Whether you are from another country or British - moving your money overseas if often an important part of life.
You probably already know you can do a lot better than a bank and World First is possibly already a top contender to help you get good exchange rates and low fees.
According to their website, they say that they can save you money when compared to other similar services.
Also since your money is quite literally on the line we wanted to understand security and service.
We will take a look at the service they offer and whether or not they can live up to their promise of being able to save you money.
What Exactly Is World First?
World First is what is known as a money transfer company. While one service that banks offer is the ability to transfer money between two countries, a money transfer company is different in that its sole purpose is transferring money from one country to another.
Money transfer companies typically offer better fees (or no fees) and also often better exchange rates than banks. This means that it can be possible for you to save money when you transfer money abroad by using a money transfer service.
As with an international bank transfer, when you use a money transfer service you (or the sender/recipient) will need to have a bank account in both the sending and the receiving country. If this is not the case you can always use a service like the Western Union to send cash abroad.
The downside to money transfer companies, at least if you already have a bank account, is that you will need to sign up with them before you can send money. This means that the first time you send money you might have to wait a little longer to send it.
Of course, once you have signed up, you should have no problems sending money again!
World First Background
World First is a UK based company that started in 2004. Since then they have expanded, opening offices throughout the world including in the US, Singapore, and Hong kong. According to their website they hit the $5billion in transfers mark in 2011 and have had over 48,000 new customers this year.
These stats show that they are a big a company and that they seem to be doing well for themselves. While there is certainly a lot of money is being put in their hands, this brings us to our second point.
Is Transferring Money With World First Safe?
As World First has offices in so many countries it also has to follow the regulations of these countries. This means that the company as a whole is authorised by groups such as the FCA (UK), FINTRAC (Canada), and FinCEN (US). They also have a credit rating of 3A2 from a Global Credit Ratings Agency.
They have also done a significant number of transfers and sent very large amounts of money to many different countries since their conception. As such, they should be safe to transfer money with.
Of course, they only have control over where the money is sent to. Once it has been transferred to an account in another country, there isn’t much that they can do. As such, you should always be extra careful when sending money abroad and make sure that the recipient is someone you trust!
How To Send Money With World First
One of the biggest questions about a service like is naturally, how does it actually work? When you first send money with World First, there are basically three steps that you will have to take.
1. Create an account
First, you need to make an account with World First. This can be done on their website or over the phone. You will simply have to provide some details about yourself, agree to their terms and conditions and then wait while they verify your identity.
They claim that for a personal account they can usually have you ready to send money abroad within an hour. This can be even quicker if you register on the phone.
2. Book a Rate
The second stage is to actually book a rate of exchange for your currency. Their website has a number of tools available to let you know what the current rate of exchange between various currencies is.
It is worth noting that this doesn’t mean that you will get the rates that are shown. World First don’t charge any fees for the transfer so they make their money by selling on their currencies at a rate that is slightly higher than the Interbank rate. As such when it comes to transferring your fees expect the exchange rate to be slightly higher than that shown in the picture.
If you are not happy with the rate on offer, World First do offer some options. The first option is to set up a rate alert. This means that if you want a certain rate you can ask them to contact you when that particular rate is reached.
Of course, you should be careful as there is no guarantee that a rate will move in the direction you want it to. This could leave you paying even more money for your transfer than originally anticipated.
Second, is that they guarantee to match any quote you have received from another money transfer company under their best match policy. There are a few conditions you must meet to receive this offer but it could be worth looking at.
Provide Account Details and Transfer Your Money
Once you have set your rate the next step is to provide World First with your recipient's bank details. World First will send the recipient their money on an agreed date. You must be careful when providing these details as once the money has been transferred, there is very little anyone can do to get it back.
Fees and Other Details
One of the biggest plus points that we found in this World First Review was that they do not charge a fee to use their service (if you have a personal/non-business account). They make their money by offering you a slightly higher exchange rate than the Interbank rate.
They do however have a fairly high minimum transfer amount. At the moment the minimum amount you can transfer is 1000GBP or its equivalent. This means that if you were wanting to send smaller amounts you may be better off going with a different service.
The service World First offer can be used both online, with an app, and also over the phone. In fact, they do not use automated messages so when you phone World First you will be put straight through to one of their brokers.
There offices are open in the UK between 8am and 6pm in the week, although they are not open at the weekends.
In terms of customer reviews, World First currently have a 4.8% rating from feefo.com (5,571 reviews). They also have a slightly worrying 4.4 out of ten rating (31 reviews) from the website trustpilot.com.
We dove into some of these reviews to find out exactly what people like and don’t like about World First and the service they offer.
- Good exchange rates
- Good customer service
- Fast transfer times and easy to use service
- High minimum transaction amount
- Problems with account authentication
- Communication problems with dealer
In terms of the positive reviews, it seems like most people were happy with the service provided. Almost everyone, even including some of the bad reviews, praised the rates that they were offered by World First. This suggests that they really are offering value for money.
As well as this, many of the positive reviews pointed to good customer service and fast transfer times as the reason that they enjoyed using World First.
In terms of the negative reviews the main ones seemed related to account verification, and also a couple that were to do with not being contacted by their broker.
Judging by the bad reviews it would seem that if you are in a desperate hurry to send your money and you don’t mind a worse rate, you could be better off taking the hit and using a bank’s transfer service. This is because there is a chance that verifying your account could take longer than anticipated although having worked with other similar services - this is generally the case.
Alternatively, it could be worth signing up to World’s First service and seeing if there are any issues with verification. If not, you know you should be able to send your money quickly.
I’m sure many of our readers still have questions about the service that World First Offer. This part of our World First Review will aim to answer some of your questions.
Q. How long will it take to verify my account?
A. Opening an account is done over the phone or online. They say that it shouldn’t take more than an hour online and could even take only ten minutes on the phone. Of course, as seen in some of the reviews, if there is a problem with any of your documents it could take a little longer.
Q. What fee will I pay on my transfer?
A. There is no fee at all on your transfer! This is certainly one of the major plus points of the service offered by Word First. It should be noted though that the banks at either end of the transfer may well charge a fee. This is something you will have to check with your bank.
Q. If there are no fees, how to World First make money?
A. This is a good question as not having an upfront fee does suggest that there will be hidden fees. World First do make money by giving you a slightly worse rate than the Interbank bank rate. (The rate that money is exchanged between banks).
However, World First do claim that they still usually offer a better rate to their customers than banks. They also have the aforementioned best rate guarantee that will match any rate you receive from another transfer company.
All in all, it should be the case that the when sending money with World First, both you and the company can make/save money.
Q. How long will the transfer take?
A.This will depend on the currency you are trading in, as well as the bank that you choose to use. World First claim that transactions made using GBP, USD, or Euros will be made on the same day that they receive the money from you.
When it actually appears in your account will depend on the bank so if you need an accurate answer it could be worth contacting your bank.
Other currencies can take a little longer, although World First say they will always send the money on the date agreed.
Q. How safe is it to use World First’s service?
A. World First are regulated by the FCA and this requires them to always have enough capital available to protect them and their customers. They also have a 3A2 rating from the rating agency Dun and Bradstreet.
In conclusion, if you need to send money abroad then World First is a great option. They offer competitive rates and even promise to beat rates that you have received from other money transfer companies.
Your money should be safe with them as they are regulated by the relevant authorities and they have been in the money transfer business for over fifteen years. As well as this, they are easily contacted on either the phone or the internet.
As long as you don’t mind having to send over 1000GBP or its equivalent it seems like World First would be a good option for you.