OFX vs Wise

Wise - which used to be called TransferWise - offers international payments and multi-currency accounts for personal and business users. OFX is a specialist in international payments and currency management solutions for both individuals and businesses.

If you’re wondering whether Wise or OFX is best for you, this guide has you covered. There’s also a full Wise review here, or a full OFX review here if you’re looking for more detail.

Wise vs OFX: Side by side

FeatureOFXWise
Send payments to190 countries, 55 currencies80+ countries, 50+ currencies
Multi-currency accountsNoAvailable for 50+ currencies with Wise Multi-currency Account
Debit card availableNoYes, Wise Debit Card
Personal broker servicesYesNo
Currency risk management solutionsYesNo
Fully licensed and regulatedYesYes
Open a business accountYesYes, Wise Business Account

So, to summarize: 

  • Wise and OFX both offer transfers in 50+ currencies
  • Wise has a multi-currency account and linked debit card to support 50+ currencies, while OFX does not
  • OFX offers currency risk management services through personal brokers - Wise does not
  • Both providers are fully regulated, and offer both personal and business services

Whether OFX or Wise is best for you will depend on the services you want to use. OFX offers forward exchange contracts and target rate orders. These can help you avoid risks on high value foreign currency transactions. Wise is a specialist in fast, low cost international payments and doesn’t offer currency risk management solutions. If you need an online or in-app cross-border transfer Wise may win on price and speed with mid-market exchange rate payments using the Wise transfer network.

 

The Important Bits

OFX

Safety: Based in Australia, fully licensed and publicly listed

Rates: The exchange rate offered will include a markup

Fees: No transfer fee. Markups may apply on exchange rates

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Trustpilot: 4,000+ reviews; Score 4/5 - Great

Wise (TransferWise)

Safety: Based in the UK, LSE listed, licensed and regulated globally

Rates: Mid-market rate (real exchange rate)

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: Over 50% of payments arrive instantly

Trustpilot: 169,000+ reviews. Score 4.5/5 - Excellent

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Wise

OFX

Pros

  • Payments to 50+ currencies
  • No upfront transfer fee
  • Lock in exchange rates for future payments
  • 24/7 agent support

Cons

  • Exchange rates may include a markup and are not publicly available
  • Payments can’t be made by credit card, cash or check
  • No personal multi-currency account option
  • You’ll need to create an account before you can check out the overall cost of your transfer

Wise

Pros

  • Low, transparent fees
  • Transfers to 80+ countries
  • No exchange rate markup
  • Multi-currency account options for personal and business customers

Cons

  • Online and mobile service only
  • Payments can’t be made by cash or check
  • Transfer fees vary by destination and payment method
  • Multi-currency accounts are not interest bearing

Wise vs OFX: The verdict

Whether OFX or Wise win for you will depend on the specific services you need.

OFX provides expert broker services and currency risk management solutions like forward exchange contracts and target rate orders. There are no transfer fees, but exchange rate markups are added. 

Wise is a specialist in fast and secure online and in-app transfers direct to bank accounts. Wise payments use the mid-market exchange rate with low, transparent fees. You can also get a Wise multi-currency account with a linked international debit card. 

If you’re sending a payment to a bank account directly, Wise can be faster - with no markups added to the exchange rate, and transparent pricing. To find out the rate offered by OFX you’ll have to register an account in advance - whereas with Wise you can just run an instant online comparison to see the rates and fees available.

About Wise and OFX

Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. These days, Wise has upwards of 13 million customers, and also offers personal and business accounts to hold and manage currencies, accept payments and spend using a linked debit card.

With Wise you can send payments to 80+ countries, in 50+ currencies.

OFX was founded over 20 years ago, and has 1 million+ customers. You can send payments in 55 currencies with OFX. Through your personal broker you can also set up forward exchange contracts and target rate orders to help manage currency risks when transacting or holding high values of foreign currencies.

OFX business accounts are also available to hold and manage foreign currencies and payments.

 

How do they work?

OFX

To use OFX you’ll need to first set up an account. You can do this either online or by calling the OFX team, and will need to provide some ID for verification purposes. Your first international payment must be made on the phone through a specialist broker. After that you can send money online or in the OFX app:

  • 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

Wise

To use Wise you’ll need to create an account, and depending on the type of payment you want to make you might need to provide some ID for verification.

Once your account is up and running make payments online and in the Wise app:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
  3. Enter the recipient’s details - bank account number or email
  4. Check over the details
  5. Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
  6. Confirm and your money will be on the move

Wise transfers are made through Wise’s network of local bank accounts, so they arrive faster and don’t incur intermediary fees. When you want to pay for your transfer in dollars you’ll send the money to Wise’s local US account. Then Wise will make a payment of the equivalent amount in your preferred currency, from their account in the destination country. No money actually moves across borders, so it’s faster and cheaper than traditional international payments.

Wise vs OFX: fees and exchange rates

All Wise personal accounts are free to open. There’s a one time fee of 31 USD to open a Wise business account.

Wise has low transaction costs for the services you use - currency exchange is from 0.41%, and international transfer charges vary by destination and currency.

It’s free to make an OFX account, and there’s no transfer fee when sending from the US. However, a markup will apply on the exchange rate applied.

You’ll be able to get an exchange rate quote for your payment through the OFX personal brokers, or by logging into your account online or in the app. You can compare the rate quoted to the mid-market rate shown on the OFX site to see the markup being used. Exchange rate markups are very common, but can make it harder to work out the true cost of your payment.

 

Wise vs OFX: which is cheaper?

Choosing an international payment specialist is almost certainly cheaper than sending money using your bank. However, as fees and rates do vary, it still pays to compare a few providers before you pick.

Let’s look at how a few different payments from OFX and Wise work out. This table looks at how much will be received if you send a payment to a friend in GBP or EUR. Payments are funded by bank transfer and delivered to the recipient’s bank account:

Amount & CurrencyWith Wise recipient gets:With OFX recipient gets:Winner?
1000  USD> GBP849.65 GBP846.20 GBPWise
5000 USD> GBP5,250.76 GBP4,231.90 GBPWise
1000  USD> EUR988.93 EUR983.35 EURWise
5000 USD> EUR4,947.68 EUR4,919.49 EURWise

*Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 31 August 2022

 

OFX Vs Wise: which is faster?

50%+ of Wise payments get to their destination instantly, and 80%+ arrive in 24 hours. However, the exact delivery time will depend on where you’re sending money to, and how you want to pay. You’ll see an estimated arrival time when you set up your payment.

When you make a transfer with OFX there are 2 stages to the process - your payment must arrive with OFX and then clear, then OFX will pay it out to the recipient account in the destination currency.

Because there are a couple of steps that need to take place, the time it takes for your payment to arrive can vary from 1 - 5 business days, depending on a few factors:

  • When your payment arrives with OFX, and whether it hits cut-off times
  • How long your funds take to clear with OFX
  • The processes in place at the recipient’s own bank

 

Can I open a business account with Wise or OFX?

Business options

OFX has business products for small and medium sized companies, online sellers and businesses looking for an integrated currency exchange platform. With OFX you can get a multi-currency account to pay and get paid, and manage your money across currencies.

Wise also offers business accounts to let customers accept, make and manage multi-currency payments which always use the mid-market exchange rate. Manage your account online and in-app, add team members, and cut your company’s admin time with smart features like batch payments and integration with cloud accounting software.

Let’s take a look at the features of OFX and Wise accounts for business, side by side.

Wise business features

  • Hold 50+ currencies and send payments around the world
  • 31 USD one time set-up fee for full account access, then no monthly charge
  • Payments can be 6x cheaper than regular banks and 19x cheaper than PayPal
  • Local receiving accounts in 9+ currencies to get paid easily from around the world
  • Cut admin time with batch payments and integration with QuickBooks or Xero accounting software
  • Give team members access and manage permissions to your Wise business accounts

Check out full Wise Business Account Review to learn more.

OFX business features

  • Hold and manage global currencies in your business multi-currency account
  • Make payments all over the world with competitive exchange rates - 50+ currencies are covered
  • Get local receiving accounts for USD, EUR, AUD, HKD, SGD, CAD and GBP
  • Automate payments to save time
  • Integrate your account with Xero accounting software 
  • 24/7 customer support from OFX specialists

Supported currencies

OFX supports 55 currencies on major payment routes. Wise supports 50+ currencies, and lets you send payments to over 80 countries.

Availability

Wise services are available to users in most countries around the world. There’s a handy tool on the Wise website which lets you select the country you’re in and check exactly what types of accounts and transfers are available there.

OFX operates through localized websites in Australia, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong, the EU, New Zealand, Singapore and the US. However, you may be eligible to use OFX services from other regions too - availability will depend on your location and the specific service you need.

 

Safety

Both OFX and Wise are fully licensed and regulated, and use both smart technology and dedicated service teams to keep customer money safe.

Learn more about Wise safety here - or get a full guide covering how OFX keeps customers and their money safe.

Ease of use

  • Creating an account: Create your account online or in app with both OFX and Wise. OFX also offers the option to register an account by phone
  • Making a transfer: Pay for your OFX transfer with BPay or electronic funds transfer. Wise payments can be funded by bank transfers, card payments and Apple Pay payments
  • Ways to send money: Send payments to your recipient’s bank account directly with both OFX and Wise
  • Languages: OFX services and customer support are delivered in English. Wise offers 15 languages, plus multi-lingual support services
  • Minimum & maximum amounts: OFX has a minimum transfer amount of the equivalent of 1,000 USD and no fixed upper limit. Wise sending limits can vary by destination country

     

 

Conclusion

Both OFX and Wise have some interesting features which will suit different customer needs. OFX offers a 24/7 personal broker service by phone as well as some currency management solutions which are not available through Wise. However, where OFX and Wise services overlap is in their range of international account products and cross-border payments.

Wise offers an international account to both business and personal customers, to spend internationally, make ATM withdrawals and avoid foreign transaction fees when you shop online with international retailers. OFX does have a global currency account for businesses, but this service isn’t available for personal customers.

You can make online and in-app international payments direct to bank accounts with both OFX and Wise. Here Wise wins overall on the exchange rates, and has a more transparent pricing structure.

 

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Wise

Frequently asked questions - Wise vs OFX

Is Wise or OFX cheaper?

For payments direct to bank accounts Wise is more transparent and usually cheaper, as it offers the real exchange rate with no markup, and low transfer fees. 

 

What’s the difference between Wise and OFX?

Wise is a specialist in international transfers to bank accounts, with the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees. Wise also has a multi-currency account for personal and business customers. 

OFX offers personal and business international payments, currency risk management services, and a multi-currency account for business customers.

Is Wise or OFX faster?

Wise payments are often faster than OFX, thanks to Wise’s modern payment processes which make transfers quicker, cheaper and more efficient.

How many currencies do Wise and OFX support?

OFX supports 55 currencies and Wise supports 54 currencies.

More about Wise and OFX

Wise Review

OFX Review

By Justin Rampono Updated September 6th, 2022