Cross-border payments firm WorldFirst is launching operations in mainland China through the rollout of its localized brand name and multi-currency accounts for small businesses in the country.
In an announcement made Tuesday (November 6) on its blog, WorldFirst said its local brand, which translates to “transfers, even miles away,” offers businesses a platform to send and receive payments from across borders in local currencies. While the company has been servicing China-based businesses for a decade, the firm only recently secured a license to operate in the country itself.
“The launch of the WorldFirst name is an important milestone for our business and a really strong demonstration of our commitment to China,” said WorldFirst Managing Director APAC Jeff Parker in a statement. “We’ve already helped more than 50,000 customers in China and we’re excited at the prospect of helping many, many more. Our mission now is to go further to help not just businesses in China but businesses around the world who want to do business with China.”
He added that he hopes the rollout will position WorldFirst to play “a key part in supporting growing trade between east and west.”
Earlier this year reports surfaced that WorldFirst was expected to beat out PayPal in securing what would be the first license to operate in China for a foreign payments company. The U.K.-based company submitted its application to the People’s Bank of China in May.
The nation’s current payments market is dominated by Alipay and WeChat Pay, but WorldFirst’s launch of a small business-focused payments solution positions the firm competitively in cross-border business payments in the Chinese market.
Previous research conducted by WorldFirst found that cross-border trade volumes continue to rise despite geopolitical risks, with nearly one-third of SMBs surveyed by the firm reporting that they make at least one foreign transaction per month. Most mid-market companies surveyed say they transact across borders.