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Ripple, Flutterwave and Uber Are Set To Dominate Payments In Africa

Uber is launching its Uber Cash digital wallet feature in Sub-Saharan Africa through a partnership with San Francisco based — Nigerian founded — fintech firm Flutterwave.  The arrangement will allow riders to top up Uber wallets using the dozens of remittance partners active on Flutterwave’s Pan-African network.

Africa-focused fintech firm Flutterwave  announced a $35 million fundraising round and partnerships with WorldPay and Visa as it targets expansion in northern and Francophone Africa back in January 2020.

As part of the deal, Flutterwave will become the African payment provider for Worldpay’s clients worldwide, making the company the latest African fintech firm to attract global cash and big-name partnerships. While the agreement is not exclusive, it is WorldPay’s only partner on the continent.  Flutterwave integrated the Ripple Blockchain Network back in 2018 to provide the infrastructure for a unified payment solution that connects Africa to the world.

Visa’s investment is its first buy in to Flutterwave, with which it joined last year on a consumer payment platform now called Barter by Flutterwave, which allows individuals to make payments to one another across borders.

As part of the latest funding round, Flutterwave will scale up and expand that service, allowing it to issue physical and virtual Visa cards and process payments using Visa’s networks.

This digital wallet feature is expected go live within the next couple of days in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

With this new arrangement, Uber riders will be able to top up their Uber wallets using the various remittance partners active on Flutterwave’s  network across Africa.

According to Alon Lits, Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, “Depending on the country, you’ve got different top up methods available. For example in Nigeria you can use your Verve Card or mobile money. In Kenya, you can use M-Pesa and EFT and in South Africa you can top up with EFT.”

HOW TO ADD FUNDS TO YOUR UBER CASH

  • Open the Uber app menu and tap Payment
  • Tap Add Funds and select an amount to add to your Uber Cash balance
  • Select your payment method, then tap Purchase

Uber Cash will be applied automatically to your next ride or Uber Eats order unless you’re using a business profile. To turn off Uber Cash, tap your payment method after entering your destination.

Uber Cash will also accept transfers from Flutterwave’s Barter payment app, launched with Visa in 2019.

This will be another veritable for riders to fund their rides as they currently pay via cash and debit cards. However not many people are willing to use their debit cards because they do not like giving out their card information to third parties for payment.

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