UK payments firm WorldFirst partners with Alibaba

UK business payments provider WorldFirst has partnered with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

WorldFirst said the partnership would enable UK SMEs to improve their digital presence and international sales.

The payments provider said the collaboration will enable UK sellers to access 15 million buyers from 200 countries and regions on Alibaba’s platform.

WorldFirst said it will advise UK SMEs on how Alibaba can benefit them and assist them including: navigating the platform’s variety of services, registration, setting up and running their online stores, and conducting online marketing campaigns.

The UK payments company was founded in 2004 by Jonathan Quin but was bought by Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial in February 2019.

The acquisition comes after an attempted $1.2 billion purchase of payments provider Moneygram by Alibaba in 2018, after the deal was blocked by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

Alibaba reported over 30 per cent year-on-year growth in 2020, as the pandemic spurred demand for its e-commerce offering.

The Chinese company, one of the most valuable worldwide, said its total ecosystem reached approximately 1.18 billion users for the 12 months ending June 30, 2021.

“WorldFirst’s market-leading international payments capability and Alibaba.com’s unrivalled e-commerce expertise mean we are ideally placed to connect dynamic and ambitious small businesses to millions of potential buyers across the world,” said Jeff Parker chief executive of WorldFirst. “Our partnership with Alibaba.com is a testament to our shared commitment to helping our SMEs thrive online as well as offline, and benefit from the huge opportunities that exist in the international market.”

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