Wise vs WorldFirst: Which is A Good Option?

Money transfer providers like Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) and WorldFirst 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 Wise and WorldFirst.

The Important Bits

Wise (formerly known as TransferWise)

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: You receive the interbank exchange rate on google

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Limited phone support but excellent online resources


Safety: Also based in the UK, licensed and privately owned

Rates: Depends on the currency and amount you are sending

Fees: Fee free

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Good online and phone support

The Verdict

Safety: Both are well licensed in the UK ,Europe and most western countries

Rates: =Wise gives the interbank rate and will always be better

Fees: WorldFirst recently removed their fees. Wise charges a percentage of the transfer value

Speed: Wise is faster on most transfers

Service: Both companies offer reasonably good service.


WorldFirst is an excellent choice for small businesses that trade internationally. Their product suite and service offering is one of the best in the market.

Wise is good for personal transfers from anything between $2 and $20,000

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about WorldFirst

Let's have a look at them in more detail

Wise (formerly TransferWise) logo

Wise 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.


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 financial service must be granted an Australian Financial Service (AFS) licence by ASIC to carry out business in Australia.

Wise are regulated by ASIC & AUSTRAC (AFSL 456295)

WorldFirst are also regulated by ASIC & AUSTRAC (AFSL 331945)

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


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 institution.

WiseWorld 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


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


Wise’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.

Wise offers fee-free transfers to Exiap readers with this Wise promo code.

Time For Transfer To Reach Recipient

When using an online transfer provider, your transfer is made to the company account to be processed before it is cleared and transferred to the recipient.

WorldFirst and Wise generally take 1-3 business days. How long it takes usually comes down to:

  1. How long it takes you to pay them for the transfer
  2. Which country you are sending the money to. Some countries take longer than others
  3. How long the bank on the other end takes to credit the bank account

How easy are they to use?

Both companies are fairly similar when it comes down to using them.

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

WP Data Tables

Accepted Payment Methods and Minimum & Maximum Transfer Amounts


WP Data Tables

What Currencies Can I Transfer?

For an extensive list of currencies available for transfer with Wise and WorldFirst, check out our reviews for each company
Wise Review
WorldFirst Review


Customer Support

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

With Wise, 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.



Final thoughts

WorldFirst is an excellent choice for small businesses that trade internationally. Their product suite and service offering is one of the best in the market.

Wise is much better for personal transfers from anything between $2 and $20,000

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

Learn more about Wise

Learn more about WorldFirst

Seyma Mektepli
Seyma is an experienced content writer and editor-in-chief at Exiap, delivering informative articles on personal finance, and money transfers.
Read more
Last updated
November 14th, 2023