This is the second major investment by the Chinese company in Latin America’s financial technology industry, after it sunk US$90 million in Nu Pagamentos SA (Nubank), a similar fintech services provider in Brazil.
Uala’s founder Pierpaolo Barbieri confirmed the investment in an interview with Reuters, but declined to divulge the amount invested.
Founded in 2016, Uala offers mobile deposit accounts and prepaid credit cards in the country, where half of the population reportedly does not have a bank account.
The payment app has issued more than 50,000 credit cards, according to Bloomberg. People can also purchase public transportation cards, SUBE, using the Uala app.
Uala also counts George Soros and Point72 Ventures LLC among its investors. Tencent will now help the Argentine company further develop its app and expand operations throughout the country.
Tencent’s subsidiary Wechat has more than 1 billion users, offering similar mobile banking services.
“The idea is that it’s not just money. It’s about learning from their experience in China and in other Asian markets to inform our Latin America strategy,” Barbieri was quoted by Reuters as saying.