Argentina FinTech Ualá Debuts Mobile POS For SMBs

Argentinian mobile payments company Ualá, bolstered by heavyweight investors, is expanding into merchant services, according to Bloomberg. The investors include George Soros, Steve Cohen and Tencent Holdings.

On Thursday (Dec. 3), the company rolled out a new line of services working with small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), a first for Ualá, according to Founder and CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri, Bloomberg reported.

“As of Thursday, we stop being a payments app and start becoming a full payments ecosystem, moving beyond individual accounts and services to small businesses,” Barbieri told Bloomberg. “This closes the loop on Ualá.”

The company is planning to debut mobile point-of-sales (mPOS) services, hoping to deploy 100,000 by the end of next year. Bloomberg also reported that the company will start offering SMBs the option to charge from payment links.

Ualá provides various financial services based on a prepaid card and works via a mobile app. The company has issued more than 2.5 million cards in Argentina since its 2017 debut. It launched operations in Mexico in September, issuing around 1,000 cards a day there, Bloomberg reported.

According to Barbieri, Ualá is poised to take advantage of the current market conditions because of its ability to let SMBs access funds immediately, as opposed to the standard two-month time frame, per Bloomberg.

Commissions, in addition, are 30 percent cheaper than competitors’, the report stated.

The support for Ualá comes as consumers look for alternatives to cash due to the pandemic, Bloomberg reported.

In separate news, Argentina has faced a declining economy — as has much of the world — because of the pandemic. As a result, Walmart has decided to leave Argentina and sell its stores there to a local company, Grupo de Narváez, one of the top South American chains. Walmart didn’t disclose the price of the deal. Walmart has over 90 stores and 9,000 employees in the country.