OFX Review: Fees, Rates and Alternatives 2022

If you need to send a one off or recurring international payment - or you need a foreign exchange service to help you manage the risks involved with currency exchange - using a specialist can help. OFX provides a range of services to both individuals and businesses, from simple one off cross-border payments to more complex transactions for high value currency trades.

If you’re considering using OFX you’re in the right place. This OFX review covers all you need to know about OFX, including fees, whether it’s safe to use, how fast it is, how to get set up, and more.

Go to OFX

OFX: Key points

Key features:

  • Personal and business customers can make one off and recurring transfers, and set up forward exchange contracts and target rate orders

  • OFX charges 15 CAD transfer fee for payments under 10,000 CAD in value. There’s no transfer fee for higher amounts, but for all payments there is a margin added into the OFX exchange rate

  • 24/7 personal broker service is available - you can also transact online and in the OFX app

  • Fund your payment by electronic transfer, BPAY or direct debit, and it will be delivered directly into the recipient’s bank account

  • Business customers can also access Global Currency Accounts to pay and get paid internationally 

Key stats:

  • Founded in Australia in 1998, OFX now has multiple global offices and a presence around the world

  • Send payments around the world in 50+ currencies

  • 140 billion CAD in transfers made so far 

  • 1 million global customers

  • OFX is covered by 50 global regulatory bodies

  • 24/7 customer service is available 

Pros:

  • Experienced provider with over 20 years in business

  • Talk to your personal broker or set up payments online

  • Broad range of foreign exchange services available

  • No transfer fee for payments over 10,000 CAD - although there is an exchange rate markup

  • Registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) and holds a money-services business licence issued by the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF).

Cons:

  • 15 CAD fee for payments under 10,000 CAD, plus exchange rate markup

  • You’ll need to create an account to get a quote for your transfer

  • Payments may take a day or two to arrive 

  • Limited funding options - no credit card, cash or cheque payments available

  • Account services are not globally available

Overall: 

OFX is a safe and established provider of currency services and international payments. If you’re looking for a personal service and would prefer to talk to a broker on the phone - or you need advanced currency management solutions, OFX can be a good bet. 

OFX also offers a multi-currency account option for businesses and online sellers - unfortunately at the time of writing this is not available to personal customers. If you’re getting paid through an online marketplace or a site like Amazon, the Global Currency Account is worth checking out.

How much can I save with OFX compared to a bank?

Using a specialist provider can often be much cheaper than opting for a regular bank when you need to send a payment overseas. Specialists can also offer a range of niche foreign exchange services which may not be available through traditional banks. We’ll explore the full range of personal and business services offered by OFX in just a moment.

For now, let’s look at how sending a payment with OFX might match up with a few other providers.

Send amount in CAD With OFX your recipient gets:With Wise your recipient gets:

With Remitly your recipient gets:

1,000 

761.26 USD

779.37 USD

758.11 USD

5,000 

3,852.67 USD

3,893.73 USD

3,797.43 USD

10,000 

7,767.35 USD

7,807.83 USD

7,598.03 USD

Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 15 February 2022

The examples in the table assume you’re sending a bank transfer from a CAD account to a recipient in the UK. As you can see, while OFX offers good value to customers and beats Remitly on this transfer route, alternative provider Wise typically offers the best value in our comparison. 

About OFX

OFX was set up in Sydney in 1998 with the aim of offering currency services which focused on honesty, value and certainty. There are now 8 OFX global offices including one in Toronto, and services are offered across multiple markets. You can send payments all over the world, in over 50 currencies. 

Let’s take a look at the key services offered by OFX.

One off and recurring international transfers

The most common types of international payments are one off transfers and recurring payments. OFX can offer both, so you can send a single payment or set up a regular transfer to cover recurring costs like an international mortgage. 

OFX charges 15 CAD transfer fee for payments under 10,000 CAD in value. There’s no transfer fee for higher amounts, but for all payments there is a margin added into the OFX exchange rate. You can set up transfers online and in the OFX app or talk to a personal broker 24/7 for information.

Great for: people sending money internationally, especially those who prefer to talk to a personal broker to set up a payment. 

Currency risk management solutions

As well as standard instant transfers, OFX can set up more advanced currency solutions such as forward exchange contracts and target rate orders. 

A forward exchange order lets you lock in an exchange rate for up to 12 months, which can reduce the uncertainties in paying and getting paid in foreign currencies. However, it can also mean that you can’t take advantage of positive changes to the exchange rate over the period of the contract. You’ll usually have to put down a deposit for this type of arrangement.

A target rate order involves booking a foreign exchange payment and agreeing a specific exchange rate. If the markets shift so that the target rate is achieved, the foreign exchange payment will go ahead.

Great for: people and businesses sending larger currency payments, who require more complex FX services like target rate orders and forward contracts, and would prefer to speak to a personal broker.   

Personal broker services with an OFXpert

While you can transact with OFX entirely online or in-app, there’s also a 24 hour customer service operation which allows you to talk to a currency broker - known as an OFXpert - any time of day or night. 

You can call OFX to be connected with a currency expert. This can be helpful if you’d rather talk to someone to understand your payment options and get details of available exchange rates. Then, if you’d like to, you can arrange your transaction instantly over the phone with the broker.

Because OFX brokers provide a 24/7 service you won’t always be connected to the same person when you call. However, you’ll always be able to get hold of someone to help, which can offer peace of mind - especially if you’re making a high value or complicated transfer. 

Great for: people who would rather arrange international transactions by phone instead of online.

Business accounts and services

OFX offers business services aimed at small and medium businesses, online sellers, and companies which require an FX trading partner. There are also Global Currency Account options for businesses.

For small and medium businesses, OFX can help with paying international suppliers and staff - including batch payments of up to 500 transfers in a single instruction. You can also mitigate changes in the exchange rate with specialist FX services like forward contracts and limit orders.

Online sellers may be interested in the OFX Global Currency Account to receive income from online marketplaces and platforms including Amazon[5]. You can get local bank details for a range of currencies to get paid via platforms without losing out on currency exchange.

Great for: online sellers and businesses who need to pay or get paid internationally. 

How does OFX work?

OFX has a network of bank accounts around the world. When you pay for your transfer, OFX will wait for it to clear, convert it and pass it on to your recipient.

OFX has a 15 CAD transfer fee for payments under 10,000 CAD in value. For higher value payments there’s no upfront fee, but it covers its costs by using a markup on the exchange rate they offer retail customers. 

Is OFX safe?

OFX is safe - and fully licensed and registered. In Canada OFX is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) and holds a money-services business licence issued by the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF).

OFX pricing

OFX has a 15 CAD transfer fee when you send a payment worth under 10,000 CAD internationally - higher value payments don’t have an upfront fee. There is, however, a markup (also known as a margin) on the exchange rate, which is how OFX covers the costs of arranging and processing a transfer - even when there’s no upfront transfer cost. 

To see the impact the margin has you’ll need to calculate the cost of your payment using the mid-market exchange rate, and compare it to the quote you’re given by OFX.

OFX exchange rate

The OFX exchange rate is calculated by adding a markup to the mid-market exchange rate for the currency pair[6]. This is typically called a retail exchange rate. Providers often add a margin to the exchange rates they offer, to cover their own costs.

OFX risk management fees

OFX offers forward exchange contracts and target rate orders which can help customers manage the risks involved in holding and spending in different currencies. These are specialist products, so to find out more you’ll need to contact an expert from the OFX team. They’ll talk through your requirements and help you to create a currency strategy to suit your needs. 

How long does OFX take?

Depending on the currencies involved, it will take between 1 - 5 business days for your payment to arrive[7]. The way it works is that you’ll send your payment to OFX first - and then once the funds have cleared they’ll be converted and sent on to your recipient on the same day.

Major currencies typically arrive within 1 - 2 days from the time the money is received by OFX. Exotic currencies can take 3 - 5 days.

OFX Pros

  • Fully regulated, safe and experienced provider 

  • Personal broker services available

  • Broad range of FX solutions for individuals and businesses

  • No transfer fee for high value payments 

OFX Cons

  • Exchange rate markups can push up costs

  • Payments may take a day or two to arrive 

  • No cash or cheque payments

  • 250 AUD (around 225 CAD) minimum payment - not suited to low value transfers

How to use OFX

You can make an OFX transfer online, using the OFX app, or by calling the OFX team. Once your account is registered and verified, sending a payment can be done in just a couple of steps[8]:

  • Log in to your account or call the OFX support team

  • Get a quote for the exchange rate available

  • Give your recipient’s bank account details

  • Lock in your transfer at the agreed rate

  • Send your money to OFX

  • Once the payment is cleared it will be sent to your recipient automatically

It’s helpful to know that as well as sending a one off transfer with OFX you can also send recurring transfers, and set up forward exchange contracts and target rate orders. Recurring payments can be useful if you have to make frequent overseas transfers - to pay a mortgage or bills for example. Forward exchange contracts and target rate orders are suited to high value transactions and are used to mitigate the risks of fluctuations in the currency exchange markets.

Funding methods

You can usually pay for your OFX transfer by:

  • BPAY

  • Electronic funds transfer

  • Direct debit

When you lock in the rate for your transfer you’ll receive an email confirming the available funding methods for your particular transfer.

Payout methods

When you send money with OFX it will be deposited into your recipient’s bank account directly.

How to create an account

You can create your account online or by calling the OFX team. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Register your account with your name, date of birth, address, occupation, contact number

  • Get verified - you may need to provide identification to do this

  • Once your account is approved you’ll get a call from OFX to arrange your first transfer 

Your first transfer with OFX must be done through the OFX team - after that you’ll be able to arrange subsequent transfers online or in the OFX app[9].

What documents you'll need

The exact document you need will vary depending on the type of account you’re creating. Typically you’ll need proof of identification, including a photo ID document and a proof of address. Documents such as a passport, driving licence and utility bill in your name can normally all be accepted. 

If you have any problems with providing the documents required, call the team at OFX for more advice.

If you’re setting up an OFX business account you’ll need to provide personal details and documents, as well as information about your business including:

  • The way your business is set up

  • Details of directors and management body

  • Details of the owner (if different)

  • The way your business is registered, and the location of registration

How long does verification take

If it’s possible for OFX to verify your account electronically it won’t take very long at all. However, if you’re required to send in documents, verification can take a few business days. 

If you have an urgent transfer to make, you’re advised to get in touch with the OFX service team for support.

OFX limits 

The minimum transfer amount with OFX is the equivalent of 250 AUD - that’s about 225 CAD[10]. Maximum limits may vary according to the country you’re sending money to. You’ll be notified when you arrange your transfer if you have hit the maximum level for that payment.

Supported currencies

OFX offers transfers to 55 currencies, which are split into standard currencies and exotic currencies. Some currencies are only available to business customers.

OFX regularly updates the countries and currencies available - check here for the most up to date available information.

Don’t worry about listing the countries, we’ll add them

OFX reviews

OFX scores an average of 4.2 stars on Trustpilot, from a total of 4,708 listed reviews at the time of writing. That’s a Great rating[11].

Satisfied customers focus on the efficient service and the customer support available. Here’s what a couple had to say:

“I have been using OFX for several years. Very professional company. Best currency exchange rates, no fees for transfers, very efficient with no problems. They are the best!”

“The best part of using OFX is that the customer service. I was worried about sending large sums of money from Canada to the UK, and did a ton of research on the different companies available. I chose OFX as I heard that they “hold your hand through the whole process”. This is very true, the customer service was amazing. I thought I made a mistake at one point, but I never waited long for an email reply. I would highly recommend using OFX.”

At the time of writing around 7% of reviews gave the worst rating on Trustpilot. Themes tend to involve accounts where payments have been delayed due to checks and verification processes which are required under local laws.

OFX accessibility

The OFX app is available on both Android and Apple phones, and you can also use OFX on their desktop site. OFX services are offered through localised websites available in Canada, the UK, Australia, the EU, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore and the US.

OFX customer service

Get in touch with OFX support online, by phone or by mail. Here are your options:

Customer support channelOFX availability

Phone support

Personal customers: +1 800 680 0750 


Business customers: +1 855 680 0745 

Mailing address:

Suite 1002

145 King Street,

Toronto,

ON M5H 1J8,

Canada

Email support

[email protected]

OFX alternatives

  • Wise - send payments which use the real exchange rate and low transparent fees, or open an online international account to send and hold multiple currencies. No monthly fees apply.

  • Western Union - domestic and international payment service with a network of agents as well as online and in-app services.  Payouts available to bank accounts or for cash collection. Fees tend to be on the higher side.

  • PayPal or Xoom - send instant payments at home and abroad - convenient and quick, but not always the cheapest. With PayPal your recipient will also need to set up an account to get their money.

Conclusion

OFX offers a broad range of currency services, with a focus on FX products that aren’t available from all providers. They also have some good business services including a multi-currency account for businesses and online sellers.

While the payments you can make through OFX might not be the absolute cheapest options out there, they’re a good bet for people who want to talk to a personal broker to arrange their transactions. Those looking for forward exchange contracts and target rate orders may also consider OFX as a good service to help with managing foreign exchange fluctuations.

FAQ

How much does OFX cost?

OFX charges 15 CAD transfer fee for payments under 10,000 CAD in value. There’s no transfer fee for higher amounts, but for all payments there is a margin added into the OFX exchange rate

How long does OFX take to transfer funds?

It will take between 1 and 5 business days for your OFX payment to arrive.

Is OFX safe?

OFX is safe - and fully licensed and registered. In Canada OFX is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC) and holds a money-services business licence issued by the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF).

How does OFX apply exchange rates?

OFX adds a margin to the mid-market exchange rate, to create the OFX exchange rate.

Does OFX have a mobile app?

You can use the OFX app on Apple and Android phones.

How does OFX work?

You can create an OFX account to send one off or recurring payments, and access niche foreign exchange solutions for individuals and businesses.

How many currencies does it support?

OFX supports 50+ currencies.

General advice: The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration. You should look at your own personal situation and requirements before making any financial decisions. We compare currency exchange and money transfer services in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. We only display reputable companies which we have researched and approved.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated May 17, 2022