Flutterwave’s Tuition Is The Latest Play In Its Ambitious Ecosystem Plan
Flutterwave, a leading payments technology company and Africa’s highest-valued startup, is continuing the expansion that has seen it emerge in new markets and unveil new products over the past year, as it builds something of an ecosystem of tailored payments products. Flutterwave has launched Tuition, a new payment product, to allow African users to conveniently pay various fees to educational institutions within Africa and overseas using their local currencies.
The educational institutions available for Tuition include high schools, universities, colleges and some global edutech platforms.
Tuition is designed to solve the challenges in paying school fees for students studying abroad and at home, the company said in today’s press release, and aims to ensure payments ease when making the transactions. The new service, which had been teased months prior, enables students, parents, guardians and sponsors to pay school fees to over 40 institutions in the UK, with plans to add more institutions in more countries in Africa and beyond.
Flutterwave facilitates cross-border transactions in multiple currencies for global companies, including Uber, PiggyVest, and Bamboo; boasting over 400 million processed transactions in excess of USD 25 B and serving more than one million businesses, as well as individuals in 30+ countries. In early 2022, the fintech announced a USD 250 M Series D that tripled its valuation and unveiled its vision to cater to an array of business and individual needs via a suite of products and services, as part of a rebranding exercise tagged “Flutterwave 3.0“.
While Flutterwave has been caught up in a series of controversial matters both at home and abroad in the past year, the startup remains keen on expanding its offering by introducing new products and services. Previously, Flutterwave launched Send, an African-focused remittances service, and immediately appointed Nigerian Grammy Award-winning international musician, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid as its global ambassador to further push the company’s brand among the Africans in the diaspora.
The startup, which launched in Tanzania last year is linked to the acquisition of a UK lender, also bagged coveted licenses in Nigeria to extend its service and it has Egypt in its sights after being awarded key licenses recently.
Flutterwave revealed that the latest product, Tuition, is currently available in Nigeria (which boasts around 71,000 students studying abroad, per UNESCO) for UK school fee payments and will soon be rolled out to other African countries in the coming months. Flutterwave also plans to add more schools in Africa, the UK, US, Canada, France and Germany as it grows access to the product.
Given the surge in the number of Africans pursuing academic opportunities abroad in recent years (with Nigeria seeing a significant outflux, in particular), the struggle to make payments to foreign institutions has become heightened, with locals facing many obstacles that jeopardise their endeavour.
Payments to foreign schools have been hindered by a myriad of challenges. From the high cost of transactions, limited access to banking services, lack of transparency, security concerns, and currency exchange rates, Africans have faced difficulties in ensuring that their funds are disbursed within the shortest time possible to overseas financial institutions.
The new product, Flutterwave affirms, will leverage its payments technology solution to make school fee payments more convenient, secure, and reliable. The fintech aims to enable parents, guardians, and sponsors to pay directly to learning institutions in the UK, and also provide a means to track transactions by checking status and history on the Tuition web app.
“We are excited to launch Tuition to support the dreams of African students across all levels who want to study anywhere without worrying about how to meet the deadline for their school fees payment,” Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, Flutterwave CEO, commented. “With Tuition, we are providing a safer, reliable, and affordable means for African students to pursue their dreams and seamlessly get financial support from parents, guardians, and sponsors.”
Speaking on the new product launch, Stella Elele, Product Manager of Tuition by Flutterwave, said: “We are always looking for new ways to make payment challenges in Africa hassle-free, and we are confident that Tuition will be a game changer for parents who want to support their children’s education. We are excited to offer this solution to parents in Nigeria, with plans to eventually roll out the service to other African countries. We want to provide the best possible service and support for our customers.”