OFX is not the cheapest service on the market but it provides competitive rates for large values. It offers a broad selection of payment types and is an excellent service overall.
|Transfer speed:||3-5 days|
|Trustpilot score:||4 stars|
|Our score:||4 stars|
What we like
- Simple user interface
- Competitive exchange rates
- No maximum transfer value
- Friendly customer service
What we don’t
- Rates not as competitive for smaller values
OFX is one of the most influential players on the currency transfer market. It has certainly come a long way from its humble start-up beginnings; having listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and completed over $100 billion in transfers to date.
The company sees itself as something closer to a full-service broker than a simple retail dealer and has more than a million individual and corporate clients to back up that claim. In fact, servicing the needs of small and medium business has become so important for OFX, that commercial transactions now make up over 45% of the company’s turnover.
To learn more about this service and see if it’s right for you, read on for my in-depth OFX review.
Affiliate disclosure: If you sign up with a money transfer service after being referred from our website, we might earn a referral fee. Learn more.
About OFX Money Transfer
What is OFX Money Transfer all about? Let’s begin this OFX review with some general information about the service.
OFX was established in 1998 by Matt Gilmore and Gary Lord, two foreign exchange professionals from Sydney, Australia. Matt is credited with developing the first version of the website from his apartment in the early days of the internet boom, while Gary came on as joint managing director in 2005. As far as I am aware, both remain as minority shareholders of the company today.
OFX operated for many years under the trading name OzForex and eventually expanded into markets outside Australia; including New Zealand in 2001, the United Kingdom in 2005, Canada in 2007, Hong Kong in 2011, and eventually the United States in 2012. In 2013, the company took on the additional responsibility of listing as a publicly-traded company on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), and in 2015 the company consolidated its various trading entities under the single OFX brand.
Since February 2017, the company has been overseen by Skander Malcolm as CEO, Selena Verth as Chief Financial Officer, and Adam Smith as Chief Operating Officer. Each of these senior executives has extensive experience in banking and financial services from firms such as ANZ, Deutsche Bank, and General Electric. They are complemented by the impressive credentials of Wendy Glasgow, serving as Chief Technology Officer.
OFX is headquartered at the following address:
Level 19, 60 Margaret St
Sydney, NSW 2000
+61 2 8667 8090
OFX Money Transfer established local offices in the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United States
- United Kingdom
OFX supports the transfer of funds to 226 countries across the world. To support this extensive reach, the service has established a network of accounts using a combination of international banking partners, as well as its own locally based subsidiaries.
OFX has a minimum transfer value of £100 or your local currency equivalent. There is no maximum transfer value, which is an exciting feature for high-net-worth individuals and businesses of all sizes.
OFX exchange rates and fees
What are OFX exchange rates and fees? It will take a few minutes to explore the foreign exchange market, so we can properly consider this question.
How the foreign exchange market works
Let’s begin with how the foreign exchange market works. Banks and other money transfer services will buy foreign currency at a price very close to the mid-market rate. They will then sell this currency to you, the customer, for a higher rate than they bought it for, taking a margin in between – known as “the spread”.
The spread is essentially a hidden cost that is not disclosed to you during the transaction. Then, in addition to the spread, some services will charge a transaction fee on top – which is typically the fee quoted to you. In any case, the total cost of a transfer for you, the customer, is the combination of the two; the spread + transaction fee.
Q. Do OFX exchange rates include a spread?
A. Yes, there is a spread.
Q. What about OFX fees?
A. Yes, a transaction fee of £15 applies for transfers under £10,000.
But for the moment, don’t pay too much attention to the details. Rather, for the purpose of our OFX review, let’s consider the overall cost.
Why focus on overall cost?
If you focus on the spread or transaction fee in isolation, it is easy to become lost in marketing gimmicks. Instead, it is more helpful to consider the overall cost when these factors are combined. For example, a typical bank will charge up to 5% of the overall transfer value in spread and transaction fee to complete a transfer on your behalf. Not great.
But what about OFX Money Transfer? To determine its overall cost we need to compare a transfer with a benchmark, the mid-market rate, which in theory has no cost. Practically speaking, it is unlikely that you will ever receive the equivalent of the mid-market rate, however, your goal should be to get as close as possible.
If you can achieve a total cost of less than 1% of the overall transaction value then you are on the right track. However, it really depends on what your needs are and if you are willing to pay a little bit extra for additional features, advice, or research. To find out the mid-market rate of any currency pairing, use this calculator at xe.com.
What is the average cost of OFX?
OFX has an average cost of 1.20%. To calculate this figure, we received three quotes to exchange British Pounds (GBP) into Australian Dollars (AUD) – for low, medium, and high values. The overall cost of each transaction was then compared against the mid-market rate and represented as a percentage of the transfer value.
Here is the calculation:
|Transfer value||Overall cost|
An average cost of 1.20% means that for every £1,000 sent, on average £12.00 will be lost in spread + fees. By using this figure, we aim to make a fair representation of OFX across a range of transfer values. Of course, it is not a perfect measure for all situations, but it is helpful for comparative purposes.
Important note on SWIFT: You should be aware that any transfer conducted via the SWIFT network may incur additional hidden charges by correspondent banks; the exact cost depending on the amount of the transfer and the recipient bank. In our experience, these fees can be as high as £25 per transaction.
OFX review: Comparison chart
Now that you know about the average cost of OFX, how does this compare to other services in the market? To help you determine its relative competitiveness, we have prepared a chart. Beside the name of each service, we have listed its average cost, speed of transfer, receiving countries, and our review score – sorted from highest to lowest.
To sort this chart by a specific column, click its respective heading. If you are reading on mobile, you may need to scroll horizontally to view all fields.
|wdt_ID||Service||Ave. cost||Speed||Countries||Our score||Review|
|1||XE Money Transfer||0.54%||2-4 days||220||4 stars||Read review|
|2||WorldFirst||1.11%||2-4 days||243||4 stars||Read review|
|3||OFX||1.20%||3-5 days||226||4 stars|
|4||TransferWise||0.50%||1-3 days||90||5 stars||Read review|
|5||CurrencyFair||0.45%||2-4 days||157||5 stars||Read review|
|6||OrbitRemit||0.43%||1-3 days||43||4 stars||Read review|
|7||WorldRemit||1.35%||1-3 days||132||4 stars||Read review|
|8||Xendpay||0.71%||1-3 days||201||4 stars||Read review|
|9||Xoom||0.44%||1-3 days||30||4 stars||Read review|
|10||TransferGo||0.84%||1-3 days||56||3 stars||Read review|
If you would like to learn more about the rationale of our OFX review, take a look at our review methodology.
A typical transfer with OFX takes 3-5 business days, from sending to receipt. The exact duration will depend on a few factors, including the currency pairings involved, the transfer value, as well as the particular systems of the sending and receiving bank.
Transfers involving more popular currency pairings may be completed even quicker. For example, AUD/USD are usually completed same-day, while GBP/EUR payments are completed by the following business day
How do payment features affect our OFX review? Let’s take a look at its capabilities.
A spot contract consists of a single payment from one currency to another at the current available rate. If you need to send money right away, simply login to the OFX app or website and with a couple of clicks a spot payment can be arranged.
A recurring payment is the easiest way to transfer money to the same recipient on a regular basis. A recurring payment allows any future payments to be direct debited automatically, providing a convenient solution to make better use of your time.
A market order allows you to set a target exchange rate that you would like to transact at in the near future. If and when your target rate is reached, OFX will initiate the transfer of funds immediately. This is useful if your transfer is not urgent and you willing to wait for a better rate.
A currency forward contract is useful if you would like to lock in an exchange rate but aren’t quite ready to transfer. This feature allows you to confirm a specific rate for up to 12 months in the future, protecting you from unfavourable rate movements.
Foreign currency options give you the right, but not the obligation, to purchase a particular currency at a predetermined exchange rate. It is one of the most useful methods of protecting a future transaction from adverse exchange rate movements.
A multi-currency account allows you to send and receive payments in various currency denominations. It is useful for individuals and small businesses who would like the flexibility of transacting in more than one country at a time. For many, it is a suitable alternative to opening a foreign bank account.
OFX customer service and phone number
OFX customer service can be contacted by phone or email. Here are the contact details for a few of its offices:
+61 2 8667 8090 (Australia)
+44 207 614 4194 (United Kingdom)
+1 415 449 1379 (United States)
In our experience, we found OFX customer service to be friendly and helpful. We did not have to wait too long to speak with someone on the phone, and my queries by email have been answered in a prompt and professional manner.
Is OFX safe?
As a customer, is OFX safe to use? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
OFX is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission and is licensed under AFS reference 226484. Its international subsidiaries are regulated by the relevant authorities in the jurisdiction of their operations, such as FCA in the United Kingdom and FinCEN in the United States.
Customer funds held in trust
In accordance with the standards imposed by government regulators, the funds of OFX customers are held in segregated accounts and are kept apart from the company’s own operating accounts. This ensures the security of customer funds, should OFX encounter financial difficulty.
Website is securely protected
The OFX website is protected with TLS encryption, which prevents sensitive data from being intercepted during your visit. You can confirm that this is in place by recognising a green padlock next to the website’s URL on your browser.
What about other OFX transfer reviews?
What do other OFX transfer reviews have to say? Let’s take a look at some of its security measures.
As of publication, OFX has received over 4,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars; representing a positive experience in 91 percent of interactions with its customers.
Here are our observations of the feedback posted:
- Helpful phone support
- Longtime customers continue to use the service
- Excellent exchange rates
- Occasional delays in transfer times
- Account compliance can be tedious
- Recent reports have noted varying levels of customer service
Upon viewing the Twitter and Facebook feed of OFX, we can see that the service replies quickly to any queries raised by its customers. There are not many complaints, rather most interactions involve clarifying the capabilities of OFX.
The OFX social media team is active in publishing news and market updates. This will be useful information for you if make transfers on a regular basis or run a business.
OFX does not have a lot of mainstream media coverage, as they are already a well-established service. Much of the reporting completed by the media relate to the status of OFX as a publicly listed company.
An Australian startup company to watch.The Next Web
Showing businesses the forex light.pymnts.com
OFX has been around for 17 years and has processed £50 billion worth of transactions since inception.Business Insider Australia
OFX app and user experience
How does product design affect our OFX review? Let’s take a look at its user experience.
The OFX website has been designed thoughtfully, with special attention being paid to user experience and functionality. As far as we are aware, it is only available in English.
An OFX apphas been developed for Apple and Android devices. By using the OFX app you can access your account at any time and use its core features, such as initiating new payments or tracking the status of in-progress transfers.
The registration process takes around 5 minutes and is relatively straight-forward. You begin by entering your location and your email, before providing essential contact information such as name, address and phone number.
Before you can commence transferring funds, you first need to provide proof of identification so OFX can verify your account. Typically this will require providing two types of documents:
- Photo identification, such as a passport or drivers licence
- Proof of address, such as a bank or utility statement
How does OFX work?
As a part of our OFX review, we will take you through an example transaction. If you would like some guidance in navigating your own account, you can follow along below.
Step 1 – Sign up and login
Visit ofx.com, sign up and login. To begin a transfer, click New Quote. Alternatively, you can enter some basic information into the quote widget and click Go.
Step 2 – Select currencies
Choose the currencies involved and click Get Quote. When you are ready to proceed, click Continue.
Step 3 – Confirm transaction
The terms of your quote are presented, including the exchange rate and fees applicable. When you are happy to proceed, click Finalise Transfer.
Step 4 – Send money to local account
You are provided with instructions to proceed with your part of the payment. Now is the time to transfer your funds into the local bank account of OFX.
Step 5 – Track transfer
When your funds are received by OFX, it will complete the final leg of the transfer. You can track its status online or with the OFX app. You will also receive email updates throughout the process.
Finally, once the transfer is complete its status will be updated accordingly. The funds should arrive in your recipient’s bank account shortly.
In our experience, OFX was simple to use and we were satisfied with the instructions provided along the way. The entire process took 2 business days, and the funds arrived into our recipient’s account as requested.
OFX review: Final thoughts
OFX has built an effective online platform and account network over the past 20 years. Now that their various corporate entities have been united under one brand, OFX is providing a consistent experience to their users, combining competitive exchange rates and friendly customer support.
OFX optimised for smaller transactions, which are probably better suited to more consumer-orientated services such as TransferWise or CurrencyFair. Hwoever, OFX is an excellent consideration for individuals and businesses with larger and more sophisticaed requirements.
If you have any questions or feedback about our OFX review, let me know in the comments below.