Travel Agents

At First Rate we are seeing more retailers looking for additional revenue streams and maximising cross-selling opportunities. FX is a prime opportunity for growing your business. Here’s where we can help:

Wholesale

First Rate’s wholesale division buys and sells currencies from central and commercial banks on a global basis. It also controls the forecasting and logistics of the replenishments required to meet the daily demand of our pre-order and stockist customers. All wholesale banknote shipments are processed through our outsourced provider in the UK, who verifies and validates the incoming shipments before replenishing our cash centre with its daily forecasted requirements.

Retail/Stockist

We can offer you 70+ banknote currencies and 5 American Express Travellers Cheque currencies by pre-order – Sterling, US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars and Japanese Yen. (In fact, we are American Express’ 2nd largest worldwide client).

Orders can be via the branch or from our Travel Money Online ordering system. Orders placed online have a choice of home delivery or branch pick-up. Orders placed by 3pm can guarantee delivery by 1pm the next working day using Royal Mail’s Special Delivery service.

First Rate receives order files directly from our clients or via our online order capture system. These orders are then fulfilled using our automated dispensers or manually, depending on the currency ordered.

First Rate provides a stockist fulfillment ordering service to a number of financial institutes with a next day guaranteed delivery by 1pm. The stockist service again offers all 70+ currencies and orders can be received direct from client’s point of sale system into our processing system.

Travel Money Online

First Rate provides a ‘white-label’ service for online customer travel money, giving you the opportunity to maximise your brand’s customer offering. This service is called, not surprisingly, Travel Money Online. TMO offers:

  • 5 easy steps to ordering for your customers
  • Next working day delivery if ordered by 15:00
  • Genuine ‘white-label’ – our name will never compete with yours
  • Ability for customers to select a delivery date up to 5 business days ahead
  • Supporting web analytics
  • Rates, fees and min/max order thresholds to suit your strategic and commercial objectives

We have robust anti-fraud measures to reduce shared fraud risk – multi-level transaction and cardholder checks including 3D secure (Visa and MasterCard).

Our fulfillment success rate for the past 3 years is 99.97% across all our pre- order and online customers.

International Payments

First Rate’s established International Payments service enables private and business customers to transfer larger sums of money between countries efficiently, reliably and typically at a lower cost than competitors.

It has created significant growth for one of our existing clients.

First Rate can offer an easy and effective affiliate scheme to clients, which simplifies the set up and management of the service. This is the recommended approach for entering this market with smaller initial volumes expected.

A fully managed end-to-end service is recommended for larger scale operations.

Pre-paid Travel Money Card

Pre-paid travel money cards are a secure and more convenient way to spend money abroad, negating the need to carry large amounts of cash in your wallet.

Ideal for customers travelling on leisure or business, they can lock their exchange rate in advance of the trip, so their money is not subject to any changes in local exchange rates.

First Rate’s travel cards are available in eight different currencies – Euros, US Dollars, Sterling, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, New Zealand Dollars, Swiss Francs and South African Rand.

All are fully reloadable both in the UK and abroad using our secure online website or via an SMS message.

Our travel cards are all issued with chip and PIN to offer your customers the highest level of security. They can even use the card online to make purchases with our online SecureCode transaction protection.

First Rate recognises that each client has different business objectives from its pre-paid card programme, so we like to spend time to get to understand your needs, creating a pre-paid card solution that’s perfect for you and your customers.

The First Rate brand or name will never be evident to your customers. We ensure that our client’s brand guidelines, customer service ethics and corporate ethos are reflected across the card programme, from card design to the way our customer service team answer calls.

In addition to the supply and distribution of currency, First Rate can also offer the following:

Exchange Rate Strategy

First Rate will work with you to define a pricing strategy (for example, differential pricing, ranked position, price banding or market or competitor tracking) for all channels. The pricing strategy will be reviewed on a regular basis with your dedicated Client Manager to ensure it remains a competitive proposition within the FX market-place.

Sales Training

We are highly experienced in promoting FX in financial services institutions with large branch networks and training staff to ensure they maximise FX sales opportunities. Our training modules are held at three levels – Foundation introduces basics like ‘How to have effective sales conversations about travel money’ and ‘Rates and how they work’; Intermediate takes in subjects like ‘Overcoming travel money objections’ and ‘Stock holdings/currency seasonality’; and Advanced covers topics like ‘Travel money conversations/scenarios’, ‘Presentation skills’ and ‘Interpreting marketing information’.

Market and Competitor Intelligence

First Rate has a wealth of knowledge and insights on the UK travel money market which we can share with you. Such insights include travel and tourism evaluation, economic trends, competitor tracking, customer profiling and segmentation, channel monitoring, product benchmarking, advertising tracking and market forecasting.

Customer Service

First Rate has nearly ten years’ experience of running our own in-house call centre team and managing third party contact centres on behalf of our clients. During this time we have handled over 1 million contacts, incorporating the values and standards customers expect of some of the most trusted brands in the UK.

Every member of our staff has a customer service objective within their annual plan that, in combination with our culture of continuous improvement, drives a focus on activity that supports a good customer experience.

First Rate not only records formal complaints, but also ‘expressions of dissatisfaction’. These are all recorded and analysed in detail, with owners assigned to investigate corrective action to reduce them.

Internet forums and consumer feedback websites are also monitored and reviewed to understand what is being said about products online.

We maintain a culture where customer feedback is encouraged, in order for us to address any variance from expectation and improve the customer experience

Customers’ contacts are handled by telephone, email, fax or letter. 99% of contacts are by telephone.

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