South Africa’s Standard Bank has launched a new digital payments partnership with Africa-based fintech Flutterwave.

Under the terms of the deal, Standard Bank customers in eight African countries will be able to access digital payments services from Flutterwave.

Covering Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Mauritius, Ivory Coast, and Malawi, the partnership will enable Flutterwave and Standard Bank to build e-commerce, card issuing, payments, lending, collections, unstructured supplementary service data (USSD), and buy-now-pay-later services for millions of Africans. 

Olugbenga GB Agboola, founder and CEO of Flutterwave, said the partnership will help customers of all sizes – individuals, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large companies and institutions – leverage the power of digital payments and e-commerce to grow their businesses.

“Our partnership with Standard Bank demonstrates that fintechs and banks are not competitors, but trusted partners with the key focus being the customer,” said Agboola. 

“We plan to grow financial and digital inclusion through this partnership and, in the long-run, we expect to generate more jobs in the digital economy and enable rapid business growth across the continent.”

In a joint statement, Flutterwave and Standard Bank said the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how people buy and sell across Africa, enabling a massive shift toward digital payments and e-commerce. 

Margaret Nienaber, CEO of client solutions at Standard Bank, said: “Today’s announcement is an important step in Standard Bank’s platform journey, expanding from our leadership position in traditional financial services to meet clients on the digital platforms where they are shopping, socialising, and doing business.

“Partnerships with innovative fintechs like Flutterwave underpin our strategy by integrating our scale and expertise across the African continent with the services and offerings of our partners, delivered in a seamless manner to our clients.”

Standard Bank is one of Africa’s oldest and largest banks. It was founded in 1862 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now operates in 20 countries with over 49,000 employees worldwide.

Flutterwave was founded in 2016 by a team of ex-bankers, entrepreneurs, and engineers, and is headquartered in Nigeria and the US.