Is OFX safe?
OFX is a specialist broker service which arranges individual and business transfers, and also provides currency risk management solutions.
Using a specialist provider for international transactions can mean you get a better exchange rate and a lower fee compared to using your bank. But if you’re considering using OFX to send or convert your hard earned cash, you’re probably wondering: is OFX safe? This guide covers all you need to know.
Large and established payment and currency risk management service
UK services are authorised and regulated by the FCA
Overseen by 50 regulators around the world
High value and complex transactions must be discussed with a broker
24/7 customer service including personal brokers
Is OFX safe?
Before we get into the detail of how OFX keeps customers and their money safe, let’s get some key facts and figures about OFX:
- Regulators: Overseen by 50 global regulators, registered as a money transmitter in the UK and around the world
- Established in: 1998
- Customer numbers: 1 million
- Volume of transfers: 100 billion USD
UKForex Limited trading as OFX is a wholly owned subsidiary of OzForex Limited, and is regulated in the United Kingdom by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the provision of electronic money and payment services. Additionally, companies like OFX need to be licensed and regulated according to local laws in any other country in which they operate - that means that OFX is overseen by a total of 50 different regulators.
Examples include US federal and state licensing bodies, FINTRAC in Canada, or AUSTRAC in Australia.
How is OFX regulated?
OFX is a trading name of UKForex and a subsidiary of OzForex. OFX itself is regulated by the FCA in the UK, and as a large global company OxForex is subject to regulation from some 50 global bodies.
In the UK, FCA regulations mean that companies like OFX must safeguard customer funds separately to their own operating capital, hold an adequate balance at all times, and have regular audits. OzForex Limited is also subjected to risk and compliance audits on an annual basis to keep customers and their money safe.
Read our OFX review.
Is OFX safer than traditional banks?
Sending a payment with OFX is safe. As a regulated financial company, OFX must follow similar regulations to a traditional bank - but as a specialist broker, OFX can often also offer a broader range of services and a better exchange rate than a normal bank.
It is worth mentioning up front that as well as international payments, OFX also offers currency risk management solutions for individuals and businesses. These include forward exchange contracts in which you’ll lock in an exchange rate for a future transfer, by paying a deposit and signing a legally binding contract.
These types of currency products are fairly complex, and while safe they do come with a risk you’ll miss out on benefits if the exchange rate changes in your favour during the lifetime of the contract. Make sure you understand any currency risk management products you’re considering before you sign up.
OFX security measures
OFX has 24/7 customer support and while simple transfers can usually be arranged online or in the app, higher value payments and currency risk arrangements must be set up on the phone with the support of an expert broker. This enhances customer security because the broker can talk through the required verification steps and ensure payments are set up properly with all the necessary details.
Overall, OFX uses industry standard approaches to keep customer accounts and funds safe. These include technology and dedicated teams to spot and prevent fraud, a thorough verification process, encryption, and a requirement for accounts to be password protected.
Is OFX legit?
If you’re worried that OFX may be too good to be true you can rest easy. OFX is a legit provider and offers secure payment services.
OFX was set up in Australia in 1998 and has since grown to become a global business with offices around the world. It’s a fully licensed and regulated company which is overseen by dozens of different global bodies to ensure it’s a safe way to send payments.
Having offices around the world also helps OFX to keep up with local changes in legislation and best practice to make sure everything continues to run smoothly.
Is OFX safe to transfer money?
Yes, transfers are safe with OFX and as it is a licensed and registered money transmitter, you know your money is protected.
As a registered money transfer service, OFX has to stick to UK and global laws about how to protect customer funds. These rules usually mean OFX has to hold a minimum amount of regulatory capital to avoid insolvency, safeguards customer money, and sticks to legally mandated processes to arrange payments.
Is OFX safe for large amounts?
OFX does not have a maximum payment amount, which means you can send any sum you wish with no limits. Making a large payment with OFX is safe. You might have to complete extra verification or place your transfer order over the phone rather than online - but these are all steps taken to make sure payments are always secure.
OFX also has a service to allow customers to send partial payments when funding a transfer, if their own bank limits them from sending the whole amount in one transaction. You’ll need to talk to a broker to set this up, but it can be handy if you need to send a large amount but your bank has transaction caps in place.
As with any service, if you’re making a high value payment be sure to double check all the recipient details, and complete any verification steps you need to take promptly to make sure everything works smoothly.
Is OFX business account safe?
OFX offers a range of services to businesses, including global currency accounts and currency risk management solutions. Sending a business payment, or opening a business account with OFX is safe. You may also find you get a more convenient way to manage multiple currencies compared to a regular bank, and can access more favourable exchange rates too.
Can you get scammed on OFX?
Although OFX takes steps to prevent fraud and keep customers safe, criminals are always looking for new ways to profit, and therefore it’s not impossible that you’ll get scammed on OFX. The exact same could happen with a bank or any other provider, unfortunately.
However, there are a few simple pointers to follow and red flags to look out for to make sure you don’t fall victim to a fraud. OFX suggests the following:
Don’t send payments to people you don’t know or trust
Stay away from anything that simply sounds too good to be true
Watch out for phishing attacks asking you to share personal information or alter your bank account information
Can I avoid falling victim to fraud?
Take sensible steps to protect your OFX account and your personal information. Some of them can be:
Use secure passwords
Avoid public wifi when on sensitive sites
Don’t share your financial details with anyone you don’t know
Because OFX has a 24/7 customer support service, you can always check if you’re unsure about the details of a payment, or if you’ve received a message you think may be a phishing attack.
Is your personal data safe on OFX?
OFX will collect customer data from anyone using their services - we’ll look at what that might include in a moment. Customer data is used for a variety of legal and practical reasons:
To comply with legislation in the UK and the destination countries
To process transactions
To monitor and improve services
To communicate with and market to you
OFX keeps customer data safe, and complies with all relevant legislation about collecting and storing information. Your personal data may also be shared with certain third parties if you request services which require it, or if it's legally necessary. Third parties include affiliates, government agencies and identity verification services for example.
What personal data does OFX collect?
The types of data OFX will collect can include:
Identity information - your name, email and phone number
Verification information - your government issued ID details
Demographic information - your nationality and occupation
Transaction information - payments you make, and your recipient’s details
Financial information - your bank details and your credit record if required
Service information - what type of transactions you make
Technological information - your device and IP address
OFX keeps personal data for as long as is legally required, or practically necessary. In most cases this is for up to 7 years after you close your OFX account.
How to get started on OFX?
You can create your account online or by calling the OFX team. Here’s what you’ll need:
Download the OFX app or head to the desktop site
Register your account with your name, email, date of birth, address, occupation, contact number
You’ll get a phone call from a member of the OFX team to talk through getting verified, and confirm your account is active
Once your account is up and running you can send payments online or by phone. Some high value transfers or complex currency products must always be arranged by phone for safety.
OFX is a safe and fully regulated provider, overseen by the FCA in the UK and over 50 other global bodies. It’s a popular service which offers a broad range of payment and currency risk management services, including some which you’re unlikely to find with a regular bank.
OFX is obliged to keep customer money and personal data safe, and also takes additional steps like offering a 24/7 personal broker service. That means you’ll always be able to talk through transactions before you commit, or get through to a member of the customer support team if you’re concerned about fraudulent activity on your account.