SoftBank-backed Ualá makes international debut with Mexico

Uala chose Mexico as its first foreign market.

Contxto – For the first time ever, Ualá is scaling beyond its native Argentina. Rumors floated around last week that the fintech would launch into Colombia, but alas that wasn’t the case.

Today (29), Ualá announced it’s expanding into Mexico.

“We launched Ualá in Argentina three years ago with the purpose of making personal finances in Latin America more innovative and inclusive,” says Pierpaolo Barbieri, CEO and Founder at Ualá.

The Executive also revealed that this was a venture it had been planning for over a year now.

“After 18 months of work, we’re very happy to offer all Mexicans a secure, innovative, and genuinely free product,” added Barbieri.

Meaning it was likely part of the startup’s pitch to investors for its Series C round, closed last December.

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Ualá in Mexico

The fintech chose Mexico for its international debut because of its large market but low levels of financial inclusion. Indeed, a 2018 survey showed that only 47 percent of the population owns at least one bank account.

And big problems always translate into big business opportunities.

So now users in Latam’s second largest market can download the Ualá app and access a prepaid Mastercard to complete online or offline purchases. Cardholders can also withdraw funds from ATMs as well as send or receive money.

All of which comes at no cost.

What to expect from Ualá Mexico

Knowing Ualá, it’ll likely announce partnerships with companies in Mexico or features to offer additional perks, as it does for its Argentine users.

In a press release, the startup reported to already have a local team set up and working away. However, Ualá plans to open 25 more jobs there before year’s end.

Mexico is filled with a growing number of tech companies for personal finances. After lending startups, fintechs enabling payments and/or offering e-wallets are the most abundant in the country, according to a recent report by Kore Fusion.

Indeed I can rant/write a list off the top of my head: albo, Cuenca, Fondeadora, Flink, Hey Banco, Mibo… I could go on, but I’ve satisfied this article’s word count already.

So, how will Ualá stand out in this crowd? We’ve reached out to the fintech to learn more, so stay tuned.

Either way, this fintech has always shown to be supportive of its competitors in Argentina (like Naranja X). Moreover, it’s claimed that “the enemy” aren’t other companies but cold-hard physical cash.

So I’d expect a similar approach in this new market. Plus it’s a very constructive feel-good way to build on the ecosystem.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Mexico!


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