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OFX Review: Is It The Best Money Transfer Service for You?
Updated: 2022-04-07 / Article by: Timothy Shim
Company: OFX Limited
Background: OFX is Australia’s largest non-banking Foreign Exchange (FX) provider and was established in 1998 by Matt Gilmore and Gary Lord. In 2013, the company went public in Australia. In addition, it consolidated operations under the OFX brand in 2015.
This consolidation involved a rebranding of its domestic money transfer services with offices worldwide. Some sub-brands included OzForex, UKForex, USForex, CanadianForex, NZForex (New Zealand), and ClearFX.The core business focus of OFX is on providing individuals and companies with a cost-effective alternative to the existing foreign exchange services. Today, the business handles over 55 currencies through a network of global bank accounts.
OFX – one of the world's largest foreign exchange companies. Several vital points make OFX a compelling service to use, which either helps you save more money or make things more convenient. If you need to send money overseas and need an alternative to a bank, then OFX is an excellent choice.
One of the most significant hurdles to overcome for international fund transfers is often the complicated bureaucracy. Banks often want a stock of paperwork that can get very frustrating. This hurdle is something OFX overcomes easily, and signing up for an account to transfer money is simple.
The only bump in the road during the process is that that’ll require voice verification when you’re opening an account. Still, it’s a one-time thing, and once you get that done, the rest is plain sailing; a few details and document verifications are all that’s necessary.
I find this to be a sufficient check and balance system. It helps provide a layer of security while not overdoing it like most banks.
2. Fee-free Transfers Above A$10,000 ($7,370)
There are a few components to the total cost; a flat fee, variable fee, and the exchange. If you need to send cash in bulk, OFX waives their fee if your volume exceeds $7,370. While most personal accounts are less likely to need this, it’s a significant advantage for international business dealings.
3. Multi-currency Accounts are Available
Another advantage for businesses is that you can sign up for an OFX Global Currency Account. This type of account lets you receive money in a local currency no matter where your customers are. For your customers, it’s the same as making a local payment wherever they are.
For example, if your customer is in New Zealand, they can pay New Zealand Dollars to an account in the same country. It’s a good way of dealing with a traditional business that doesn’t want to deal with the complexity of international payments (and cost).
4. OFX Helps You Save a Lot on Transfer Costs
Moving money across the world with OFX is considerably cheaper than using a bank. Fees still apply, but these are pretty minimal. The most significant savings you’ll find will come from the exchange rate.
Banks transfer money at retail rates, which typically means a huge earning for them and a loss for you. OFX, however, utilizes mid-market rates, which helps you save more money. OFX further enables you to take advantage of rates by allowing rate “lock-ins” for future transfers.
That means if you feel a rate is good at the current time, you can arrange a few future transfers simultaneously using the same rate.
Money Tip: Check and compare Foreign Exchange Rates before you initiate your money transfer. You could save a lot by timing your international payments right.
5. Solid and Highly Rated Mobile App
The OFX mobile app has received rave reviews. You can even send money using your smartphone for those who don’t always have access to a desktop or laptop. For some users, this can even be a game-changer; foreign workers, for example.
Manage – create, view and edit existing recipients
View all started and completed transfers
View daily and weekly foreign exchange news
Set rate alerts
6. The Sky is the Limit
Where banks often have many limitations in place, with OFX, you won’t need to worry about such barriers. The sky is the limit, and you can transfer almost all amounts imaginable. While this may seem unimportant to most of us, working without limits simply offers much greater peace of mind.
7. OFX is Regulated and Offers Good Security
With over two decades in the business, OFX is a trusted brand with lots of experience in the money market. They hold financial services licensing in multiple jurisdictions, including Australia, the United States, Singapore, and more.
Being a public listed company, it is constantly under scrutiny by many parties. Due to the sensitive nature of the business, OFX also holds a Money Laundering Regulation Certificate. This certification ensures compliance with anti-money laundering laws in the places it operates.
Their website is secure and covered with multiple layers of protection. The basics start with TLS encryption to ensure your data is kept safe. They will also make spot-checks to verify details before transactions happen.
To ensure nothing happens without your consent, the company introduced two-factor authentication (2FA) in 2019. That means you’ll need to authorize transactions via another means before it begins processing.
8. Payroll Services are Available
In the products and services listed above, you may have noticed one about payroll services. This service is attractive since OFX is essentially a money transfer service. Being able to help businesses manage payroll for an international workforce is exciting, especially given the low transfer fees offered.
You’ll need a business account with them to use the international payroll handling, which comes with even more features. You’ll find many tools targeted at benefiting small and medium-sized businesses.
For example, aside from paying hundreds of remote staff across any spread of locations, you can also integrate their system with third-party accounting software.
9. Move Money With a Phone Call
Aside from using their website or mobile app to make a transfer, you can also initiate transfers via telephone on a 24/7 basis. This feature helps heaps when you don’t have access to the Internet or are simply not an internet-friendly kind of person.
While it’s not a game-changer, the option can be desirable for those who desperately want to reduce bank fees while not glued to tech devices.
Cons: What I Don’t Like About OFX
1. Limited Transfer Funding Options
There are billions of people worldwide, and not all of us pay for things the same way. Because of that, businesses that support multiple payment methods often have distinct advantages. While OFX accepts many popular means of funding transfers, there are some limitations.
For example, you can’t fund a transfer via cash, check, or a credit/debit card. While financing a transfer using credit is logically unacceptable, not accepting cash is. Given the OFX digital operating model, it does make a bit of sense, though.
2. Minimum Transfer Amount
Moving money involves money, so enforcing a minimum transfer does make sense. Yet, a A$250 ($184) limitation is somewhat more significant than expected. It feels like the amount set excludes small fund transfers to help OFX save on operational costs.
3. No Live Chat Support
OFX offers a good spread of channels to get assistance; 24/7 phone contact, email, and several physical outlets in countries where it operates. Yet the strange thing is the lack of a live chat service which would make sense since it’s an online platform.
Implementing even a chatbot to provide first-line support wouldn’t cost the company a lot of money. That makes it even more bizarre that OFX doesn’t have this feature.
4. Cannot View Rates Without an OFX Account
Unlike WISE, with a transfer price calculator plastered on the front page of their website, OFX forces you to log into your account for everything. That means you don’t have an easy way to see how much a transfer with them will cost unless you sign up for an account.
To me, that’s just a business practice that reeks of bureaucracy. Enforcing such a step is a way of artificially inflating its user count, even if those users don’t use the platform eventually.
OFX isn’t the only player in the international money transfer space but is undoubtedly an industry leader. There’s a lot to love here; convenience, low prices, a sterling reputation, and decent security.
If you need to send money overseas for any purpose and need an alternative to a bank, then OFX is an excellent choice. There is little doubt it will cost less than a bank and likely, make the transfer happen comparatively more quickly.
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.