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Cover image for The need for online payment platforms in the African online space

The need for online payment platforms in the African online space

Duru Rowland Chuks
I am NuminousC, a budding developer and digital marketer. I am here to learn all I can.
Updated on ・5 min read

Case Study: Flutterwave

Introduction

 In the face of pressing need for African nations to increase annual GDP, it became necessary for local merchants to seize every opportunity to do business and conclude fiscal transactions both locally and internationally. Merchants also had to cater to the needs of modern customers with understandably busy schedules.

These needs led to the desire to enact payment systems that are fast, convenient, accommodating and possibly virtual; as such systems would benefit both merchants, customers and the nation as a capital entity. Some of these benefits are discussed below.

Some benefits of online payment systems

Online payment portals are, without question, of immense benefit to most businesses and transactions. On the part of the merchant, it enhances transaction speed and presents various avenues for payment. Thereby improving customer experience and promoting customer loyalty which is necessary for sustaining a robust customer base. Payment systems also help merchants better manage subscriptions, transaction records, and payment disputes.

Speaking of customers, we all know that we would love to buy and pay for everything from home if it's possible. Convenience is one of the key advantages of online payment portals. The ease of use is a breath of fresh air in comparison to orthodox payment methods. Online transactions also help the customer minimize overall purchase cost.

Yes, the price of the goods may not be different online but paying from your current location eliminates transportation expenses. Let's not forget to mention the cashless ability that online payment offers; this makes it difficult for the purchaser to lose money to men of the underworld in the process of purchasing.

Making payments online also gives access to a wide range of products for both merchants and consumers. Certain products can not be sold offline. And some others can only be sold and purchased physically at specific locations. But the internet has created doors to almost every location, and just like data or internet connection is like a key to every location on earth, online payment portals represent cash collection windows to shops through the internet.

Well, there are volumes to write on when it concerns online payment and its benefits, but I encourage you to study more on the benefits if you are a merchant or buyer intending to use such systems. More reading on benefits of online payment portals can be found here…

Although identifying a need is very important, making provision for the need is more important. There is no succour in talking about a need or writing about it in this case, without concurrent discussion of a possible provision or solution. This brings us to our case study for this discussion - Flutterwave.

In comes Flutterwave!

Flutterwave is a payment technology company that was founded on the premise that every African can and should participate and thrive in the global economy. Flutterwave came into the scene in 2014 after the conception of the idea by its founders = Iyinoluwa Aboyeji & Olugbenga Agboola.

Flutterwave's vision, which is to make it easier for Africans to build global businesses that can make and accept payments anywhere, has driven the company into building a trusted payment infrastructure that allows consumers and merchants (African and International) make and receive payment in a convenient borderless manner. An innovation that has seen the company take positive steps in her mission to inspire a new wave of prosperity in Africa.

Some products by Flutterwave

Flutterwave has indeed delivered some reputable products that have made life easier in the African cyberspace. Her products have proved dependable and have helped improve the services of many popular businesses in Africa, including banks and government parastatals.

  • Rave
  • Rave Express (Android/iOS)
  • Rave POS (Android/iOS)
  • Barter
  • GetBarter (Android/iOS)

Rave

Rave, a Flutterwave product, is one of the services at the forefront of African online businesses. Rave is an online payment gateway. It is a service that grants sellers, or merchants, the ability to receive payment over the internet. Rave is easy to use, all you have to do as a merchant is create an account with the service and connect it to your bank account after an easy verification process. The platform contains easy directions on how to implement rave on your website.

Although many merchants have testified of the elegance and efficiency of Rave, there have been some complains as well. For example, during an interview with the CEO of Duke Web Tech Nig Ltd, Mr. Henry Johnson sometime this year, he proclaimed his love and preference for Rave by Flutterwave and told of how it is the major payment gateway employed by members of his staff when setting up websites for clients. He said that his preference stems from the ease of use. But he also stated the presence of little customization issues which could affect the way a layman uses the application.

Anyway, with Rave a merchant can accept payment from customers via various forms, thus giving the customer the option to pay through means like debit or credit cards, bank transfers, mobile wallets or even directly from their bank account. 

To get started with rave you can follow this link. Create an account and follow the directions as you are led by the website. You can also get the app, Rave Express, for your mobile device from the Google Play Store.

Barter

Barter is another excellent product by Flutterwave. Barter can be classified as a finance management app because it helps the user manage and control cash distribution. The Barter app also helps the user track expense and receive cash gifts and payments.

With Barter, you can create virtual debit cards with which to facilitate online transactions on any platform of choice. The card formats obtainable on barter are Visa Card, Master Card e.t.c. You can get started with GetBarter by visiting the Google Play Store or App Store by apple.

Flutterwave has come a long way in her effort to promote global business in Africa; creating online payment platforms, assisting banks in completing transactions, and generally promoting online businesses. This is no mean feat. But as much as has been done, much more could still be done

Other Payment Portals

Some other payment portals worthy of note are PayU, PayStack, GtPay, eTranzact, and Interswitch.

Conclusion

Online payment portals are of utmost necessity to the economy of African nations. They can act as equalizers giving merchants equal opportunities in the e-commerce market, thus empowering more entrepreneurs to force some cashflow Afri-wards.

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