OFX is an international money transfer service with an excellent reputation for offering high exchange rates and quality 24/7 customers service. Whether you are a business looking to transfer funds internationally or an immigrant sending money to your family overseas, OFX can help you do that thanks to its global network of 55 currencies and 144 bank affiliations. The provider also has packaged services tailored for the different user needs.
Despite the cost-effectiveness of OFX transfers, people sending money to their families and friends overseas who do not have bank accounts or cannot meet the USD 1,000 minimum per year and $200 per transfer, find it difficult to use OFX. The provider only supports transfers to bank accounts and not cash pickups or mobile deposits, hence if this is something you need, you should find another money transfer company.
OFX exchange rates, fees and costs
OFX has a unique pricing system for its transfers.
- Transfer Fees- The provider doesn't charge any transfer fees. Unlike with other money transfer companies, the amount you send goes as it is without any deductions.
- Exchange Rate Fees- OFX makes its money off a percentage markup charged on the mid-market exchange rate. The markup usually ranges between 0.4% and 1.5%. Though the fee is variable, it is way lower than banks which charge up to 5% over mid-market rates.
- Other Fees -Other than transfers to Japan and South Africa, which incur additional costs for all providers due to local regulations, transfers to other countries whether through intermediary or correspondent banks attract no extra charges.
In order to know how much a transfer will cost you, you’ll have to first open an account with the provider. It is important to note that the currency converter on their website only gives you the mid-market exchange rates but doesn't indicate how much you’ll pay for the transaction.
With that said, once you commit to a transfer, that is you move your money from your bank to OFX for transfer to the recipient, the provider locks your rate for 24 hours. Whatever the volatility of the pair of currencies you are dealing in, you are assured of a stable rate.
Top countries to transfer to with OFX
OFX allows transfers to 195+ countries spread all over the world. In the basket of 55 currencies, it supports, are exotic currencies which senders would otherwise find it expensive and difficult to transfer through the formal banking system. In all the countries, you can only transfer to bank accounts. OFX has entered into agreements with over 155 banks globally to ensure that wherever the recipient is, they are covered.
The services OFX offers across all the countries it supports are the same. There is no change in strategy or transfer method. This assurance is important to people with businesses in several countries who may want to use the same services to send money.
If English isn't your language, you may need to translate bits of the website using third-party solutions to send money. However, you can always call and make transfers via phone. This is a much welcome alternative not just for people who can’t use the website, but also for those who may have no access to the internet.
Pros and Cons of using OFX
Businesses, online sellers and people transferring money to their families and friends, find OFX attractive mainly because of their great rates, exchange rate risk mitigation measures, and the low transfer fees. However, the payment options available and speed of transfer are some of the hindrances customers often cite with OFX. Below is an analysis of the pros and cons of using OFX.
- Minimal Transfer Fees - With $0 transfer costs and only 0.4-1.5% exchange rate margin over the mid-market rate, customers sending money through OFX enjoy the lowest rates.
- Currency Support - Whether you are sending in standard or exotic currency, OFX will allow you to transfer money overseas in up to 55 currencies.
- Flexible Sending Options - Depending on your preferences, you can pick one of the several transfer options OFX offers. You can choose the FX option, forward contract option or recurring transfer option to send your money conveniently.
- 24/7 Customer Support - OFX offers reliable customer support services available on both phone and email. They leverage their global offices and time zone differences to ensure that at any one given time, there is an office open to process customer requests and queries.
- Daily Market News - On a daily basis, OFX experts publish currency trading data to help their customers make informed transfer decisions on the basis of currency performance. Not many providers have such commitments to their customers.
- Higher Transfer Thresholds - You need a minimum of $1,000 per year or $200 per transfer to send money through the OFX platform. This may be prohibitive, especially for individuals sending money to their families and friends abroad.
- Limited Payout Options - Unlike other providers who offer cash pickups, air time top-ups and mobile transfers, OFX only pays out through bank deposits. If your recipients are in remote areas with no access to formal banking services this can be a big challenge.
- Delayed Transfers - Though in isolated cases, customers have been concerned about transfers taking a little longer than the 1-2 days window that OFX advertises through their website. This may be largely due to country bureaucracies and intermediary banks.
What type of transfers can you make?
In an environment where money transfer service providers are diversifying their sending options, OFX has maintained bank transfers as the only way to send and receive money. This product structuring certainly limits some customers, but to the market that OFX targets, online sellers and businesses, their offering is attractive.
What OFX have done differently is that within the bank transfer service, they have diversified the options to cater to a variety of needs and preferences. The following are the transfer products and services OFX offers its customers.
- Single Transfers-These are one-off transfers also known as Spot Deals. You get the advantage of locking the exchange rate and enjoying faster transfers.
- Recurring Transfers- If you are making regular transfers overseas for school fees, mortgage payments or such obligations, this is a great product for you. You simply set up the transfer schedule and OFX manage the rest of the process.
- Forward Exchange Contract - If you want to lock in the exchange rate for future transfers, OFX’s Buy Now, Transfer Later option is best for you. You set a target rate which if reached the OFX system automatically locks it for you. You have up to six months to make your transfer.
- FX Option - This option gives you the right, but not the obligation, to make your transfer at a certain time and exchange rate. You pay a premium for the service and get the benefit of safeguarding your transfers against volatile shifts in exchange rates.
How long will it take to receive money?
Transfers on OFX are processed from bank to bank. For this reason, they may take a couple of days to complete. OFX advertises a 1-2 days transfer window but at times transfers arrive earlier or later than this time.
In general, transfers to North America, Oceania, and Europe can arrive the same day or the following day. On the hand, transfers to Asia, Africa, and South America may take two days or more. In one case cited by a customer, a transfer to Hong Kong took up to 5 days to reach the recipient’s account. Bank holidays, weekends, and the currencies involved also determine the speed of transfer.
Compared to other providers, the speed is within the normal limits of bank transfers or could even be faster than what other providers such as WorldRemit and TransferWise offer. On average, banks take longer save for a few exceptions where transfers are made through subsidiaries of the same bank.
OFX payment methods
When sending money through OFX, you must first transfer your money to the OFX platform. There are several ways to pay for your transfer:
- Domestic Funds Transfer - You must quote the Client Reference number as indicated in the email confirmation sent to you.
- Electronic Funds Transfer - This option is available in most banks globally.
- BPAY - If you are transferring from Australia, you can use BPAY to pay for your transfer.
- Direct Debits - Corporate customers can pay for their transfers easily through direct debits from their designated accounts
After you lock in your transfer, you’ll get an email with a full list of transfer payment options you can choose.
Top reasons to use OFX
International money transfer providers position themselves to cater to different markets. OFX is best for businesses and personal transfers.
Business-If you run a small business or a medium scale enterprise, OFX can help you:
- Pay your overseas suppliers
- Pay your staff and contractors
- Make transfers to your overseas accounts
Online sellers who need to maintain transactional accounts in different currencies can benefit from the unique products offered by OFX. Every business looking to enjoy what OFX has to offer is first required to open a business account.
Personal Transfers-Apart from businesses, OFX also helps individuals to send money to their families and friends through personal accounts. Through OFX, you can:
- Send tuition fees to your children or siblings
- Send a regular stipend to your family to beef up their household income
- Transfer money for savings and investments overseas
- Pay mortgages and other loan obligations
The structuring of OFX products makes it easier for businesses and individuals to plan their transfers and enjoy the best rates across countries.
Can I trust OFX?
OFX, the brand and trading name of OzForex Group Ltd, is registered in Australia and has been operating for over three decades (since 1988). Over time, the provider has extended its global reach by opening up offices in different parts of the world, signing agreements with 155 banks and supporting 55+ standard and exotic currencies.
Currently, OFX has over 1 million active customers on its platform and to date, it has transacted more than USD100 billion.
It holds an Australian Financial Services Licence ("AFSL") issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC"). The licensing gives the provider the authority to deal in and offer financial product advice in regard to derivatives and foreign exchange contracts.
Apart from Australia, OFX is registered and regulated in the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. The regulations require that OFX holds the client’s funds in segregated accounts separate from its business accounts. This ensures the safety of customers funds even if the company goes through financial turbulence. It is also required by law to observe a minimum capital threshold.
When you register for an OFX account online, you will receive a call from the company to verify your details before you begin transacting. This is important for security reasons. Also, beginning September 30, 2019, OFX is introducing 2-Step Verification through SMS for any major changes that you do on your profile.
Most of the information about OFX and how it does business is readily available on their website. For instance, their online calculator gives you a close estimate of how much you should expect to pay in exchange rate margin fees. In case there is anything you need to confirm, their 24/7 phone and email customer support are there to help. On top of this, OFX has a detailed FAQ section where almost all questions are addressed.
What users have to say about OFX?
In general, reviewers on Trustpilot praise OFX for its excellent 24/7 support, favourable exchange rates and minimal transfer costs. Setting up on the platform is also very simple and fast. In less than 5 minutes, you are ready to send money to your business associate, supplier, staff or family and friends.
With 3,677 reviews, 80% of which are rated as excellent, users cited the following as the main reasons for using OFX in place of other international money transfer services.
- Affordability- With $0 transfer fee burden, most users claim to have saved hundreds of dollars by choosing to transfer their money through OFX.
- Professional Customer Support- More than just being reachable, the OFX customer support team has received kudos for helping customers out when stuck, enabling them to complete their transfers as smooth and as fast as possible.
- Reliability- When sending to different countries, users have praised the constant communication and updates on their transfer until their money gets to the recipient.
The 7% who rated OFX either as poor or bad, pointed to the phone verification process as being tedious and unnecessary. Though we know this is part of OFX’s internal control system and regulatory requirements.
Sending and receiving money with OFX
Sending and receiving money on OFX is a breeze. Remember you can send money on the website, using a mobile app, or even on the phone in less than 5 minutes. Below are the steps to follow:
How to Send Money Using OFX?
Step 1: Sign up for an OFX account online
Step 2: Wait for OFX customer support to call and complete the account verification and set up process
Step 3: Submit additional information if you’ve been requested to
Step 4: Login to your OFX account and check the live exchange rate
Step 5: Enter the recipient's details and counter check for accuracy
Step 6: Send your funds and OFX will ensure the transfer is completed.
How to Receive Money Using OFX?
Since the money is deposited into your bank account, there is nothing much you are required to do. Probably as part of business ethics or personal etiquette, you may inform the sender that you’ve received the money.
Does OFX have a mobile app?
Yes, OFX has an easy to set up and use mobile app available as a free download on both Android and iOS platforms. Through the app you can:
- Register for an online OFX account
- Transfer funds from your bank account to the recipient bank account
- Get live exchange rates
- Lock in exchange rates
- Get updates on your transfers
On Google Play, the app has a rating of 3.6 with 1,760 reviews. On the App Store, the OFX app has two reviews. Users are yet to get along on the mobile to bank account transfer.
Can I cancel my transfer?
If for any reason you want your transfer cancelled, you’ll need to get on phone or email and notify the customer support team. It is important to note that OFX will hold you responsible for any transfer cancellation that will lead to loss of money.
Bearing in mind that OFX transfers are only paid for using bank debit, EFT or domestic transfer, cancelling a transaction may not be as straightforward as cancelling cash or cheque payments.
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