The Flutterwave Scandal: Rise and Fall of Nigerian Fintech Company

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Introduction to Flutterwave Scandal

In recent months, Flutterwave, Africa’s largest startup by private valuation, has been embroiled in a security breach that has raised eyebrows and concerns within the fintech industry. Let’s delve into the details of this scandal, exploring what happened, the impact, and the company’s response.

 The Alleged Breach

Last month, Flutterwave found itself at the center of a storm when more than ₦2.9 billion (approximately $4.2 million) went missing from its accounts. According to local tech publication Techpoint Africa, unknown actors orchestrated 63 transactions across 28 accounts, resulting in the substantial loss. The cause and method of the attack remain unclear, but speculation suggests that compromised merchant keys might have played a role.

 Police Investigations and Legal Action after Flutterwave scandal

Flutterwave responded swiftly by filing a motion to freeze accounts across 27 financial institutions that interacted with the missing funds. The company’s legal counsel and law enforcement parties are actively involved in the investigation. Additionally, 107 accounts, including the fifth beneficiaries of those accounts, have been placed on lien/Post-No-Debit (PND), preventing account holders from withdrawing funds.

Flutterwave Scandal:Rise and Fall of Nigerian Fintech Company

 Flutterwave’s Denial

Despite the evidence, Flutterwave scandal  has vehemently denied being hacked. In an official statement, the company emphasized its commitment to customer security and reassured users that no one lost any funds. According to Flutterwave, their transaction monitoring systems detected an unusual trend of transactions on some users’ profiles. The review revealed that users who hadn’t activated recommended security settings were vulnerable. Fortunately, the security measures in place prevented any harm to users’ funds.

 The Iyinoluwa Aboyeji Controversy

In addition to the security breach, former Flutterwave CEO Iyinoluwa Aboyeji faced accusations of fraud and insider trading. These allegations were laid out in an article by David Hundeyin and a Medium post by Clara Wanjiku. The controversy surrounding Aboyeji further intensified the scrutiny on Flutterwave’s management.

Security Measures after Flutterwave Scandal

Flutterwave takes security seriously, and they have implemented several measures to ensure the safety of your transactions. Here are some key security features:

  1. PCI-DSS Level 1 Certification:

Flutterwave adheres to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), which sets global standards for companies processing, storing, or transmitting cardholder data. Their Level 1 certification ensures the highest standard of safety when handling your card information.

Flutterwave Scandal:Rise and Fall of Nigerian Fintech Company

  1. Additional Licensing:

 Flutterwave holds various licenses, including a Money Service Operator’s License, ISO certification (indicating high information security), and a Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) license. These licenses allow them to process transactions securely and operate as a Payment Service Solution Provider (PSP) in different countries.

  1. Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):

Flutterwave employs 2FA, requiring an additional verification step for transactions. For example, when using Rave by Flutterwave or GetBarter, you’ll encounter one-time passcodes after entering your password or PIN.

 The Flutterwave Scandal: A Unicorn’s Damaged Wings

Let’s delve into the intricacies of this scandal and explore its implications.

 The Allegations of Flutterwave scandal

  1. Financial Misconduct:

Former employees have accused Flutterwave of withholding salaries, making inappropriate expenses using company funds, and failing to pay employee taxes to authorities. These allegations have shaken public trust and confidence in fintech companies.

  1. Leadership and Governance Issues:

Flutterwave rose to prominence with its user-friendly payment gateway, but recent events have highlighted leadership and corporate governance challenges. Stricter regulations and robust governance frameworks are essential to prevent fraud and mismanagement of funds.

Flutterwave Scandal:Rise and Fall of Nigerian Fintech Company

 Regulatory Landscape

  1. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN):

The CBN and other regulatory bodies have made efforts to regulate fintechs. However, the pace of innovation in startups often outstrips regulators’ understanding of the sector’s nuances.

  1. Swift Action Needed:

With the surge in financial misconduct allegations, regulators must take swift action, continuously monitor fintech companies, and proactively prevent future occurrences.


The Flutterwave scandal serves as a wake-up call for the entire Nigerian fintech industry. As unicorns spread their wings, they must also ensure robust governance, transparency, and adherence to regulations. Only then can they regain trust and maintain their status as industry leaders.

The Flutterwave scandal serves as a stark reminder of the importance of robust security measures in the fintech industry. As Africa’s leading startup, Flutterwave must continue to enhance its security protocols to safeguard user funds and maintain trust. The ongoing investigations will shed more light on the incident, but for now, the company’s denial and commitment to security remain at the forefront.

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