Thursday, October 14, 2010

Foreign Exchange

Photo by Bradipo

We do a fair amount of foreign currency exchange. 40% of our sales are in currencies other than Australian Dollars, we pay our shoe suppliers in Hong Kong dollars, our shipping costs and Guangzhou office costs in Chinese RMB, our partners in Japan in Japanese Yen and will soon be paying our partners in Russia in a still to be determined currency. That's a lot of changing of currencies!

For our sales we have to convert those back to AUD using PayPal, we love everything else about PayPal except this as their exchange fees are a little high. For paying all our costs we've started to use a company in Australia called World First, and their service and fees have been nothing other than awesome, so I wanted to give them a shout out.

Previously we'd been using the Macquarie Bank owned LatitudeGT and I had been extremely impressed with them. Their service was outstanding and their rates were much lower than the banks. So when World First contacted me I told them I was already very happy with who we were using. They persisted and we did an on the spot comparison of LatitudeGT's pricing against World First's for a couple of our standard transactions and World First won out by enough to justify us changing. I was still a little hesitant given LatitudeGT's great service but they made the process of signing up easy.

We're now a month in to working with them and I have to say their service is about as good as any I've come across anywhere. We discussed the situation with exchanging through PayPal and they spent quite a bit of time trying to come up with a way we could do those exchanges through World First. We came quite close to a solution but couldn't quite get there in the end, but I was impressed by how much they tried. Last week I did a transfer to China and made a mistake by not attached a Payee to a transfer, so the money hadn't arrived when I thought it would. We needed the money in China urgently to pay DHL so I emailed World First. They were on to it immediately, emailing me to tell me they were working it out, then calling me back 30 minutes later to explain how we would fix it, when the money would arrive and showing me how to not make the same mistake next time - perfect.

It's fantastic to experience working with 2 vendors in the same industry where the pricing is very reasonable and the service is outstanding, clearly it's a competitive space. If you're running your own business, or even for personal transactions that involve exchanging more than a few thousand dollars I'd highly recommend both World First and LatitudeGT. Our account manager at World First can be contacted on and (02) 8292 4904 if you'd like to get in touch directly.


  1. As always, a very helpful post to keep in mind for future use. Thanks.

  2. Awesome post. Definitely save me time on shopping around or paying higher rates.