Uulala
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Uulala

Uulala Business Services & The Construction Industry

Making payments on time can be a struggle for businesses in any industry. There is a need, particularly in the construction business, to not only make payments easier, but also to provide micro-credit at low cost in order to smooth out slow payment cycles.

Uulala’s business services are particularly relevant for industries like construction where companies deal not only with employees and suppliers, but also with temporary laborers and subcontractors. These groups need to be paid in a timely manner or business grinds to a halt.

Construction Business Payments

During a construction project cycle, contractors encounter payment and credit needs that change based on the stage of the project.

In general, the company will need to pay for the following during each project:

  • Permits
  • Suppliers — Construction materials, tools
  • Equipment rentals
  • Subcontractor trades — Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, rebar, concrete, etc.
  • Regular employees — Onsite, administration
  • Temporary laborers

The Uulala app is very useful for companies that need to make frequent payments to multiple different workers and businesses. Flexible payments through app include Wallet to Wallet, Wallet to Card or Network, and Wallet to Bank transfer options.

Latinos in the Construction Workforce

In 2016 the U.S. construction industry employed over 10 million workers, including many that were hired on a short term, temporary or seasonal basis. Many of these workers are unbanked or underbanked immigrants, which can make it more difficult for them to access their earnings.

In the United States in 2017, the construction, natural resource extraction and maintenance industries together accounted for 9.3% of all employment. Amongst the Latino population, however, that number jumps to 16.8%. According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017 the construction industry alone employed 11.1% of the working Latino population, but just 5.2% of the working population overall.

Uulala’s core market is the working Latino population in the U.S., as well as the businesses they work in and own, their associates, and their friends and relatives in Latin America. As an international financial platform, Uulala can smooth the financial transition for immigrants as they can use the same app for sending remittances, making purchases and receiving wages in the U.S. as they can in Mexico, Colombia or El Salvador.

Uulala’s Services at Work in the Construction Industry

With the Uulala business services suite, users can receive payments through the app, easily make international payments, pay local suppliers and make batch payments, as well as quickly acquire micro-loans.

Payroll

Many companies pay their employees through direct deposit, a cost-effective option for paying regular employees who have bank accounts. For short-term employees, however, especially those that don’t have a regular bank account, setting up direct deposit may not be practical or possible. Businesses that employ a fluctuating workforce can especially benefit from alternative payment options.

With a paper check, depositing to a bank account means a time lag until the check clears, usually at least 2 business days. The traditional alternative, check-cashing agencies, charge either a flat fee or, more likely, a percentage of the check amount, about 3%. Uulala’s app can provide the convenience and up-front fees associated with these agencies at a fraction of the cost, and mitigate the business bookkeeping costs associated with issuing paper checks and re-issuing those that are lost or damaged.

Uulala’s payroll feature allows the business to save time and money by transferring directly to someone’s Uulala wallet, to a credit card, or to a bank account. Businesses can even process batch payments like payroll through the app. This option is particularly relevant for construction companies with their large immigrant labor force and the often short-term and temporary workers.

Business Micro Loans

The construction industry is notorious for slow payments, which causes friction with suppliers and subcontractors, potentially slowing down a project. Suppliers, workers and subcontractors need to be paid on schedule, but capital is often tied up, creating financial issues for the contractor. Subcontractors in turn need to pay for materials and labor in a timely manner, but can face the same problems with working capital when their invoices are not paid quickly.

Small amounts of credit can provide Supply Chain Finance (SCF) and keep a job moving along. Providing quick micro-loans helps ensure that crucial suppliers’ invoices are up to date and that workers are paid on time. Uulala micro-loans are based on the app’s internal analysis of the user’s financial abilities, so it can efficiently offer appropriate credit as needed to help bolster a company’s credit, allowing them to make payments more quickly and keep projects on schedule.

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Matthew Loughran, EMBA

Matthew Loughran, EMBA

91 Followers

Social Impact Entrepreneur at FounderX.co, Emerging Technology Advocate, Certified UN SDG Impact Measurement Specialist