Frequently asked questions

All WorldFirst clients who reside in the EEA or who have signed up to WorldFirst UK, are required to perform additional authorisation at the following stages online:

- Login

- Adding or managing beneficiaries

- Instructing a payment or booking a trade

Click here for more information on SCA, SMS authentication, Authy Authentication.

That's an easy answer: No, we don't charge fees when you make a personal transfer with us. For our business clients though, there are fees but we agree a fee structure that reflects how much business we do together. They can range from £0 to £15 per transaction.

Sometimes the banks in the middle and at the end will take a charge, so it seems that not all the money has been sent but we try our best to make sure all your money gets to where it needs to by covering correspondent and receiving charges where we can.

There are no fees for Online Sellers transferring funds back to domestic accounts. However there are fees for transfers to your home account without a currency conversion. Email us to find out more.

If you want to open an account for personal use you can do it over the phone or online.

Opening an account online should only take a few minutes and we can usually get you up and running within an hour (we'll need to verify your identity).

Over the phone shouldn't take longer than 10 minutes.

Business clients and online sellers can open an account online too and our team will get you sorted out as fast as they can.

You can transact any amount over £1,000 (or equivalent in other currencies).
At WorldFirst we can help make international payments from one bank account to another. So we can't help you out with your travel money or cash but our partner The Currency Club should be able to help you out.
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. We maintain high levels of capital and have a 3A2 credit rating from Dun and Bradstreet. If you'd like a bank reference for us please give us a call, we'd be happy to oblige. You can find out more about where the companies under the WorldFirst Group are registered and regulated here.

You'll find full information on our security page, where you can also download our audited financial statements.

We always try to better it – we've even got a best rate guarantee (find out more here). Savings are usually from 0.25% up to 4% of the amount being transferred. We also don't charge any fees for personal transfers and 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).
Interbank Rate is the rate that banks and large financial institutions use to trade with each other. It is not the same as the rate they offer you. They quote you a different rate and that's where they make their money. This is known as the spread, or the margin. We make our money by taking a smaller margin than the banks do and passing that saving on to you.
Yes, you can lock in a rate now for a date up to 3 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 may need to top up the deposit. Your dealer will explain and discuss this with you before you book your forward.
If you're unhappy with any aspect of your transaction with us, please contact your relationship manager. 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. WorldFirst enter into an identical transaction with our bank in order to guarantee you the quoted rate. 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 the client as a fee. Please call the dealing team if you have any further queries about this.
If your details have changed please email 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.
If you’re moving money around the world and between currencies, we can help. For example, if you’re:

- Buying a house overseas

- Living or working overseas and sending money home

- Paying for tuition fees and living expenses overseas

- Receiving your pension in another country 

Currency brokers like WorldFirst make the process of moving money around the world better. Because we focus on doing one thing brilliantly, we’re able to make it faster, cheaper and easier than many traditional foreign exchange providers like High St banks.

The process is simple; most service providers make money on foreign exchange by adding a margin – known as a ‘spread’ – to the rate they buy the currency at before selling it you. At WorldFirst we simply take a smaller spread than most banks.

WorldFirst is one of the UK's leading currency brokers, having already helped move more than £60bn around the world for nearly 100,000 clients since 2004.

This depends on a couple of things, including the currency you're sending or buying, the bank used and the size of the transaction.

If it's sterling, US dollars or euros then we'll usually make a same-day payment when we receive your funds. This will arrive fully cleared with your bank the same day though they may not credit your account until the next business day.

With other currencies, we send your payment out on the date agreed but you'll need to allow one to four days for your funds to reach the recipient. The length of time depends on the currency. For example for Swedish kroner, it will be 1 day; for East Caribbean Dollars it could be 4 days. Transfers to Australia and New Zealand will usually clear within 24 hours.

If you're sending USD to another country (not the US) then you should allow up to 4 days for it to clear.

If you need funds to arrive by a particular date please call us for advice and accurate information for the country you are sending funds to.

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 we will need to verify the source. Please contact us for more details.
We are a member of SWIFT - the main system used throughout the financial world to make payments with speed, certainty and confidence. Once we've received your cleared funds we pay the account(s) on the agreed date. 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.

  • 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

SWIFTs are also known as BICs codes. Please call us for information on other countries.

Read our guide to the difference between IBAN and SWIFT.

Once you've booked your trade, you'll receive an email confirmation which includes our client bank account 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 are with us and cleared by that date.

You can send your money to us by either of these 5 methods:

  • Debit Card: If you're a private client you can use your debit card to send us your money. This is one of the fastest ways you can pay.
  • Online/Telephone Banking (Faster Payment): This usually arrives with us the same day or the following morning.
  • BACS: A BACS payment takes two working days for funds to arrive. They will be cleared funds on the third day, which is when your payment will be able to leave WorldFirst.
  • Direct Debit: If you're sending us GBP funds, we can collect them by Direct Debit. Talk to us if you'd like to set one up. Once this is done, we arrange collection of the funds and it is similar to a BACS payment in terms of clearing times.
  • CHAPS: A CHAPS payment is a same-day payment and will arrive with us on the day you send it.

We can only send payments once your funds are with us and have cleared, so if you were to send funds to us via a slower payment method (such as a 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 date of the outgoing payment on your trade confirmation. If your funds aren't yet with us, your payment won't leave. For same day payment your money need to be with us by this time:

EUR payments: 13:00

GBP payments: 14:00

USD payments: 14:00

We'll make the payment to your beneficiary on the date we agree when you book your trade. Your beneficiary might not be able to access the money right away as their bank might take some time to clear the funds for them.

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.

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 times below (given in local UK time)

  • EUR payments: 13:00
  • GBP payments: 14:00
  • USD payments: 14:00

If we receive your funds after these times we will still try our best to make the payment on the same day.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Similarly, as your beneficiary may have to authorise the return of the payment, it is essential to make them aware of their role in the investigation.

If you have provided an incorrect account number, name, address, or payment reference prior to the payment being processed on our side, we may be able to 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 from the incorrect destination.

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; each case is reviewed on a 2 day basis.

When you make a payment, WorldFirst will ask you to either enter a 6-digit code (received via SMS) or confirm via a push notification (received on the Authy app). For more information please refer to

A beneficiary or payee is the person you would like to transfer funds to. Whether you are sending money yourself or a third-party abroad, it’s important to ensure you have the correct payee details. Read our step by step guide.

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 used to facilitate the processing of cross-border transactions without error. It consists of up to 34 characters.

Your IBAN doesn’t replace your sort code & account number ─ it’s an additional number with extra information to help overseas banks identify your account for payments.

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 guide to What is an IBAN number?.

Read our guide to the difference between IBAN and SWIFT.

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 comprise the first three or all four of the following:

  • Bank Code
  • Country Code
  • Location Code
  • Branch Code

Read our guide to the difference between IBAN and SWIFT.

When making global transfers, there are two internationally recognised methods of identifying bank accounts. One is a SWIFT code (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), and the second is an IBAN (International Bank Account Number).

A SWIFT code is used to determine which bank account you are using when you are transacting, while your IBAN identifies the specific bank you are using to make a payment/transfer.

Read more on our guide to the difference between IBAN and SWIFT.

Read our guide to 'What is an IBAN number?'.

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.

You are not able to set up direct debits against currency accounts held with WorldFirst. For business customers, WorldFirst is able to withdraw GBP funds from your bank account for the purpose of settling a transaction subject to a mandate being established in advance. Please contact your account manager for more information or email

We offer three fixed, transparent pricing tiers based on annual trading volume so you can know what you are paying ahead of time. The tiers range from 0.5%-1.5% and are applied across 27 currencies. For more information, click here.

The details of the bank account you need to send your payments to, will appear on the trade confirmation received upon 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 any of your World Account currency accounts, you can make a transfer using the details listed in the ‘Currency Accounts’ section of the platform.

The mid-market rate (or interbank rate) refers to the midpoint between the buy and sell prices of two currencies. Read more.
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 faster ways to make an international money transfers. They are primarily used for overseas wire transfers. Read more.
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) was set up by the European Union to simplify making electronic cross-border payments. Individuals and businesses can make payments in Euros within the Single Euro Payments Area as easily as in their own country. This includes transferring money by SEPA direct debit and credit transfers. Read more.
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 dealer and they will have a look at it for you.
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 dealer first.
A beneficiary is the person or organisation you wish to pay.
Your payment will leave WorldFirst on the day stated on your trade confirmation, once your payment has been received by us and has cleared.
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.
Use the 'Payments From Trade' option in the menu on the left-hand side of the screen when logged into WorldFirst Online. This will display your trades with remaining balances. You will be able to add a payment and then select which trades you want to use to fund it.
First of all, try choosing a different way of sending funds to WorldFirst. If you send funds to us by CHAPS rather than BACS, you should be given an earlier payment date. Remember that there are some currencies that we can't buy for the same day or the day after. If you are still unsure, please get in touch with your dealer.
To add an additional user, the main account holder needs to fill out our additional contact form. Click here for more information on setting up and managing users.
Once you are a verified World Account customer, you can open a local currency account in 10 currencies, online in minutes, without a local address or visiting a branch. Personalised account details, including your own unique account number under your business's name. Read our step by step guide.

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 - such as a statement or account opening letter (often referred to as an ‘account verification letter’) - to begin receiving payments into the new account.

This is an important document for merchants to open a new marketplace store front. We’ve recently made it a much easier and quicker process- allowing you to move faster with your marketplace account setup.

Read our step by step guide on 'Proof of account ownership'.

Our client service team will contact you directly by phone within 1 working day after you register online.
It’s free to open an account and we don’t charge fees for receiving money. There are also no monthly charges or any transfer fees on foreign exchange transactions. If you want a same currency transfer, we offer competitive transaction costs. Please email us for further details on those.
There is no minimum duration for holding an account with us. If you want to close any of your accounts, please email to notify us. Please note that no account is closed until you receive email confirmation from us.

We reserve the right to close accounts where it is inactive for an extended period, in which case we'll contact you by email to notify you.

You're given online access to your accounts, so you can log in and view current balances and credits at any time.
You can log into your online account and transfer your balance(s) into a beneficiary account denominated in a major currency 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.
Yes, you can view your balances when you log in to WorldFirst Online.
Log in to your online account and click on 'create a new beneficiary' and follow the steps to add your beneficiary account. These details will come through to us to verify.

Please note that we cannot pay to third parties - the account must be held in the same name as the WorldFirst account.

If you are unsure on any of your bank details please check them with your bank.

This mainly depends on the beneficiary bank – in most cases, funds will be sent by WorldFirst on the same day that you execute a transfer on WorldFirst Online, depending on the currency we are sending, and will often credit UK, US or European accounts same or next day. For same day payment your money need to be with us by this time: EUR payments: 13:00 , GBP payments: 14:00 and USD payments: 14:00. The payment (or “value”) date will be clearly shown on WorldFirst Online before you confirm any transfers and in the accompanying trade confirmation email. 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.

The accounts are authorised to receive funds from approved online marketplaces. If you are unsure whether the marketplace you’re selling on is approved, please get in touch to speak with your account manager, who will be able to help. If you are an online marketplace who would like to be included in our list of approved marketplaces, please email our Partnership team to find out more.
No, this account can only be used for bank to bank transfers.
Ensuring the safety and security of your money is central to our business. You can read more in the answer to the question "Is my money safe with you? " and "Are you regulated? " on the General FAQ tab.
We can open receiving accounts in the UK, USA, Europe, Canada, China and Japan. These accounts can only be used to receive funds from marketplaces in those countries.
There shouldn't be any additional delay and in many cases our customers report receiving funds sent by online marketplaces into their WorldFirst accounts quicker than if they were using their own domestic bank accounts to receive the funds directly from the marketplace.
WorldFirst do 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.
There are many people who are able to certify documents. We can accept certifications done by any of the following individuals:
  • Accountant who is a member of a recognised professional body
  • Bank/building society official
  • Embassy official
  • Barrister
  • Commissioner of oaths
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Serving police officer or Senior Civil Servant
  • Solicitor/Lawyer/Barrister/Advocate who is a member of a recognised professional body
  • Medical doctor
  • Director, officer or manager of a regulated financial institution
  • Notary Public
  • Actuary who is a member of a recognised professional body

The certifier must confirm that:

  • they have seen the original document; and
  • the document signed is a complete and accurate record of the original; and
  • the photograph bears a true likeness to the individual requesting the certification.


The certifier must also include all of the below information on each document that they certify:

  • 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 do not support sellers based outside of Asia though we are currently working on changing this. Watch this space!
To view the credit held in your account, head to ‘View Statements’ in the online platform via 'Statements/Reporting'.
Details of your currency account(s) held with WorldFirst can be found under the ‘Currency accounts’ section when logged-in to the online platform.
Your customers are able to pay funds into any of your World Account currency accounts using the details listed in your ‘Currency Accounts’ section.
In order to book a transaction via World Account, you must have a balance available in your currency account(s).
Users of our World Account can integrate with Xero. For more information on our integration and how to set up, click here.

Transfers between different currency accounts in World Account are simple and instant. Learn how to make a transfer with our step-by-step guide.

Read our step by step guide on how to transfer money between currency accounts.