Currency exchange specialist WorldFirst is scaling up operations in Singapore. The company, which started operations in the UK, specialises in making foreign exchange simple, fast and fuss free for individuals, businesses and online traders.

Compared to their regional counterparts, Singaporean SMEs expand overseas relatively early in their lifecycle. This is due to Singapore’s limited market, and the gold mine of opportunities in the greater Southeast and East Asia region. Overseas revenue growth outpaced total revenue growth at 4.2% to 1.3% in 2016, according to IE Singapore’s 2016 survey. The survey found that 6 in 10 start-ups are already selling their products to international markets, with almost half expressing the intention to go global within the next year.

Due to this phenomenon, SMEs in Singapore require money transfer services the most. However, the tedious process in setting up offshore foreign bank accounts have resulted in many SMEs typically using their incumbent bank or traditional payments provider to move money across borders. This process is often slow and expensive putting SMEs – who often operate on very tight margins – at a disadvantage when competing in overseas markets with local businesses. By using non-traditional payment service providers, SMEs benefit by lower rates and a reduction in the cost and the time it takes to receive funds, lowering the barriers to market entry.

WorldFirst offers cheaper exchange rates than local and international banks in Singapore, accessing the same interbank rate that the mainstream banks trade currency at, but taking a smaller margin to pass the savings to its customers. Unlike the big finance companies that offer numerous services, WorldFirst specialises in international money transfers only, enabling it to be purely focused on providing better-value money transfers and the care of its customer base of individuals, small-to-medium businesses and online sellers.

With an international presence in Europe, North America, Australia, and Asia, WorldFirst is Monetary Authority Singapore (MAS) regulated and fully complies with all Singaporean and international regulations.