Flutterwave wants to follow eNaira with more e-currencies for merchants: CFO

By David Whitehouse
Posted on Thursday, 6 October 2022 06:00

The Flutterwave Inc. booth at the Africa Tech Summit in Nairobi, Kenya, 23 February 2022. © Patrick Meinhardt/Bloomberg via Getty

Nigerian fintech unicorn Flutterwave wants to add more e-currencies as payment options for merchants after adopting Nigeria’s eNaira in September, Chief Financial Officer Oneal Bhambani tells The Africa Report.

New payment options could be additional national e-currencies or other crypto currencies, subject to national regulations, Bhambani says. “The future is very bright for the eNaira. If it helps merchants to get more revenue then we will endeavour to integrate them.”

“We follow our customers,” Bhambani says. “As more digital currencies come about, our mission is to make the process seamless for merchants.” The potential for further digital penetration in Africa far exceeds that in the rest of the world, he added.

Flutterwave, based in San Francisco and Lagos, is valued at over $3bn after raising $250m in a Series D funding round in February. Bhambani joined from American Express, where he was CFO of the Kabbage fintech. He became Flutterwave CFO in June, and says his aim is to “position the company for the next stage of growth” ahead of its potential Nasdaq IPO.

  • He declined to give guidance on IPO timing, adding that it is part of the “overall mandate” for his role.

The company is planning to expand into two new geographical markets, Bhambani says, without elaborating. Flutterwave, which added Google Pay as a payment option for merchants in September, is currently supported in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, as well as western countries. The company is also preparing to launch a new lending product for businesses by the end of the year. The product is currently being piloted with a limited number of customers.

Preparations for a possible IPO have been complicated by suspension of the company’s bank accounts in Kenya and accusations of fraud. The Kenyan authorities have said the Nigerian firm does not have approval to conduct cross-border payments in the country. The company has denied the allegations.

“We engaged the relevant people we said we were going to engage,” Bhambani says, reiterating the company’s previous statements.

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