Photograph — Medium

Flutterwave, a global payment solutions business based in Africa has partnered with Alipay, an e-wallet payment option of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba.

The partnership will not only offer easy payment methods between Africa and China, but it is also expected to open up a potential Chinese market of over 1 billion people for African merchants. Alipay has a user base of over 1 billion people predominantly residing in China and as such will provide a large business base for businesspersons in Africa and China.

Flutterwave, on the other hand, has been named one of Fast Company’s most innovative African businesses of 2019 for providing businesspersons within Africa seamless ways to receive and transfer money among themselves and with global businesses via its B2B product, Rave.

“The complete payment solution would first require interconnectivity within Africa, then connectivity from Africa to the world. We started with the U.S already but you can’t connect Africa to the world without China,” read a statement released by Flutterwave.

Flutterwave which already boasts of its high-standing merchants namely Uber, Facebook and Jumia will provide wider possibilities for African merchants who now have direct access to a large Chinese market. Regardless of what product or service they offer, any merchant currently using the Rave product will have access to the Alipay integration.

Alibaba Group has been making an impact in Africa’s tech industry. Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, launched the Netpreneur Prize last year which awards US$10 million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years. In 2018, Ant Financial, Alibaba’s payments and financial services arm announced it was expanding into Africa to promote digital financial inclusion.

The Flutterwave-Alipay partnership was developed out of Chief Executive Officer, Olugbenga Agboola’s participation in the eFounders Fellowship sponsored by Jack Ma. The Africa eFounders Fellowship in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development trains over 100 African entrepreneurs.

With this partnership, Flutterwave will earn its revenue by charging customers 3.8 percent on international transactions. According to the CEO, the company currently has more than 60,000 merchants on its platform.

Early this year, Flutterwave entered a similar partnership with Visa under which GetBarter was born. GetBarter is a payment app that allows Visa cardholders to receive and send money, it also allows non-existing cardholders to create a virtual card with which they can carry out transactions.

By Tobiloba Ishola

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