OFX vs Currencies Direct: Who Should You Choose?

When looking to transfer money internationally, it is important that you find the right provider to suit your needs. So, given the sheer choice you have, it’s no wonder you feel a little overwhelmed. Currency conversion and international transfers are part and parcel of a financial industry that is filled to the brim with jargon and complications. To help you, we’ve chosen two of the most major names in the money transfer industry and put them together in a simple, comparative article.

The Important Bits


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

Currencies Direct

Safety: Also based in the UK, licensed and well backed

Rates: Depends on the currency and amount you are sending

Fees: No flat fee

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Reasonable online and phone support

The Verdict

There is little between these two companies. They both offer exchange rates and fees that are usually better than the banks. OFX and Currencies Direct both also excel at their online experience.

Overall though, OFX has a few more bells and whistles. They have more products and services for business customers and have a strong record both for customer service and safety of customer money.

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Currencies Direct

Fee Free Offer

The Currency Shop has partnered with OFX to offer fee free money transfers. Click on this offer, register your details and avoid paying a fee to transfer money overseas.

  • After 20 years, OFX is one of the oldest money transfer companies and they have the expertise to go with it.
  • Their rates are often better than the banks, especially for larger transfers.
  • 24/7 phone support.
  • They have a minimum transfer amount of $250
  • Receiving or intermediary banks may charge fees on transactions

Learn More About OFX

Let's have a look at them in more detail


Where did it first start?

OFX logoOFX was previously OzForex, and is an Australian-based money transfer provider. Established in 1998 by Matthew Gilmour, it has headquarters in Sydney and has grown rapidly over 19 years. OFX now has several global offices around the world, including London, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Auckland.
OFX roughly makes around 3000 transfers daily, and transferred $9.1 billion in 2013. It has around 2 million website users each day, and since its establishment, OFX has transferred over $100 billion.


How does it work?

OFX buys their currency at a wholesale rate, meaning it can offer better rates to its customers than banks, who typically add a mark-up on the mid-market rate. Because OFX buys currency in larger loads at better prices, it doesn't need to add much of a mark-up to take a profit. OFX takes around a 0.3% margin profit, in comparison to a typical 4% from banks.
OFX is a simple and fast transfer service that teams itself with great rates. You need to register first and tell OFX how much you wish to transfer, and who you send it to. It then works out the exchange rate and fee and you can lock in your transfer, and away you go!

For a step by step guide to using OFX, click here.


Security of OFX

OFX is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and is able to safely transfer your money using Macquarie Bank's global risk management policies. It has a low-risk business model and state-of-the-art website security measures in place including minimum 2048 bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates for protective encryption of your transfer.

Currencies Direct

Where did it first start?

Currencies Direct has headquarters in London and began in 1996 by Mayank Patel and Peter Ellis. Currencies direct logoIn its first year of establishment, it turned over £12 million. However, today, Currencies Direct turns over £4.5 billion annually, and has over 150,000 active clients globally.


How does it work?

Currencies Direct asks that you register first to use their service, and the application form will take up to 48 hours to be approved. This can be done online or over the phone, but note that Currencies Direct is a UK-based company with no office or telephone number in Australia, so you will incur international phone charges. After approval, you’ll get assigned a dedicated account manager for your transfer.
TIP: Research the documents you will need for registration, so you have them at the ready.


Security of Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct Ltd is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Electronic Money Institution under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011. Their FCA Firm Reference number is 900669.
Currencies Direct Ltd is registered in England & Wales at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA, No. 03041197.

Exchange rates and fees

Let’s look at the numbers – when transferring money internationally, it’s vital that you know the exchange rate you’re getting and any fees that may be involved in the transfer.
A lot of providers will either charge a transfer fee that’s fixed and will be waivered over a certain amount. Alternatively they'll choose to charge a fee that a reflects a number of factors in your transfer, including how much you’re sending, the currency you’re sending in, and where you are sending it to.
To help you be aware of both the costs involved and the exchange rate, we’ve put together a table below showing you what you’d get in return for a transfer based on $1000 AUD-USD, to show you who is cheaper.
All information was obtained March 2017, and is subject to change based on the financial market.

Start Fees Exchange Rate Total (USD)
OFX $1000AUD $15 0.7547 $754.570
Currencies Direct $1000AUD Nil. 0.7604 $760.45

Available currencies to transfer

All money transfer companies will offer you the ability to transfer in any main currency, such as GBP, AUD, USD but if you think you might need a company that allows you to transfer in a less popular currency, then you will need to do your research.


OFX can transfer in 55 currencies, including the following: AED, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, MXN, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, ZAR.

For more information on all the currencies, click here.

Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct support 63 currencies, including: GBP, EUR, USD, CAD, AUD, NZD, JPY, HKD, SGD.

For more information on all the currencies, click here.


Minimum and Maximum amounts to transfer

OFX Currencies Direct
Minimum $250 £100
Maximum Nil. Nil.

Time of Transfer

Time can govern a lot of things in our lives, including our international money transfers. If you need your payment to reach your recipient sooner rather than later, then your research will depend on the time it takes. In general, there isn’t a huge amount of difference between providers.
The time taken to complete your transfer will depend on the country you are sending the money to, and the cut-off times when you choose to transfer your money on a particular day.

  • OFX will transfer your money in 1-3 business days.
  • Currencies Direct will transfer your money in 1-4 business days.

Pros and Cons of OFX and Currencies Direct

As with everything, each provider will have its benefits and negatives. We’ve put together a table of pros and cons for both below:

OFX Currencies Direct
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Very easy website with easily accessible information Transaction fee applies (although waived after $10,000) No transaction fee on any transfer made. Not much of an Australian presence or contact number.
Offers an app for all smartphones No cash pick-ups Recent re-built app available to all smart phones. No cash pick ups
Competitive exchange rates Fewer options than competitors in types of transfers they offer. Added value for larger transfers with competitive exchange rates. Some feedback tells of rude staff.
Headquarters based in Sydney Less supported currencies More supported currencies

Whatever your reason for transferring money abroad, its so important that you're aware of all fees and rates. Whether it be to transfer money back to family, to pay bills or mortgage payments on an overseas residence, or perhaps transferring larger amounts of money from a property you have recently bought or sold, research is imperative.
If it’s larger payments, then the exchange rate can mean the difference of hundreds of AUD. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly, professional advisors, contact us on 1800 004 930.

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Currencies Direct

By Justin Rampono Updated October 27th, 2020