwave’s Chief Regulatory and Government Affairs Officer, Oluwabankole Falade expressed excitement in finally having to obtain the license after passing a rigorous process which involves meeting some regulatory requirements demanded by the CBN.
“We’re thrilled to have been issued this license after fulfilling all of the regulatory requirements. The application process was very rigorous and included a detailed review of our operations as a business. As a switch, we have more responsibilities and will continue to work with Regulators to ensure we meet and exceed their expectations.”
He noted that the application and review process by the CBN was tough and rigorous and that it required an examination of every aspect of Flutterwave’s business, including the company’s financial position.
Similarly, Onyedikachim Nwankwo, Head of Product Marketing said:
“The license will allow us to offer more services and explore more payment use cases for our ecosystem. With this license, we can offer more value to our customers while taking more control of our value chain to enable an improved payments experience for our enterprise, medium scale, and retail customers.”
Flutterwave’s need for licenses
This latest development is a respite for Flutterwave. The beleaguered fintech company has been in the news for not-so-good reports.
Recall that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) sent out a circular last month to all financial institutions that are in partnership with Flutterwave and ChipperCash to cease working with the fintech companies.
This, the CBK Governor, Patrick Njoroge said during a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, is due to the fact that the company has not been licenced to operate in Kenya.
Later, the company in a mail, announced that the Barter card, the virtual dollar card service will be unavailable to users from Sunday, July 17, 2022. The mail apportioned the shutdown of the service to “due to an update from their card partner, which had caused the card service to be unavailable for an extended period of time.”
In a similar vein, Flutterwave had its fund of up to Sh400.6 million ($3.3 million) in three different bank accounts and about 19 Safaricom M-Pesa pay bill numbers frozen by the Kenyan High Court after it had previously frozen Sh6.2 billion ($59.2 million) of the company’s assets in July. Some industry watchers are of the opinion that the company’s travails might be owing to its lack of a license.
What has become clear with its recent high-level recruitments and license acquisition is that the company is aggressively working to change its position.