INSIGHT: WorldFirst Review. Rates, Fees and Charges Explained.

WorldFirst ReviewWorldFirst is a company founded in the UK in 2004 as a better alternative to banks for international payments. Since then, the company has grown to have six global offices and is now a firm competitor in the field. Our WorldFirst review has been designed to help you decide whether their services will suit you.

For information on other providers, you can view our comparison table to contrast their rates and fees.

WorldFirst prides itself on four things:

  • Being cheaper than banks
  • Providing great customer Service
  • Security
  • 5 Star value awarded by Canstar

What will this WorldFirst review cover?

Here at The Currency Shop, we like to ensure a few things before we recommend companies to you for international money transfers. We like to know that they offer value for money, ease and convenience for you and your circumstances, and most importantly, keep your money as safe and secure as possible. In this WorldFirst review, we will explore:

  • How to make an international transfer
  • How safe WorldFirst is
  • Fees and Charges
  • How long does the transfer take?
  • Pros and Cons of WorldFirst

How to make an international transfer

WorldFirst’s website is very easy to use and navigate to find the information you need. If you can’t find the information, they also have contact numbers and a live chat you can use to ask any queries you might have.

Unfortunately, WorldFirst does not have any offices or contact numbers in New Zealand. They do however have an office in Sydney, and you can call the Australian number if you have any queries. Despite this, you can still transfer NZD to any currency overseas.

To make an international transfer with WorldFirst, the first point to mention is that they have a minimum transfer amount of $250. Additionally, if it is under $1000 it can only be done online. For transfers over $1000 you have the option of doing the transfer over the phone or online.

The steps are relatively easy:

  1. Create an account with them online (this usually takes up to 1 hour)
  2. Tell them how much and where you would like to send to and they will give you a quote based on their exchange rate at the time
  3. Send them the payment via bank transfer or debit card
  4. They transfer your funds for you

Different types of international payments with Worldfirst

You have three options to make an international payment through them. This is handy depending on your circumstances at the time:

  • Spot Contract: This is where you will receive a rate from WorldFirst, and you decide to make the payment immediately
  • Forward Contract: This is where you will receive a rate, and if you wish to lock it in then you can do so, and wait to make the payment when you’re ready. You fix this for up to 2 years if you wish.
  • Regular Payments: You can set up regular payments through WorldFirst and can either choose to send the payment on the live exchange rate, or lock in an exchange rate before the payment is made.
  • Currency Options: When you wish to lock in a rate and make a payment later, but if the rate moves more towards your favour then you are able to change it.
  • Firm Orders: Ideal for businesses or busy individuals. If you don’t have time to watch the exchange rate, and you know what exchange rate you don’t want, then tell WorldFirst and they will keep an eye out for you. If the exchange rate is where you have requested it, they WorldFirst will automatically lock it in for you before you make your payment.

Although WorldFirst does not charge any fees for the UK, for New Zealand it charges a set transfer fee of $10 for every transfer made under $10,000.

Ways to make an international transfer

You can make an international transfer in 3 ways:

  • Online
  • Through the WorldFirst app (available on iOS and customers)
  • Over the phone (Australian number only)

How safe is WorldFirst?

WorldFirst Pty Ltd is a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Their membership number is 13405.

Ensuring the safety and security of your money is central to WorldFirst. They comply fully with all relevant regulations and ensure your funds are appropriately segregated from business funds in line with requirements. Being authorised and regulated requires the company to hold sufficient capital to protect our business and further safeguard you as a customer or supplier.

Fees and Charges

WorldFirst boasts about being a company that take smaller margins than banks do. As such, they are able to give you a better exchange rate. To follow up on this, they also have a price promise. They will match a rate if you are given a better rate elsewhere. To receive this price promise you need to be registered with WorldFirst as well as the company you obtained the quote from, and it should be obtained within three hours of submitting it to WorldFirst.

Other than the exchange rate given, you are charged a set fee of $10 if your transaction is under $10,000. If it is over, you will not be charged a fee.

Overall, you can make a saving of anything between 0.25%-4% going through WorldFirst than through your bank.

How long does the transfer take?

The time taken to process and complete your overseas payments is dependent on several things, such as the currency you’re sending, the bank used, and the size of the transaction.

Typically, if the transfer is in GBP, USD, or EUR, WorldFirst can process the payment the same day providing it is submitted before the cutoff period. For other currencies such as NZD, it can take up to 4 business days to reach the recipient.

To read more about the timeframes for international money transfers, click here.

Pros and Cons of WorldFirst

After reading our WorldFirst review, you may want a summary of their pros and cons.

PROS CONS
Cheaper than most banks There is no New Zealand office or contact number
Price promise guarantee $10 transaction fee for all transfers under $10,000
Various payment plans to enable you to get the best possible rate Minimum $250 transaction
5 Star Canstar review rating You have to create an account with them

Case Study

Amy wanted to make a payment to her best friend in the US so needed to find a way to convert her NZD-USD affordably. Her friend mentioned that she should go through WorldFirst as they have various payment methods that allow you to really take advantage of the exchange rates.

After Amy researched this, she find the website useful and easy to navigate. It also meant she was able to organise a transfer to her friend and request the day she would like it to be sent. She was also able to lock in the exchange rate in case it fluctuated. As a bonus was allowed to unlock it if the exchange rate became more favourable.

Amy secured her payment and the date for it to send. She knew that she got value for money with minimum hassle.

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