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The Force Of Fintech

The Force Of Fintech



Financial Technology is not new. As long as financial services have been, so also has FinTech been – in one form or another. FinTech has evolved and disrupted – or attempted – and revolutionised payments, investments, asset management, commerce etc. One of such platforms that has led this revolution from Nigeria to the global scene is Flutterwave  – unarguably. We sat down with the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Olugbenga Agboola who tells us his inspiration stems from the knowledge that Flutterwave facilitates secure and seamless payments across the continent that, in turn, connects the African continent to the global economy. He gives us a list:

  • Sports and the drive and tenacity of athletes to see beyond the other competitors and their goal on the finish line. The teamwork of sports such as Formula 1 inspires me. It goes without saying how important this is within a company, your team has to value a culture of togetherness in order to see great results. 
  • Community inspires me. We just organised a job fair for Nigerian software developers and I heard a few whispers on the reason for it but the pure reason was community. Very few people know how much community means to me. We’re nothing without each other. Flutterwave can only do so much but as a community we’re formidable. A strong community works for all of us.

The Transformation

Change is constant, and when a visionary leader assumes a major role in a disruptive organisation, you definitely expect something big. With confidence, Olugbenga tells us that “in 2018, we processed $1bn USD in transaction value for over 25,000 businesses using our platform. By April of this year, we had processed the same $1bn USD and as at July, we had processed $2bn USD. Our company has also noted remarkable strides in the last year: Partnering with banks to provide Pay with Bank Transfer to our payment stack; signed a partnership with Alipay of China; launched Instant Settlement for our Nigerian merchants.”

Lessons From The Nigerian Market

If you are a Nigerian – or not an alien – you know you learn from everything every other day; the Nigerian market is a vessel of knowledge, indeed. For Olugbenga, it is “opportunities of financial inclusion and the “opportunity to grow ecommerce exists and fintech holds the key to unlocking it by building trust.”

Unique Selling Point

Without hesitation, he says, “We build what the market needs. When we took a look at the most popular money transfer method in Nigeria which is online bank transfers, we knew we had to give our merchants the opportunity to take advantage. Now, Flutterwave merchants are experiencing a payment method which has a phenomenal success rate. Similarly, we’re creating stronger economic ties with China via our Alipay integration. Right now, we’re going ahead to build the trust needed to grow ecommerce in Nigeria via a web page that helps identify and resolve any debit alert issues within 48 hours. It’s www.flutterwave.com/why. You should check it out.”

Hmm…don’t take what people already have to the market, create something out of a need. 

Staying Strong – In Fierce Competition

This is something you want to hear from a platform that has competition at every junction – home and abroad. Olugbenga starts, telling us ‘focus’ is paramount. It is the mission. He adds: “Our mission is beyond us as a people or a collective. Our mission to grow Nigeria’s economy and to a larger extent, Africa’s economy is making the difference. We’re connecting Africa faster than anyone else, such that if you want to expand your business this minute to Kenya, by being our merchant, you don’t need any licenses or anything. Just go to Kenya and accept payments and it’s business as usual. We’re making payment collection seamless.”

Core Principles And Values

The FinTech expert says Flutterwave’s five core values are: “We’re customer-focused. We build trust capital. We’re loyal to one another. We communicate respectfully. We create and innovate.”

He adds that people would usually pick respectful communication as the sole principle – something he strictly disagrees with. “I think it’s all five. For instance, as Africans, we’re very creative. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t see creations on social media by young Africans that doesn’t make me marvel. Listen to our music, see how creative we are. We’re amazing.”

The Future

In the next five years, we should expect the year to be 2024. I’m kidding though. I think there’s a lot the future holds for us and we’re just getting started. five years is an especially long time for the kind of innovation we have planned so I’ll say just watch out.”

For Young Entrepreneurs

It’s about that time where we learn from the grand master himself. Or, at least, a master of the FinTech market. Read on. 

“Focus. Tune out the noise. You need to get your head in the right place first. When your head is in the right place, you can carefully evaluate you and your situation and see the tiny advantages you have. The advantages are there but they’re not always obvious. Find them and harness them. Tune out the noise and listen to your customers only, they’re the ones that matter. Tune out the noise and believe in yourself and your journey. Again, tune out the noise.”

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