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1st Contact Review

1st Contact is a UK-based cross-border financial services provider founded in 1995. In addition to foreign exchange and money transfer services, the company offers accounting and citizenship services mainly to customers moving to the UK.

To date, the1st Contact team has assisted over 50,000 clients, and the company facilitates more than 120,000 transactions annually in over 25 currencies. This review will take you through 1st Contact’s rates, the types of payments they support, and some trust factors to reassure you when using the platform.

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1st Contact exchange rates and fees

Here are the fees and rates to expect when using 1st Contact to move money around the world:

Exchange rates

1st Contract charges a margin of between 1.5% and 2% above interbank rates depending on the currencies involved in the transaction.


Transfers above £2,000 are free of charge while those below £2,000 attract fees that vary depending on transfer size and destination. For instance, money transfers from the UK to Australia cost only £2, while transfers from the UK to any eurozone destination cost £5. 

Additional costs

The recipient may be charged receiving fees depending on their bank and home country. 1st Contact doesn’t control these fees, so it’s important to check with your bank.

1st Contact pros and cons

With close to two and a half decades of experience, 1st Contact focuses on creating real value for its customers. Here are some pros and cons to consider as you evaluate their services.

An easy-to-use platform: The web app is straightforward and simple to use.
Competitive rates: Compared to high street banks, 1st Contact offers great exchange rate margins.
Low/zero fees: Transfers above £2,000 attract zero fees, and those below this amount attract minimal fees.
Added services: 1st Contact offers immigration and accounting services to help its customers as they move to the UK.
No mobile app: Transfers can only be initiated using the web app. This is mobile-optimised, however.
A small disbursing network: Customers can only send a transfer to the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Ireland, South Africa, and a few more countries.

What kind of payments can I make with 1st Contact?

1st Contact is continuing to enhance its payments and withdrawal options for its customers and their beneficiaries. Here are the options currently available for payment and withdrawal.

Payment methods available

Customers can pay for their transfers using online banking and debit cards. Credit cards are not accepted, and neither can 1st Contact customers pay with cash.

Withdrawal options available

Transfers are deposited directly into the recipients’ bank accounts.

Does 1st Contact have a mobile app?

No, 1st Contact does not have a mobile app. All transfers are processed on its mobile-friendly web app.

How fast are 1st Contact’s transfer speeds?

Transfers can be delivered the same day or take up to 3 days depending on the destination and the mode of transfer chosen. Bank transfers typically take the longest to be delivered.

Are there maximum and minimum transfer amounts?

1st Contact has no transfer limits. However, they advise customers transferring over £10,000 to call the company first for special rates.

Can I trust 1st Contact?

1st Contact is among the leading niche brands in the international money transfer space. Here are some of the factors that have made over 50,000 clients trust their services.


Founded in 1995 by Reg Bamford, 1st Contact has for the past 20 years been helping businesses and individuals transfer funds across borders, mainly to the UK.

Regulatory compliance

Here is a summary of the jurisdictions and regulatory institutions that have licensed 1st Contact:

  • United Kingdom: The company is registered with the HM Revenue & Customs as a Money Services Business. It is also approved and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Australia: Here, 1st Contact is licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)- AFSL number 335126.
  • South Africa: The provider is licensed by the Financial Services Board.
  • Hong Kong: 1st Contact’s sister company, Sable FX (Hong Kong) Limited, is incorporated here under the Companies Ordinance.

Customer funds are held in a segregated account at Barclays Bank PLC as per the regulatory requirements 

Encryption and customer data

The 1st Contact website uses 128-bit SSL encryption technology to protect customer information including transaction details.

Can I cancel my transfer?

If your transfer has not been paid out, you can contact the customer support team to have your transfer cancelled. That said, there is no recall guarantee so it will depend on each individual situation.

Top destinations

Here are the most frequented transfer destinations by customers using 1st Contact:

Customer support

Users can contact 1st Contact’s customer support using any of the following channels:

  • Telephone: You can call the support team on +44 (0) 20 7759 7514 during working hours (Monday to Friday from 8am -5pm UK time).
  • Email: Customers can send an email to the support desk at money@1stcontact.com.
  • Live chat: There is a live chat option available on 1st Contact’s website during working hours.


1st Contact has been part of the financial services industry for two and a half decades. The team of professionals at the company has successfully assisted over 50,000 clients to date. On average, the provider processes more 120,000 transactions annually and supports upwards of 25 currencies. Combined with the additional services offered by 1st Contact – which include citizenship services for the UK – this makes them a popular choice of transfer provider for thousands of people each year.

Before making any transfer, however, we advise you to do a cross-comparison of alternative providers available on your transfer route. To simplify your work, we have a money transfer comparison tool on our website that you can use to make quick analyses of the alternative offerings available including the cost and speed of any transfer you wish to make.

Written by

Artiom is a marketing graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Artiom’s primary experience is in SEO but he has a broad knowledge of all facets of digital marketing. He optimises the organic experience on MoneyTransfers.com with the content team, manages and creates unique marketing tactics, and generally supports the overall growth of the website.

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