Personal Features

WorldFirst

50

50

WorldFirst offers international money transfer services for individuals. They also offer tools for business clients.

What WorldFirst offers individuals

  • International money transfers
  • Forward contracts
  • Firm orders
  • Rate alerts
  • Personal account managers
  • Mobile apps for Android and Apple
  • Regular transfers

WorldFirst does not offer individuals

  • Access to multi-currency accounts (World Account) to individuals
  • Foreign currency optimised travel debit cards

TransferWise

50

50

TransferWise provides a simple easy to use international money transfer service with digital wallet capabilities. Their digital wallet, or Borderless account also gives the individual local banking details in 6+ currencies including, EUR, SGD, NZD, USD, GBP and AUD. Their TransferWise Borderless debit card backs on to their Borderless digital wallet allowing you to spend directly out of your multi-currency account balances.

What TransferWise offers individuals

  • International money transfers
  • Borderless multi-currency receiving accounts
  • Borderless Debit Card - FX optimised debit card
  • Android and Apple apps
  • Send money to email address

What TransferWise does not offer individuals

  • Personal account management
  • Regular transfers
  • Cash pick up or international bill payments

It’s a draw!

Both equally compare in the Personal Features category.

It's a draw!
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Draw

Business Benefits

WorldFirst

89

89

WorldFirst has an excellent offering for business and promotes partnerships with businesses operating in a global environment. There are solutions for online sellers, import / export and global human resources payments.

What WorldFirst offers business

  • Multi-currency receiving accounts
  • Forward contracts
  • Firm orders
  • Xero integration
  • Business account management

WorldFirst World Account

Through the WorldFirst World Account you can leverage unique banking details in 10 different currencies and reduce costs on receiving money from customers and paying suppliers. Local banking details are available in GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, CNH, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD and AUD.
 

What WorldFirst doesn’t offer business

  • Business debit card for foreign currency transactions from the WorldFirst World account.

TransferWise

56

56

In addition to the services TransferWise offers the individual, there are some features only available for a business. Unfortunately, as TransferWise is online only, a business customer does not have support with currency fluctuations and trends. TransferWise does however offer easy to use transactional foreign currency receipts and payments.

What TransferWise offers businesses

  • Batch payments
  • Xero and Quickbook integration
  • FX optimised business debit card
  • Multi-user account access

What TransferWise for business doesn’t offer

  • Business account management
  • Risk management tools
  • Regular transfers

WorldFirst wins!

WorldFirst scores better in the Business Benefits category.

WorldFirst
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Winner

Fees & Exchange Rates

WorldFirst

79

79

WorldFirst has a super simple fee structure for international money transfers. The WorldFirst fees are additional to the real exchange rate. 

WorldFirst World Account fees also have the same simple fee structure and fees only apply when withdrawing funds from virtual multi-currency accounts.

Annual Transfer Amount£0 - £500K£500K - £5M£5M+
WorldFirst Fees0.50%0.25%0.15%

TransferWise

54

54

TransferWise offers the real time exchange rate at the time of your transfer. Therefore fees are visible in addition to the transfer amount. The fee structure is complex as it differs depending on the currencies you are sending from and to. Fees also apply to the type of Borderless account transaction. Fees can also apply on the use of the TransferWise Borderless debit card. Fees are briefly summarised below. Read the detailed TransferWise review for more details on TransferWise fees.

TransferWise ServiceTransferWise fee
Simple International Money Transfer

0.4% - 2% 

Varies on currency and payment type

Adding to TransferWise Borderless account0.4% - 0.5%
Converting between Borderless account0.3% - 0.6%
Sending money out of Borderless accountLess than 0.1% in most cases
Borderless Account Debit Card

No fee for card issuance

Fee free cash withdrawal limit of US$250, 2% thereafter

Zero cost on spend from existing currency balance, 0.24 - 3.69% fee if there is no existing balance


WorldFirst wins! 

WorldFirst scores better in the Fees and Exchange Rates category.

WorldFirst
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Winner

Ease of Use

WorldFirst

57

57

WorldFirst account creation and registration is simple and straightforward.  Unfortunately there is room for improvement in some areas:

ID verification - This can be slower outside of the UK taking up to 24 hours. 

Payment options -  Basic by only supporting bank transfer payment options. 

Mobile apps - The World Account uses a different mobile app than their international money transfer app. This can be cumbersome for account management.

Minimum transfer amount - This is quite high for individuals at $2000 / £1000. There is, however, no minimum for business clients.


TransferWise

83

83

The TransferWise app design and user experience of their technology is great with simple, intuitive processes.

Registration - Fast and easy account creation

ID verification - Instant in some countries

Transfer speed - It can be instantaneous in some countries. Fast payments to TransferWise comes at an additional cost.

Minimum transfer amount - $1

Mobile app - Simple and easy to use. Probably the best designed app of the international money transfer companies.

Payment options - TransferWise has the broadest range of payment options. Local bank transfer, debit / credit card and country specific solutions such as POLi.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Ease of Use category.

TransferWise
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Winner

Support & Countries

WorldFirst

56

56

  • WorldFirst supports over 130+ currencies. Their website supports five unique languages. Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Dutch, English, French and Japanese.
  • WorldFirst World Account supports 10 currencies. That means your business can have a local banking presence in 27 countries. 
  • WorldFirst customer support is global and can be contacted by email and phone. Additionally the UK has an online chat facility.

Unfortunately, USA residents are not eligible to create a WorldFirst account. This is a major let down for WorldFirst supported countries. This point has impacted the WorldFirst supported countries iCompareFX score.


TransferWise

88

88

TransferWise’s supported countries vary with different services having different supported customer countries and destination countries. These are detailed in the TransferWise Countries and Currencies article and is summarized below.

Send from - 23 countries plus the Europe SEPA countries

Send to - Over 60 currencies

Borderless account and debit card - Over 6 countries can sign up to their Borderless services.


TransferWise wins!

TransferWise scores better in the Support and Countries category.

TransferWise
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Winner

Trust & Transparency

WorldFirst

94

94

  • WorldFirst is fully regulated by the FCA. 
  • Client accounts are segregated from the business banking accounts.
  • Fees could not be more transparent with their simple fee structure.
  • Many online sellers and SME’s have discovered WorldFirst’s World Account to reduce their costs in the global market.
  • WorldFirst TrustPilot score has an overall rating of Excellent.

TransferWise

63

63

TransferWise is fully regulated by the FCA and their customer funds are segregated from their business banking activities.

TransferWise is rated on TrustPilot as Excellent. Unfortunately there have been some poor reviews on TrustPilot indicating sudden account closures with funds being returned with no explanation.

TransferWise continues to raise capital through private funding. This could be a concern for the future when the shareholders are looking for aggressive growth and / or a return on their investment.


WorldFirst wins!

WorldFirst scores better in the Trust and Transparency category.

WorldFirst
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Winner

The Result

Winner ribbon iconWinner

 WorldFirst

The results are neck and neck with WorldFirst only winning by a small margin.  Both tie in the Personal Features section but WorldFirst significantly beats TransferWise in Business Benefits and with its lower and more transparent fees and exchange rates.  That said TransferWise edges out WorldFirst in the Ease of Use and Support and Countries categories.