June 15, 2020

Flutterwave, the online payment gateway in Africa

by Jens Ischebeck

With the growing online presence of businesses in Africa, there has been a growing need for dependable and affordable online payment methods. 

Before I get into the details about Flutterwave and what other methods are available in Africa, let me explain what payment gateway means.

In simple terms, payment gateway means an e-commerce service that processes, verify, accept or rejects direct payments or payments by card on behave of the merchants through an encrypted internet connection.

In short, it acts as a mediator between the merchant and the customers to ease processing of online payments. Similarly, it’s critical since it provides transaction information between payment portal and the front-end processor or a bank.

What is Flutterwave?

Flutterwave is a popular API that makes it convenient for banks and businesses across Africa to process e-payments. Flutterwave lifts the burden and expenses of making payments from businesses and banks. Additionally, users can make payments, pay for subscriptions and manage their finances.

The company was founded in 2016 and has its headquarters in San Francisco. However, since the company is focused on revolutionizing e-payments across Africa, it has offices in Nairobi, Lagos, Accra, and Johannesburg to ease its operations in Africa.

Is Flutterwave the best online payment gateway for Africa?

The answer to this question is YES. This is because Flutterwave has a main agenda to inspire a new wave of success across the African continent through building payments infrastructure that connects the continent to the global business market.

Importantly, Flutterwave has made it possible for Africa to create global level business that accepts payments from within Africa and across the globe. This is very critical towards the idea of opening up the continent to the rest of the world and gives it a better competitive advantage in terms of technological advancements.

The other reason why I chose it as the best payment gateway is because Flutterwave enables the involved parties manage their finances in their local currency. This means that local transactions are not affected by the world currency exchange rates.

For effectiveness, Flutterwave has two unique products that are very well structured to ease transactions. The two include Flutterwave Barter and Flutterwave Rave where Barter is a financial App that helps you perform normal banking functionalities with extra solutions above other normal banking apps available across Africa. The app has two plans namely Barter Premium Plan and Barter Classic Plan.

The Barter Classic Plan is for the common residents and available for most individuals due to its low fees. However, there is a limit of two dollar cards with a limitation of $129 on bank transfers per day.

On the Barter Premium Plan, the customers enjoy exclusive features and costs only 0.12$ per month. Unlike in classic, here there is no limit to dollar cards creation and transfer limit is $517 per day.

Additionally, in both Barter plans, they are amazingly low transaction charges.  For example if you are in Nigeria, you are charged 52N (0.13$) for local transactions but with Barter the charges are lower. Also, they have no maintenance charges.

What is amazing is that you can use a receipt’s WhatsApp number to send them money from a Barter dashboard.

On the other hand, Flutterwave Rave is an easy payment gateway that helps you to accept, and make payments across the globe. With Rave, it is easy to receive and make payments in a secure network, thus no worries about loss of money.

To rap it up, when you integrate your business with Flutterwave, enjoy reliable, high-tech and secure payment solutions.  Additionally, their support team is available 24/7 and their fees are reasonable. Similarly, setting up is free, easy to navigate interface, supports multiple currencies and supports all card payments. Therefore, it’s true to conclude that Flutterwave is the best choice for Africa.

Flutterwave competitors

However, it’s important to know that there are other payment gateways available in African market. These include:

  • Voguepay which is a Nigerian based payment gateway with a global coverage.
  • PayPal. Founded in 1998, PayPal is an established MasterCard and credit card payments gateway with free signup cost. 
  • Skrill, which is a UK based e-payment gateway for both consumers and businesses.
  • Paystack. A very popular payment gateway for African businesses that provides very secure online payments.