WorldFirst are the first to apply for a Chinese payments licence, required for any payments business operating in China. This bodes well for ecommerce merchants who might want to trade with the second largest economy in the world. If WorldFirst are able to operate in China then they’ll be able to assist with repatriating funds at more attractive rates then traditional banking institutions.
The back story is that China has very much been a closed shop to finance companies from outside China. However mid March the People’s Bank of China, China’s central bank, announced steps to open up the Chinese financial sector to foreign businesses. It’s believed that WorldFirst is the only company to have submitted an application thus far.
If WorldFirst is successful in gaining permission to operate in China then they would be subject to the same regulatory requirements as local financial institutions, including storing data on servers located in China.
It is likely to be some time before services are available to merchants wishing to make use of WorldFirst’s services in China, but it’s an interesting first stop to making trading with China more accessible.