UK based World First began in a South London basement flat, launched by friends Jonathan Quinn and Nick Robinson in 2004. Both had 10 years’ experience in corporate banking and took the opportunity to launch their own company that improved on the service while competing with the exchange rates banks offered. The partners have credited their skill in selecting support staff for the firm’s successful global expansion with offices in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Austin, Texas. With the intention of retaining bank prestige, Sir David Clementi, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, serves as World first’s board chairman.
World First is one the fastest expanding Forex companies in the UK, with consistent 40% annual growth.
World First has ’75,000 yearly active customers’ and handles 121 currencies.
Self-described as a phenomenal currency exchange company, World First has received notice for its fast growth and awards for customer service. Some of these accolades have come from partnering companies, like The Sunday Times who awarded their partner a ‘one of the top 100 best businesses to work for’.
World First provides currency exchange and international payments to private clients with spot contracts and forward options.
Corporate clients in the UK and a number of other countries use exchange and payment services as well as derivative hedging services including:
World First has the liquidity necessary for large, hedged transactions.
Dedicated support for Online Sellers; eCommerce assistance includes setting up foreign bank accounts that will receive payments.
Services include live app, mobile app and a smartwatch app.
Rich in video, image and text content, the website serves World First very well both as a good introduction to the company and also as a supportive ‘virtual partner’ for business.
The site’s blog has daily market watch videos by Jeremy Cook, a feature not seen on any other UK site.
Rates Not Competitive:
World first came 5th out of 6 for poorest returns when currency companies were compared by a popular UK review site.
World first’s rate on March 14, 2016 was 163 euro less than a smaller competitor’s rate!
Pros: World First offers good business support services for eCommerce and a great app. There’s also a UK best rate guarantee and a full spectrum of foreign exchange services available to international clients. More localised than many global firms, World First is available in several languages. English, French, Chinese, Japanese.
Cons: Best rate guarantee not always seen in practice. Reviews feature clients who are are not pleased with the exchange rates they receive. Sometimes communication issues add to delays in receiving transfers.
On feefo with 4229 reviews, WorldFirst has a 98% rate of customer satisfaction with the occasional comment regarding disappointing rates and some mention of issues with no being contacted when complications that delayed transfers arose.
TrustPilot rated 4.4 on with just 16 reviews, the same complaints dominate the feedback with recent clients also focused on issues regarding communication and rates.
Our Review: Given the attention to detail seen on their website, it’s surprising to read some of the negative World First reviews and equally surprising to see World First’s rate is less than phenomenal when compared. If we’re not mistaken, aren’t great rates the reason clients choose foreign exchange firms over their banks? Still, since the company offers good services and great business support we’re happy with the well regarded company. 4.3 out of 5 stars
Services for eCommerce, phone apps and beautiful website.
Best rate guarantee not seen in practice.