Nigerian fintech giant, Flutterwave, has been granted an International Money Transfer Operator (IMTO) licence by the Reserve Bank of Malawi, allowing Flutterwave to process international payments into Malawi while focusing primarily on remittances.
Malawi’s remittances market has grown steadily since 2016, and currently constitutes 2% of the country’s GDP, according to data from the World Bank. With over 200,000 Malawians residing and working abroad, the market presents Flutterwave an opportunity to tap into the expanding international remittances sector.
Flutterwave CEO, Olugbenga Agboola, has expressed gratitude to the Reserve Bank of Malawi for granting the IMTO licence, stating, “we are grateful to the Reserve Bank of Malawi for placing their trust in us, and we look forward to this amazing journey, delivering the best possible financial services to the people of Malawi.”
Flutterwave’s Send App will facilitate the remittance services. The app is an international payments application that was recently relaunched in August. Send enables users to transfer funds from over 34 countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Egypt, and Sénégal.
The timing of Flutterwave’s entry into the Malawi market is noteworthy, given the challenges faced by the country’s economy. The national currency is experiencing a significant decline, prompting concerns about economic stability. A recent 30% devaluation by the central bank, attributed to supply-demand imbalances in the currency market and arbitrage opportunities, highlights the economic challenges Malawi faces.
The wave of migration in Malawi, with approximately 28% of the adult population considering relocating abroad, further shows the potential for growth in remittances. Flutterwave’s entry into Malawi aligns with broader trends, as the country’s central bank is expected to issue new licences to fintechs and other companies seeking to expand their services in the nation.
A recent communication from the central bank listed over 20 companies that were granted licenses, indicating a potential competitive landscape for Flutterwave in Malawi’s evolving payments market.