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Features - 4.15/5

Fees - 4.25/5

Customer Support - 3.75/5

Ease of opening an account - 4/5

Our Rating Methodology

Click "More info" to understand how we calculate our WorldFirst Business Account ratings.

What is WorldFirst?

Founded in 2004, WorldFirst is a UK-based global payment service provider that offers various services to facilitate international payments and FX transfers. It is authorised and regulated by the FCA as an Electronic Money Institution. 

It is important to note that WorldFirst is not a bank. 

WorldFirst has been a part of the Ant Group, an affiliate company of Alibaba Group, since 2019. With headquarters in London, it expanded its business globally and currently has over 500 employees and six offices in London, Amsterdam, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, and Hong Kong. 

Since its launch, WorldFirst has helped businesses transfer over £80 billion and send over one million payments yearly. It has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

WorldFirst Pros and Cons

Pros of WorldFirst

Why WorldFirst May Be a Good Option

  • Local currency account with local bank details in 10+ currencies
  • Can receive payments from 100+ ecommerce marketplaces
  • Competitive foreign exchange rates
  • Human customer support
  • Multi-user access

Cons of WorldFirst

Why WorldFirst May Not Be a Good Option

  • Cannot deposit or withdraw cash
  • Sole traders can only receive funds from approved marketplaces, tax authorities, and their own personal bank accounts. 
  • Limited customer support hours

Featured Reviews

Nicola Poulier rates WorldFirst ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
First Class Service, Excellent Banking Product

I have used World First banking services for several years. Unbeatable service and a great product, with an easy to use banking platform. The cost of using them is so much lower than a traditional bank and their cutoff times are later. Source: Trustpilot

Andrew Corkill rates WorldFirst ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Good Business Partner

Have used WorldFirst for a number of years and always found them to be fair with their fees and exchange rates. Far far better than any high street bank. Normally the funds are transferred into our account within a day. Very good business partner. Source: Trustpilot

Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

WorldFirst Features

WorldFirst offers extensive financial services tailored to provide businesses with fast and affordable international money transfers, from multi-currency accounts to spot and forward contracts.

As it operates globally, some products and services may vary in different countries. However, most customers can benefit from the following features.

World Account

The World Account is WorldFirst’s multi-currency business account for businesses in global ecommerce with frequent cross-border transactions. It allows customers to conveniently transfer money between different currency accounts and manage funds in multiple currencies in one place.

With a World Account, customers can:

  • Open more than 10 local currency accounts with local account numbers, sort codes, and IBANs.
  • Transfer money overseas and locally in more than 40 major currencies, including GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, CHF, JPY, NZD, and CAD. This streamlines the process of paying overseas suppliers. 
  • Receive payments from over 100 major online marketplaces like Amazon, AliExpress, Etsy, and more. 
  • Simplify the accounting process with Xero integration.
  • Schedule payments and send money in bulk to up to 200 payees.
  • Add access and allocate roles in multi-user accounts, from viewer to payment creator, admin, and payment authorisers.

We cannot find information on whether WorldFirst provides debit cards for business clients. However, WorldFirst does not offer credit cards and local addresses. 

WorldFirst prioritises account security with two-factor authentication login to ensure secured money transactions. World Account clients can also benefit from real-time fraud monitoring, bocking, and alerts. 

Foreign Exchange

If you are a global business, you can benefit from the following foreign exchange services with WorldFirst:

  • Forward Contracts: Secure an exchange rate for up to 24 months to hedge against currency fluctuations.
  • Spot Contracts: Send money internationally at the current market rate on the same or the next working day. 
  • Firm Orders: Set a target exchange rate, and WorldFirst will automatically carry out the trade.

WorldFirst Growth Package

WorldFirst partnered with RITMO to provide a comprehensive Growth Package for small to medium-sized ecommerce businesses and online sellers. Eligible companies can benefit from WorldFirst’s international money transfer services and fast and flexible access to up to GBP 3 million working capital loans. 

This service is currently available for businesses in the UK with annual revenues of at least GBP 200,000. You can check your eligibility on WorldFirst’s website. 

WorldFirst’s Feature Rating is 4.15/5

WorldFirst is committed to providing global businesses with fast, secure, affordable international payment options. Companies, especially online sellers, can benefit from its multi-currency World Account and extensive foreign exchange services and get financial support from the Growth Package. However, the lack of clarity on card offerings slightly impacts the overall ratings of WorldFirst’s features. 

Fees Charged by WorldFirst 

Opening a local currency account with WorldFirst is free and has no monthly account fees

Below are the pricing for other services WorldFirst provides.

Making Payments
Payment fees From GBP 0.30 (vary by currency)
Payments between World Accounts Free
Receiving Payments
Collect payments from marketplaces and businesses Free
Currency Conversions
Exchange rates Up to 0.75%

If you are a business with a monthly turnover exceeding GBP 100,000, WorldFirst may provide options to reduce costs when making international payments. For further information, you should contact WorldFirst directly. 

WorldFirst’s Fee Rating is 4.25/5

WorldFirst offers competitive pricing, especially for global businesses seeking cost-effective international payment solutions. However, while the free monthly fee is a significant advantage, the variable currency conversion rates introduce some uncertainty. Still, WorldFirst's pricing structure provides good value for most users. 

WorldFirst Customer Support

WorldFirst offers responsive human customer support for new and existing customers via live chat, phone calls, and emails

If you are new to WorldFirst, you can call them at 020 7801 1065 or +44 207 801 1065 if you are outside the UK. 

For existing customers, you can call these numbers for the following queries:

  • Collecting payments: 020 7801 1068 within the UK; +44 207 801 1068 outside the UK
  • Sending payments: 020 7326 9120 within the UK; +44 207 326 9120 outside the UK

Alternatively, you can also open a chat with a dedicated account manager on WorldFirst’s website or send an email to clients@service.worldfirst.com

WorldFirst’s customer support team is based in the UK and is only available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays (UK time). They are closed on 25  and 26 December and 1 January. 

WorldFirst’s Customer Support Rating is 3.75/5

WorldFirst’s focus on human interaction is a practical approach to providing responsive and personalised customer support. The multiple channels for communications and specialised support lines for different queries ensure they can help with specific customer needs. However, the limited hours could be inconvenient for customers outside the UK or in urgent situations.

Eligibility Requirements for Opening a WorldFirst Account

Businesses based in the UK must be registered with Companies House to open a World Account with WorldFirst. 

According to the application portal, you can apply to open a WorldFirst account if your business is registered outside the UK. Some eligible countries and regions include Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and most European countries. 

As this product is available to customers worldwide, the requirements may vary depending on individual circumstances or the country of company incorporation. For accurate information, we recommend contacting WorldFirst to check your eligibility.  

You can apply for a WorldFirst account online through the application portal on their website, and it should take around 10 minutes to complete. 

The Ease of Opening an Account for WorldFirst is 4/5

WorldFirst offers a moderately easy process for opening an account, with a streamlined online application, global accessibility, and fast approval.

However, we were unable to find detailed information about the eligibility and requirements, which may make the process slightly less straightforward for some applicants.

WorldFirst Alternatives

  WorldFirst logo Statrys logo Rapyd logo
Multi-currency Business Account yes yes yes
Supported Currencies for Local Payments 40+ currencies 14 currencies (AUD, CNY, EUR, GBP, HKD, IDR, INR, KRW, PHP, SGD, THB, TRY, USD, VND) 50+ currencies
Eligible Countries 40 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK Hong Kong, Singapore, and the BVI Hong Kong and the UK
Accounting Software Integration yes yes yes
SWIFT Payments  yes yes yes
Payment Tracking yes yes yes
Customer Support Channels Live chat, Phone, Email  Website, Email, Phone, Live chat, WhatsApp, WeChat Customer support portal, Hotline (only in the UK and Ireland), Query form
Cards Cannot find the information Physical and virtual cards Physical and virtual cards
ATM Withdrawal no yes yes
Account Opening Time 24 hours 3 business days Can take up to 30 days
Account Monthly Fee Free HKD 88 (with a dedicated account manager USD 99
FX rates Up to 0.75% Based on live mid-market rates Rapyd’s own rates
Trustpilot Reviews 4.1/5 based on 2,191 reviews 4.6/5 based on 238 reviews 2.4/5 based on 236 reviews
Statrys mobile application dashboard showing a total balance in a business account.

FAQs

Is WorldFirst a bank?

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No, it is not a bank. WorldFirst UK Limited is licensed as an Electronic Money Institution by the FCA. 

Is WorldFirst safe?

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Where is WorldFirst based?

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Who is WorldFirst business account for?

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How do I open a WorldFirst business account?

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Disclaimer

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Statrys competes directly with WorldFirst in the payment industry. However, we're committed to providing an unbiased, thorough review to help you make an informed choice.

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