In a bid to sensitise the public of its plans and services, payment platform and fintech startup, Flutterwave, recently held a press conference. Present at the event were Olugbenga Agboola, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Bode Abinfanrin, Chief Operating Officer, and Ifewa, the Chief Financial Officer.
Agboola discussed a wide variety of issues including safety, cost, and the company’s vision.
Here are key highlights from the chat:
Agboola shed light on the company’s flagship product, Rave, which can process any kind of payment for merchants.
“Rave has been operational for over two and a half years. We currently have over 25,000 direct merchants on Rave and through our partners, we have a whole lot more. Today, on Rave we have customers like Uber, Nairabox, Payporte, Alat, Medplus, Wakanow, Booking.com, as well as so many small merchants all over the world.”
What is unique about Flutterwave?
In response to a question about the company’s unique selling point, Agboola stated that it was the company’s ability to process payments for merchants from anywhere in the world.
“The biggest unique thing about our company is that we are a global company, and we can help our merchants go global very easily with our infrastructure.”
“With Flutterwave platform, our customers can collect payments from their customers. We are both online and offline, because as a merchant you can collect your payment from anywhere and at anytime, however, your customer wants to pay. We cover about 98% of payment types in the world.”
Agboola also stated that a few other cards would be added soon.
The CEO also gave a rundown of the settlement times for various payments.
“For our Nigerian payments, we do T+1; you get your payment the next day. For international payment types, it depends on the risk level of our merchant. We have high risk merchants, medium risk merchants and low risk merchants.”
Low-risk merchant payments are paid almost immediately. For high-risk merchants, such as those who have to deliver goods across the country, we want to be sure both ends (the consumer and merchant) are protected. We will try and make sure the good is delivered before the merchant gets paid, so the consumer is protected.
The merchant would, however, receive notification of a pending payment, subject to delivery of the goods.
The company is working in conjunction with its settlement banks to deliver instant settlement to the low value, high volume merchants.”
In response to a question on security, Agboola stated that the company had some of the highest certifications in the world, including PADSS certification, ISO 27001 (the highest level of security management as a payment company).
On the threats posed by fintechs to the banking industry
He viewed fintechs as complementary to banks, rather than competitors.
“From my perspective, the future is extremely bright for banks. We don’t think fintechs can disrupt banks; at best, they can complement banks. What is most important, is your money will be kept in the bank that has the experience. We will innovate on how to make your life easy, convenient, and fast. We will complement the bank services.”
In his view, fintechs will largely be concerned with payment processing.
“What I see happening is that the banks will focus on the core banking services like lending, deposit taking and do it well, while people like us will focus on simple things such as to collect money from your customer, to send money to your family and friends, paying for airtime. The money will still be with the banks.”
Benefits to merchants
The CEO also listed the benefits of using their products, rather than dealing directly with customers, including data analytics and convenience.
“With our solution, you can see who pays you, where they pay you from, and what time they pay you. The data analytics we provide is different. The platform also enables merchants pay out funds to suppliers. Our goal as a company is to present the best merchant experience. That is the real deal breaker for merchants — to collect money in the shortest possible time.”
Agboola asserted that the company was the most pocket-friendly for merchants today.
“We charge 1.4% capped at N2,000 per transaction. If it is more than N2,000, we charge N2,000 per transaction. We are arguably the most pocket-friendly for merchants in the market today.”
Agboola also revealed the company’s audacious goal to be a key player in the global payment space.
“Our vision as a company is to be a superhighway infrastructure for payments. As my colleague would say, the company would like to be the Google of everything payment.”