Flutterwave, Africa’s biggest startup, is shutting down Barter, a virtual card service it launched in 2017, as it focuses on its enterprise and remittance business segments. The fintech told customers to withdraw their money in the app over the past month. 

“The decision to sunset Barter was based on a comprehensive analysis of market trends and evolving customer needs,” the fintech shared in a mail with TechCabal. 

Flutterwave is doubling down on proven winners by focusing on remittance and enterprise. In October, the fintech told TechCabal enterprise services was its biggest revenue driver. In comparison, Barter only accounted for about 1% of the company’s $2 billion-worth transactions, one of the company’s cofounders told Quartz Africa in 2018. 

“While retail remains important to us, our immediate focus is optimizing services for businesses and remittance solutions,” the company said.


Meanwhile, Flutterwave’s remittance products, Send and Swap, aim to capture a significant market share in Africa’s $54 billion remittance market. It is unclear how much progress both products have made. 

Read also: Flutterwave’s new product Swap wants to solve Nigeria’s FX problems

Barter is a storied product. When it launched in 2017, it was one of the first tech startups to offer Nigerians the ability to make international payments. 

“Barter will leverage on Flutterwave’s virtual card API and platform to allow users create an unlimited number of virtual dollar cards for single or repeat transactions,” said a TechCabal Daily announcing its launch in March 2017. But the product has seen its share of troubles.

In 2022, Barter was unavailable for weeks because of “an update from the company’s card partner.”That partner was Union54, the Zambian card issuer that got hit with a $1.2 billion chargeback fraud attempt.

Customers also complained about downtime issues with the platform and card rejections by merchants, including Netflix, Facebook, PayPal and Apple Music. 

Read also: Flutterwave appoints Olajumoke Adenowo as board member as fintech giant pursues international expansion

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