1st Contact Forex is an international money transfer service you can use without visiting a bank. It is part of the 1st Contact group of companies and has headquarters in London.
1st Contact was founded in 1995 to help South Africans and Australians who had moved to the UK with taxes and accounting concerns. The Forex division, founded in 1996, provides non-bank foreign money transfers. The company’s other divisions offer accounting, tax, visa and shipping services.
With over 50,000 registered clients and 120,000 transactions per year, 1st Contact Forex is a trusted choice for international money transfers.
This 1st Contact Forex review is designed to give you an overview of the company’s overseas money transfer service. The information will help you make the appropriate decision regarding what company to use when you need to transfer money internationally.
- “Refer a friend” promotions
- Lower rates than banks
- No minimum or maximum transfer amounts
- There’s no charge for every fifth transfer
- Recipient can’t pick up transfer as cash
- Transfer and process time is slower than established services
- Must enter information twice when using internet banking to pay for transfer
How it Works
Register for a 1st Contact Forex account online at the company's website. It takes a few minutes to fill out the application, and you don't need to use the account after you've registered.
You'll receive an email asking for scanned copies of your passport and proof of your physical address. Once the company has received and approved this information, you can make your 1st international money transfer request.
To send a money transfer, login to your account. Enter the amount you want to send, the currency, and the beneficiary's address, email, and other information. Pay for the transfer, and once 1st Contact receives the money, the request will be processed.
1st Contact transfers take a bit longer than foreign money transfers offered by a bank to the bank’s account holders. The company must receive all the necessary documentation and funds must clear before it can send the money. It takes one to three business days for converted funds to arrive in the recipient’s account.
How Much Does It Cost?
1st Contact Forex has currency exchange fees based on the amount of the transfer and the destination.
How Safe is It?
The 1st Contact Forex website is protected by a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption to keep your information safe as it is being sent to the 1st Contact servers.
What Exchange Rate Will I Get?
As an independent service, 1st Contact Forex offers lower exchange rates than banks. The website features a drop-down menu to compare rates for any currencies you choose. You can check recent performance for currencies from different countries.
Large transfers receive better rates than smaller amounts. If you transfer 10,000 Pounds or more, 1st Contact will transfer the money free of charge after you have supplied appropriate documentation. Secure an even lower rate in advance by paying a 10 percent deposit. As soon as 1st Contact Forex receives your deposit, the company locks in the quoted rate.
How Do I Send or Receive Money from Overseas?
Enter the amount to be transferred and your debit card information on the 1st Contact Forex website. Input the destination and the beneficiary bank account details and review it for accuracy. You can complete the transaction on the 1st Contact website. You don’t need to go to a third-party site.
Your money is immediately transferred from your debit card account to the 1st Contact Forex account. A low exchange rate is secured for you at this time.
If you transfer money through your internet banking account, you’ll need to go through an extra step to complete the transaction. First, you’ll enter the amount of money to be transferred, the recipient’s name, destination, and the date the transfer should arrive on the 1st Contact Forex site.
Then, complete the second step by logging into your online bank account and transfer the selected amount to the appropriate 1st Contact account.
The information for the 1st Contact client account will appear when you enter the transfer details on the site. Your name and surname are the payment reference.
Funds will process quicker when you use your name and surname as a payment reference. If you use an identifier other than your name and surname, you should email 1st Contact and let them know what name should be used for cleared funds. Clarifying the name will prevent delays.
How Do I Pay?
Pay for your international money transfer by UK debit card and internet bank accounts. You must use your name and surname when paying with internet banking. If not, proof of payment must be supplied before funds are transferred.
Can I Pay by Credit Card?
The 1st Contact Forex website states you can pay by UK debit card, but there is no mention of paying by credit card.
What Currencies Can I Transfer?
You can transfer the following currencies with 1st Contact Forex:
South African Rand, British Pound, Bulgarian Lev, Danish Krone, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Czech Koruna, Japanese Yen, New Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Krone, Kenyan Shilling, Israeli New Sheqel, Hungarian Forint, U.S. Dollar, Turkish New Lira, Thai Baht, Swiss Franc, Swedish Krona, Singapore Dollar, Polish Zloty, Romanian Leu, and the Qatari Riyal.
Use a currency converter to research what the transfer will cost. Call or email 1st Contact customer service if there is another currency you would like to transfer. They may be able to accommodate you.
What Services Do They Offer for Businesses?
Low rates for large money transfers may be of interest to businesses that need to send funds overseas often. Transfer requests of 10,000 Pounds or more must be accompanied by documentation, such as a bill of sale, pay slip or a loan agreement. Once documentation is provided, the transfer can be processed.
Other Features of Note
When you review all the features of a 1st Contact Forex international money transfer, keep in mind that the company offers promotions, including 10 Pounds in cash every time you refer a friend who uses the service. There’s also a loyalty programme which gives you every fifth standard money transfer for free. (Transfers from South Africa are excluded.)
Compare the 1st Contact Forex features with reviews of other services to determine the best one for your needs. There are many overseas money transfer resources available to help you if you are confused about how the exchange works.
Recommended For You
Find your lowest cost option. Compare Australian banks and money transfer specialists in terms of transfer times, exchange rates and fees.
This guide details exactly how to transfer money overseas with OFX.
If you are looking for options other than OFX, we've put this guide together to help you make an informed decision.