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Ualá Introduces No-Fee Credit Card in Argentina 

Uala, FinTech

Ualá, a Buenos Aires-based FinTech company, has introduced a no-fee credit card in Argentina. 

Backed by prominent investors including George Soros, Steve Cohen and Tencent Holdings, Ualá aims to provide financial services to the millions of Argentines who lack access to traditional banking products, Bloomberg reported Friday (Dec. 1). 

Argentina is currently facing economic challenges such as high inflation rates and soaring interest rates, according to the report. However, Ualá CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri remains optimistic about the company’s prospects in its home country. With approximately 60% of Argentines without a credit card, Ualá sees a significant untapped market to capture. 

Ualá has already achieved success with its credit card service in Mexico, with hundreds of thousands of customer sign-ups per month, the report said. 

In Argentina, Ualá already has a customer base representing one-fifth of the economically active population, and Barbieri expects “millions” of registrations for the new credit card, per the report. 

The company faces competition from Mercado Pago, the FinTech arm of eCommerce giant MercadoLibre, which boasts over 8 million users, according to the report. 

However, Ualá’s no-fee credit card, operated by Mastercard, sets it apart, the report said. The company aims to provide a seamless and user-friendly experience, offering instant global push notifications on its mobile app. This feature allows users to track the exchange rate they received when making purchases abroad or from foreign online merchants, a crucial benefit given Argentina’s complex exchange rates system. 

Ualá’s credit card service will be gradually rolled out through its subsidiaryUilo (formerly known as Wilobank), per the report. The credit card has no opening, maintenance or renewal fees. 

Despite the economic volatility in Argentina, Ualá remains on track to achieve break-even in its home market by the end of this year, the report said. The company’s goal is to become the largest financial player in the country. 

The rollout of the new credit card comes about 13 months after Ualá said it planned to invest $150 million to expand its Latin American digital banking operations. 

“Latin America is 20% digitized against 50% in Europe and 70% in China,” Barbieri said when announcing the investment in October 2022. “I know that digitization will continue.”