Microsoft and Flutterwave, a leading payments technology company, have joined forces in a five-year strategic technology partnership aimed at revolutionizing payment innovation in Africa. The collaboration will see Flutterwave build its next-generation platform on Microsoft Azure, with the goal of accelerating the growth of small businesses across the continent and promoting financial inclusion. This partnership comes at a crucial time when small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are recognized as vital contributors to Africa’s progress and development.
SMEs play a pivotal role in Africa’s economy, providing employment opportunities for about 90 percent of the continent’s population. These businesses are also at the forefront of innovation, addressing societal challenges and driving progress. However, SMEs face significant obstacles, with research indicating that around five out of seven businesses fail in their first year. Access to financial services and seamless payment methods are among the key challenges faced by these enterprises.According to reports from the African Union Development Agency, approximately 90 percent of transactions in Africa are still cash-based, while nearly half of small businesses lack access to credit. Flutterwave has been dedicated to overcoming these challenges by connecting businesses to financial services and enabling various payment modes, including local and international cards, mobile wallets, and bank transfers. The partnership with Microsoft further strengthens Flutterwave’s mission to democratize payments in Africa and fuel business growth.By transitioning to Microsoft Azure, Flutterwave can process high-volume payments at scale, ensuring a secure and seamless payment experience for its clients. Azure’s advanced capabilities and infrastructure provide the technology foundation needed for Flutterwave to expand and revolutionize payment services across Africa. Additionally, through Azure OpenAI Service, Flutterwave has the opportunity to scale its product offering globally, empowering millions of merchants worldwide.Ola Williams, Country Manager of Microsoft Nigeria, emphasized the importance of digital financial inclusion for sustainable growth in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Enabling small businesses to participate actively in local and global marketplaces is crucial for building resilience and prosperity. The partnership between Microsoft and Flutterwave aims to provide businesses with the digital financial services they need to not only survive but thrive. Olugbenga ‘GB’ Agboola, Founder and CEO of Flutterwave, expressed excitement about the partnership, highlighting its transformative potential. He emphasized that the collaboration is not just about transactions but about transformation, as Flutterwave and Microsoft work together to create an inclusive digital Africa. The partnership will enable Flutterwave to expand its reach through transactable solutions on Azure Marketplace, including its SMB finance-as-a-service offering, further empowering businesses across the continent.
Microsoft’s strategic technology partnership with Flutterwave marks a significant step toward fast-tracking payment innovation in Africa and empowering small businesses for growth. By leveraging Microsoft Azure’s capabilities, Flutterwave aims to revolutionize payments, address financial inclusion challenges, and connect African businesses to the global stage. This collaboration aligns with Microsoft’s mission to empower individuals and organizations worldwide and holds the key to building stronger economies and a brighter future for Africa.