Flutterwave starts search for Central Bank permit after end of court battles
Nigeria-based fintech unicorn, Flutterwave has started the process of securing a Payment Services Provider license in Kenya to bolster its service expansion.
This is after the High Court finally cleared it this week of all the wrongdoings relating to money laundering allegations that had limited its operation in the country.
Kenya is the firm’s second-biggest market after Nigeria, while its expansion to the Northern parts of
Africa through Egypt started in February 2023 after it got the license. A license from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will allow Flutterwave to collect payments on behalf of its customers and settle payments locally and globally.
It will additionally be able to deploy suites of products, including payment links, invoices, and checkout in the country.
Flutterwave currently supports payments for Uber drivers but is expected to intensify expansion to other sectors upon receiving a regulatory nod from the CBK, which has been tightening its nose on the entire chain of the digital payment services sector.
“The High Court’s decision allows us to continue contributing to Kenya’s fintech sector without any legal uncertainties. With this case behind us, Flutterwave will focus on acquiring its license in Kenya, expanding its operations, and further supporting local businesses and economic growth,” the firm said in a statement after the High Court ruling.
The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) made an application in December 2022 to withdraw the financial impropriety case and unfreeze Ksh6.6 billion belonging to Flutterwave. The court okayed the application in February 2023 before it issued a final directive this week.
CBK had previously issued an embargo ordering banks to cut links with the firm, noting that it was not a licensed operator. About 60 accounts spread among top banks such as Equity and GTB that held the billions were all frozen.
The tech giant, with a reach to 34 African countries, also renewed its operational license in Tanzania and South Africa, as well as its International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) license in Nigeria.
Last year, it raised $250 million (Sh38 billion) in a Series D round that tripled its valuation to over $3 billion (Sh456 billion) in just 12 months. The company has plans to list Nasdaq Stock Market and enter the lucrative lending market as it gears for more growth.