- Learn about OFX's bank-beating exchange rates.
- Flat fee – or no fee – means no nasty surprises.
- Extra features to make transfers easy for businesses and online sellers.
We all know moving money can be a great way to feed dreams, support families, and power businesses, but how well does OFX compare with other money transfer services?
In this OFX review, we're going to highlight some of the key things this particular money transfer platform provides, including its business-oriented service, 24-hour support from specialists, and its bank-beating exchange rates.
See how OFX compares with other money transfer services with our comparison.
Inside this review
Services provided by OFX
OFX is a money transfer service designed to make life easier for small and medium businesses as well as individuals.
From paying your overseas staff or international suppliers, receiving payments from customers in various currencies and managing foreign exchange risk, or simply sending funds to family and friends back home, OFX has you covered.
How OFX started
The company is based in Australia, and was established in 1998 by Matthew Gilmour, at the time the head of foreign exchange at Bankers Trust. In 2007 the Macquarie group took a controlling interest, with other investors coming on board in 2010. OFX's parent company is listed on the Australian stock exchange.
The company's main headquarters are currently in Sydney.
How to make a personal money transfer using OFX
To make a personal transfer using OFX you'll first need to create a free account at the company's website, providing your name and contact details, date of birth, nationality, ID document details, and your occupation. You will also need to verify your identity via a phone call with customer service staff before you can make your first transfer.
Whenever you need to make a transfer, simply log in to your account, select 'Create a new recipient' (in which case you'll need to supply the recipient's bank account details) or ‘Transfer now' (to send funds to a recipient you've transferred to previously).
Next, choose the sending and receiving currencies, and either the amount you need to send or the amount you need to be received. You'll be shown an exchange rate and the total cost in Australian dollars. Once you've confirmed that you're happy with all the details, you'll be sent an email telling you how to transfer the required amount to OFX so that they can complete your transfer, usually in 2-4 business days.
You can only pay by transferring funds from your bank account (including using a debit card) or by BPAY. Payment by cash or credit card is not accepted, and cash pick-up by the recipient is not available.
How to make a business money transfer using OFX
OFX transfers are very straightforward for small and medium businesses who buy overseas or need to pay overseas employees.
To make business money transfers, select 'Business' as your account type when registering for your OFX account. When you log in to your account you will see your 'Deal Dashboard', and you'll need to select 'New quote'. Provide recipient details, sending and receiving currencies and the required amount you want to send or be received. If you're happy with the exchange rate and cost, add any reference details you want the recipient to see, such as your name or an invoice number. Finalise the transfer, and then send funds to OFX to pay for it (by online bank transfer or BPAY), using banking details provided by OFX in the confirmation email they send to you.
Currencies and countries supported
OFX works with 55 currencies in over 190 countries, including 21 currencies they classify as 'Standard', such as
- AUD - Australian Dollar
- USD - US Dollar
- GBP - Pound Sterling
- CAD - Canadian Dollar
- EUR - Euro
and 34 'Exotics', such as
- VND - Vietnamese Dong
- LKR - Sri Lankan Rupee
- INR - Indian Rupee
- PHP - Philippine Peso
- BGN - Bulgarian Lev
OFX has no account set-up fees or monthly account fees. For each transfer you make there's a flat fee of $15 if you're transferring an amount under $10,000. There's no fee charged for transfers over $10,000, because OFX also makes a profit by adding a small margin to the exchange rate.
Like its competitors, OFX adds a profit margin to the market foreign exchange rate it quotes for your particular transfer details. The rate you receive may vary, depending on the current market rate, the amount of your transfer, and how often you transfer. However, OFX says that it offers 'bank-beating' exchange rates, and uses an independent third party – FXC Intelligence – to monitor its own rates compared with the Big Four – ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac – and calculate the savings made by OFX customers.
For example, OFX says that for a transfer of AUD 20,000 into USD, at the time of writing the recipient would receive up to USD 648 more for a transfer by OFX rather than via one of the Big Four banks.
Who OFX is meant for (based on the design, features and costs)
OFX has an extensive target market, working with businesses small and large, plus individuals wishing to send money overseas. If you're someone who regularly sends money to friends and family overseas, OFX could work well for you if you simply want to send money to a bank account. It offers a quick, reliable service and an easy-to-use web and app design.
If you run a business and need to purchase goods internationally or pay overseas staff, OFX can help you reduce costs. For large amounts you can also lock in exchange rates for future transfers using a Forward Exchange Contract or Limit Order.
Pros and cons
- Easy-to-understand fee structure based on a flat fee for transfers under $10,000.
- Fee-free transfers for amounts over $10,000.
- Wide range of currencies and countries available to senders.
- Competitive foreign exchange rates independently reviewed.
- Additional features for business transfers, making OFX a good option for online sellers, importers, and companies with overseas employees.
- No maximum transfer amount for most currencies.
- Online-only service, so you can't pay in cash.
- Limited payment options, so you can't pay by credit card.
- Limited delivery options. Funds recipient needs to have a bank account.
- Minimum transfer amount of $250, so you can't send really small amounts.
- $15 flat-rate transfer fee is a substantial part of your cost for smaller transfer amounts.
Are money transfers through OFX safe and secure?
OFX is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and its parent company is listed on the Australian stock exchange. It has transferred more than AUD 100 billion for over 300,000 customers.
The service also uses stringent identity protection methods, sophisticated fraud prevention technology and SSL encryption.
Experienced staff members reside in various global offices such as Australia, Canada, UK, USA, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, to provide you with customer service if needed.
How fast is it to send money?
If you're sending funds to a bank account in another country it can take up to two business days to arrive.
Are there any minimum or maximum transfer limits?
Yes. There's a minimum transfer amount of AUD 250. Unlike some other companies, OFX itself does not set any maximum limit on the amount you can transfer, but some currencies (e.g. Chinese Yuan, South African Rand) may have transfer amounts limited by overseas government regulations.
How much does it cost to transfer money via OFX?
There's a flat fee of $15 for transfers below $10,000 (transfer amounts above that are free) plus you'll pay a small but competitive exchange rate margin built into the rate quoted for each transfer.
Why would you choose OFX over other money transfer competitors in Australia?
OFX's fee structure is very easy to understand – a flat $15 fee for transfers under $10,000, free transfers over $10,000. Exchange rates are much more favourable for customers than those charged by big banks, and in some cases better than rates offered by its competitors.
For business customers, large transfer amounts and regular transferrers, OFX offers Forward Exchange Contracts, Limit Orders and FX Options, which are not available from most money transfer services.
Does OFX have an app?
Yes. The OFX app is available from Google Play and the Apple App Store. You can use it to log in to your account, make transfers, track transfers, monitor exchange rates, and more.
Can you pay for OFX money transfers with cash?
No. They don't have physical branches, so you can't pay with cash.
Can you pay for OFX money transfers with a credit card?
No. You can pay using a transfer from your bank account, or with a debit card, or via BPAY, but credit card payments are not accepted.
Can my OFX recipient receive the transfer in cash?
No. The only receiving method is a credit to a bank account.
Does OFX have dedicated customer support?
Yes. It offers 24/7 phone support.
For personal transfers, if you're looking for a money transfer service with an easy-to-understand fee structure and competitive exchange rates, OFX may not be your cheapest option but it's one of the simplest.
Businesses with overseas suppliers, employees and customers will find that OFX offers lots of extra features to facilitate both the sending and receiving of funds in multiple currencies through a single service, while keeping costs down.