Chinese fintech giant Ant Financial has acquired full ownership of London-based cross-border payments company WorldFirst.
According to a report from Shanghai Securities Journal Ant Financial has already completed acquisition of a 100% equity stake in WorldFirst, officially making it a fully invested subsidiary.
“Alipay and WorldFirst joining hands will enable us to better service small and micro-enterprises, and advance financial inclusion services around the globe, expediting the sustainable development of the global economy” said Ant Financial in an official statement.
According to the statement WorldFirst founder and CEO Jonathan Quin will remain at the realm of the company.
In an email Quin stressed that the products and services it provides to global customers will remain unchanged, and that he hopes the tie up with Alipay will enable it to provide better service to small and micro-enterprises around the globe.
On 24 January WorldFirst announced via its official WeChat account that it had withdrawn its application for a payments license with the Chinese central bank for its Chinese entity Yuefan Commercial Information Consulting (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (越蕃商务信息咨询（上海）有限公司).
WorldFirst was the first foreign payments organisation to apply for a payments license in China following Beijing’s recent decision to open up the market to non-bank payments organisations.