WorldFirst Foreign Exchange Money Transfers
Enjoy competitive exchange rates when you send money overseas with WorldFirst.
- Good for large transfers and transparent margins on the exchange rate.
- Not so great if you only want to send a small amount or pay by card.
Min. Transfer Amount
Max. Transfer Amount
|Product Name||WorldFirst International Money Transfers|
|Min. Transfer Amount||USD 1|
|Max. Transfer Amount||No limit|
|Transfer Methods||Online, Phone|
|Transfer Options||One off payments, Market orders, Forward contracts|
Minimum transfer time
|Customer Service||Phone, Email|
|Available Currencies||AUD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, KHR, NZD, USD|
|Online Transfer Fee||AUD 0|
|Exchange Rate Updates||Daily|
- Competitive exchange rate
- Spot contracts, forward contracts and hedging options available
- Weekly updates on market exchange rates
- Transfer fee payable
- Small numbers of currencies available
What's in this guide?
- WorldFirst exchange rates and fees
- Available currencies
- What types of transfers can you make with WorldFirst?
- What payment methods does WorldFirst accept?
- How long does a transfer with WorldFirst take?
- Is WorldFirst safe to use?
- How to register an account with WorldFirst
- How do I make an international money transfer with WorldFirst?
- What is WorldFirst's background?
- In a nutshell
- How does WorldFirst compare to other providers?
- Frequently asked questions
WorldFirst exchange rates and fees
Because WorldFirst takes a smaller margin than the major banks, it’s typically able to offer better rates than a bank can. In fact, its currency transfers may be up to 3x cheaper than the banks and it also backs up its exchange rates with a Best Rate Guarantee.
Calculate how much sending money overseas would cost with WorldFirst by using our tool below. You can also check out the real-time exchange rate WorldFirst offers and if there are any additional fees.
Best Rate Guarantee
If you get a better quote from another international transfer service, WorldFirst will beat it. You just need to:
- Register with WorldFirst.
- Inform WorldFirst of how much money you’re looking to transfer and the rate you were quoted, including the time of day you received the quote.
Conditions do apply:
- You must have an active trading account with another provider.
- You must have the quote in writing or email to send to WorldFirst within three hours of receipt.
- WorldFirst cannot give you a rate better than the rate at which they buy the currency.
WorldFirst offers money transfers to over 60 different currencies. You can check out the full list of the currencies above, but some of the more popular ones include:
- EUR Euro
- GBP British pound
- INR Indian rupee
- LKR Sri Lankan rupee
- NZD New Zealand dollar
- PHP Philippine peso
- USD US dollar
- VND Vietnamese Dong
What types of transfers can you make with WorldFirst?
What separates WorldFirst from most traditional banks and currency brokers is the fact that they offer foreign exchange methods that banks typically reserve for large corporate clients. However, WorldFirst only offers bank-to-bank transfers — meaning, funds must be drafted from your bank account, which will then be deposited into your recipient’s bank account. You cannot use cash or a debit or credit card to make the transaction.
While you can’t schedule recurring transfers, WorldFirst offers these specialised services and features for those with individual client accounts to get the most out of your transfers.
- Spot contracts. Make a one-time transfer at the time of payment.
- Firm orders.
- Easy bulk payments.
What payment methods does WorldFirst accept?
WorldFirst only accepts payments via domestic bank transfer.
After you’ve booked your money transfer, you’ll receive an email with WorldFirst’s bank account details for you to transfer your money to. You can organise your money transfer with WorldFirst either over the phone or online.
How long does a transfer with WorldFirst take?
A number of factors affect the transfer time: the currency, what bank is used and the size of the transaction. If you’re transferring to GBP, USD or EUR, the transfer is normally completed within the same day. With other currencies, you should allow one to four days for your money transfer to be completed.
Keep in mind that these times are from when WorldFirst receives your funds, so depending on how fast your bank processes money transfers.
Transfers typically take
Is WorldFirst safe to use?
- Security and regulation: WorldFirst is government regulated and holds its customers’ funds separate from the company’s own.
- Established: 2004.
- Number of customers: Over 75,000*.
- Reviews: Trustpilot gives WorldFirst a score of 7.7* out of 10, based on over 220 reviews.
WorldFirst is regulated in Hong Kong as a Money Services Operator (MSO) by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) allows you an extra layer of security. It requires you to use two types of verification when you’re logging into your account. These are usually your password and a number either sent to you by text or generated by an authenticator.
How does WorldFirst make money?
WorldFirst makes its money off the spread, which is also known as the margin. You may have noticed that the exchange rate you see on Google or XE is different to the one being quoted to you. This is because a lot of money transfer companies and banks add on a small margin to the interbank rate to cover their own costs. In other words, it’s the difference between the wholesale cost of the currency, and the rate WorldFirst offers to you.
This margin varies from company to company, so it’s important to compare both the exchange rate the money transfer service is offering as well as their additional fees. WorldFirst’s margin generally ranges between 0.1% and 4% per transfer, depending on market volatility and the specific currencies you’re buying or selling.
How to register an account with WorldFirst
You can sign up for an account with WorldFirst over the phone or online and, once you register and are verified the first time, it’s quick and easy to make future transactions.
The first step is to sign up for an account. You’ll need to provide:
- Your full name and contact information, including an email address
- Your country of residence and address
- Date of birth
- Proof of government-issued ID or passport
- Details about your money transfer needs
After you’ve registered for an account, you can usually get up and running within an hour after the WorldFirst team has verified your identity.
How do I make an international money transfer with WorldFirst?
- Log in and click ‘make a transfer’. You’ll find this button on the homescreen of your log-in page.
- Choose your currencies. You’ll need to include the currency you hold and what you want to send, as well as the amount.
- Select your payment method. Even though you can only use a bank transfer in Hong Kong, you can choose if the money is coming from a bank account under your name or not.
- Pick what date you want WorldFirst to make the transfer. It can either be for as soon as possible or at a later date.
- Review your transfer. Double-check the exchange rate is the one you want as this is the one you’re locking in.
- Transfer the money to WorldFirst’s bank account. You can find WorldFirst’s bank account details in the confirmation email you’re sent.
- WorldFirst sends your money transfer. You’ll be able to track the transfer online and receive email updates during the process.
What is WorldFirst’s background?
WorldFirst was launched in 2004 by two ex-Citibank colleagues in London. The pair wanted to use WorldFirst to make international money transfers cheaper and easier than what’s normally offered by the banks. Although they now have offices in Hong Kong, Japan, the US, the Netherlands and Singapore, the Sydney office was the second non-UK one launched.
In a nutshell
- Competitive rates. WorldFirst offers highly competitive exchange rates to customers that’s usually not too far from the interbank rate.
- Same-day transfers for major currencies. If you’re transferring to USD, EUR and GBP, WorldFirst are able to deliver within a day.
- Regular market updates. You can sign up for WorldFirst’s rate alerts or weekly market updates.
- No maximum limit. With no limit, you can transfer as much as you’d like in one go.
- Only accepts bank transfer. You won’t be able to use your credit card or debit card to pay for a money transfer.
- High minimum transfer limit. WorldFirst won’t process money transfers smaller than HK$10,000 (or currency equivalent)
- Some smaller currencies missing. WorldFirst has most of the major currencies covered, but not all of the smaller ones.
- No cash pick-up. Transfers must be sent to your recipient’s bank account. You can check out other money transfer providers that offer cash pickup here.
How does WorldFirst compare to other providers?
Our table below shows you the exchange rate and fees of other money transfer specialists.
Frequently asked questions
Does WorldFirst have an app?
Yes, the WorldFirst app is available from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store. It allows you to make transfers whenever and wherever is convenient. If you want to know more about money transfer apps, check out our guide on some of the most popular ones.
Can I send money for cash pickup through WorldFirst?
No. WorldFirst transfers money to bank accounts only.
How long does it take to open an account with WorldFirst?
You can open an account online in minutes, with verification usually taking place within an hour. After setting up the account, you’ll need to wait for a representative to contact you and finish verifying your identity. Read more about the registration process here.
Watch: Business and online payments during COVID-19
We spoke to WorldFirst’s CEO Jeff Parker about the trends he’s seen in business transfers since lockdown.