OFX vs Wise: 4 Key Things That Make All the Difference

Wise (formally TransferWise) and OFX have so much in common, it can be really hard to choose between them, but here we go:

Wise is different to OFX in four important ways:

  1. Wise have the Borderless Account. It's a great product for travellers and small businesses. OFX don't have anything that's even half as good.
  2. Wise are incredibly open and clear about what exchange rate and fee you'll pay
  3. OFX have a better service offering for larger businesses, with products like Forward Exchange Contracts.
  4. OFX still charge a flat fee for smaller transfers.

So, for small businesses, travellers and most international money transfers, Wise is usually cheaper.

For larger businesses and larger transfers, it pays to compare the total cost of each company to work out the best option.

The Important Bits

OFX

Safety: Based in Australia, fully licensed and publicly listed

Rates: Vary based on amount and currency

Fees: $15 for transfers under $10,000. Fee free above $10,000.

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Above average customer service, particularly over the phone

Trustpilot: 4,703 reviews; 4.2 stars/5 - Great

Wise (TransferWise)

Safety: Based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: You receive the interbank exchange rate on google

Fees: Percentage based fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Limited phone support but excellent online resources

Trustpilot: 134,281 reviews; 4.6/5 - Excellent

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Wise

Wise vs OFX Exchange Rates

Like banks, money transfer providers make money in two main ways: Firstly, the margin from which they purchase currency at a wholesale rate and the cost of currency sold on to customers. Secondly, an additional transaction fee.

OFX makes its money by the two ways mentioned above.

Wise makes its money primarily in fees as they offer the real wholesale exchange rates to customers. It’s important to consider exchange rates and fees as those are the main cost factors for every transaction.

Exchange rates fluctuate all the time, rates can rise and fall in a matter of seconds. Hence, it’s crucial to compare exchange rates between providers before making a decision. We would provide a comparison today, but it may not be accurate by the time you read this. So here are four ways you can compare current exchange rates between OFX and Wise:

  1. View live rates on OFX and Wise websites
  2. Call OFX on +61 2 8667 8090
  3. Contact Wise through the Live Chat feature on its website
  4. Compare exchange rates online with our comparison engine

Fees

OFX  don't charge any fee for transfers above $10,000. They charge $15 for any transaction below $10,000. Their also have an exchange rate margin that is built into the exchange rate they offer you (which will be different to what you see on google).

Wise makes money in fees calculated on a percentage of the transfer amount. The good thing is, they are very clear and transparent about how much they will charge you. For a full run down of there fees, click here

Can I open a business account with Wise or OFX?

Yes, both Wise and OFX providers have services for business holders.

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 54 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
  • 50% of payments are instant or arrive in an hour
  • Invoice to local receiving accounts in 10 currencies to get paid easily from around the world
  • Cut admin time with batch payments
  • Integrate with QuickBooks or Xero accounting software
  • Give team members access

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

Payout methods:

Both Wise and OFX transfers are paid directly into your recipient’s bank account. The recipient will not need to take any action or create a provider account to access the funds.
 

Min & Max Amounts

OFX

  • Transfer money abroad: individual countries may impose local limits, which will be set out when you model your payment or talk to a broker
  • Receive money: Unlimited

 

Wise

  • Transfer money abroad: individual countries may impose local limits, which will be set out when you model your payment
  • Receive money: Unlimited in most cases

 

Other features

OFX

  • Fully licensed and regulated in all regions of operation
  • Access a dealer by phone if you have questions or need help setting up your transaction
  • Forward exchange transfers available

Wise

  • Fully licensed and regulated in all regions of operation
  • Payments can be made with a credit card - this isn’t possible with OFX
  • Personal multi-currency accounts come with a linked international debit card

Time For Transfer To Reach Recipient

When using an online transfer provider, your transfer is made to the company account to be processed before it is cleared and transferred to the recipient.

OFX and Wise generally take 1-3 business days. How long it takes usually comes down to:

  1. How long it takes you to pay them for the transfer
  2. Which country you are sending the money to. Some countries take longer than others
  3. How long the bank on the other end takes to credit the bank account

How each provider works

Wise and OFX are fairly similar and both are easy to use. To transfer money overseas with either of the providers, you must register an account. We review the steps for each provider below:

OFX

OFX doesn’t publish live exchange rates online, so to see what rate you’ll get for your transfer you’ll need to sign up for an account. You can sign up by giving your name, address, date of birth, occupation, email and phone number. The OFX team will then verify your account electronically to allow you to start making payments.

In some cases you’ll also need to provide identity documents for verification. If you are required to provide ID, your account may take a couple of business days to open.

Wise

Wise international payments are arranged online or in the Wise app for convenience. Transfers always use the mid-market exchange rate - the same as the one you’ll see on Google. You’ll also be able to model your payment and see comparisons with other providers on the Wise website without needing to register.

To get started making your payment with Wise you’ll need to sign up for an account - you can enter your details online or in the app, or sign up using Apple, Google or Facebook for ease. You’ll need to provide identification and your account may take a day or two to go live, while the verification process takes place.

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

What Currencies Can I Transfer?

For an extensive list of currencies available for transfer with OFX and Wise, check out our reviews for each company

OFX Review

Wise Review

Accepted Payment Methods and Minimum & Maximum Transfer Amounts

 

Customer support Wise and OFX

OFX provides outstanding 24 hour customer service over the phone. You can be rest assured that you'll receive prompt response for any of your queries. With Wise, it was difficult to find their contact number. We had to use their live chat feature to get in touch with a consultant and received a response within 24 hours.

Wise

Service: 27/7

Phone: Phone lines available

Live In-App chat support available

Email: Yes

Website contact: www.wise.com

OFX

Support: 24/7

Phone: 1-888-966-6888

Live In-App Yes

Email: Yes

Website contact: www.ofx.com

OFX vs Wise - which one is better?

Choosing a payment provider will require a little research, to make sure you’re getting the best available deal for your specific needs. There’s no single best international transfer company, so your personal preferences will influence which suits you.

Final verdict:

Wise offers reliable exchange rates which you can check and compare with no commitment - and which never include a markup. That means it is easy to see the costs of your payment, and guarantees no nasty surprises. OFX also offers a good service, but the exchange rates used will include a markup, which can push up the price overall

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Wise

Frequently asked questions - Wise vs OFX

Is OFX better than Wise?

Choosing an international payment provider comes down to your specific needs. Both OFX and Wise are secure and reliable transfer services. Where Wise has the edge is in its transparency - you can check out the transfer fee for your payment in seconds, and the exchange rate will always be the real mid-market rate with no hidden costs. Compare both OFX and Wise for your payment to see which suits you best.

 

Is OFX safe to transfer money?

OFX is a licensed and regulated business, which offers safe and secure money transfers. That said, it’s still important to take reasonable precautions like keeping your account details private, and sending payments only to people know and trust.

Is Wise safe?

Wise is licensed and regulated, and takes steps to safeguard customer funds and protect personal information. You’ll notice some of these safety measures, like account verification steps and instant transaction notifications. If you hold a Wise multi-currency account you’ll also be able to freeze and unfreeze your linked debit card in the Wise app for extra security.

More about Wise and OFX

Wise Review

OFX Review

By Justin Rampono Updated December 22nd, 2021