FinTech unicorn TransferWise is now offering its money transfer services in Argentina, letting users move money to and from over 60 countries, the company said on its website and in a press release on Thursday (Aug. 15). Founded in London in 2011, TransferWise operates in Argentina in partnership with Nubi, a FinTech company associated with Banco Comafi.
Sending money to and from Argentina is typically complex, characterized by slow processes, less-than-optimal exchange rates and hidden fees. TransferWise, on the other hand, converts money at the mid-market exchange rate and pays the transfer using local pools of currencies in each country, using two local transfers instead of one international transaction. Because money never actually crosses any borders, users reap the benefits of low fees and speedy transfers. Prices vary depending on where funds are coming from, but the company says its service is as much as eight times less expensive than using a bank.
The digital process can also be completed just about anywhere using an Android or iPhone, with funds reaching the intended recipient in one to two working days.
Argentina is Latin America's third-largest economy, and is predicted to go from a recession to 2.2 percent growth by 2020, Forbes said. With the upcoming presidential election in October, President Mauricio Macri's chances of success depend on a stable peso and a stable to growing economy.
Argentina has suffered its fair share of economic setbacks, including a $3 billion trade deficit in 2015 as well as years of heavy state control and exchange rate fluctuations. But despite a recession, the country continued to hold its own as a global tech hub.
In January, Visa launched a new ePayment processing system in Argentina called VisaNet, which is at the forefront of blockchain adoption. Also, Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent has invested in Argentinian mobile banking startup Uala.