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WorldFirst vs PayPal
Find out which money transfer service offers the best value when you next send money overseas.
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 15 March 2019.
Which has lower fees?
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.
You don’t have to pay any transaction fees when you’re sending payments. If you send a payment overseas in a different currency, a small conversion fee ranging from 3.5% to 4% applies.
On the other hand, the recipient will need to cover a fee consisting of 3.9% of the total amount requested plus a fixed fee of S$0.50 for every paid request. If you’re using the payment request service for your business, you may be eligible for a lower fee.[/fin_accordion] [/fin_accordions]
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 S$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 S$2,000 from Singapore to the UK. Because of PayPal’s confusing fee structure, let’s assume the PayPal transaction will be funded from your bank account rather than from a credit/debit card. In this example, we’ll also assume that you’re transferring extra to cover for the transfer fee incurred on their end.
Sending $2,000 to the UK
|Exchange rate||1 SGD = 0.5921 GBP||1 SGD = 0.5815 GBP|
|Transfer speed||1 working day||Instant|
|Total British pounds received||£1,184.20||£1,163.10|
|Receiver gets||£21.10 more||£21.10 less|
As you can see, not only will WorldFirst save you S$78.50 in transfer fees compared to PayPal, but it will also allow you to send £21.10 more to your recipient.
Which offers better exchange rates?
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 SGD to USD:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 SGD = 0.731 USD
- The WorldFirst rate might be 1 SGD = 0.724 USD
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 SGD to USD example:
- If the mid-market rate is 1 SGD = 0.731 USD
- PayPal’s rate might be 1 SGD = 0.702 USD
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 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 1–4 working days.
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.
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.
|Payment methods||Receiving options||Max and min||Transfer speeds||Currencies|
|WorldFirst||Bank transfer||Bank account||Minimum: $2,000|
Maximum: No limit
|1 - 2 days||55+ currencies|
|PayPal||Bank transfer, credit or debit card, PayPal Credit||PayPal account transfer||Minimum: $1|
|1 day||20+ currencies|
WorldFirst offers an online transfer service and allows you to send transactions of S$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.
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.
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 S$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.
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