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OFX vs Wise (TransferWise)
We compare OFX and TransferWise to see which provider you should go with for your next transfer.
Both OFX and Wise will give you a better exchange rate and lower fees than your local bank – but how do they fare against each other? We’ll look into how their fees, exchange rates and transfer speeds differ to find out which one comes out on top.
The fees and rates used in this comparison are accurate as of 28 January 2019.
Which has lower fees?
OFX charges a $15 flat fee unless your transfer is over $10,000, in which case they waive the fee. This makes OFX better suited for larger transfers.
With Wise, fees depend on where and how you’re sending money. They range from 0.45% to 1.5% of your transaction, plus a small flat fee of a few dollars. For example, sending $1,000 to Bangladesh will cost you about $15, while sending $1,000 to the United States will cost you about $6.
For sending smaller transfers, Wise will often be a better option for you in terms of the fees. But if you’re making a larger transfer, OFX may end up as a better option with its no fees for transfers over $10,000. We’re calling this one a tie.
Let’s crunch the numbers: Sending $1,000 and $10,000 to the Philippines
To put this into the context of a real-world transaction, this is what two different transfers look like when sending money with Wise and OFX. Keep in mind that transferring to other currencies will have different fees involved and may take longer.
In our imaginary scenario, we’ll be using a bank transfer.
Sending $1,000 to the Philippines
|Exchange rate||CAD$1 = PHP39.03||CAD$1 = PHP39.70|
|Transfer speed||1 – 2 business days||1 business day|
|Total pesos received||PHP39,018||PHP39,416|
|Receiver gets||PHP 398 less||PHP 398 more|
Sending $10,000 to the Philippines
|Exchange rate||CAD$1 = PHP39.03||CAD$1 = PHP39.70|
|Transfer speed||2 business days||1 business day|
|Total pesos received||PHP390,283||PHP394,250|
|Receiver gets||PHP 4,250 less||PHP 4,250 more|
For both transfers, Wise ends up the winner. Even though OFX knocks off the fee for larger transfers, Wise’s better exchange rate still makes it a better deal for this transfer.
Which offers better exchange rates?
A typical exchange rate at OFX is about 1% to 5% above the mid-market rate. So while OFX doesn’t charge a fee for transfers over $10,000, it still makes money on this margin.
Exchange rates are where Wise shines. It’s one of the only money transfer services that offers you the mid-market rate. So if you’re sending $1,000 to the Philippines and the mid-market rate is CAD$1 = PHP39.70, that’s the rate you’re going to get.
There’s no denying the power of paying the mid-market rate.
Which is faster?
Most currencies will take one to two business days. However, if you’re sending money to the US, it often arrives within a day.
Depending on the currencies involved and your payment method, it could take up to four business days for your recipient to see your cash. Paying by card is by far the fastest method, with your money arriving there immediately in most cases.
Both providers can get your money there fast for certain payments or currencies, but OFX has faster transfers overall.
|Payment methods||Receiving options||Minimum and maximum transfers||Transfer speeds||Currencies||Safety|
|OFX||Bank transfer||Bank account only||Minimum: $150|
Maximum: No limit
|24 hours||50+ currencies||Regulated by: ASIC, FCA, FINTRAC, FinCEN, C&ED, MAS, FMA|
|Wise||Bank transfer, credit card, debit card||Bank account only||Minimum: $1|
|24 hours||45+ currencies||Regulated by: ASIC, FCA, FINTRAC, FinCEN, C&ED, KLFB, DIA, MAS|
With OFX, you go to its site, enter how much money you’re transferring and send your funds to an OFX account. OFX then converts your currency and sends it to your recipient, who collects it via bank transfer.
For Wise, you go to its site, select the currencies you are exchanging and indicate how much you want to send. After reviewing your rate and fee, you can authorize Wise to withdraw money from your bank account. They send your transfer once your money is deposited into their bank accounts.
When it comes to international money transfers, both OFX and Wise are forces to be reckoned with. It’s too close to call which is better for your situation. Ultimately, you’ll need to weigh your specific details or compare further options to find the service that’s right for you.
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