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WorldFirst vs Wise (TransferWise)

Both beat the banks, but how do WorldFirst and Wise compare against each other when it comes to exchange rates and fees?

Must read: WorldFirst has closed its private customer business

WorldFirst has discontinued its services for private customers until further notice. Money transfers services for business customers will remain unaffected.

WorldFirst and Wise are two strong contenders in an increasingly crowded market for money transfers. Let’s compare their fees, exchange rates and transfer speed to see which one comes out on top.

The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 31 October 2018.

1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates with no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
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Which has lower fees?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst doesn't charge fees on any international transfers out of Australia, whether it be a business transfer or a personal one. However, keep in mind that your recipient's bank may charge a receiving fee.

Wise

Wise charges a percentage fee as well as a small flat fee. The flat fee is around $1–$2 for a lot of the main currencies but can reach as much as $15 if you want to send money to South Africa, for example. The percentage fee ranges from 0.45–1.5% of your transaction amount.

Trophy icon
Winner: WorldFirst

WorldFirst offers no fees, making it a clear winner in this category. However, keep in mind that this doesn't necessarily mean your transfer will be cheaper with WorldFirst. Each provider offers different exchange rates, which we'll go into below.

Let's crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 to the UK

To show you how the two providers stack up, let's take a look at how WorldFirst and Wise compare when sending two different amounts to the UK. We're also going to add in a column with the preferential exchange rate WorldFirst is offering Finder customers on their first transfer. Keep in mind, rates vary for other countries.

In our imaginary scenario, we'll be using a bank transfer.

Sending $1,000 to the UK
WorldFirstWorldFirst deal for Finder usersWise
Transfer fee$0$0.00$5.97
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.549 GBP1 AUD = 0.554 GBP1 AUD = 0.552 GBP
Transfer speedSame daySame day1 day
Total British pounds receivedGBP£549GBP£554GBP£548.70
Sending $10,000 to the UK
WorldFirstWorldFirst deal for Finder usersWise
Transfer fee$0$0$50.75
Exchange rate1 AUD = 0.549 GBP1 AUD = 0.554 GBP1 AUD = 0.552 GBP
Transfer speedSame daySame day1 day
Total British pounds receivedGBP£5,490GBP£5,540GBP£5,492

On a $1,000 transfer, WorldFirst's preferential rates for Finder customers mean your recipient will get GBP£5.30 more than if you'd used Wise.

The $10,000 transfer works out similarly. With Finder's first transfer deal, you'll end up sending GBP£50 more than if you went directly through WordFirst. However, if you've used WorldFirst before and are ineligible for the deal, Wise works out fractionally better at GBP£2 more.

Which offers better exchange rates?

WorldFirst

WorldFirst makes its money off the margin it charges on top of the standard mid-market rate, as opposed to a transfer fee. This margin can range from 0.6% to above 1%, depending on the currency you're sending to. However, for your first transfer with WorldFirst, Finder users get access to a smaller margin on the mid-market rate, equivalent to 0.4%.

Wise

Wise converts money at the mid-market rate, with no added margin on top. Just watch for the percentage fees charged for transfers.

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Winner: Wise

Wise offering the mid-market rate is hard to beat. It means you'll get a better exchange rate than you would with WorldFirst, no matter where you transfer to.

Which is faster?

WorldFirst

If you’re sending to British pounds, US dollars or euros, WorldFirst will make a same-day payment once it receives your money, though it may take up to one business day for your account to be credited.

For all other currencies, it takes one to four days for the money to reach your recipient. To transfer US dollars to other countries, it may take up to four days.

Wise

Transfer time with Wise depends a lot on how you pay. Credit or debit card is the fastest way to send money and can be instant to a lot of currencies. Bank transfers will take longer, but shouldn't be more than four days.

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Winner: Tie

Both WorldFirst and Wise offer instant transfers for a lot of the popular currencies, but may take several days. However, the most accurate time frame you'll get is when you're booking your transfer. There are lots of things that will affect the transfer time, from the country you're sending to, to how you want to pay.

General features

Payment methodsMinimum and maximum transfersDelivery methodsTransfer speedsCurrenciesSafety
WorldFirst
  • Bank transfer
  • Alipay (China only)
  • Bank account
  • Mobile wallet
Minimum: $1

Maximum: Unlimited

24 hours10 currenciesRegulated by: ASIC, FCA, FINTRAC, FinCEN, C&ED, MAS
Wise
  • Bank transfer
  • Credit card
  • Debit card
  • PayID
  • Alipay (China only)
  • Bank account
Minimum: $1

Maximum: $1,800,000

Within minutes52 currenciesRegulated by: ASIC, FCA, FINTRAC, FinCEN, C&ED, KLFB, DIA, MAS

WorldFirst

WorldFirst has money transfer options for businesses, online sellers and for your own personal use. For a personal transfer, you tell WorldFirst how much you want to send, then it quotes an exchange rate. After you send your money, WorldFirst will convert the funds and send them to your recipient’s bank account.

Wise

Sending money through Wise is a similar process: Input how much you want to transfer, then send your money to Wise. Your money will be converted and sent to your recipient's bank account.

Bottom line

There's no clear winner. While WorldFirst wins on its $0 transfer fees, Wise's no-margin exchange rate means you shouldn't overlook it. Ultimately, the best service for you depends on the currency you're sending and the payment method you choose.

Looking for more options?

Our table below lets you compare services you can use to send money abroad. Compare fees, exchange rates and discounts from different money transfer services, and when you have made your choice, click Go to site.
1 - 25 of 25
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer)
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Xe Large Transfers
24 hours
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Revolut
Within minutes
$0
Send money with great rates and low fees in 30+ currencies.
Xe Money Transfers
Within minutes
$0
Xe has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Instarem
Within minutes
From 0%
50% off first transaction fee from any country in APAC (outside India).
Minimum transfer of $250 and max transfer of $500,000
Wise (TransferWise)
Within minutes
From 0.43%
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
$0
TorFX sends money overseas in 40+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Remitly
Within minutes
From $0
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within minutes
From $0.99
Use promo code 3FREE and pay no fees on your first 3 transfers. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Rocket Remit
Within minutes
From $0 to $5
Send money instantly to friends and family in over 45 countries using just your mobile number.
MoneyGram
Within minutes
From $1.99
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.
SingX
Within minutes
From 0.5%
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
CurrencyFair
Within minutes
€3
CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
OFX
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 50+ currencies.
Send Payments
Send Payments
24 hours
$0
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
MasterRemit
Within minutes
From $0
Get your 1st and 2nd money transfer for free with promo codes FIRSTFREE and MASTERFINDER!.
Send money in minutes at competitive exchange rates to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Western Union
Within minutes
From $0
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Qantas Business Money
Within minutes
$0
Limited time offer: Earn up to 125,000 bonus Qantas Points as a first-time converter. Ends 30 April 2024. Conversion limits and T&Cs apply.
Set up accounts in 11 different currencies and get rewarded for global business payments by earning Qantas Points.
Airwallex
Within minutes
$0
Streamline global payments in 60+ currencies. Send & receive securely in 150+ countries, with fast settlements & competitive rates. Simplify book-keeping & manage everything in one place.
TorFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
OFX Business Transfers
24 hours
$0
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
WorldFirst
24 hours
From $0
Open bank accounts in Australia, the UK, US, Canada, Japan and Europe. Send and receive funds with zero fees for large sums, including same-currency supplier payments.
Send business
24 hours
$0

Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
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