Money transfer providers like TransferWise and World First helps you remit money overseas without the high exchange rates and fees. But before you choose which company to use, it's crucial to compare which one will better suit your needs. The Currency Shop presents this comparison between Transferwise and World First.

TransferWise vs World First

What you'll find in this review

  • Safety
  • Exchange Rates
  • Fees
  • TransferWise and World First Sign Up And Transfer Process
  • Accepted Payment Types, Min & Max Amounts
  • Business Payments
  • Supported Currencies & Countries
  • Transfer Speed With TransferWise and WorldFirst
  • Customer Support


TransferWise Logo

TransferWise is a peer to peer money transfer service that is often recognised for its fast transfers and bank-beating exchange rates and fees. The company's headquarters is located in London and has offices in New York and Tallinn.


WorldFirst Logo

World First is a UK based company that offers currency exchange and money transfer services for individuals and businesses alike. The headquarters is located in London, and they have offices spanning throughout Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands and USA. The company is able to offer good exchange rates as it trades currencies at the wholesale rate.


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is the government body that ensures and regulates fair and transparent conduct of financial services. Every company offering financial services must be granted an Australian Financial Service (AFS) licence by ASIC to carry out business in Australia.

TransferWise World First
  • Regulated by ASIC
  • Registered with AUSTRAC
  • Regulated by ASIC
  • Financial Ombudsman Service Member 13405
  • 3A2 Credit Rating from Dun and Bradstreet
  • Australian Financial Service Licence 456295
  • AUSTRAC Registration Number 168331191
  • Australian Financial Service Licence 331 945


Winner: Tie. Both companies hold an AFSL and are regulated by ASIC. In order for either companies to provide financial services legally, they must be registered with the Australian government body.


Exchange Rates

Like banks, money transfer providers make money in two main ways: Firstly, the margin from which they purchase currency at a wholesale rate and the cost of currency sold on to customers. Secondly, an additional transaction fee.

Exchange rates are constantly changing. That's why comparing your options is one of the most important factors to consider before making a transfer. Here are three ways you can compare current exchange rates:


  1. View live rates on TransferWise and World First websites
  2. Call World First at 1800 835 506 (within Australia)
  3. Contact TransferWise through the Live Chat feature on its website
  4. Compare exchange rates online with our comparison engine


Winner: World First is the winner in this segment with their price promise to always try to quote a better rate than banks. Even if you receive a better quote, they'll match it.

Generally speaking, both companies excel in different range of transfer amounts. World First has the best exchange rate for transfer amounts between AUD 1000 to amounts less than AUD 10,000.

TransferWise has the better rate for smaller amounts less than AUD 1000.

This comparison could change by the time you read this, so remember to compare before you transfer.


Compare Australian Banks and Money Transfer Specialists





Money transfer providers make a profit from every transaction, even when no fees are charged. So it's just as important to compare fees as well as exchange rates. Note that a deposit fee may be charged by the recipient's financial instituition.


TransferWise World First

0.7% of transfer amounting up to AUD 10,000 (minimum fee AUD 2)

AUD 10 for transfers less than AUD 10,000

0.7% on initial AUD 10,000 plus 0.5% on anything over

No fee for transfers over AUD 10,000


Winner: World First. World First makes their profit through a mark up on the exchange rates and a transfer fee. On the other hand, TransferWise makes money in fees calulated on a percentage of the transfer amount.

TransferWise's fees could turn out more expensive than expected. Just remember, that money transfer services make a profit from two factors: exchange rate margin and fees, make sure you compare both.


Related: How Much It Really Costs To Transfer Money Overseas

TransferWise and World First Sign Up And Transfer Process

To transfer money overseas with either of the providers, you must register an account. We review the steps for each provider below:


TransferWise World First
1. Sign up manually or with Google or Facebook account 1. Register your details online
2. Select currency type and amount 2. Verify your identity with valid ID
3. Fill in your details


3. Select currency you wish to buy and sell
4. Provide recipient's details (you can also send to an email address) 4. Provide beneficiary details and amount
5. Transfer funds to TransferWise 5. Select Payment Method
6. TransferWise receives funds and transfers to recipient 6. Select onward payment date
  7. Accept Rate and make payment to World First


Winner: TransferWise. Their interface is straight to the point and extremely user friendly. It only took a minute to register an account and about 10 minutes to make a transfer.


Accepted Payment Types, Min & Max Amounts


TransferWise World First

Payment Types Accepted

Check Mark Electronic Funds Transfer

Check Mark Direct Debit*

Check Mark Credit Card*

*Paying with any card carries a 0.6% fee

Check Mark Electronic Funds Transfer

Check Mark Direct Debit

Minimum Transfer Amount

AUD 250

AUD 1000 (Over the phone)

AUD 250

AUD 1000 (Over the phone)

Maximum Transfer Amount

AUD 1.8 million (via bank transfer)

AUD 3500 (card payment)

No Limit


Winner: TransferWise is the winner in this category with a variety of payment options to make transfers.


Business Payments

Money transfers for business are supported on both TransferWise and World First. World First really excels in this area as they offer so much more for businesses. Below are the business features available on World First. Some of these features may also be available for personal accounts.


  1. Forward Exchange Contracts – Lock in exchange rates ahead of time
  2. Order Types – Allows you to purchase currency at a determined rate
  3. Risk Management – An assigned account manager will provide currency analysis tailored to fit your business needs
  4. Free transfers – For amounts over AUD 10,000


Winner: World First. It's a clear win for World First in this area. If you are a business owner, you can expect more options that will suit your needs and receive support from a currency specialist.


Supported Currencies and Countries

This is an extensive list of currencies available for transfer on TransferWise and World First. Note that TransferWise can send and receive the currencies listed below. There are certain currencies the company can only send. Find out more on their website.


TransferWise World First*
TransferWise can send and receive:


AUD – Australian Dollar

BGN – Bulgarian Lev

BRL – Brazilian Real

CAD – Canadian Dollars

CHF – Swiss Franc

CZK – Czech Koruna

DKK – Danish Krone

EUR – Euro

GBP – Great Britain Pound


HUF – Hungarian Forint

JPY – Japanese Yen

NOK – Norwegian Krone

NZD – New Zealand Dollar

PLN – Polish Zloty

SEK – Swedish Krona

SGD – Singapore Dollar

RON – Romanian Leu

AED – United Arab Emirates Dirham

AUD – Australian Dollar

BGN – Bularian Lev

BHD – Bahraini Dinar

CAD – Canadian Dollars

CHF – Swiss Franc

CNY – Chinese Yuan Renminbi

CZK – Czech Koruna

DKK – Danish Krone

EUR – Euro

GBP – Great Britain Pound

HKD – Hong Kong Dollar

HUF – Hungarian Forint

ILS – Israeli Shekel

JPY – Japanese Yen

KES – Kenyan Shilling

KWD – Kuwaiti Dinar

MXN – Mexican Peso

NOK – Norwegian Krone

NZD – New Zealand Dollar

OMR – Omani Rial

PHP – Philippine Peso

PLN – Polish Zloty

QAR – Qatari Rial

RON – Romanian Leu

RUB – Russian Ruble

SAR – Saudi Riyal

SEK – Swedish Krona

SGD – Singapore Dollar

THB – Thailand Baht

TND – Tunisian Dinar

TRY – Turkish Lira

USD – United States Dollar

ZAR – South African Rand

*World First has an extensive list. Here you can find their complete list of currencies.


Winner: Depending on the currency and country you are sending funds to, we'll let you decide who's the winner of this segment.


Transfer Speed With TransferWise and World First

The transfer speed depends on the amount and type of currency, country of transfer and turnaround time of your bank to clear payment.


TransferWise World First

Between 1 – 3 working days

Between 1 – 4 working days


Winner: TransferWise. They tend to be slightly more efficient with transfer speed than World First.


Customer Support

Should you have any queries, you can contact World First over the phone at 1800 835 506 (within Australia).

With TransferWise, it was difficult to find their contact number. We had to use their live chat feature to get in touch with a consultant and received a response within 24 hours.


Winner: World First. You can expect to receive prompt response and support for any of your queries through World First.


Final Verdict

TransferWise and World First excel in different areas. Dending on your needs, you may want to choose one over the other.

Generally, World First's exchange rates are better across a range of transfer amounts. Whereas TransferWise has better rates for smaller amounts up to AUD 2000.

Just remember to compare the exchange rates before you decide to transfer as rates change all the time.


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Helping You Save Money on Currency

Buying travel money or transferring money overseas can be expensive and confusing. So how do you make the best choice and get the most out of your money?

An easy way is to use a comparison table for either international money transfers or currency exchange. These tables list and compare the banks with other large foreign exchange companies.

We’ve also put together tons of helpful videosguides and reviews that will help you make the right decision. You can work out a cheaper way of converting currency while still keeping your money safe.