Wise vs OFX: Fees and Rates Compared 2023
Not sure whether to use Wise or OFX for your next international payment? This OFX vs TransferWise review is here to help. We’ll cover:
- A full side by side feature comparison
- Which provider is cheaper?
- Which is faster?
- Which is safer?
- Which gets better customer reviews?
Summary: Both OFX and TransferWise (now known as Wise) are international transfer companies - but the focus of their businesses is quite different. OFX provides currency risk management tools and 24/7 phone services through personal brokers. Wise uses new approaches to send online and in-app international payments which can be cheaper, faster and more convenient than using an alternative provider. In our comparison for EUR payments, Wise came out cheaper than OFX. Both providers are licensed by the FCA.
Wise vs OFX: side by side
|Send payments to||55 currencies||80+ countries, 54 currencies|
|Multi-currency accounts||N||Available for 54 currencies|
|Debit card available||N||Y|
|Personal broker services||Y||N|
|Currency risk management solutions||Y||N|
|Fully licensed and regulated||Y||Y|
|Open a business account||Y||Y|
So, to summarise:
- 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
|Rates||Exchange rates include a markup||Mid-market exchange rate with no markup|
|Fees||No transfer fee||Low fees, varies by destination|
|Speed||Transfers take 1 - 4 business days to arrive||40% of payments are instant, 80% arrive in 24 hours|
|Service||Online, in app and by phone||Online, in app and by phone|
|Safety||Fully regulated and licensed||Fully regulated and licensed|
|Reviews (TrustPilot)||4.2 star, Great, 4,000+ reviews||4.6 star, Excellent, 134,000+ reviews|
Rates: Wise uses the mid-market rate, whereas OFX adds a markup
Fees: Wise uses variable fees which are based on the destination country, OFX does not charge a transfer fee
Speed: OFX transfers usually take 1 - 4 business days. 40% of Wise payments are instant, 80% arrive within 24 hours
Service: Both providers offer service online, in-app and by phone. OFX has specialist personal broker services, while Wise focuses on offering fast and convenient online and in-app transfers
Safety: Both providers are fully licensed and regulated
Reviews: Wise has Excellent review ratings on Trustpilot with 134,000+ reviews listed. OFX has 4,000+ ratings, and scores a Great overall review
Pros and cons
OFX Vs Wise: 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 for international payments, 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 OFX and Wise
OFX was founded in 1998, 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.
Wise was launched as TransferWise back in 2011 as a low-cost international payment provider. These days, Wise has upwards of 10 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.
How do they work?
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
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:
- Log into your account
- Type in how much you want to transfer, or how much you need the recipient to get
- Enter the recipient’s details - bank account number or email
- Check over the details
- Fund your payment using a card or bank transfer
- 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 pounds you’ll send the money to Wise’s local UK 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.
OFX Vs Wise Fees
OFX doesn’t use a transfer fee for international payments. However, there is an exchange rate markup - which is a fee wrapped up in the exchange rate being offered.
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 doesn’t hide any fees in the exchange rates used, but instead has a couple of different transparent costs:
- Fixed fee: covering the fixed costs associated with the transaction. For major currencies this can be in the region of £0.20 - £0.40
- Variable fee: covering the cost of the currency exchange. For major currencies this can be in the region of 0.35% to 0.45% of the transfer value
OFX Vs Wise: which is cheaper?
Choosing an international payment specialist is almost certainly cheaper than sending money using your bank. Let’s see how the costs of OFX Vs Wise measure up in a few specific payments.
This comparison assumes you’re sending a payment using a bank transfer, which is then delivered right into your recipient’s own bank account.
|Sending in GBP so your recipient gets:||OFX||Wise|
|1,000 EUR||21.65 GBP fee||3.14 GBP fee|
|5,000 EUR||46.27 GBP fee||14.88 GBP fee|
|10,000 EUR||92.53 GBP fee||29.56 GBP fee|
Fees and exchange rates correct at time of research - 24th November 2021
OFX Vs Wise: which is faster?
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 - 4 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
Wise is a specialist in fast and efficient international payments which use their own transfer network for speed. 40% 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.
Both OFX and Wise are fully licensed and regulated, and use both smart technology and dedicated service teams to keep customer money safe.
OFX is regulated by the FCA in the UK and by a total of 50 regulators globally.
Wise is regulated by the FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the US, and other global regulatory bodies around the world.
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: OFX offers a range of electronic funding methods including BPay, electronic funds transfer and direct debit - you’ll get a full list of payment options for your transfer type when you lock in an exchange rate quote. 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 100 GBP and no fixed upper limit. Wise sending limits can vary by destination country
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.
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.
Wise payments are often faster than OFX, thanks to Wise’s modern payment processes which make transfers quicker, cheaper and more efficient.
OFX supports 55 currencies and Wise supports 54 currencies.