On February 14, WorldFirst, a British cross-border payment company, completed the ownership change and became a wholly owned subsidiary of ant financial group, bloomberg news website reported. Ant financial’s acquisition of WorldFirst marks the first big push by the Chinese payments company into Europe., although its Alipay unit has been accepted by some local merchants.
After failing to buy MoneyGram of the U.S., Ant Financial restarted its internationalisation process by acquiring WorldFirst, the london-based UK cross-border payments company. It is the biggest overseas deal since its us expansion suffered a setback.“The products and services of Alipay and WorldFirst are highly complementary,”Jonathan Quin said, founder and CEO of WorldFirst. Jonathan Quin stresses that the products and services provided by WorldFirst brand to global users remain unchanged, and expects to work with Alipay to better serve global small and micro enterprises.
Ant Financial also issued a statement saying that “Alipay and WorldFirst will allow us to better serve small and micro enterprises, promote inclusive financial services and promote sustainable global economic development.”Although the two sides did not disclose the amount of the deal, Ant Financial said, the long-term value of this acquisition for the cross-border operation of global smes is far greater than that.
The deal is seen as the most significant global fintech acquisition by a Chinese technology company to date.Ant Financial, a unit of Alibaba group.
Acquisition does not cover the U.S. business
“The acquisition does not include WorldFirst’s us business, which was spun off to existing shareholders prior to the deal,” according to a person familiar with the matter.
Ant Financial has not yet participated in WorldFirst management With the completion of this acquisition, the outside world is also concerned about changes at the executive level.
Ant financial also said in a statement that WorldFirst would continue to operate under founder Jonathan quinn after the acquisition.
As of February 20, the senior management team of WorldFirst website did not see any shadow of the senior management of ant financial. As for whether there will be a follow-up of ant financial staff into the company’s management, ant financial did not disclose.Ant financial, a unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., serves hundreds of millions of customers who rely on it for everything from microtransactions to wealth management.
WorldFirst is a company providing international payment services. Its main business is divided into three parts: international remittance, foreign exchange options trading, and payment collection and settlement on international e-commerce platforms.
The supported e-commerce platforms include: Amazon (us, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan and Australia), eBay, Walmart.com, Japan lotte, Lazada, Opensky, Newegg, Cdiscount, PriceMinister and other 71 global online trading platforms. Meanwhile, VAT payment in Europe is supported.WorldFirst has previously worked with Alibaba’s Lazada to provide international payment services to merchants in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, it said. WorldFirst’s international remittance business will also become a structural component of Alibaba’s global remittance. Previously, benefiting from the successful commercialization of blockchain technology, Alipay has successively opened the blockchain cross-border remittance link from Hong Kong to the Philippines, Malaysia to Pakistan in just one year. With the addition of WorldFirst, Alipay will become a powerful booster for its new breakthrough in globalization.
The WorldFirst acquisition is a sign that alipay’s global imagination is still escalating — from the globalization of mobile payment tools to the globalization of small and micro businesses’ technology and financial services.And with the integration of WorldFirst, it is inevitable to accelerate the globalization of Alipay’s small and micro-technology service capability will form a joint effort with domestic business business to open Alipay global financial institutions.
After the acquisition of WorldFirst by Ant Financial, what about the US MoneyGram?
Ant financial has struggled in the past few years to expand in Europe and the U.S.
In January 2017, ant financial proposed to buy MoneyGram for $880m, but the acquisition failed. MoneyGram is the world’s second-largest money transfer service company, headquartered in the United States.Some analysts believe that the failure of the acquisition of moneygram makes the acquisition of wanlihui by ant financial very important, which will affect the success or failure of ant financial to break into the cross-border payment market in Europe and America.
After the acquisition of WorldFirst by ant financial, the development trend of MoneyGram in the United States may be affected. It can be predicted that to achieve rapid development, it may need to cooperate with other mobile payment service providers. Maybe PAYPAL is a good choice.
The article quoted bloomberg, Securities Daily and other media reports
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