WorldFirst money transfers review - April 2021 | Finder UK

Review: WorldFirst international money transfers

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Enjoy competitive exchange rates and no transfer fees 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.

£0

Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)

£1,000

Minimum Transfer Amount

No limit

Maximum Transfer Amount

Details

Product NameWorldFirst
Minimum Transfer Amount£1,000
Maximum Transfer AmountNo limit
Pay ByDebit card, Bank transfer
Receiving OptionsBank account, Mobile wallet
Customer ServicePhone, Live chat, Email
Available CurrenciesAUD, CAD, CNY, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, USD
Bank Account Required?No
Personal Account Manager?Yes

Must read: WorldFirst has closed its private customer business

WorldFirst has discontinued its services for private customers until further notice. Money transfers services for business customers will remain unaffected.

WorldFirst exchange rates and fees

WorldFirst doesn’t charge any fees, but does add a margin to the mid-market exchange rate. This means WorldFirst’s exchange rate won’t be as good as the one you can see on Google or the news.

On most popular currencies, WorldFirst guarantees that the margin will only be 0.5% on top of the exchange rate. The more you send, the lower it gets. This rate goes down to 0.4% for Finder customers.

For the other, less popular currencies, you won’t pay more than about 1% on top of the exchange rate.

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.

Data updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
WorldFirst
Within an hour
£0

View details
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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Must read: WorldFirst’s rates in detail

In August 2019, WorldFirst announced it was launching a new pricing structure aimed at making the margins applied to each transfer more transparent and easier to understand. Most popular currencies are available to purchase at these rates online, but for some, you’ll need to contact WorldFirst by phone. These rates apply to personal, business and online seller customers.

(0.4% for Finder customers)

Because WorldFirst takes a smaller margin than the major banks, it’s typically able to offer better rates than a bank can. In fact, it claims its exchange rates are up to 85% better than the high street banks, and backs this up with the WorldFirst Price Promise.

WorldFirst's Price Promise

If you get a better quote from another international transfer service, WorldFirst will beat it. You just need to:

  • Register with WorldFirst.
  • Let WorldFirst know 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 it buys the currency.
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Available currencies

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
  • AUD Australian dollar
  • INR Indian rupee
  • LKR Sri Lankan rupee
  • NZD New Zealand dollar
  • PHP Philippine peso
  • USD US dollar
  • VND Vietnamese dong

The minimum amount you can send to most of these currencies is £1,000. However, for some currencies like the Indonesian rupiah, Vietnamese dong and Nepalese rupee, the minimum goes up.

What types of transfers can you make with WorldFirst?

WorldFirst offers four main transfer types to help you get the most out of your transaction.

  1. Spot contracts. Make a one-time transfer at the time of payment.
  2. Forward contracts. Lock in today’s exchange rate and schedule a transfer now for up to two years later.
  3. Regular payments. Set up automated payments online or over the phone.
  4. Limit orders. Use these to execute a money transfer when your ideal exchange rate is met.

What payment methods does WorldFirst accept?

WorldFirst only accepts payments via 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 GBP to 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 takeClock icon for transfer speed

24 hours

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 400,000* globally.
  • Reviews: Feefo gives WorldFirst a score of 4.6* out of 5, based on over 485 reviews.
*According to WorldFirst and Feefo on 18 April 2019.

WorldFirst is regulated in the UK by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), which is the body that regulates finance companies to protect consumers. Part of the FCA’s regulation means that WorldFirst has to keep its customers’ funds separate from its own. This protects its users’ money if the company runs into financial difficulties.

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 0.15% and 1% 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 online and, once you register and are verified the first time, it’s quick and easy to make future transactions.

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How do I make an international money transfer with WorldFirst?

  1. Log in and click ‘make a transfer’. You’ll find this button on the homescreen of your log-in page.
  2. Choose your currencies. You’ll need to include the currency you hold and what you want to send, as well as the amount.
  3. Select your payment method. Even though you can only use a bank transfer in the UK, you can choose if the money is coming from a bank account under your name or not.
  4. Pick what date you want WorldFirst to make the transfer. It can either be for as soon as possible or at a later date.
  5. Review your transfer. Double-check the exchange rate is the one you want as this is the one you’re locking in.
  6. Transfer the money to WorldFirst’s bank account. You can find WorldFirst’s bank account details in the confirmation email you’re sent.
  7. 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. They now have offices in Hong Kong, Japan, the US, the Netherlands and Singapore and Sydney.

In a nutshell

Pros
  • No fees. WorldFirst doesn’t charge any transaction fees, commissions or ongoing fees for personal transfers.
  • Competitive rates. WorldFirst offers highly competitive, transparent exchange rates to customers that’s usually not too far from the interbank rate.
  • Same-day transfers for major currencies. If you’re transferring GBP to USD or EUR, WorldFirst is able to deliver same-day. Transfers to Australia and New Zealand are also typically within 24 hours.
  • 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.
Cons
  • 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 £1,000. For some currencies, this increases substantially.
  • 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.
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How does WorldFirst compare to other providers?

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
Data updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise) for large transfers
Within an hour
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
£0

View details
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

View details
CentralFX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
SpartanFX
24 hours
£0

View details
SpartanFX has fee-free transfers, a best exchange rate guarantee and personalised one-to-one support for every customer.
Currencies Direct
Within an hour
£0

View details
CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

View details
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfers
24 hours
£0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

View details
XE has fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From £3.75

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

View details
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

View details
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

View details
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From £1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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Frequently asked questions

Our review of WorldFirst’s online seller product

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6 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    julius
    October 5, 2018

    I would like to transfer exactly 11700000 HUF (approx. £32000)to Hungary to a bank account from my UK bank account. The pound sterling seems to be a bit stronger today than it was a few days ago. How can I set up a Spot Contract/Forward Contract to transfer the money in early November?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      October 9, 2018

      Hi Julius,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      You can set up spot or forward contract with World First by visiting their website. Click on the “Go to site” green button to be redirected to World First’s website. From there, create an account if you haven’t done so. Sign in to your account and from there, you should be able to start setting up your spot or forward contract.

      If you want to know more about forward contracts, please go to this page.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    Dora
    August 30, 2017

    I would like to know it is possible I transfer money from an UK account to an Algerian account? And the rate is how it show in the exchange sites? Look like unreal. Thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Anndy
      September 5, 2017

      Hi Dora,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are looking to send money to Algeria, you can check our guide and your options here.

      The exchange rate is based on the real-time rate on the provider’s website.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    Maurizio
    February 16, 2017

    Trying to transfer money from a US bank to a Russian bank account with either a debit or credit card or a US checking account. I need to transfer $100 to family in Russia on a monthly basis, what is the best way to do so?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Millie
      March 3, 2017

      We would recommend using Azimo or TransferWise for this, please visit these provider pages for more information. If you require more information on how to send money to Russia, please visit our information page here.

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