Customer support: 2/5
Ease of opening an account: 3.5/5
Our Rating Methodology
Click "More info" to understand how we calculate our iBanFirst Business Account ratings.
What is iBanFirst?
Founded in 2016, iBanFirst is a financial services provider offering payment solutions tailored for SMEs that operate cross-border.
They are not a bank, but they are licensed as a payment services provider (PSP) in Europe and in the UK. They are also SEPA certified and are a member of the SWIFT network.
iBanFirst is regulated as a payment institution under the European PSD2 directive, which mandates the segregation of customer funds from the payment institution's own funds. iBanFirst assures that they hold your funds in a separate account at leading banks.
With 300+ employees and 12 offices across Europe, iBanFirst has served over 6,000 companies and processed 1.4 billion euros per month. They won Deloitte’s Technology 50 in the fintech category and ranked among Financial Times’ Europe's fastest-growing companies.
As of 2022, iBanFirst has acquired a London-based FX provider, Cornhill International Payments, as part of its strategy to fortify its market position.
iBanFirst Pros and Cons
Why iBanFirst may be a good option
- An established payment services provider (PSP), licensed both in Europe and in the UK
- Over 30 currencies for international transactions
- Tailored hedging strategies with a range of FX forward options
- Payment speed options
Why iBanFirst may not be a good option
- No business cards or payment cards
- Limited customer support options
- Potential difficulties for businesses in the early stages due to transaction volume limitations
iBanFirst Featured Reviews
Louise rates iBanFirst ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Great exchange rates and very efficient service.
I’ve been using this company for FX for several years. Very friendly and efficient and a great exchange rates.
Source: Trustpilot review
J.D. rates iBanFirst ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I really like the payment tracker
I really like the payment tracker, that feature is awesome. It makes communication with my suppliers so much easier, as they can follow the payment I made to them via Ibanfirst as well.
Source: Trustpilot review
It seems like iBanFirst has two separate Trustpilot pages. One page shows a rating of 3.6 based on 27 reviews, while the other has a higher rating of 4.9/5 based on 868 reviews. The latter page was previously the Cornhill International Payments page, which later transformed into iBanFirst following the acquisition.
iBanFirst accounts offer the following key benefits:
- Open nominative currency accounts with unique IBANs.
- Hold funds, receive payments, make payments, and convert in AED, AUD, BGN, CAD, CHF, CNY, CZK, DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, HUF, ILS, JPY, MXN, NOK, NZD, PLN, RON, RUB, SAR, SEK, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, and ZAR.
- Facilitate payments to and from 140+ countries.
- Initiate transactions using SEPA for EUR payments and SWIFT for payments in international currencies.
- Secure your margins with a hedging strategy supported by FX experts.
- The option to convert among the 30 currencies at the real-time exchange rate, featuring a pre-established low conversion fee.
- Track payments in real-time
- Choose preferred payment speed such as Instant (between iBanFirst accounts), RTGS (Real-time gross settlement, typically within an hour during business hours but may take longer for credited transactions), Express (within 24 hours), and Standard (2 to 3 business days). However, payment speeds are not guaranteed and may vary due to factors such as regulatory checks, compliance, payment cut-off times, and involvement of beneficiary banks.
iBanFirst introduces a new financial technology for businesses via a payment platform, streamlining international transactions for increased automation and efficiency.
According to iBanFirst FAQ, their objective is not to replace your bank but rather to complement and enhance your overall banking experience.
iBanFirst does not offer payment cards.
With iBanFirst, you can make foreign currency conversions at the spot (or market) rate at the time of the request or by using a forward rate provided by iBanFirst.
A forward rate is a rate iBanFirst offers for the conversion of currency at a future date. It allows you to hedge against currency value changes between now and then.
iBanFirst offers three types of forward rate contracts:
- Forwards - Secure a rate for a predetermined future date
- Flexible forwards - Lock in an FX rate for flexible usage within a specified period
- Dynamic forwards. - Keep the option for a better rate at expiry, with transparent terms.
If the forward rate extends beyond seven days, collateral must be provided to mitigate this risk. The collateral, calculated as a percentage of the payment amount, is subtracted from the total settlement amount.
- Aggregate all your accounts in one place - get a crisp overview of your multicurrency accounts, as well as those held at other banks, for tax reporting.
- API - connect iBanFirst to your own system. The iBanFirst API includes features such as retrieving account balances, creating and validating a payment, and getting a currency conversion quote.
- Integrating your iBanFirst account with accounting software such as Dougs, Axonaut, Time, and others
iBanFirst's Features Rating is 4/5
iBanFirst offers a comprehensive suite of tools for international transactions, currency risk management, and account management. Their broad currency range for transactions to and from 140+ countries, along with preferred speed and FX forward options, is noteworthy. However, the absence of payment cards could be a significant factor for certain businesses, limiting the range of available transaction methods.
The rates provided exclude taxes and are applicable to all countries except Germany. For information regarding rates specific to Germany, please contact iBanFirst directly.
|US local account management in USD
|EUR 50 - EUR 100 per month
|Account confirmation letter
|Dormant account fees
|EUR 30 per year
|Between iBanFirst accounts
|If transaction volume is above EUR 200,000/year
|If transaction volume is below EUR 200,000/year
|0.2% on all incoming funds
|Transfer in EUR via SEPA
|RTGS surcharge, available exclusively for payments exceeding EUR 1,000 within the SEPA zone.
|Express payment surcharge
|Fee for investigation
|Fee for payment cancellation or amendment
|Fee for return of funds
|10% of seized amounts, with a cap of EUR 100
|Collateral for future foreign exchange risk management (forwards)
|0% - 10%
*SHARED: The order giver pays the fees charged by their bank. The fees charged by the beneficiary’s bank are the beneficiary’s responsibility.
**OUR: The order giver pays the fee charged by all the banks in the payment chain.
Your personalised foreign exchange rate quote may be determined based on your annual foreign exchange transaction volumes and will be provided following an analysis by iBanFirst’s foreign exchange experts.
Fees may be subject to change, for the most updated information, kindly refer to the iBanFirst Fees information page.
iBanFirst's Fee Rating is 4/5
Overall, iBanFirst's fees are competitive. iBanFirst could be a secure and genuine cost saver for your business in Europe if your yearly transaction volume is greater than EUR 200,000. Conversely, if your yearly transaction volume is under EUR 200,000, payment fees could quickly accumulate. The fees associated with US local account management, up to EUR 100, are also a drawback, particularly given the availability of free alternatives in the market.
iBanFirst Customer Service
You can find support through the following channels:
We could not find a live chat function, email address, or phone number specifically for support. However, you may be able to contact them using their office number, as follows:
- Belgium: +32 2 808 15 42
- France: +33 1 76 44 00 47 or +33 1 76 77 39 95
- Netherlands: +31 85 808 1102
- Romania: +40 31 630 2323
- Bulgaria: +359 2 491 7128
- Germany: +49 211 8823 0185
- Italy: +39 02 3056 9009
- Spain: +34 91 949 81 20
- Hungary: +36 1 700 8978
iBanFirst's Customer Service Rating is 2/5
iBanFirst's customer support appears limited. The lack of direct email support, chat, or a dedicated phone line for assistance may affect the accessibility and responsiveness of their customer service.
Requirements for Opening a Business Account
Any company with foreign exchange and international payment volumes greater than EUR 200,000 per year can open an iBanFirst account.
Restrictions might apply depending on the incorporation country, business activity, or origin of funds.
We cannot find the list of unacceptable countries or business activities on their website, so it's advisable to contact them for more details. Nevertheless, on the iBanFirst account request form, it appears that you can select from more than 100 countries.
iBanFirst focuses on business customers. However, for significantly larger private transactions, such as real estate purchases, it is possible to open a non-commercial account with iBanFirst. In such cases, iBanFirst encourages you to contact them directly.
To complete the application process, you may be asked for the following documents.
- Signed iBanFirst contract
- Proof of incorporation
- Shareholder structure chart with identification of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), dated and signed
- Primary bank account details
For UBOs and iBanFirst Platform Users:
Valid identity document, which includes:
- National identity cards
- Driving licenses (excluding French nationals)
Identity documents must not be expired and must be of good quality (clear, sharp, without folds or scratches, etc.).
iBanFirst's Ease of Opening Account Rating is 3.5/5
While iBanFirst has inclusive eligibility requirements and standard document requests, the limitations on transaction volume and the lack of clarity on unacceptable countries or business types could pose difficulties for certain businesses, especially those in their early stages.
|Multi-currency Business Account
|Supported Currencies in Business Account
|11 currencies, including SGD, HKD, USD, RMB, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, NZD, JPY, CHF
We cannot find any list of unacceptable countries on their website
|Hong Kong, Singapore, and the BVI
|24 Countries in Europe, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Spain
|Accounting Software Integration
|We cannot find the information
|We cannot find the information
|Customer Support Channels
|Website, Email, Phone, Live chat, WhatsApp, WeChat
|Visitor chat, In-app chat, Phone, Email
|Physical and virtual cards
|Physical and virtual cards
|Account Opening Time
|We cannot find the information
|3 business days
|Account Monthly Fee
|HKD 88 (with a dedicated account manager
|From EUR 0 - EUR 16.90
|3.6/5 based on 27 reviews and 4.9/5 based on 868 reviews
|4.6/5 based on 247 reviews
|3.7/5 based on 30,888 reviews
|Market rate or personalised based on transaction volumes
|Based on live mid-market rates
|No in-house FX service
For cards, Mastercard®’s exchange rates
|Please contact iBanFirst for information
|As low as 0.1%, depending on volume.
|No in-house FX service Free for card spending
We do our best to source all of the information and data we can find and present it succinctly in our reviews, to save you the leg work. If we missed anything about iBanFirst, please send us a message and we will endeavor to make this review even more comprehensive.
This review is based on information available on the iBanFirst website as of January 2023.
Is iBanFirst a bank?
iBanFirst is not a bank; however, it holds licenses as a Payment Service Provider (PSP) in both Europe and the UK. Additionally, it is certified by SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) and is a member of the SWIFT network.
Under the European PSD2 directive, iBanFirst is mandated to hold customer funds in separate accounts, ensuring the segregation of customer funds from the payment institution's own funds. This regulation aims to enhance the security and protection of customer funds.
Who can open an iBanFirst business account?
What currencies does iBanFirst support for transactions?
Statrys does not directly compete with Monzo because we do not provide business accounts in Europe. Still, we're committed to providing an unbiased, thorough review to help you make an informed choice. Click More info to read the full disclaimer on our review.