Flutterwave, Nigeria’s foremost fintech, has obtained payment services provider and payments facilitator licenses from the National Bank of Egypt.
This is part of the company’s move to expand into North Africa.
In 2021, Flutterwave disclosed that it would expand its payments network to Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia by Q1 2021 with the announcement of its $170 million Series C investment.
The National Bank of Egypt has granted the Nigerian-founded fintech startup payment services provider and payment facilitator licenses.
“The licenses will enable us to be the go-to payment processor and digital transformation partner for global settlements in Egypt, which enables our customers to expand quickly within or outside of the country. This, for us, is the beginning of other strategic wins in the North Africa and Middle East regions,” Aalaa Gamal, Flutterwave’s North Africa Expansion Lead, said.
Although it is unclear when the operations began, the African fintech unicorn recently hired Omar Marwan, an ex-business development manager at Opay, as its country commercial lead in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa region, and has since hired and is still hiring for other roles in the region.
According to Mordor Intelligence, the digital payments market in North Africa and the Middle East will increase at a compound annual rate of 13.3% until 2026, driven by mobile phone and internet usage.
Flutterwave will use the licenses to function as an official payment service provider in the country, collecting payments on behalf of its customers and settling payments locally and globally.
These licenses will also allow Flutterwave to install the Flutterwave for Business suite of products in Egypt, which includes the store, payment connections, invoices, and checkout.
Since its inception, the company has processed over 200 million transactions totaling more than $16 billion in 34 African nations, including Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, and South Africa.
Flutterwave supports cross-border transactions in several currencies for global corporations such as Uber, and the new licenses will let the company support multinational enterprises entering or expanding in Egypt.
“We are proud to have been granted [these licences] in Egypt, which form part of our international expansion strategy,” stated Flutterwave CEO and Founder Olugbenga GB Agboola in a statement obtained by Gadgets Africa
This announcement comes just a few days after the corporation began making inroads in Kenya, where it encountered a number of regulatory obstacles. The Kenyan Asset Recovery Agency exonerated the Nigerian fintech of money laundering allegations leveled against it seven months ago. However, it is unknown whether the company has a license in an East African country.