By Valentine Hilaire
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Argentina’s Uala has moved into Mexico’s remittance market by pairing up with local bank ABC Capital, the financial technology firm announced on Friday, in a bid to get a slice of a market that captured $32.8 billion in the first seven months of the year according to official data.
The new service will allow Mexican users to immediately access funds sent to them by family or friends abroad, using an app that charges no commissions.
Uala announced a planned acquisition of ABC last year, but is still awaiting regulatory approval and has opted to work with the Mexican bank to enter the local remittance market ahead of the takeover being finalized.
Uala, founded in 2017, began operating in Mexico in 2020 and is valued at around $2.4 billion. Among its backers are funds such as SoftBank Latin America Fund and Tencent.
Anyone in Mexico may receive up to $900 in their account monthly, more than double the average individual remittance that is sent per family, which between January and July 2022 was $406.
Mexicans living and working abroad – particularly in the United States – are sending record amounts of money home to help their families as the Mexican economy continues to stutter.
Uala will compete with key players such as Western Union, Vivo, Moneygram, Wells Fargo, Moneygram, Xoom and startup Bitso in the remittance market.
The company is looking to expand as it announced on Tuesday the acquisition of Ceibo Creditos, a firm specialized in credits and financial solutions with a buy now pay later scheme.
(Reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Josie Kao)