Microsoft has joined forces with Flutterwave to drive a transformative shift in financial services and inclusivity across Nigeria and various regions in Africa, leveraging the realm of financial technology (Fintech) to spur economic advancement and enhance daily livelihoods.
Unveiling this strategic collaboration in Lagos, Lillian Barnard, President of Microsoft Africa, emphasized how aligning with entities like Flutterwave would expedite financial innovation and digital accessibility across the continent.
Barnard underscored the significance of this partnership, acknowledging the ongoing struggle for individuals to access vital financial services for bill payments. She highlighted that this joint effort has unlocked avenues for growth and prosperity for numerous enterprises.
Drawing attention to the fact that half of Africa’s 1.4 billion population remains unbanked, underbanked, or underserved, Barnard asserted that this status quo must be transformed. She emphasized that for businesses in Africa to thrive, digital and financial inclusion stand as pivotal prerequisites.
Barnard outlined that this collaboration with Flutterwave is Microsoft’s proactive step towards realizing financial inclusion and sparking a digital revolution, ensuring seamless transactions for myriad businesses across the globe.
Expanding on this, she pointed out that the Microsoft OpenAI platform and services would facilitate Flutterwave in extending its reach to millions of merchants worldwide.
Barnard also unveiled Microsoft’s ambitious goal of empowering and investing in 10 million Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by 2025. This initiative aims to equip them with the essential tools, infrastructure, and support to forge strategic partnerships and scale their operations.
She highlighted the crucial role of Fintechs in aiding SMEs and the informal sector, responsible for a significant portion of employment, constituting seven out of every ten jobs in the country. These sectors also contribute approximately 40 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy.
Adding to the discourse, Ola Williams, Country Manager of Microsoft Nigeria, emphasized that 80 percent of Nigerians now have access to mobile systems. This surge has propelled growth in the Fintech sector, enabling a broader populace to engage in mobile payments.
Williams pointed out that the influx of investments in Fintech accounts for a notable 36 percent of economic growth. She underscored Microsoft’s recognition of technology’s far-reaching impact in driving positive societal change and job creation through collaborative endeavours.
Olugbenga Agboola, the Chief Executive Officer of Flutterwave, expressed pride in being part of Microsoft’s forward-looking cloud platform. He highlighted the shared vision of serving billions of Africans without downtime, while also providing an infrastructure that simplifies payments for the average consumer in Africa and worldwide.