The disintermediation of banks and other traditional financial services via blockchain has huge possibilities in providing FinTech services to the un and underbanked, particularly in still-developing economies..
Even in one of the richest economies on the planet – the U.S. – 46% of the population cannot obtain a loan on favorable terms. 70% of the population has no access to credit at all. The availability of such services along with basic access to a bank account, get more disparate outside of developed economies. And into this yawning gape of financial need has stepped the FinTech services industry in general and blockchain-enabled finance in particular.
South of the Rio Grande, blockchain-based FinTechs are already shaking up financial services by reaching out to the unbanked. In just one country – Mexico – FinTechs offering financial services to those traditionally priced out of banking services are on track to capture 30% of the entire banking market within a decade.
Financial exclusion, in other words, is becoming an opportunity.
And into this mix are coming new FinTech start-ups – offering a plethora of services that the big guys can’t afford, do not want to offer, or cannot touch. Into this fertile mix, also add a technology that can connect micro-borrowers anywhere on the planet with those willing to make a microloan or send cash or even pay bills remotely. All enabled by push-button technology that avoids traditional fees, charges, middlemen and all that processing time.
Uulala is a company on a mission. Owned by minorities of first or second generation Latino descent, it aims to facilitate and accelerate the financial inclusion of the under and non-banked in the Americas. Uulala empowers users by providing financial tools and services critical in building credit, sending money and participating in e-commerce. Uulala can move those without access to banking and traditional banking services now away from a cash-only environment for the first time.
The platform also enables users to participate in a full range of services they could not access before. This includes the ability to send and receive secure financial transactions digitally and via mobile devices, pay bills, build credit and even gain access to digital goods, services, and entertainment once out of reach because of no access to banking services.
As Oscar Garcia, the co-founder of Uulala said about what drives the company, especially now, “We are at a tumultuous time in history where the Latino community has a lot of fear about what will happen with the US government and US financial institutions and how that will affect their ability to work, save and support their families.
Uulala was developed to be the beacon of light or mechanism to sustain and empower a culture that has been cast aside.”
Here is the market that Uulala has in its sights. Global remittances, which totaled $429 billion in 2016, are worth three times the annual amount of foreign aid distributed by governments. The money is also more efficient than government aid because it side-steps all the corrupt go-betweens and inefficiencies of the current system.
On top of this, remittances are a critical source of income for families in developing countries – particularly those with relatives in more developed countries. Migration for work is a major issue of the 21st century. And one of the places it has always been an issue is in the migrant, Latino-heritage market segment of both the U.S. and all of the particularly Spanish-speaking countries south of the U.S. border.
The World Bank says that transaction fees average 7.45% of this amount globally and can drift as high as 15%. Fintech and blockchain-enabled services are of course making inroads by offering competitive rates, and Uulala is no exception.
Of course recipients of such “aid” are also instantly able to have access to other banking services.
At present, only 7% of all remittances in this market segment are even digital. As such, this creates a huge opportunity for the services Uulala is now preparing to offer to a highly valuable, underpenetrated market with huge and untapped banking and buying power.
Remittance: Domestic and international money transfers occur both peer-to-peer and peer-to-institution. Cut out the expensive middlemen (goodbye Western Union).
Banking Services: Uulala offers banking services with low monthly fees, even to those with account minimums that traditional banks will not touch. This also gives users the ability to pay bills for people in other countries. The service also features a top-up program for mobile phone numbers. On top of this, the platform creates opportunities for B2B services and micro-credit.
Digital Credit: Paying bills, transferring money and purchasing goods and services add up. That includes in the creation of a global credit score that can be continually improved by users as they enhance their profile via active app use.
Cash Rewards: Users can even use services associated with a pre-paid MasterCard. This includes the ability to earn a percentage of all purchases back as a “forced” saving account. 300 top tier retailers are participating in the Uulala network already with rewards as high as 6% of total purchases.
If it sounds “normal” that is because it is. Uulala is just recreating what people with traditional banking access take for granted for those who have never had access to such services before. And all enabled by blockchain technology.
Token name: UULA
Token base: Multichain utility token
Token supply: 750 million (total supply)
Token sale duration: Staggered pre-sale and crowd-sale with discounts and incentives underway now until the end of the public crowd sale in Q’2, 2018.
Token sale target: USD $50 million (hard cap) for the sale of 2/3rds of all tokens
Token exchange rate: Between USD $0.02-$0.28 per token depending on time of purchase.