Flutterwave establishes partnership with Discover Financial Services: Increases reach to over 270 million new customers

Take a flutter on the African tech ecosystem: The Flutterwave debacle - Startup Lagos

In an announcement on Thursday, 19th of August, 2021, Flutterwave celebrated a successful partnership with US-based e-commerce services company, Discover Financial Services, which would see them within reach of a 270 million market of users. This new partnership sees Flutterwave with a wider variety of options for its existing customers to accept payments globally.

Discover Financial Services offers their Discover Global Network cards that have a broad base of users across more than 200 countries, with alliance partners in Brazil, India, South Korea and Turkey. In the year 2020 alone, the company had spent over $450 billion in its network. Between 2010 to 2019, the company had grown significantly at a 62% rate, branching across many countries, and offering value to its teeming customers. Flutterwave hopes to consolidate on that user network.

With the significant milestones in closed investment deals and novel innovations in the fintech space, many fintechs are building cohesive digital payments infrastructures that make it seamless for customers to accept and make payments to any part of the world. This reach is expanding more and more, as investors’ funds are giving these startups greater financial and operational muscle to accomplish the ultimate goal of financial inclusion on the continent.

Flutterwave, which just attained the unicorn status earlier this year, after raising over $170 million in Series C, is intent on establishing its foothold in the fintech space, and across Africa. Founded by Africans in Africa, this startup is making the continent proud with its mammoth strides. This new partnership deal with Discover Financial Services will offer the company the opportunity to broaden its customer base, as more flexible options for payment would woo in more customers to make use of the product. Also, the financial payments company would leverage on the global network of users of Discover Financial Services to draw in even more customers.

Earlier this year, after the unicorn success, Olugbenga Agboola had told Reuters that the next step would be to grow partnerships within the payments services space. These considerations also come in view of how the successful fintech company hopes to exit. There have been speculations that the company is considering the possibility of listing in New York or a possible dual listing in New York and Nigeria.

We believe in payments in partnerships as you have to partner to scale. So, if in the course of making partnerships and scaling and we identify promising companies with a similar ethos, and have our vision in mind, that is in making Africa a country, an acquisition isn’t off the table.

While many pundits are speculating the buy-off of any of the big traditional banks by one of these greatly successful fintechs, others opine that we may rather see the acquisition of these African fintechs by bigger global platforms. Prof. Ndubuisi Ekekwe opines,

Yes, I am expecting Flutterwave to make its major acquisition before the end of Q4 2021. Any fintech with core value provision will become a natural suitor because the company has the capacity to unlock more resources for deals.

It will be interesting to watch as things unfold in the fintech space in Africa, especially with all the interest that the sector is drawing globally. Fintech definitely is changing the face of Africa.

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