There are over 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria and most of them lack access to the digital economy- a global interconnection of computers and network infrastructures through which goods and services change hands across the world.
Today’s global economy is driven in the digital space provided by companies with the requisite infrastructure for electronic payments and e-commerce. In recent years, Nigeria’s apex bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced measures to deepen and expand financial inclusion to connect Nigerian businesses to the digital world.
Also, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the CBN have partnered to ensure that licenced Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) make available telecommunications infrastructure and services to deposit money banks (DMBs) to drive micro, small, medium and large businesses
Recently, the CBN granted a switching and processing license to Flutterwave, Africa’s leading payments technology company to offer transaction switching and card processing services to customers including non-bank acquiring, agency banking and payment gateway services.
The licence enables transactions between banks, fintechs and other financial institutions. It also able to process card transactions, participate in agency banking and offer various payment services without any intermediary. Prior to this, the company operated with its Payment Solution Service Provider (PSSP) and International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) licences.
“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,” said CEO and founder of Flutterwave, Olugbenga GB Agboola.
This digital payment gateway will offer more services and explore more payment use cases for its ecosystem. With this license, it offer more value to MSMEs while taking more control of its value chain to enable an improved payments experience for enterprise, medium scale and retail customers.
Following on that step, it has added Nigeria’s eNaira as a payment option for merchants, a move that could help boost adoption of the digital currency. eNaira is a digital currency issued and regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria as a medium of exchange and store of value.
It was launched on October 25, 2021 by CBN and is available to users with or without a bank account, as they only need to register and access the wallet via the eNaira mobile app.
Another option beckoning on SMEs is the Google Pay, a mobile payment service, developed by Google, as a payment method on Flutterwave which will serve as an additional payment option for merchants for business. This collaboration will offer safe and seamless payments, as well as convenient checkout experiences for customers.
Google Pay is a safe, simple, and helpful way to make contactless payments in store, and also payments in apps and on the web. Users store their cards for Google Pay in Google Wallet, a digital wallet app that is available on supported Android smartphones, tablets or watches.
The GooglePay payment option will attract more international customers and increase the current success rates for businesses on Flutterwave. Integrating with Google pay will allow users across the globe to participate in the booming e-commerce ecosystem in Africa. It will enable us to further fulfill our promise of creating endless possibilities for all.
What this means is that it will enable businesses across the world to expand their operations in Africa and other emerging markets through a platform that enables cross-border transactions via one Application Programme Interface (API) and reach over one million other businesses globally.
The key advantage is international payment processing for Nigerian MSMEs in 150 currencies and multiple payment modes including local and international cards, mobile wallets, bank transfers, Barter by Flutterwave etc and an infrastructure reach in over 34 African countries, including Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa etc.