WorldFirst Australia business review. The lowdown

Roberto Efflandrin

If you run a business that deals with international trade, you know the importance of finding a service provider that makes international payments and foreign exchange easier.

WorldFirst is a UK-based company that facilitates global money transfers for businesses of all sizes. This article will give you an overview of WorldFirst in Australia, its features and fees, how its international transfers work, and the process of signing up. You’ll also find out how WorldFirst’s account fares against Wise Business account.

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Who is WorldFirst in Australia?

WorldFirst was founded by Jonathan Quin and Nick Robinson in the UK in 2004 with the aim of making foreign exchange easier. WorldFirst opened its first international office in 2009-2010 in Sydney, Australia. It has since expanded its operations to locations like Hong Kong, Singapore, the Netherlands, Japan and Korea.

In 2019, WorldFirst became a part of Ant International.

WorldFirst offers services and tools for global money transfers, forward contracts, local overseas currency accounts, and integration with online marketplaces and Xero.⁵ WorldFirst’s solutions can suit online sellers, importers and exporters.

What is the WorldFirst Business account and how does it work in Australia?

WorldFirst’s core offering is **World Account **which enables businesses to receive and send online payments in multiple currencies. All foreign exchange transactions, including forward contracts, spot contracts, and firm orders, can be accessed through the World Account.⁶

The main features of the WorldFirst Business Account

The main features of having a WorldFirst account are:

Multi-currency accounts:

You can open up to 10 local currency accounts in AUD, NZD, GBP, USD, EUR, JPY, CNH, HKD, SGD, CAD, and MXN.⁸

Xero integration:

The account can be connected to Xero for the reconciliation of transactions in up to 10 currencies, better bookkeeping, and automatic bank feeds.⁷

Outgoing payments in multiple currencies:

WorldFirst currently supports the following currencies for outgoing payments — AUD, NZD, GBP, USD, EUR, JPY, SGD, HKD, CNH, CAD, PLN, CZK, THB, DKK, MXN, AED, SAR, CHF, SEK, NOK, ZAR, RON, ILS, and BGN. It has plans to make more currencies available in the coming months.⁹

Receive multiple currencies:

WorldFirst receiving account allows you to accept 14 currencies, including AUD, NZD, GBP, USD, EUR, CAD, JPY, SGD, HKD, and CNH. You can receive AED, CHF, SEK, and PLN in non-local offshore accounts.⁹

Multi-user accounts:

WorldFirst allows you to set different access levels for employees so that they can perform authorised tasks without requiring full access to your World Account.⁹

1688 supplier payments:

You can link your payments to 1688, one of China’s leading online B2B marketplaces, through the ‘cross-border pay’ option in your World Account.¹⁰

Link WorldFirst and marketplace accounts:

You can link your WorldFirst account to your marketplace accounts to receive and hold funds generated from making online international sales. WorldFirst has a network of more than 100 global online marketplaces.¹¹

Spot and forward contracts:

These are foreign exchange contracts offered by WorldFirst. Spot contracts allow you to make international payments with little notice, as soon as you agree to the rate and the funds are cleared. Forward contracts allow you to lock in an exchange rate for up to 24 months to manage cash flow.⁶

Firm orders:

If you wish to execute a transaction at a certain target exchange rate, you can opt for a firm order where WorldFirst will move forward with the transfer the moment the agreed-upon rate is secured.¹²

What are the fees for this business account?

The main fees for a WorldFirst account are as follows⁸:

Service Fee
Multi-currency accounts AUD$0
Monthly account fees AUD$0
Xero integration AUD$0
Currency conversions Up to 0.6%
Hold funds in multiple currencies AUD$0
Receive funds AUD$0

As seen on 13 March 2024

Comparison with Wise business account

Here’s how WorldFirst’s account compares against Wise Business account.

Service/fee WorldFirst Business⁸ Wise Business
Opening an account Free AUD$22
Minimum balance required None None
Currency conversions Up to 0.6% From 0.43%
Sending money Varies by currency

Up to 0.8% for international 1688 buyers

From 0.43%
Hold funds Free Free
Receive funds Free

(from 100+ international marketplaces and businesses)


(non-wire transfer of AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY, USD)

4.14 USD to receive USD via Wire and 10 CAD to receive CAD via SWIFT

Integrations Xero Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent
Receiving currencies GBP, USD, EUR, AUD, JPY, NZD, SGD HKD, CNH, and CAD AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HUF, NZD, RON, SGD, TRY and USD
Cards NA Business debit cards

As seen on 13 March 2024

International transfers with WorldFirst business account

WorldFirst allows you to make and receive international payments in multiple currencies.

  • You can buy the following currencies — AUD, NZD, GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, JPY, HKD, CNH, SGD, CHF, NOK, SEK, PLN, THB, CZK, and ZAR.
  • And sell these currencies — AUD, NZD, USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, HKD, CNH, JPY, and SGD.

What are the international transfer fees with WorldFirst Australia?

The fees applied by WorldFirst vary based on the destination currency and location of the beneficiary. It’s charged in the destination currency.⁶ You’ll get a better exchange rate the more you transact.

The maximum margin for currency conversions is 0.6%.¹

What is the exchange rate used by WorldFirst?

WorldFirst showcases interbank foreign exchange rates on its website but these rates are different from the ones it offers its customers.

The interbank rate is like a wholesale rate that banks pay when they trade currencies with other banks.¹³

WorldFirst adds a margin to the quoted cost of currency. This margin is the difference between the wholesale cost of currency and the cost at which WorldFirst offers the currency to you. The margin which varies from 0.1% to 1% depends on the availability of the currency, market volatility, current interest rates, value of the transaction and your relationship with WorldFirst.⁶

How to open a WorldFirst account

Here’s how you can create a WorldFirst account⁴:

  1. Begin with selecting the country where your business is registered or the main country where you operate.
  2. Enter your email address. You’ll receive a code to verify the address.
  3. Create a secure password.
  4. Agree to the terms and conditions and proceed to ‘create account’.
  5. Enter your mobile number and verify it with the code you’ll receive.
  6. Follow the prompts to provide details about your business, including whether you’re a company or a sole trader, type of business, trading address, industry, and other information required for business and identity verification.

Details and documents required

You might be asked to submit some documents to set up your WorldFirst account. Here’s a list of the documents and details you should have handy³:


  • Names and dates of birth of all registered directors
  • Residential address, shareholding percentage, and ID details of each shareholder with at least 25% ownership


  • Names and addresses of trustees
  • Trust registered business number
  • A certified copy of the trust deed
  • Name and class of each beneficiary, individual or legal entity, associated with the trust
  • Name, date of birth and address of each beneficial owner with at least 25% ownership of the company

Is WorldFirst safe?

WorldFirst is regulated by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). AUSTRAC is an anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulator.² This means WorldFirst follows the strict requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Act 2006 and other legislation.

WorldFirst is authorised and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to issue foreign exchange contracts and non-cash payment products and derivatives.¹

WorldFirst uses the Authy app to secure your login with two-factor authentication that adds an extra layer of security beyond just your password. WorldFirst also claims to have real-time fraud monitoring, alerts and blocking.¹⁴

WorldFirst contact details

If you have any questions, you can contact WorldFirst in the following ways:

  • Call 1800744777, if you’re new to WorldFirst.
  • Existing customers can call 1800326667 with queries about collecting payments, and 1800701540 with queries about sending payments.
  • Chat with a representative via the live chat option available on WorldFirst’s website.

WorldFirst’s customer support team is available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday, and from 8am to 5.30pm on Fridays.

Wise Business Account and debit card

Streamlined and hassle-free, the Wise Business Account with linked debit card delivers an all-in-one solution for businesses.

Shop online or in-store via the Mastercard network and make easy ATM withdrawals using the Wise business debit card.

With no monthly fees, hefty rates or hidden charges, Wise makes it easier to spend, send and receive funds. Manage your money via your local Australian account while also benefiting from access to accounts in over 9 major currencies.

Access additional cards for your team as needed and pay a single fixed card-creation fee per card with no monthly fees applied.

Able to integrate with most major APIs, the Wise Business Account also facilitates better cash flow management and consistent, reliable reporting across all additional cards.

Find out more about how the Wise Business Account can save you time and money.

Register your Wise business
Account in minutes

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up-to-date pricing and fee information.


  1. WorldFirst Legal disclaimer
  2. AUSTRAC About us
  3. WorldFirst Account opening documents
  4. WorldFirst Registration guide (PDF)
  5. WorldFirst About
  6. WorldFirst Product Disclosure Statement (PDF) pg. 2, 7
  7. WorldFirst Xero Integration
  8. WorldFirst Pricing
  9. WorldFirst FAQs
  10. WorldFirst 1688 supplier payments
  11. WorldFirst Marketplaces
  12. WorldFirst Firm orders
  13. WorldFirst Foreign exchange
  14. WorldFirst International payments

Sources checked on: 13 March 2024

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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