- Easy online account setup
- No exchange transfer fees
- Low exchange markup fees
- Can initiate transfers 24/7
- Offers mobile app
- Excellent customer service
- No credit/debit card funding option
- No same-day or overnight delivery option
- No local cash pickup option
- Not available in Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, or Wisconsin
If you can meet their minimum transfer requirement, OFX rates very highly as an international money transfer provider. Their overall costs are generally lower than most competing providers, and they have an excellent reputation for providing high-quality, 24/7 customer service. They also offer a wide variety of specialized services for businesses and online sellers. The only consistent negative feedback we were able to locate was that they can be fairly trigger-happy when it comes to shutting down accounts and canceling transfers when fraud is suspected. Fortunately, most of their customers never experience these problems. We’re giving them an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and we highly recommend them if you’re looking for a cost-effective way to send money overseas.
Table of Contents
OFX is an international money transfer services provider headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The company was established in 1998 as OzForex and used variations of this name for its international branches (such as USForez for its US branch) until 2015 when the various brand names were consolidated under the name OFX. In addition to their Sydney office, OFX has international offices in Auckland, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Toronto, Ontario. Their US office is located in San Francisco, California.
For US customers, OFX supports transfers from the United States to 91 countries around the world.
Transfers can be initiated 24/7 using either the OFX website, mobile app, or via telephone. The company advertises a 1-2 day delivery timeframe and does not offer a same-day or overnight delivery option.
The company’s fee schedule is both simple and transparent. OFX does not impose any transfer fees regardless of the amount of the transfer, but will charge you an exchange rate markup fee that will depend on the currencies involved. Exchange rate markup fees are highly variable, but appear to range between 0.4% and 1.5% of the amount of funds transferred. Although they don’t disclose it, the company also probably profits from the difference between the “buy” and “sell” exchange rates (also called the “spread”).
OFX imposes a minimum transfer requirement of $1000. Although they aren’t the only money transfer service to impose such a high minimum, it makes their service impractical for customers who only need to transfer lower amounts of money.
Products & Services
OFX offers a number of services for individual users, as well as several specialized services that are designed to meet the needs of businesses and online sellers. Here’s what they provide:
- OFX accounts: You’ll need an OFX account to access live exchange rate data and initiate transfers. While you can set up your account directly from their website, be aware that they’ll need to call you to verify your identity, location, and bank account information before you can begin using their services. Although this might seem inconvenient, it helps to protect you from identity fraud where someone is using your stolen bank account information to move your money out of the country. In some circumstances, you might also need to provide proof of identity documents.
- Transfer funding options: All transfers using OFX must come from your bank account, either in the form of a direct debit or a wire transfer. There is no option to fund a transfer using cash, a check, or a credit/debit card. Note that your bank will usually charge you a wire transfer fee (typically around $25.00) if you choose the wire transfer option.
- Mobile app: The OFX Money Transfer app is available for both iOS and Android. With it, you can initiate a transfer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The app also displays current mid-market rates and has recently been upgraded to show live estimated customer rates (i.e., rates with the exchange rate markup added). Tracking information for your transfers is also provided.
- Telephone transfers: In addition to the OFX website and mobile app, transfers can be initiated via telephone on a 24/7 basis. The company’s network of offices around the world allows them to provide this service at any hour. This is a good option if you’re traveling and don’t have access to the internet.
- Automated recurring transfers: If you need to make regular, recurring transfers (for example, a mortgage payment on an overseas property), you can set up recurring transfers for up to twelve months at a time. You can also set up a fixed payment plan that locks in the current exchange rate for all transfers. This service could come in very handy if you ever buy a villa in Tuscany for a vacation home.
- Business features: For small and medium-sized business, OFX offers special accounts with additional features not available to individual users. Their main special feature is international payroll support, which allows you to pay up to 500 employees at a time. This service also integrates with Xero (see our review) accounting software. Note that transfers to China are only available to business users.
- OFX Global Currency accounts: For online sellers who make a lot of international sales, OFX offers a multicurrency account that will save you a significant amount of money over traditional money transfers and speed up the transfer process. Currencies supported include US dollars, Great British pounds, Euros, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, and Hong Kong dollars. OFX Global Currency accounts are compatible with Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Shopify (see our review), and other online marketplaces.
- Forward contracts: For transfers that are intended to take place at a future date, forward contracts allow you to lock in the current exchange rate now for a transfer that can be scheduled for up to twelve months in the future. A small fee is charged for this service, and may increase before your transfer goes through if the exchange rate changes significantly.
OFX also offers a number of additional specialized services for both individuals and business users. See their website for further details.
Fees & Rates
As we’ve noted, you must transfer at least $1000 to use OFX’s services. There is no maximum transfer limitation, so if you’ve just made your first billion and want to buy a private island in the Caribbean, you can do that.
Unlike many of its competitors, OFX does not charge a fixed exchange transfer fee for each transfer. This fee can run as high as $35.00 per transfer if you go through a bank, so it’s a significant savings. Instead, OFX makes their money by charging an exchange rate markup fee, which generally runs between 0.4% and 1.5%. This fee is added to the mid-market rate to come up with the consumer rate that you pay. OFX’s exchange markup fees are highly variable, but in general, they’re usually equal or lower than what most of their competitors charge. They’re also much cheaper than going through a bank, where you might be charged as much as 5% over the mid-market rate.
So, how do you know how much you’ll pay before you commit to a transfer? Unfortunately, it’s a little tricky. Like many money transfer services, OFX requires you to set up an account with them before you can access their live exchange rate data. While they provide an online calculator on their website, it only displays the mid-market exchange rate in effect at the time you enter your information. In all fairness, OFX does offer the following disclaimer:
Our currency converter displays Market Rates and is not indicative of OFX Customer Rates. Simply register or log in for OFX Customer Rates.
Unfortunately, it’s in pretty small type and you might easily miss it. To see the actual rate you’ll have to pay, you’ll need to set up an account and be logged in. The good news here is that when you make a transfer, your final exchange rate will be displayed and locked in for up to 24 hours while you transfer your funds to OFX from your bank. You won’t have any unexpected surprises, even if the exchange rates change significantly after you initiate your transfer.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fee
Both individual and business accounts from OFX are completely free. There are no monthly or annual fees, and you won’t be locked into a long-term contract with an early termination fee. Does this mean that you don’t have a contract? Of course not! Your account and use of the company’s services will still be bound by the OFX User Agreement and several other related documents. OFX publishes their User Agreement and other legal documents right on their website, so you have no excuse for not reading it before you sign up. While we couldn’t find any unpleasant surprises in the User Agreement, it does provide a lot of useful information about how the company’s services work and what you have to do to use them.
Sales & Advertising Transparency
Marketing efforts for international money transfer services are usually much more transparent than they are for other business services, especially merchant accounts, and OFX is no exception. Their website is clear, easy to navigate, and includes a tremendous amount of useful information about the services they provide and how to use them. You won’t see the kind of empty marketing hype, misleading claims, or sales gimmicks that are commonly found in the merchant services industry. Although OFX isn’t exactly a tech-focused company, their website stands out for its clear, detailed information.
Like most international money transfer services, OFX doesn’t use sales agents to market their accounts. Everything is laid out on their website, and you can set up an account online in just a few minutes. Note that you will have to provide bank account information before you can use your account, and the company will have a customer service representative call you to confirm the information you’ve submitted before your account can be activated. While this might seem a little intrusive, it helps to protect you from identity fraud.
OFX has an active social media presence, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. These accounts are frequently updated and are mostly used to publicize the company’s blog posts, which are also available on their website. OFX also has an extensive YouTube channel, with over 100 videos that include customer testimonials, educational videos, and marketing videos.
Customer Service & Technical Support
On OFX’s website, you’ll find a very detailed FAQ/knowledgebase that can provide answers to just about any question you might have on the subject of international money transfers. It’s an excellent resource, and you should definitely read through it before you start making any transfers with your account.
Of course, even the best knowledgebase can’t answer every question, and it won’t be of much help if you’ve made a transfer and it’s seemingly disappeared into the ether. Fortunately, OFX offers true 24/7 customer support via telephone and email. They’re able to do this because of their network of offices around the world, at least one of which is open at any given time. You’ll be able to reach an English-speaking representative whenever you need one. Ironically, one of the few criticisms of OFX from users is that customer support is only available in English. OFX does not offer a live chat support option at this time.
User feedback regarding customer service is generally very positive, with most customers praising the company’s helpfulness and professionalism. Of course, there’s also some negative feedback, most of it coming from users who’ve had a transfer canceled or their account suddenly closed down.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
The US office of OFX in San Francisco has been accredited by the BBB since 2013, and currently has an A+ rating. The company’s profile shows three complaints filed within the past three years, with only one complaint being filed within the last twelve months. Unfortunately, there are no details available for any of these complaints. There is also one negative review. We could only find one complaint against OFX on Ripoff Report.
Most online user feedback about OFX is found on TrustPilot, where 3,223 customers have left reviews and ratings. Of those, 90% rated the company as “Excellent” or “Great,” while only 10% rated them as “Average” or below. We were pleased to see that OFX responded to all negative reviews, although in most cases it was merely to offer the reviewer a chance to reach out to their customer service department.
Although the negative feedback was substantially outweighed by the positive reviews, we did find some common issues among the complaints:
- Slow or lost transfers: OFX advertises a 1-2 day delivery window, so it’s not surprising that customers would be upset if their transfer takes longer than that. Although transfers to countries in Europe, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand will usually go through in two days or less, it’s just a fact of life that transfers to countries in the developing world inevitably take longer. Onerous bureaucratic regulations, unstable financial institutions, poor communications, and outright fraud and corruption can all result in a delayed or lost transaction. We recommend that you talk to an OFX customer service representative to get a more realistic delivery timeframe if you need to send money to a country where these issues might be a concern.
- Sudden account shutdowns: Like all money transfer service providers, OFX reserves the right to shut down your account for any reason, at any time, and with no notice to you. While this might not seem fair, remember that they’re highly regulated by the countries in which they do business, and they have a responsibility to prevent money laundering, bank fraud, and other financial crimes in any way they can. While this aggressive approach to preventing fraud might occasionally net an innocent victim, it also stops a lot of potential criminal activity. Also note that the OFX User Agreement specifically prohibits using your account for margin or speculative trading, such as FOREX trading. The OFX Acceptable Use Policy also contains an extensive list of prohibited businesses, services, and practices, any one of which would be cause for them to shut down your account immediately.
Note that we haven’t seen any complaints about accounts being shut down for extended periods of inactivity. There’s also no mention of this issue in OFX’s legal documents, so you should probably have no problems if you open an account and only use it from time to time.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
OFX includes a number of customer testimonials on both its website and its YouTube channel. These video testimonials are engaging, credible, and include all the information you would need to identify the customer or business.
As we’ve noted above, there’s also a tremendous amount of positive feedback for the company on TrustPilot. While most of these positive reviews are of the one-sentence variety, more than a few customers took the time to write about what they specifically liked about doing business with OFX. While low overall costs seemed to be the one thing customers liked the most, there was also a lot of praise for the company’s excellent customer service. Users also cited fast transfers as a positive aspect of the company’s service, although this praise appears to be limited to transfers to specific countries and involving common currencies.
If you need to send money overseas, OFX is an excellent choice for most people. Their low rates are perhaps their most attractive feature for many users, but you won’t have to sacrifice quality of service to save some money. Their lack of an exchange transfer fee is particularly appealing, especially for customers who need to make frequent transfers. Feedback from users is overwhelmingly positive, with the company’s low overall costs and excellent customer service being frequently cited as their most appealing aspects.
No provider is perfect, of course, and OFX does have a few minor inconveniences. Residents of Montana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Wisconsin won’t be able to use the company’s services at all, as OFX is not licensed in these states. We’d also like to see their funding options expanded to include paying for transfers with credit or debit cards. At the same time, if you’re inclined to use this method to fund a transfer, we’d caution you that other providers that offer this option will also pass the transaction processing charges onto you. This will add another 1.5% – 2.5% to your costs. The lack of a local cash pickup option won’t affect most users, but if you need to send money to someone overseas who doesn’t have a bank account, it could be a real limitation. Finally, OFX isn’t the fastest money transfer service in the industry, although they’re quick enough for most users. A same-day or overnight delivery option would be an improvement, although in most cases delays in transfers are due to circumstances beyond the company’s control.
Overall, OFX rates a very strong 4.5 out of 5 stars. They offer a full range of features and services that make them a solid choice for both individuals and business customers. Their ability to accept transfers and provide customer service around the clock sets them apart from many of their competitors, giving you added flexibility in scheduling your transfers. If you’re looking for a dependable service to send funds overseas, we highly recommend that you give them a try!
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