WorldFirst vs PayPal

Find out which money transfer service offers the best value when you next send money overseas.

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If you need to send money overseas, WorldFirst and PayPal both offer more affordable international transfers than the major banks. In this guide, we’ll compare the fees, exchange rates and transaction speeds of WorldFirst and PayPal to find out which one is the best choice for your international transfer needs.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of June 2019.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
NZD 2,000 2 days NZD 0.00 0.636 USD
6,360
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

Which has lower fees?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst doesn’t charge any fees on international money transfers. However, it’s worth remembering that your beneficiary’s bank may charge a receiving fee.

PayPal

With PayPal the size of the fee you pay varies depending on your transfer amount and how you pay for the transaction.

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Winner: WorldFirst

With zero fees, WorldFirst takes the win in this category. However, please note this doesn’t necessarily mean your transfer will be cheaper with WorldFirst. You’ll also need to factor in the exchange rate, which we’ll explain below.

Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $2,000 to the UK

How do WorldFirst and PayPal compare in a real-life situation? Let’s look at what would happen if you wanted to send $2,000 from New Zealand to the UK. Because of PayPal’s fee structure, let’s assume the PayPal transaction will be funded from your bank account rather than from a credit/debit card.

Sending $1,000 to the UK
WorldFirst PayPal
Transfer fee $0 $6.99
Exchange rate NZD$1 = GBP£0.530862 NZD$1 = GBP£0.5060
Transfer speed 1 working day Instant
Total British pounds received GBP£1,061.72 GBP£1,012
Receiver gets GBP£49.72 more GBP£49.72 less

As you can see, not only will WorldFirst save you $6.99 in transfer fees compared to PayPal, but it will also allow you to send GBP£49.72 more to your recipient.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst adds a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. This margin varies depending on the currency you send, but is generally between 0.5% and 1%. For example, if you’re sending NZD to USD:

  • If the mid-market rate is NZD$1 = USD$0.706550
  • The WorldFirst rate might be NZD$1 = USD$0.702819

PayPal

PayPal also imposes a margin on top of the mid-market exchange rate. This margin is usually smaller than that imposed by major banks, but typically falls between 3% and 4%. Using the same NZD to USD example:

  • If the mid-market rate is NZD$1 = USD$0.706550
  • PayPal’s rate might be NZD$1 = USD$0.6803

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldFirst

WorldFirst consistently offers better exchange rates than PayPal. This means that more of the money you send will arrive in your recipient’s bank account.

Which is faster?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst processing times vary depending on the currency you transfer, the amount you send and your bank. Transfers to major currencies, such as USD, GBP and EUR, are usually completed the same day. However, if you’re sending to another currency, expect your transaction to take one to four working days.

PayPal

Your recipient should be able to access the funds you send to their PayPal account within seconds. However, please note that if your recipient then wants to withdraw that money to their bank account, this could take several business days.

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Winner: Tie

PayPal can do instant transfers within PayPal accounts, but it will take significantly longer if your recipient wants to withdraw the money from their PayPal account to their bank account. On equivalent transfers between two bank accounts, both WorldFirst and PayPal transfers can take several days.

General features

Payment methods Receiving options Max and min Transfer speeds Currencies
WorldFirst Bank transfer Bank account Minimum: $2,000

Maximum: No limit

2 days 55+ currencies
PayPal Bank transfer, credit or debit card, PayPal Credit PayPal account transfer Minimum: $1

Maximum: $60,000

1 day 20+ currencies

WorldFirst

WorldFirst offers an online transfer service and allows you to send transactions of $2,000 or more in over 50 currencies. To send a transfer, you’ll first need to register for a free online account. You can then choose the currency and amount you want to send and enter your recipient’s bank account details. WorldFirst also offers a smartphone app for convenient transfers on the go.

PayPal

You’ll need a PayPal account if you want to send money overseas with PayPal and you can pay for your transaction using your bank account, credit/debit card or PayPal account balance. Your recipient will also need their own PayPal account to access the money you send.

Bottom line

If you need to send a quick transfer or you only need to send a small amount of money, PayPal is worth considering. But if you’re sending $2,000 or more and you want the best exchange rate and lowest fee, WorldFirst is the clear winner.

Before deciding how to send your money overseas, make sure you compare a range of international money transfer services to find one that’s right for you.

Looking for more options?

Want to compare WorldFirst and PayPal with the competition? Use our calculator below to compare fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds across a range of money transfer services.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
NZD 250 1 day NZD 0.00 0.636 USD
6,360
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
NZD 0 1 day NZD 0.00 0.636 USD
6,360
Send money in more than 60 currencies. Fee-free international money transfers with a global brand. Go to site Show details
NZD 2,000 2 days NZD 0.00 0.636 USD
6,360
Exclusive offer: $0 transfer fee and discounted exchange rates for your first trade only.
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in more than 130 currencies.
Go to site Show details
NZD 2,000 1 day NZD 0.00 0.636 USD
6,360
TorFX guarantee to beat any competitor's exchange rate for a transaction. Conditions apply. Go to site Show details
NZD 1 Within an hour NZD 3.99 0.635 USD
6,347
An online money transfer service with cash pickup, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available. Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days NZD 15.00 0.636 USD
6,350
A higher exchange rate applies to non-finder customers. Send money in 45 currencies. No fee if you transfer over AUD$10,000. Go to site Show details
NZD 1 1 - 2 days NZD 80.00 0.639 USD
6,334
Make online transfers with transparent exchange rates, low fees and low minimum amounts. Go to site Show details
NZD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.634 USD
6,335
Go to site Show details
NZD 10,000 1 - 2 days NZD 0.00 0.633 USD
6,334
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The “Rate” and “Amount Received” displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention “Finder” before you commit to a brand.

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