WorldFirst is a London-based international money transfer and payments business that allows both personal and business clients to transact in more than 180 currencies. Its pricing is transparent with exchange rates tiered based on the amount transacted. Compared across 27 currencies, WorldFirst is 85% cheaper than banks.
While the great exchange rates and global coverage are certainly a plus for WorldFirst, its minimum transfer of $1000 for personal accounts potentially locks out many customers looking to transfer small regular amounts to their families back home.
Also, based on a shareholder decision, WorldFirst US operations were discontinued and the firm rebranded to Omega as from February 20, 2019.
WorldFirst has a tiered and transparent exchange rate system with comparatively lower or non-existent transaction fees. This combination gives its customers fairly priced and competitive transfer deals.
Apart from its London, U.K. offices, WorldFirst has 5 other global offices in Netherlands, China - Hong Kong, Australia, Singapore, and Japan. WorldFirst has expanded rapidly and now supports 180 currencies. The major transfer corridors for the company are Australia, Canada, France, Europe, Spain, New Zealand and the UK.
In addition, WorldFirst has made life easier for its customers by entering into contractual agreements with banks in many of the sending and receiving countries. These agreements lower the transfer fees and speed up transactions.
Unlike other providers, WorldFirst offers uniform services across all countries. Depending on your region, you can access WorldFirst websites in English, French, Chinese, Dutch, and Japanese.
WorldFirst is structured to serve individuals, online sellers, and businesses. The attractive fees, transparent, and tiered foreign exchange rates and global support for different currencies make it a preferred money transfer provider. On the other end, transfer speeds and high minimum transfer amounts lock out many would-be customers.
WorldFirst has differentiated itself with respect to its clientele, transfer methods, and payment options. You can only make bank transfers to the recipient that are delivered as bank deposits into the beneficiaries account. The type of transfers you can make are:
On the minimum, transfers using WorldFirst take a day to complete. Depending on the country, size of transaction and currency, you can enjoy same-day transfers. To be prudent, WorldFirst gives a window of up to 4 days to complete the transfer.
The delays are often caused by bureaucracies and added security measures from the sending and receiving banks. The other source of delay is is the payment method used. Also, transferring in major currencies such as AUD, NZD, GBP, USD or EUR gives you same-day transfer speeds.
When sending money using WorldFirst, your payment options are limited to bank transfers. In fact, if you do not have a bank account, it becomes almost impossible to transfer money through WorldFirst. The following are the payment methods you can use:
Generally, the payment options available on WorldFirst differ based on the region. Australia, for instance, has 2 payment options while France and the UK have 5 payment options each.
WorldFirst has a variety of products and offerings that make it attractive to individuals, businesses, and online sellers. There are lots of use cases for WorldFirst as a payment and transfer platform.
Business – If you are into international trade or deal with freelancers and suppliers from different countries, WorldFirst can help you to:
When making international supplies and payments, WorldFirst gives you forward contracts where you can lock in an exchange rate to avoid currency fluctuation losses.
Personal Transfers – WorldFirst gives you more value for your money when transacting or sending money abroad.
With $0 transfer fee ob personal accounts, you can plan your transfers and target a rate which if reached, your transfer gets sent to the recipient.
Marketplace Sellers – You can maintain overseas accounts in different currencies to suit your online activities. You can hold and send funds on the World account to help you:
WorldFirst is a global company that was established in 2004 in South London by Jonathan Quin. Since then, the company has grown in size and expanded to other markets including China-Hong Kong, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Australia. In terms of employee size, WorldFirst has a team of 600 employees who serve the 400,000+ global customers and about 150 businesses. To date, the company has transferred more than £70 billion at a rate of 1 million transfers per year.
Due to the global nature of its operation, WorldFirst is licensed and regulated by different financial authorities in the different regions it operates as follows:
Australia – WorldFirst operates as World First Pty Ltd. It is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). It also holds an Australian Financial Services License (AFSL) and has an active Australian Financial Complaints membership.
UK – Here, WorldFirst is registered as WorldFirst UK Ltd and authorized as an Electronic Money Institution by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Canada – WorldFirst UK Ltd is separately registered here and licensed as a money service business under the Financial Transactions Reports Analysis Center of Canada (FINTRAC).
China Hong Kong – The company operates as World First Asia Ltd and is regulated under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department. It is also licensed as a Money Service Operator.
Singapore – In this Asian country, WorldFirst operates as World First Asia Pte Ltd. It’s regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a remittance business.
The regulations ensure safety and confidentiality of customer funds and information. There is a minimum capital threshold WorldFirst is required to maintain as part of its compliance to these regulations. On Feb 14, 2019, WorldFirst was acquired by Ant Financial at a valuation of $700M. This shows how strong it is in its capital base.
When you sign up for WorldFirst account, your details will be verified before you are allowed to transact. WorldFirst also has two-factor authentication (2FA) which they use to verify your identity when performing certain activities on your account.
All the information you may need about WorldFirst is available on its website and on request. The company is transparent in its pricing, has an active Monday to Friday phone and live chat customer support and a detailed FAQ section.
Customers who have interacted with WorldFirst have acknowledged the comparatively lower transfer fees, favourable exchange rates and customer support. So far the company has 560 reviews on Trustpilot, 70% of which are rated as excellent and 9% as good.
The 4% who rated the company as poor and 15% who rated it as bad, complained of occasional delays where transfers took 4 to 5 days to reach their recipients. Some of them had issues with blocked accounts following unsuccessful verifications.
WorldFirst has simplified sending money through its platform. The following are the steps to get you started with WorldFirst:
How to Send Money Using WorldFirst?
Step 1: Sign up for a WorldFirst account online or through phone. This will take you about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Identity verification and submission of any requested information
Step 3: Login and set up your transfer by confirming the live rates
Step 4: Enter the recipient's details, amount of money to send, and counter check for accuracy
Step 5: Pay for your transfer through debit card, bank transfer, or the available methods in your region
Step 6: Leave the rest to WolrdFirst who will convert the money and send to the recipient through bank transfer.
How to Receive Money Using WorldFirst?
The money is deposited into the recipient’s bank account. Apart from acknowledging receipt, there is nothing else the recipient is expected to do.
Yes, WorldFirst has an app available as a free download for personal customers only on Google Play and App Store. Through the App you can do the following:
The WordFirst App can also synchronize with your Android smartwatch to enable wearable money transfers in seconds.
On Google Play, the app has 10,000 downloads and a rating of 2.8 with 168 reviews. The app is available in select countries.
If you have made an erroneous payment and you want it cancelled, you can get in touch with your account manager or customer support. They will recall the payment and notify the recipient bank.
The currency, bank, and destination will determine the cancellation possibilities and how soon the money is returned.
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