On average, each resident of Ualá digitized $65,000 last year. “Among the trends, it is evident that the majority have done so for making face-to-face and virtual purchases (including subscriptions to digital services) and payment for services (such as electricity, gas, cellphones and transportation),” they said. said the company, which points to providing financial services to people without fixed incomes or who are outside the banks’ orbit.
Ualá was launched in Argentina in October 2017 with the aim of promoting financial inclusion in Latin America. “What was born as an application and a card has now become a financial ecosystem. This means that we will never deliver pizzas or send taxis, what worries us is the financial world”said its executive director and founder, Pierpaolo Barber, during an interview with journalists in which he participated Scope. “We are very happy because 17% (of the inhabitants) of Argentina have Ualá,” he said. But the number of fintech users 30% scale for young people aged 18 to 25.
By geographical area, 50% of the money digitized by Ualá in 2021 comes from the main urban centers: Buenos Aires, which concentrates 30%, Both in number of transactions carried out and in volume, Córdoba (9%); Santa Fe (6%); CABA (5%); Salta and Tucumán (each with 5%), although the process is progressing throughout the national territory.
Similarly, 97% of digitized money remains in the formal financial ecosystem: it is mainly consumed in purchases of goods and services. This, in addition to helping with traceability, broadens the tax base for the public sector, Barbieri explained.
“The digitization of cash is very positive as it allows more people to enter the formal financial system permanently. It is the gateway to financial inclusion and the first step to increasing the use of financial services such as cards, investments and credits,” he pointed Martin BellocqChief Marketing Officer of Ualá, who also participated in the conference.
As part of its financial inclusion strategy, Ualá said transfers the lowest operating costs in the market by depositing money into your accounts.
“The digitization of money generates positive effects in the economy”, Bellocq maintained. “In 2021, more than one million investment accounts were opened through Ualá and many users were able to make investments for the first time to offset some of the effects of inflation,” he said. . With the recent rate hike ordered by the BCRA, The Ualá mutual investment fund will offer an annual rate close to 35%, very competitive compared to the FCI T+0, or with immediate repayment.
Regarding credits, Bellocq explained that “More than half of Ualá users had no credit history when they signed up and with a product like a quote they are starting to generate it.”
With more than 4 million cards issued in Argentina and Mexico, and its recent arrival in Colombia, Ualá emerges as one of the 10 most valuable Challenger banks in the world, with a valuation of $2.45 billion, which earned him the title “Unicorn”.
Exports of digital services “can generate three times more than agricultural currency”
For the executive director and founder of Ualá, “The complex of” software “developers can bring in less than 10 years three times more foreign exchange than the agro-export sector”, currently at about 40,000 million dollars.
“We have to export from Argentina, there is a good entrepreneurial ecosystem, we have to bring in capital from abroad to invest in the real economy,” Barber said. The executive assured that “The promoter complex can bring in more foreign currency than the agro-exporter, it can be triple and in less than a decade.”
“They come from JP Morgan, from Facebook, from Google, to hire here. In Argentina, there are excellent developers. You have to create incentives so that people do not leave, develop and export ‘here.” pointed out the CEO of Ualá.
In this sense, he praised the digital nomad regime developed by the Greek government, which allows people to export digital products, with a specific tax system. “It encourages more people to come to this country, for example from Romania, Bulgaria or Italy, to create in Greece”, mentioned.
He also clarified that today “hiring a programmer in Colombia or Mexico costs 50% more than doing so in Argentina”.
Waiting for the takeover of Wilobank to be authorized
Barbieri hopes the Central Bank’s board will soon approve the purchase of Eduardo Eurnekian’s digital bank, Wilobank, agreed over a year ago. “I am awaiting the authorization of the Central Bank for the acquisition of Wilobank”, Indian. The alliance will leave Eurnekian with a stake in Ualá.
In another order, the executive announced that Ualá launched this Tuesday Apple Payand noted that it is “the first fintech in the country” which is starting to work with this payment platform (some banks had already done so). And he planned that his business “a special campaign where we will offer American Airlines miles and reimburse 50% of the first purchase”.