Argentina-based fintech company Ualá has secured the regulatory approval to acquire Wilobank, the first digital bank in the country.

The deal, which was first announced in April 2021, will see Ualá acquire a 100% share of local billionaire Eduardo Eurnekian-backed digital bank.

As per the terms of the agreement, Eurnekian will join Ualá as a shareholder.

The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) has also approved Ualá’s business plan.

Ualá CEO and founder Pierpaolo Barbieri hopes Wilobank’s acquisition to enhance the firm’s capabilities allowing it to offer better credit and collection tools to both individuals and business owners.

The deal would give Ualá access to Wilobank’s bank license expanding its customer base to include pensioners and government welfare recipients among others.

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Speaking to Bloomberg, Barbieri said: “We are delighted about this opportunity because it will allow us to greatly enhance Ualá’s financial ecosystem. This will allow us to do things in Argentina that are reserved for bank entities.”

In the next few days, Ualá aims to complete the share transfer process, which will be followed by the commencement of integration between both the firms.

Ualá has operations in Argentina, Mexico and Colombia, where it arrived recently and is authorised to operate as a financing company to offer debit cards. 

In November 2021, Ualá agreed to buy a Mexican bank ABC Capital. The deal is yet to receive regulatory approval.

Ualá did not divulge the financial details of the transaction.