Flutterwave, the largest payments firm in Africa by value, has announced plans to establish its primary operations station in Nairobi, Kenya for the larger East African market.
The company had faced previous allegations of being involved in money laundering activities in Kenya, which led to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission shutting down several of its bank accounts in the country, and the state freezing over $52 million of Flutterwave’s funds.
However, Flutterwave Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Olugbenga Agboola’s visit to Kenya resolved the issue, leading to the release of the frozen funds.
Flutterwave failed to acquire payment services from the Central Bank of Kenya, but the company’s opening of a regional office in Nairobi could change this.
On the other side, the firm is now a fully licensed payments firm in Rwanda, having secured an Electronic Money Issuer license, which allows the company to acquire all types of payment instruments.
The licenses will allow Flutterwave customers to access other services, such as money deposits and withdrawals, electronic transfers, as well as outbound and inbound remittance services to more than 13 million people in Rwanda.
MSMEs in Rwanda make up 97% of businesses and contribute 55% to the GDP, and Flutterwave will reportedly offer Send by Flutterwave and Flutterwave for Business products in the country to support the growing e-commerce market.
Mr Agboola stressed the company’s commitment to connecting Africa through payments and providing tools for MSMEs to boost the economy and support business expansion.
Flutterwave’s East Africa Regional Lead, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Leah Uwihoreye, said, “The licenses will enable us to provide safe, secure and seamless payment services for individuals and businesses in Rwanda. This is a starting point for Flutterwave as we continue to expand across East Africa.”