If you are looking for ways to transfer your money overseas, chances are you have stumbled across the company WorldFirst. Founded in 2004, it is a UK-based international money transfer service. Since its inception more than 15 years ago, the company has garnered an esteemed reputation as a specialist currency exchange provider.
Here, we will outline everything you need to know about this international money transfer service. We’ll cover its pros, potential drawbacks, and why it’s one of the most worthwhile services out there.
A Quick History of WorldFirst
Before you can understand why WorldFirst is a great choice for conducting your international money transfers, you need to know a little bit about the company’s origins. It was founded in 2004 by two entrepreneurs in the corporate banking industry. The London-based company had a successful first year, as it handled £43 million in transactions. By 2007, it had reached £1 billion in trades.
Jonathan Quin and Nick Robinson, the company’s founders, refined their business to emphasize premier customer service. The company’s first-class customer service team, combined with efficient technology and customized systems, has helped it offer competitive rates for international money transfers. Quin and Robinson’s efforts have paid off, as evident in the following facts:
- In 2009, WorldFirst became an “Authorized Payment Institution.” This grants clients’ funds protection from creditors internationally.
- Today, the company has served over 70,000 clients and handled £60 billion in transactions.
- The company experiences an average growth of around 40% year.
WorldFirst is truly a global company dedicated to offering superior customer service and affordable international money transfers. The company employs over 300 highly-trained workers. It has offices located worldwide in places like London, Sydney, Singapore, and the United States.
WorldFirst has established itself as a truly global authority. It continues to widen its impact as a high-quality international money transfer company.
Who Does WorldFirst Serve?
WorldFirst offers customized services to private individuals, businesses, and online sellers. Clients can complete the account setup process, conduct transactions, ask questions, and receive general customer support depending on the type of customer they are.
How Does WorldFirst Work?
You may be wondering how exactly WorldFirst works. Here is an overview of how to get started with this international money transfer company:
- Open an account: Open an account online by visiting WorldFirst’s website.
- Fill in the necessary details about your recipient: You’ll need to provide relevant information regarding where and to whom you want to send money to.
- Set up your transfer: Select how you want to pay for your transfer and enter how much money you want it to be for.
- Pay for your transfer: You will need to fund your transfer. You can do so by paying via debit or credit card. Or, you can make a local bank transfer.
- Allow the transfer to go through: Once you have reached this step, WorldFirst will do the rest. The company will convert your money into the recipient’s currency. From there, WorldFirst will send it to the individual or business via the predetermined pay-out option.
Is WorldFirst Trustworthy?
WorldFirst is a legitimate company and offers a reliable way to send money abroad.
It has won numerous international awards, some of which are:
- 2013: UK Customer Experience Awards
- 2013 and 2014: RSM European Business Awards Winner
- 2015: Real Business Hot 100
- 2016: Coolest Companies in Finance from Job Advisor
- 2016: The Queen’s Award for Enterprise (International Trade category)
- 2016: The Sunday Times International Track 200 from HSBC
This company’s credibility and security are also compelling factors that lend to its trustworthiness.
One essential trait you need to consider before choosing an international money transfer service is the company’s credibility. WorldFirst does not fall short in this area. It is highly regulated by the:
- Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the UK (membership number 13405)
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission in Australia (AFS license number 331945)
These two bodies ensure that WorldFirst is up-to-date on important elements like the protection of user data, security, and encryption.
Additionally, WorldFirst has sufficient reserves and capital on hand. This way, it can meet all of its customer commitments and safeguard itself. To further put your mind at ease, WorldFirst has a “3A2” rating from Dun and Bradstreet’s credit agency. This means that it is a low-risk business. Your money is in good hands overseas when you recruit WorldFirst’s services.
Because of WorldFirst’s commitment to customer service, it has high-level security measures in place. The company holds different accounts for its money and clients’ funds. This way, in the rare event, WorldFirst experiences financial issues, your funds will be safe.
This company has performed over 1,000,000 transactions for 70,000 clients worldwide. It uses sophisticated security to keep your payment data and financial information safe. In 2015, the company earned £15 million on revenue of £57 million. It has experienced significant financial success, so you can trust WorldFirst to work hard to keep your money safe.
What Have Clients Said About WorldFirst?
Feefo, which is a reputable site of customer reviews, has over 200 positive reviews of WorldFirst. Feefo users gave WorldFirst an average score of 4.8 out of 5 stars. Some of the compliments that WorldFirst clients gave included:
- Superior customer service: It’s no secret that WorldFirst is dedicated to customer service. Potential clients can read all about the company’s service on Feefo. Past customers have praised how easy the company makes it understand the currency transfer process. Others commented on the company’s inclusion and fast responses.
- Competitive exchange rates: While great customer service was a common compliment, competitive exchange rates were close behind. Clients commonly acknowledged the WorldFirst offered affordable prices considering its high-class service.
- Fast money transfer: Moving money overseas can take awhile if you recruit the wrong transfer service. Customers have praised WorldFirst’s ability to quickly transfer funds from one currency type to another.
There were a few negative reviews of the company on Feefo. These reviews brought up issues like trades lapsing or insufficient communication with customers. However, these negative reviews only compromised 3% of WorldFirst’s reviews. And, WorldFirst always responds to unsatisfied clients and proposes solutions to fix the issues at hand.
Are There Transfer Limits?
Like other similar companies, for example, XE Money Transfer, WorldFirst has transfer limits in place. If you’re doing a transfer online, the minimum amount is £250. An over-the-phone transfer has a £1,000 limit. These limits are in British pounds, or whatever the amount is in your local currency.
These may seem like high limits, but most people who are looking to transfer money overseas need to do so in lump sums, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Does WorldFirst Offer a Good Value?
WorldFirst isn’t the cheapest international money transfer service available. Its priority is reducing risk for recipients. When you invest in this service, you will receive:
- Personalized customer service
- Your own account manager to help make transfers as seamless as possible
- Savings ranging from 0.25% to 4% when compared with a traditional bank
Even with these benefits, you should be aware of the company’s fees and exchange rates.
Here are some facts about WorldFirst’s fees:
- You will be charged £7.80 for any transaction under £7,8000.
- All transactions over £7,800 do not incur a fee.
- If you are sending money to a bank account: Regardless of how you will be paying, it’s usually cheaper to send to an agent location rather than online.
- For businesses: The company offers variable pricing per transfer for businesses. These fees range from £0 to £7.80. The rate your business receives will depend on how often you work with this service.
Remember that some receiving banks will charge to receive money. WorldFirst may cover these fees in some cases, but not all. Ask your account manager if WorldFirst is willing to cover your receiving costs.
WorldFirst’s Exchange Rates
WorldFirst’s exchange rates are approximately 1% below the interbank rates. This means that for every £7,800 you transfer, you will pay £7.80 in the difference between what WorldFirst charges and the “best” exchange rate available. On average, the company promises to save you anywhere between 0.25% and 4% compared to a bank’s transfer services.
This company is confident with its exchange rates, so it offers a price promise. If you find a better rate with a different company, you can submit it to WorldFirst. Upon review, WorldFirst will grant you this rate as long as it doesn’t cause them to lose money in the process.
To submit a competing exchange rate, you must:
- Be registered with WorldFirst
- Be registered with the other provider
- Receive a quote from the other provider for the amount and currency pair in question
- Submit your quote to WorldFirst promptly after receiving it from the other provider
What Services Does WorldFirst Offer?
WorldFirst is a leading international money transfer service. The company offers popular services like forwarding exchange transactions, standard currency exchanges, and others.
Some of its more specialized services include:
- Spot contracts: If you need to transfer money immediately, you can opt for the spot contract rates.
- Forward contracts: Forward contracts are a good option if you don’t need your money transferred right away. With forward contracts, you lock in an exchange rate in the present. Then, you transfer your money at a later date. Forward contracts are enticing because they allow you to secure a beneficial exchange rate with no chance of losing it.
- Live exchange rates: WorldFirst provides its clients with continuously-updated interbank exchange rates between different pairs of currency.
- Rate alerts: As a client, you can sign up for rate alerts. These will let you know when exchange rates meet a predetermined target.
- Currency converter calculation: This company uses interbank rates to provide online currency conversion calculations.
- Receiving accounts: You can get a receiving account from WorldFirst in many different currencies. This means that you can get paid via a local bank transfer as if you had a bank account in a foreign country. Then, you can transfer the money to your home country at a later date.
What Are Some Potential Drawbacks of Using WorldFirst?
While this service offers many benefits, all users should be aware of these potential drawbacks:
- Price: WorldFirst isn’t the cheapest money transfer service available, but its customer service justifies its higher-than-average fees.
- Minimum amounts: To make a transfer, you need to have a minimum balance of £1,000 if you conduct the transfer over the phone. The minimum balance can be £250 if you request the transaction online.
- Proof of identification: The company does not accept electronic documents as proof of your ID. You will need to send a hard copy of your driver’s license, passport, or another form of identification. Some users may find this step to be inconvenient, so just be aware of it before you start the process of joining this service.
- Compliance: WorldFirst may refuse certain accounts or transactions due to compliance issues. However, these restrictions are in place so that they can abide by governmental and authoritative regulations.
Transfer Money Abroad Using Your Phone
This company offers several ways to transfer money abroad. You can do so the traditional way by calling customer service or you can request a transaction online.
While these methods are effective, WorldFirst offers clients another way to transfer money overseas. You can use the company’s mobile app via your iPhone, Android, or Android Watch. After you download the app, you can perform the following tasks from your phone:
- Receive, send, and exchange currency globally
- Review the status of all of your transactions and payments
- View live exchange rates and see how they are performing for various currency pairs
- Receive real-time world market updates
Not every international money transfer service offers the convenience of a mobile app. If trading on the go is important to your financial goals or business operations, WorldFirst is definitely the service for you.
Is WorldFirst Right for Me?
WorldFirst is a high-quality international money transfer service available to individuals and businesses alike. It’s highly regulated and has garnered a solid reputation since its inception. Just be sure you are prepared to take on its higher-than-average fees. This company’s customer service is well worth the few extra dollars you will incur per transfer.
Matt is a veteran of the moving industry, a recognized moving expert and is the founder of MoverFocus. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) majoring in Finance and Marketing and Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Economics and History. He also has completed the EiM (Essentials in International Moving) course from the FIDI Academy. His advice has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Business News Daily and The SpareFoot Blog Go. Read more.