The fintech giant has done his first big move in Europe when acquiring the company WorldFirst in a deal valued at around 600 million euros.
Ant Financial enters Europe by acquiring English remittance service WorldFirst
recognized for its online payment service , is the most successful fintech company globally and indeed it might soon become . Now he plans to disembark in Europe with which it will begin its expansion outside of Asia: the subsidiary of has bought the remittance service based on the , WorldFirst, and of course, this agreement has potentially significant consequences.
First of all, the agreement between Ant Financial and WorldFirst highlights the solid market connections that are developing between but it also underscores the strategic pressures that many smaller remittance companies face from giants like creating their own money transfer services.
WorldFist is 15 years old, and allows businesses and consumers transfer money between countries at lower prices than financial institutions. This company has transferred more than 79,000 million euros since 2004, achieving more than one million transfers per year.
Now this service can be used by mMore than 550 million registered users of Ant Financial, whose main objective is to conquer Europe. owns a third of the shares of Ant Financial, which is currently worth around €13 billion.
The difficult internationalization for the financial giant owned by Alibaba
, co-founder and CEO of WorldFirst assured that “Alipay’s and WorldFirst’s capabilities and international footprints are highly complementary”while WorldFirst will retain its brand to become a subsidiary of Ant Financial.
In fact, many UK merchants already accept Alipay in order to cater to Chinese tourists who come to visit the country. “The deal will add WorldFirst’s international online payments and virtual account products to Alipay’s range of technology solutions.” An Ant Financial spokesperson told .
This acquisition gives Ant Financial a huge boost, and for the first time, a significant profile in Europe. Its international expansion efforts were frustrated during 2017, when the fintech tried to acquire, however the deal was blocked by the US government.
In fact, last year WorldFirst expanded its operations in United States by acquiring Wyrea San Francisco-based money transfer company, however, closed this location shortly before the acquisition of Ant Financial, perhaps preventing a new intervention as happened with MoneyGram.
Ant Financial has aggressively expanded its presence in Asia through a series of investment agreements. The overall strategy is to replicate Alipay’s success in China where it offers mobile payments and digital financial services covering lending, banking and wealth management, a strategy that will soon enter Europe fully.
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