Frequently asked questions
Most common general questions
Our payment fees are determined by factors including the location where you and your payee are based and the currency you want to convert to.
Business clients and online sellers can open an account online and our team will get you sorted out as fast as they can.
Corporate clients and online sellers have no maximum transfer amounts. We have no minimum transfer amounts, but the transfer amounts between $2,000 and $9,999 will incur an AUD $10 fee and the transfer amount less than $2,000 will incur an AUD $20 fee.
Unfortunately, WorldFirst only conducts wire transfers and we are unable to facilitate any cash or travel money transactions.
World First Pty Ltd is a designated remittance provider with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), remittance sector registration number: IND100192523-001. Regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) number 331945. Australian Company Number (ACN) 132 368 971.
World First Pty Ltd is also a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) membership number 13405.
Ensuring the safety and security of your money is central to our business. We comply fully with all relevant regulations and ensure your funds are appropriately segregated from business funds in line with requirements. Being authorised and regulated requires our company to hold sufficient capital to protect our business and further safeguard our customers and suppliers.
We maintain high levels of capital. If you'd like a bank reference for us please give us a call, we'd be happy to oblige.
We offer lower fees and a better exchange rate making your international money transfers cheaper. Savings are usually from 0.25% up to 4% of the amount being transferred. We try to cover correspondent and receiving charges where we can (i.e. the charges from the banks who handle the transfer along the way).
The Banks buy currency in bulk at an exchange rate known as the “mid-market rate”, they then sell the currency at an exaggerated rate, taking a percent of the profit. This is commonly known as the “spread” or “margin” on an FX transfer.
Most providers offer a spread that is unreasonably high, and when this is paired with transaction fees, it can mean that you’re more than likely losing a fair chunk of your money.
WorldFirst makes money by placing a small spread depending on your volume. This spread is up to 8 times cheaper than the banks. For more information, please refer to our pricing page.
Yes, you can lock in a rate now for a date up to two years in the future. This is often called a forward contract. You will need to pay an initial deposit and then the balance will be due at the end of the contract. If the rates move against you, you may need to top up the deposit. Your dealer will explain and discuss this with you before you book your forward contract.
If you're unhappy with any aspect of your transaction with us, please contact your relationship manager. Your complaint will always be investigated and you'll receive a formal response. We appreciate all feedback, both positive and negative, as it helps us tailor our services to your requirements. For more information on our Complaints Procedure, click here.
When you book a transaction with WorldFirst you enter into a contract to purchase that currency. We then enter into an identical transaction with our bank in order to guarantee you the rate quoted.
If you no longer wish to go ahead, we will need to sell back the currency that we have purchased for you. Depending on market movements there may be a loss involved which would be passed onto you as a fee. Please call the dealing team if you have any further queries about this.
If your details have changed please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your account number and your new information. Just so you know, if you've moved house you may need to provide proof of your new address.
A beneficiary or payee is the person you would like to transfer funds to. Whether you are sending money yourself or to a third-party abroad, it’s important to ensure you have the correct payee details. For more information, read our step-by-step guide to adding a beneficiary.
IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It’s a standardised way to identify a bank account and it’s used to facilitate the processing of cross-border transactions without error. It consists of up to 34 characters.
This is an example format of a UK IBAN number:
GB 29 ABCD 601*** 945*****
[Country code] [Check digits] [Bank code] [Branch code] [Bank account number]
Read our detailed guides for more:
SWIFT codes are not the same as sort codes.
A SWIFT code (sometimes also called a SWIFT number) is an international bank code that identifies banks all over the world for international payments. It is also known as a Bank Identifier Code (BIC).
A SWIFT code is a set of 8 or 11 characters (numbers and letters) that represents a bank branch, and is made up of the first three or all four of the following:
- Bank code
- Country code
- Location code
- Branch code
Read our guide to the difference between IBANs and SWIFT codes.
When making a money transfer to the USA, you’ll need to ask for your payee’s ABA number.
An ABA number, also known as a bank routing number, is a nine-digit code that identifies banks in the U.S.
The mid-market rate (or interbank rate) refers to the midpoint between the buy and sell prices of two currencies. Read more on the mid-market rate.
A telegraphic transfer, or TT, is a way of sending funds electronically. Also known as telex transfers, the name harks back to when sending money meant sending a printed message using a teleprinter. TT transfers today are online and one of the fastest ways to make an international money transfer. They are primarily used for overseas wire transfers. Read more about telegraphic transfers.
A beneficiary is the person or organisation you wish to pay. Also referred to as a payee.
Log the incident with the appropriate local crime authority as soon as you have reason to believe the payment is fraudulent. It is also essential that you make your relationship manager aware as soon as possible, as this will give us a better chance of recovering funds.
When you make a payment, WorldFirst will ask you to either enter a six-digit code (received via SMS) or confirm via a push notification (received on the Authy app). Find out more about authentication.
There are many factors which can contribute to how long an investigation can take, such as the number of intermediary banks involved in the payment journey, if incorrect details have been supplied, or if a bank is holding the payment.
We assure you that WorldFirst will continue to keep you updated on the progression of the investigation; each case is reviewed on a two-day basis.
Yes and yes. Ensuring the safety and security of your money is central to our business. We comply fully with all relevant regulations and ensure your funds are appropriately segregated from business funds in line with requirements.
We are authorised and regulated by the FCA and are required to hold sufficient capital to protect our business and further safeguard our customers.
International Collections Account (formerly World Account)
Once you are a verified International Collections Account customer, you can open a local currency account in 10 currencies online in minutes, without a local address or having to visit a branch. For more, read our step-by-step guide.
Log in to your online account and click on 'create a new beneficiary'. These details will come through to us to verify.
Please note that we cannot pay to third parties - the account must be in your name or your company name.
There is a mandatory currency conversion, please make sure that the account is denominated in a different currency to the one you hold in your WorldFirst account. If you are unsure on any of your bank details please check them with your bank.
After we've received your registration documents, your receiving bank account details are normally sent to you within 10 working days. If you haven't received this email after 10 working days, please contact us immediately. You'll also be given a link to sign up to our online service - this lets you access the account and make transfers at any time, day or night.
It’s free to open an account and we don’t charge fees for receiving money or any ongoing subscription costs.
When a merchant opens a new marketplace storefront or changes the bank account details linked to an existing storefront, marketplaces often require proof of account ownership to begin receiving payments into the new account. This might be a statement or account opening letter (often referred to as an ‘account verification letter’)
Our client service team will contact you directly by phone within one working day after you register online.
You can log into your online account and transfer your balance(s) at any time of the day. Please make sure you have added details of the beneficiary account on WFO before you make a transfer. You can see how to enter these details in the answer to the question "How do I enter my bank details for my home account?" below.
You're given online access to your accounts, so you can log in and view current balances and credits at any time.
There is no minimum duration for holding an account with us. If you want to close any of your accounts, please email email@example.com to notify us. Please note that no account is closed until you receive an email confirmation from us.
We reserve the right to close your account where it is inactive or the transaction turnover is very low over a three month period. If this happens, we'll contact you by email and you'll be given three months’ notice to resume transactions through the account, otherwise it will be closed following this notice period.
You have online access to your accounts 24/7, so you can log in and view current balances and credits any time you like.
Payments can be arranged online or over the phone with your relationship manager.
Please make sure you have added details of the beneficiary account before you create a payment. You can see how to enter these details in the answer to the question "How do I create a beneficiary?" below.
Log in to your online account and click on 'create a new beneficiary', then follow the steps to add the relevant bank details as a beneficiary account. If you are unsure of any of the details, please refer to our ‘What payment / beneficiary details do I need to be able to send funds?’ section.
Yes, you can view your balances when you log in to WorldFirst Online.
USD payments credit the same day as they are paid out. EUR, GBP and other currency payments take 1-4 days to credit from the day they are paid out. If you're sending USD to China this can take up to 4 days to credit. AUD payments are credited same day.
In rare circumstances delays may occur. WorldFirst will do everything reasonably possible to ensure that funds arrive on time but is not liable for delays caused by intermediary or receiving banks.
Yes. You can view all incoming and outgoing funds for all of your accounts by clicking on the 'Your statement(s)' tab on the online system.
Yes, you will have your own account details that are unique to you, in order to comply with many online marketplaces’ terms and conditions.
E-commerce marketplace sites that have been approved by WorldFirst. Please contact the team if you would like to know if a website that you would like to sell on is supported. If it's possible, the member of the team will tell you immediately.
No, the account is only used for the purpose of receiving funds in from the e-commerce site that you are selling on
We can open receiving accounts in USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, SGD, CNH, CAD, AUD, JPY and NZD. These accounts can only be used to receive funds from marketplaces in those countries.
There shouldn't be any additional delay with us. In many cases, our customers report receiving funds sent by online marketplaces into their International Collections Account quicker than if they were using their own domestic bank accounts.
WorldFirst does not provide you with a credit card or an address. Please speak to your marketplace contact when you upload the account details we give you. They will be able to help you or direct you.
- Bank/building society official
- Commissioner of oaths
- Justice of the Peace
- Local government officer
- Member of parliament
- Serving police officer
- The date
- Their signature
- Their name and title printed clearly
- Their personal or business address
- Their contact number
- Their registration number (if applicable)
At present, Lazada does not support sellers based outside of Asia. But we’re working on changing this.
To view the credit held in your account, head to ‘View statements’ on your central dashboard via 'Statements/Reporting'.
Details of your currency account(s) held with WorldFirst can be found under the ‘Currency Accounts’ section when you’re logged in to your central dashboard.
Your customers are able to pay funds into any of your International Collections Accounts using the details listed in your ‘Currency accounts’ section.
In order to book a transaction via your International Collections Account, you must have a balance available in the 'Currency accounts' section.
International Payment Accounts
To see a rate, go to 'Book a Trade'. Select the currency you wish to buy and follow the steps. You will be shown a live rate. You can choose to book the trade and add payment details or you can cancel.
No - get in touch with your currency specialist and they will have a look at it for you.
A beneficiary is the person or organisation you wish to pay.
Once your payment has been received by us and has cleared, your payment will leave WorldFirst on the day stated on your trade confirmation.
Yes, you can. Simply book your trade in the usual way but change the date on the calendar to the date you need in the future. If you haven't booked a forward contract previously it is advisable to speak to your currency specialist first.
Use the 'Payments From Trade' option in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen when logged into WorldFirst Online. It will show you the trades you've previously booked and you will be able to choose which beneficiaries to send them to.
Yes. If you have already booked your trade, use the 'Payments From Trade' option in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen when logged into WorldFirst Online. This will allow you to add as many beneficiaries as necessary to your trade. If you haven't booked your trade, use the 'Book a Trade' option. This will allow you to add multiple payments and book a larger trade to cover all of them.
Payments and transfers
This depends on a few things, including the currency you're sending or buying, the bank used and the size of the transaction.
If you’re transferring major currencies like AUD, NZD, GBP, USD or EUR, we'll usually make a same-day payment on the agreed value date of the contract. Funds should settle with the beneficiary bank same business day, however, the bank might credit the account next day. With other currencies, we process your payment out on the agreed value date but you'll need to allow one to four days for your funds to reach the recipient.
If you need funds to be received by your beneficiary by a certain date, please contact your account manager who will be able to advise the best course of action. In rare circumstances delays may occur. WorldFirst will do everything reasonably possible to ensure that funds arrive on time but is not liable for delays caused by intermediary or receiving banks.
Yes we can receive funds from an account in a different name to yours, but due to Anti Money Laundering regulations we will need to verify the source of these funds. Please contact us for more details.
We are a member of SWIFT Network - the main system used throughout the financial world to make payments with speed, certainty and confidence. Once your funds have cleared into our account, we will process the onward payment on the agreed value date of the contract. We'll send you confirmation in a PDF to let you know everything has gone through.
Please note that the funds will arrive in the beneficiary's account from WorldFirst, rather than your name. There will be a reference which starts with WFPAY followed by a sequence of numbers.
You'll need the account name and number as well as your beneficiary’s full physical address as well as some regionally specific information such as:
- Europe - IBAN and SWIFT
- Canada - account number, SWIFT and Transit code
- Australia - account number, SWIFT or BSB code
- New Zealand - account number, 6 digit bank code and SWIFT
- USA - account number, ABA routing number or SWIFT
- UK - account number and sort code or SWIFT and IBAN
- India - account number, SWIFT and IFSC number, reason for transfer
- China - account number, SWIFT
- Mexico - account number, (Clabe no). and SWIFT
Please call us for information on the requirements for other countries.
Once you've booked your trade, you'll receive an email confirmation which includes our settlement details. It'll also tell you when you need to send the money to us by.
When you book your trade, you will be given a 'funds in' date based on the method you chose for sending funds to us. You need to make sure that your funds have cleared into our account by that date.
You can send your money to us by either of these 2 methods:
- Online/Telephone Banking: This usually arrives with us the same day or next day.
- If you are a corporate client and sending us AUD, we can collect funds via Direct Debit. Talk to us if you would like to set up a Direct Debit Provision. Direct Debits may take up to 3 working days to clear.
We can only send payments once your funds are with us and have cleared, so if you send funds to us via a slower payment method (BACS, for example), your payment will take longer to leave. If you send your funds in via CHAPS or faster payment, your payment will leave sooner.
You can send funds to WorldFirst at any time as long as they are cleared by the value date of your contract as stated in your trade confirmation. If your funds aren't with us, your onward payment will not be processed.
We'll make the payment to your beneficiary on the agreed value date as long as your funds have cleared into our account.
As we are making the payment on your behalf, the funds will arrive in your beneficiary's account from WorldFirst and not in your name. There will also be a reference which starts with WFPAY and followed by a sequence of numbers. Make sure to let your recipient know just in case they're expecting to see the money arrive in your name.
Yes, you can book a same-day transfer for a large number of currencies and the earlier you book your trade, the better. To make a same-day outgoing payment in EUR, USD or GBP, you will need to have your cleared funds with us by the 15:00 Sydney time. For payments to Australia and New Zealand cleared funds must be received by 13:00 Sydney time.
This doesn't often happen, but if your funds don't arrive within the expected timescale, then let us know as soon as possible so that we can set up an investigation with our bank. We will continue to liaise with our bank until the issue has been resolved and the beneficiary has received the funds, and we promise to keep you informed every step of the way.
WorldFirst can initiate a non-receipt investigation (trace) if funds have not reached the beneficiary in an appropriate amount of time. The most common reason for delays are below:
- Further Information Request: Our correspondent banks and/or their banking partners may request further information on a payment. It will be released when a satisfactory response has been supplied.
- Incorrect Details: Before launching a trace on your payment, it is a good idea to check the payment details with your beneficiary. If the details are indeed incorrect, an amendment would be more appropriate in most cases.
- Value Date: Select currencies cannot credit the beneficiary on the same day as we make the payment - your account manager will be able to confirm this detail for you.
For most of our payments, you may request a copy of the outbound payment message sent to your beneficiary’s bank. This will contain all the beneficiary details that you confirmed for the payment.
All of these details will provide the beneficiary bank an opportunity to verify the payment against their own records.
WorldFirst may be able to initiate a payment recall on a best endeavour basis if you require funds to be returned – just let your account manager know.
If a payment recall is initiated, it is essential that you make your beneficiary aware of this as they will need to provide debit authority in order for a return to take place.
If you have provided an incorrect account number, name, address, or payment reference prior to the payment being processed on our side, we can change the details for you.
In cases where the payment has already been processed by WorldFirst, we may be able to issue an amendment request to the beneficiary bank, although in some instances we may have to wait for funds to return in order to reprocess the payment. The course of action will be determined by the currency, bank or destination, so it is once again recommended to discuss this with your account manager.
Unfortunately, if a payment has been made to the wrong bank (i.e. your beneficiary has provided the wrong SWIFT BIC or sort code), our only options are to wait for a return of funds or to recall the payment.
It is advised that you log the incident with the appropriate local crime authority as soon as you have reason to believe the payment is fraudulent. It is also essential that you make your account manager aware as soon as possible, as this will give us a better chance to recover funds.
There are many factors to which can contribute to how long an investigation can take, such as – number of intermediary banks involved in the payment journey, if incorrect details have been supplied, or if a bank is holding the payment.
We assure you that WorldFirst will continue to keep you updated on the progression of the investigation, with an update generally provided every two days.
The details of the bank account you need to send your payments to will appear on the trade confirmation you get when booking a transaction. The details will differ depending on which currency you are sending, so please check the payment instructions carefully.
If you would like to pay funds into your International Collections Account, you can make a transfer using the details listed in the ‘Currency accounts’ section on your central dashboard.