Natalia Rios, country manager of oula Colombia reports that in the first year in the country they have consolidated a variety of services taking advantage of the fact that they are a financing company, guarded by the Financial Superintendency and deposits guaranteed by Fogafin.
(See: The forecasts for digital businesses: how they will fare in 2023).
How has Ualá’s first year in Colombia been?
We are happy with the result. We started with the low amount deposit, then the MasterCard debit card, the Ualá classroom to learn finances, then came the payment of services and cell phone recharge, later the service for foreign and Venezuelan citizens with Temporary Protection Permit (PPT ) could also open the account with us.
(See: Why has travel demand increased on digital platforms?).
Next came the ‘acquisition’ product, which is a dataphone with a payment link and is interesting for small entrepreneurs so that they receive their electronic payments with a low commission. Then free withdrawals were allowed by Effecty, consignments by PSE and the most recent was the remunerated account.
(See: Digital platforms: solutions to face the financial crisis).
How does that account work?
There are no amounts or minimum stay times. We want everyone to have access to the account on which we have a 5% fee. We do not have the remunerated account in Argentina or Mexico and since there are no requirements, the more deposits are maintained, the more remuneration there is.
(See: The role of fintech after the rise in global inflation).
How many clients do you have?
We have 170,000 users with an open account in Ualá, which is a significant number, and more than 40,000 with PPT.
They don’t offer credits?
We do not offer credit product. The license allows that in the future it can be done. In Argentina, there is already credit.
What parts of the country are they in?
We are present in the 32 departments and we hope that it will be easily accessible in areas that are difficult to connect. Bogotá represents 25%, but users have been seen throughout the country. The average age is 31 years old and we have users over 80 years old. Even if they are low deposits, we believe that Ualá is for everyone.
What goals do they have?
Keep growing. It’s going to be interesting. The current financing situation is difficult due to high rates. We are privileged because the most recent round of investment raised US$350 million. In the three countries we have 5 million users. We are a financing company, supervised by the Superfinanciera and guaranteed deposits in Fogafin.