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Ualá exceeds 100,000 debit cards issued in Mexico, its second Latin American market

Ricardo Olmos, country manager of the fintech in Mexico told El Economista that there is an important need for financial inclusion in the country

Ualá's card.
Ualá's card. Photo: Ualá/Courtesy.
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  • The future unicorn has a favorable scenario for growing in Argentina since a large proportion of citizens are unbanked;
  • According to the World Bank Global Findex study in 2017, when Ualá was born, only 48% of Argentines had a bank account;
  • MercadoLibre‘s digital wallet MercadoPago, Brubank, and the Brazilian Nubank are the main rivals of the fintech.

Only five months after its arrival in Mexico, the Argentine fintech Ualá that offers an app and other tools for managing personal finances, announced that it has already managed to exceed 100,000 debit cards issued in the country. In an interview with El Economista, Ricardo Olmos, country manager of the fintech in Mexico, said that it seeks “true financial inclusion and reducing the use of cash.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there has been growth [of digital transactions], he added, but this has not been enough to close the financial gap. A new report by the Mexican Association of Online Sales (AMVO), in collaboration with Netquest, indicates that only three out of 10 Internet users access digital financial services in Mexico – that means that there is a lot of headroom for fintech growth in the second-largest Latin American economy.

READ ALSO: Ualá to acquire Wilobank: from a digital wallet to main Argentina’s neobank

In Argentina, Ualá has 2.5 million cardholders. With the pandemic, Argentines had to resort to digital means to pay their bills. Since then, Ualá’s digital bill payment service, which has Western Union as its partner, skyrocketed on transactions.

Besides Western Union, Ualá works with RapiPago and PagoFacil, which are extra-bank channels in Argentina dedicated to collecting public and private utility bills and taxes. The fintech’s prepaid card can be topped up by RapiPago and PagoFácil or even a bank or virtual account. 

READ ALSO: Brazil’s largest fintech Nubank to invest $135 million in Mexico

The upcoming unicorn has a favorable scenario in its home country. According to the World Bank Global Findex study in 2017, when Ualá was born, only 48% of Argentines had a bank account.

MercadoLibre‘s digital wallet MercadoPagoBrubank, and the Brazilian Nubank are the main rivals of the fintech. In trying to transform the Argentine economy digitally, however, Ualá’s biggest rival is, in fact, cash.

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