Wise Vs OFX [No BS] – 7 Must Knows
Sick of paying high fees and want to know who you can trust to transfer your money?
You have come to the right place!
In 2008, I started using OFX and then about 7 years ago I started using Wise.
Today I use both, but for different reasons.
In this comparison, I will show you when Wise (was TransferWise) and OFX are the best options and even point out a few shortcomings to help highlight why I use one over the other.
Let’s get stuck into it!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which can save you money! For more information, see my disclosures here.
Quick Comparison: The Big Differences
When it comes to money transfers, Transferwise (now Wise) and OFX are our top picks but for very different reasons.
Started over 20 years ago (1998), OFX was one of the original services to slash the fees banks charged while focusing on customer service the banks could only dream of. Now days, what you get with OFX is a service that uses a combination of online and offline (24/7 phone) customer support to ensure your money arrives inexpensively and with a minimum of fuss.
Born in 2010, Wise was designed to help drive fees super low and be very transparent in everything it does. Wise has an up to date user experience to provide an efficient service focused on the needs of international individuals and small to medium businesses.
So, whats the big difference?
We believe, Wise is best for transferring smaller amounts (below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD). While Wise is extremely inexpensive they also keep their customer service standards high.
Like us, most people love the Wise calculator where you can see how much money will arrive including fees (Spoiler alert: it’s hard to beat).
Meanwhile OFX is best for large amounts over $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD. The main reason for this is that regulations in many different countries can make transfers frustrating and/or expensive but OFX does a great job of keeping transfers inexpensive and hassle free.
As a bonus, OFX may charge a fixed fee of $15, however by using this link you can avoid these fees all together – forever.
- Our top choice for transfers below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD
- Affordable transfer fees with a transparent fee structure that removes hidden fees
- Supports transfers to 70+ countries
- Guarantee on the exchange rate (up to 40 hours hours)
- Simple and efficient online platform and app
- Available for personal and business
- Multi-currency account for personal and business
- Bank-to-bank and card-to-bank transfers only (no cash)
- One of the most affordable services for large international bank transfers above $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD
- 24/7 phone support available everywhere with offices in US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong
- Supports 50 currencies
- Exchange rates locked while you fund transfer
- Removes hidden fees for most transfers
- Available for personal and business
- Multi-currency account for businesses
- Fixed $15 fee for transfers below $10,000 (but this can be removed)
- Bank-to-bank transfers only
1. Real Fees & HIDDEN Fees
- Transfers at the mid-market or interbank rate
- Transparent fee structure: see the exact amount the receiver will get before you even sign up
- Very low fees (starting from 0.35% of the amount). Depends on the currencies and amount
- Removes hidden fees like sending and receiving fees by having local bank accounts in supported areas
- Credit or debit card charges are applicable for card-funded transfers (this is normal)
- Use this or one of the links on this page, to avoid a possible flat $15 fee on all transfers
- Low percentage margin on the exchange rate (usually between 0.4 – 2% of the amount), which goes down as the amount goes up, making large transfers especially inexpensive
- Local bank account in 115 countries, which removes hidden (sending and receiving fees) for most transfers
Wise keeps their fees low and passes on even more savings to their users by processing transfers at the mid-market rate.
OFX has a fee structure perfectly suited for larger amounts which reduces in percentage terms as the amounts increase.
Both services are excellent when it comes to having local bank account partners worldwide. This means they both remove hidden fees which both sending and receiving banks usually charge.
2. Are They Safe?
- Wise is regulated by, authorities such as Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK), National Bank of Belgium (Europe) as an Authorised Payment Institution, the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (Australia), Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (Canada) and Financial Customs and Excise Department (Hong Kong). It is also regulated in India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UAE.
- As part of regulations, Wise (formerly TransferWise) keeps their operating funds separate from your money (like JP Morgan or Barclays, depending on your location)
- They have a dedicated fraud detection team and are regularly audited
- You’ll get real-time notifications for account activities
- Their website uses two-factor authentication to keep your money and personal information safe
- OFX is regulated by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK), Australia Securities and Investments Commission (Australia), Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (Canada), The Central Bank of Ireland (Europe), and Monetary Authority of Singapore (Singapore)
- Passwords, security questions and automatic time-outs
- Fraud prevention utilises a multi-layered approach to detect and prevent fraud by detecting phishing, malware and fraudulent apps that are targeting our product and customers.
Both appear to be perfectly safe and secure. They also need to comply with regulations in multiple countries which gives a high level of confidence they have many safeguards in place.
3. Ease of Use – Some BIG Differences
- Handle everything online – from checking rates to setting up transfers
- Customer service can be reached via email or chat
- Extensive FAQs should you have any questions about your transfer
- Mobile app (iOS and Android) for notifications, setting up transfers, monitoring rates, etc
- Both online and offline support at physical locations
- Customer service can be reached 24×7 by phone
- Mobile apps for monitoring rates as well as setting up and tracking transfers
- Flexible transfer services like Spot Orders, Forward Contracts, and Market Orders
- More similar to OFX is XE who are also geared towards larger transfers – See XE Vs OFX
Both Wise and OFX are focused on the needs of their users.
But these needs are different.
Wise keeps everything online and they even let you check their entire fee breakdown before you sign up with them. They have country-specific FAQs and their customer service has fast response times.
OFX keeps most of their services online as much as possible, but they know that transferring large amounts may require more support. That’s why they offer 24×7 phone support can be very reassuring especially for large transfers.
4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying
Wise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 140,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”
- Affordable rates
- Fast transfers
- Simple and easy to use
“I have been using Transferwise for 3-4 years and have always found the service to be quick, reliable and with good exchange rates. The new(ish) Debit card is also really useful when travelling and when making internet purchases in foreign currencies.”– Simon Glatman on Trustpilot
“Easiest, fastest, cheapest money transfer service. I have used this for my business and for personal transfers.”– L Taylor on Trustpilot
“Best international transfer service I have found. Good exchange rates, low fees, process funds very very quickly. Have used multiple times, both for private and business, and have never had a problem. The money value it says will be at other end is correct, no extra fees drop out on the way like other services I used to use. Very happy with their service.”– Linda on Trustpilot
- Account unexpectedly frozen
Some of their users complained that Wise paused their transfers or froze their account unexpectedly, which can be distressing.
Sometime this occurs when Wise’s team requires more information which can occur with larger transfers or other red flags.
Check out our full reviews of Wise (TransferWise) and the Wise multi currency account.
OFX is rated 4.3/5 on Trustpilot with over 4800 reviews , which is considered “Great”
- 24×7 customer service
- Fast and safe transfers
- Bank-beating fees
“Excellent customer service. I had a few issues with a money transfer into the account and this was resolved efficiently and in a polite way. I will now be using this service on a regular basis for international transfers.”– Steve Brown on Trustpilot
“I have used OFX to send and receive funds overseas. The process is easy, safe and fast. Better rates than banks and no fees.”– Wendy on Trustpilot
“I am very happy with the service provided. I must have called them at least 7 times before I transferred funds to Europe. The staff were available 24 hours per day and answered my questions. They were very understanding of the urgency of the matter and were accommodating. I highly recommend this service!!!!!”– Mary Kapogiannis on Trustpilot
- Transfer delays
Some users were disappointed with OFX’s transfer speed.
On digging deeper into many of these reviews, it appears that many could be resolved simply with better communication. Bank-to-bank transfers by default are relatively slow due to the banks at either end more than anything else.
Setting up accounts can also take longer than expected as OFX meets regulators needs for larger transfers.
Check out our full review of OFX here.
Wise and OFX both have high Trustpilot ratings.
Even though their negative reviews are relatively few – with a little analysis we are able to learn a lot.
Deep diving into both highlights that OFX is indeed great at handle larger transfers while Wise generally makes it easier to make smaller transfers.
5. Transfer Speeds
Popular currencies (like USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, CAD, NZD, SGD) and card-funded transfers are completed quickly – usually from a few hours to 1 day.
Exotic currencies can take 2-4 days, while transfers funded by a bank account can take anywhere between 1-3 business days.
OFX processes popular currencies (USD, GBP, HKD, EUR, JPY, INR, PHP, etc.) in 1-3 days, while more exotic currencies take 3-5 sometimes up to 7 working days.
Worth noting that transfers setup during banking hours are processed faster than those set up on the weekend or other holidays.
Both Wise and OFX have solid transfer speeds. The majority of time it takes for transfers to “clear” is related to the systems used by banks at each end.
Thats said, there is a lot money transfer service can do when interacting with different banks around the world which can help to increase speed.
Wise in particular has multiple funding options for transfers which can tend to make transfers as fast as possible – many within hours.
For larger amounts the options for funding transfers tend to become less and OFX is speedy for its part.
6. Customer Service and Support
- Online support focus with extensive user friendly FAQs
- Responsive customer service teams are focused on live chat and email, and they are leaders in this
- Both online and offline support
- 24×7 phone and email support
- Support from 8 office locations around the world (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong) means that if you call during business hours you are likely to get someone very familiar with the bank you use and other questions you may have.
Since Wise specializes in smaller amounts, their customer service can be reached via email and live chat. Wise’s support team is known for being helpful and proactive.
OFX specializes in large transfers and while you can set up transfer online, any concerns are handled but their 24×7 phone support.
7. Cool Extras
- The Wise account review (formerly Borderless) for both personal and business
- Multi-currency account lets their users hold, manage, and convert between 50+ currencies as well as get local bank details in 10 currencies
- Business account offers bulk payments and integration with various financial software
- Also can get a Wise Visa or Mastercard (review)
- Multi-currency account for businesses
- Pay and get paid in multiple currencies
- Integration with Xero
OFX is the only money transfer company specializing in large transfers that offers a multi-currency account for businesses. They support 20 currencies as well as integrate with accounting software like Xero.
However, in our experience, Wise’s multi currency accounts is one of the best options out there for frequent travelers, digital nomads, and growing global businesses, including online sellers. The number of currencies they support gives them an edge along with the MasterCard business card which is great for traveling as well as for business expenses.
With 6 ties, 1 win for OFX, and 1 for Wise (was TransferWise), it’s safe to say that both are stellar currency transfer providers. Truthfully you will be hard pressed to beat either of these.
But there can be only one winner!
And there is, but it comes down to the amount you want to send.
In short, OFX provides the confidence needed (see reviews above) for large transfers but the online platform of Wise with its wonderful transparency on fees and notifications makes them a great choice.
Use OFX (less the $15 fee) for amounts above $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD or compare the fees for Wise below $7000 USD/£4000 GBP/€4500 EU/$9500 CAD/AUD.
Fees are also an important factor of course.
OFX helps you save big on larger transfers ($10,000 USD and above) while Wise is ideal for you if you need to frequently send smaller amounts ($7,000 USD and below).
Wise also has the added advantage of setting you up with a multi-currency wallet and a pre-paid MasterCard debit card when you sign up for Wise multi-currency account (a no brainer if you’re an expat, long term traveller, or do business overseas).
So which service is best for you ultimately comes down to your specific needs.
In reality, you might want to open an account with both and simply use the service right for the amount you want to send.
That is what we do.