Switch .com Best Exchange Rates .com Best Exchange Rates .com Best Exchange Rates
eg: USDCAD, GBP/EUR, AUD to USD, 500 Pound to Yen, 15K Dollar Peso, Send Japan

China’s Ant Financial Acquires WorldFirst

Chinese fintech giant Ant Financial has acquired British payments specialist WorldFirst for an undisclosed amount.

Posted Feb 14, 2019

Ant Financial Services Group of China has agreed to buy British international payments specialist WorldFirst, it was announced on Thursday.

The agreement will make WorldFirst a wholly owned division of Ant Financial—a member of the Alibaba Group and currently the highest valued fintech company in the world. Financial terms for the deal have not been disclosed but some have suggested a figure near £550 million (US$715 million).

WorldFirst CEO Jonathan Quin has announced that he will continue as CEO even after the takeover has been completed and that WorldFirst will “continue to operate as a UK-headquartered and regulated business with global operations.”

Ant Financial has turned to WorldFirst after a failed bid for US-based MoneyGram International. The bid was blocked by Washington on national security grounds. Thursday’s acquisition means that US-based readers will no longer be able to open WorldFirst accounts, and that existing US accounts will be transferred to Omega Money Transfer, a separate company that will operate independently of the World First Group.

It is likely that Ant Financial was attracted to WorldFirst due to the success of the company’s “World Accounts”—a product that enables online sellers and small businesses to receive payments in major currencies (GBP, EUR, CAD, USD, AUD, NZD, JPY and CNY) in personal “local” accounts, thereby avoiding costly foreign exchange conversions. It is expected that World Account functionality will soon be incorporated into the Ant Financial platform.

Founded in 2004, WorldFirst employs around 600 people worldwide and has processed payments worth £70 billion (US$90 billion) since it began trading.

Update March 8, 2018: WorldFirst has announced the acquisition of Australia’s CurrencyVue. The takeover will expand WorldFirst’s cross-border trade and payments solution for online sellers and businesses. CurrencyVue offers a foreign exchange risk management platform that integrates with popular accounting systems including Xero, QuickBooks and Netsuite.

Facebook’s Libra Is Not the Game Changer That’s Being Promised

Enthusiasts would have us believe that Facebook’s own digital currency, Libra, will instantly revolutionize the remittance industry upon its release in 2020 — except it won’t. A harsher reality awaits, with conversion costs, capital gains taxes and a lack of Libra-priced goods all likely to limit its appeal.

Last update: 7 Jan, 2020

Fintech Money Transfers Up 2,500 percent in South Korea Last Year

The number of international money transfers handled by fintech providers in South Korea has grown 2,500 percent in little over a year, the country’s financial regulator has said.

Last update: 5 May, 2020

Fintechs vs. Banks: Remittance War Rages On as FX Costs Slashed for Millions

For many currency routes, FX costs have been slashed in recent years by a number of industry-disrupting fintechs, allowing such firms to slice great chunks from the banking sector’s lucrative remittance markets. Banks are fighting back, though, by developing low-cost, digital offerings of their own.

Last update: 27 Apr, 2020

WorldFirst add Hong Kong Dollar and Chinese Yuan to World Accounts

World Accounts now let your business collect funds and pay local suppliers in HKD or make payments to offshore CNY (CNH) accounts in China.

Last update: 27 Apr, 2020

 
Please note that the opinions of our authors are their own and do not reflect the opinion of Best Exchange Rates and should not be taken as a reference to buy or sell any financial product.