Fintech start-up Ualá targets Argentina’s unbanked with new mobile banking service
Argentina-based fintech start-up Ualá has launched a mobile banking service app to champion financial inclusion in the country.
Less than half of the population in Argentina has a bank account, according to the World Bank, and more than half of Argentinians are paid in cash. At the same time, 40% of the population already has smartphones, and this is set to grow to 70% by 2020.
Ualá’s low-cost smartphone-based banking service presents a great opportunity, the company says. The account comes with a physical prepaid Mastercard card.
“We want to solve the lack of banking penetration in Argentina and reach people who don’t have a bank account,” says Ualá’s founder, Pierpaolo Barbieri.
“By leveraging technology, we want to go from the 20th century to the 21st, where banks no longer have to be physical places.”
For its technology, Ualá uses Mambu’s flagship core banking system, Banking Technology understands. Eugene Danilkis, co-founder and CEO of Mambu, says in a LinkedIn post it is “great to be working together” with Ualá.
The company was set up in 2016 and is based in Buenos Aires. The name is an amalgamation of “wallet” and “voila”.
Ualá’s backers include Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures and Silicon Valley’s Bessemer Venture Partners.