To Expand Digital Latin American Banking, Uala Will Invest $150 Million


Argentine FinTech Uala plans to invest $150 million over the next 18 months to expand its Latin American digital banking activities as the region becomes increasingly digital.

According to a Reuters article by CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri, Uala, which is valued at around $2.5 billion, will largely focus on Mexico and Colombia in order to boost its user base from 5 million to 25 million or 30 million over the following five years.

The paper claims that Uala committed $80 million to begin operations in Colombia this year and bought the Argentinean online banking company Wilobank. In the same year that it purchased the Mexican bank ABC Capital in 2021, the company completed a $350 million fundraising transaction.

In Barbieri’s words, “in a market context when others are cutting investment,” the company intends to expand its financial products to include debit cards, investments, loans, and insurance.

Latin America has 20% of its population using digital devices, compared to 50% in Europe and 70% in China, said Barbieri.

Digitalization will definitely continue, in my opinion. I consider it to be a key weakness of Latin American democracies that there are so many people who do not participate in the system. In 10 years, nobody will be outside the banking system.

Uala said last month that it will allow users in Mexico to receive money from abroad in an effort to capitalize on the $60 billion remittances market. The service is managed by ABC Capital.

“We’re trying to reach a section of the population that doesn’t presently have banking services, to give a financial solution that allows individuals to forget about cash and start functioning in a more digital and dependable way,” ABC Capital CEO Carlos Hernandez said at the time.

Users of the ABC mobile app in Mexico, which, together with China and India, is one of the three largest recipients of remittances in the world, may send money abroad via MoneyGram thanks to the service.