As the region becomes more digitised, Argentine FinTech Uala aims to invest $150 million over the next 18 months to grow its Latin American digital banking activities. CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri told Reuters on Tuesday (Oct. 4) that the expansion will primarily target Mexico and Colombia. Uala, which is valued at around $2.5 billion, hopes to increase its user base from 5 million to 25 million or 30 million over the following five years.
According to the article, Uala purchased the Argentinean digital banking firm Wilobank this year and invested $80 million to launch operations in Colombia. The business completed a $350 million funding round the same year it acquired the Mexican bank ABC Capital in 2021.
“In a market context where others are cutting investment, we are expanding because we already have the capital,” Barbieri said in an interview, adding that the firm wants to broaden its financial services to include investment, loans, insurance, and debit cards
“Latin America is 20% digitized against 50% in Europe and 70% in China,” Barbieri also noted. “I know that digitization will continue. It seems to me a great shortfall of Latin America’s democracies that we have so many people outside the system. In 10 years, there will be no people outside the financial system.”
In an effort to take advantage of the booming $60 billion remittances business, Uala said last month that it would permit users in Mexico to receive money from overseas. ABC Capital is in charge of the service.
“We’re trying to reach part of the population that today doesn’t have banking services, to offer a financial service that allows them to forget about cash and start operating in a more digital and reliable way,” ABC Capital CEO Carlos Hernandez said at the time.
The service enables users of the ABC mobile app in Mexico, which, together with China and India, is one of the three largest beneficiaries of remittances in the world, to send money from outside using MoneyGram.
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