Flutterwave, a Lagos and San Francisco-based fintech startup, has tied up with China’s leading e-commerce company Alibaba to promote digital transactions between Alipay and African merchants.
The Nigerian B2B payments platform allows African companies to send out payments to other firms around the world. 2013-launched Alipay, on the other hand, is the digital wallet of Alibaba. With more than 1 billion active users, it claims a huge global network that has since surpassed that of PayPal in payments volume.
Flutterwave is very much one of the bedrocks of African finance. Its partnership with Alipay which has a large network in China, will help Alibaba capture payments activities between Africa and China, whose volume has been put at USD 200 Bn.
There’s also a catch for Flutterwave, as being integrated with Alipay now gives all of its merchants access to more than 1 billion users on the Alibaba product. “Alipay is available in addition to card, Barter, Mobile Money and other payment channels on the Rave checkout modal,” the company said in a statement.
“We’ve set out to provide the complete payment solution for Africans to thrive in the global economy. The complete payment solution would first require interconnectivity within Africa, then connectivity from Africa to the world,” says Flutterwave.
The Flutterwave/AliPay connection is probably the biggest thing to ever happen to African tech if we understand the full implication. China is in play guys. Over One BILLION users are in play. I have always said, don’t build for Africa…..alone! 😂— Victor Asemota (@asemota) July 29, 2019
The Flutterwave/AliPay connection is probably the biggest thing to ever happen to African tech if we understand the full implication. China is in play guys. Over One BILLION users are in play. I have always said, don’t build for Africa…..alone! 😂
Flutterwave has been able to connect African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda with one another. This makes cross-border payments easy for several companies.
“So it was about time we connected Africa to the world. We started with the U.S already, but you can’t connect Africa to the world without China”.
Flutterwave has just partnered with Alipay. There is a high probability that you'll be able to pay your Chinese import agents directly with your naira.— Young Fellanthrophist 🇿🇦🇨🇦 (@Honcho_Honips) July 30, 2019
Flutterwave has just partnered with Alipay. There is a high probability that you'll be able to pay your Chinese import agents directly with your naira.
The Flutterwave-Alipay collaboration is but one of the many ways Chinese companies are establishing their presence in Africa. Even Alibaba founder Jack Ma himself has made many trips to the continent for one reason or the other; it’s evident that China sees economic potential in Africa.
This March, Ma unveiled USD 1 Mn for the African Netpreneur Prize for African Startups.
Earlier this year, Flutterwave entered a collaboration with Visa, and the team-up launched GeBarter, a consumer payment product for Africa.
Just a few weeks ago, Chinese-owned Opera launched a USD 55 Mn venture spending in a bid to bolster its digital commercial network in West Africa. Meanwhile, top smartphone seller Transsion, has balanced in Ethiopia under its Tecno brand.
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