Mexico’s bank regulator CNBV approved fintech Ualá’s purchase of ABC Capital, allowing the company to move forward with a merger that finalizes its path to a banking license in Latin America’s second-biggest economy.
(Bloomberg) — Mexico’s bank regulator CNBV approved fintech Ualá’s purchase of ABC Capital, allowing the company to move forward with a merger that finalizes its path to a banking license in Latin America’s second-biggest economy.
The license will allow the company to expand its product offering to those allowed only to banks, such as receiving payroll deposits and removing a cap on the amounts held, said Chief Executive Officer Pierpaolo Barbieri. The Buenos Aires-based fintech first announced the purchase of the Monterrey-based bank in November 2021.
“This is a transformational step,” Barbieri said in an interview. “The banking license will allow us to scale up our operation, boost the products we offer and speed up the launch of new ones.”
Ualá provides financial services based on a prepaid card managed through a mobile app in Mexico, Argentina and Colombia. The Buenos Aires-based fintech is betting big in Mexico, where it launched operations in 2020 and last year announced plans to spend more than half of the $150 million it will invest in the next 18 months.
The company has half a million clients in Mexico and expects to grow to over 4 million in as little as three years, he added. Since 2022, the company has launched credit cards, mobile point-of-sales units, a service for clients to receive remittances and personal loans.
Read More: Billionaire-Backed Ualá Launches ‘Star Product’ in Mexico
Other key points from the interview:
- The fastest growing products in Mexico are mobile payments for small businesses and credit cards
- Ualá will be able to approve and issue credit cards faster thanks to its new banking license
- The company doesn’t expect the merger with ABC will lead to layoffs, Barbieri said, and headcount is still growing as the license opens more business opportunities
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