Argentina’s Ualá, the mobile payments company backed by George Soros, Steve Cohen and Tencent Holdings, is expanding into merchant services in Mexico.
The company is launching mobile point-of-sales (mPOS) units on Wednesday, allowing small businesses to process payments on site and receive an immediate deposit of the sales in their bank accounts, said Ualá’s founder and chief executive officer Pierpaolo Barbieri. Businesses will also be able to charge via payment links.
Ualá, which provides a slew of financial services based on a prepaid card managed through a mobile app, expects to invest as much as US$100 million over the next two years in launching new products and scaling existing operations in the country.
“We believe Mexico has the potential to represent 50 percent of our whole business in the future,” Barbieri said in an interview. “We’re focusing on Mexico, betting on its growth.”
The company will charge a 2.99 percent fee per sale for merchants using its mPOS units, said Maia Eliscovich, head of Ualá Bis, as the business is known. Units will cost 339 pesos (about US$17) and can be acquired on the company’s app and website.
Ualá was valued at US$2.5 billion in its latest funding round and launched operations in Colombia earlier this year. The startup is also backed by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
The company has more than five million customers across the multiple services it offers in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia.
by Andrea Navarro, Bloomberg