OFX vs Global Reach (formally FC Exchange)

When looking to transfer money internationally, it is important that you find the right provider to suit your needs. 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 to breeze over the costs you’ll end up paying. 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

OFX

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

Global Reach

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

Rates: Depends on the currency and amount you are sending

Fees: Varies from customer to customer

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Good phone support and poor online resources

The Verdict

Both are good at different things.

Global Reach is focused on business customers. In particular, they service NGOs and large corporates.

OFX are better at helping everyday people and small businesses that want to transfer money overseas.

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Global Reach

Let's have a look at them in more detail

Summary of OFX

Where did it first start?

Started in 1998, OFX is a well-established player in the field of money transfers. Previously branded as OzForex, OFX hwas rebranded, along with the introduction of a simple and structured website and app.OFX vs FC Exchange - OFX logo The name has not been the only thing that’s changed over the 19 years, as the offices in Sydney have grown globally. OFX now has offices all over 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?

If OFX is your chosen provider you will need to understand how it comes up with its exchange rates, fees and the registration process.
Firstly, OFX buys currency in bulk at a wholesale rate meaning, it can sell the currency to you for cheaper. This therefore gives you a better rate than many other providers or banks. This is because the saving OFX made on buying the currency means it doesn't add a huge mark-up to the interbank rate (where banks take their profit from). To give some perspective, OFX takes around a 0.3% margin profit, in comparison to a typical 4% from banks!
OFX markets itself as an easy, simple and fast transfer service with great savings. It requires registration and you have to provide how much you wish to transfer, and who you need to send it to. It then works out the exchange rate and fee so 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.

Summary of FC Exchange

Where did it first start?

FC Exchange was established in 2005 by Nick Fullerton and Martin Steenkamp. It is a UK-based money transfer provider, with headquarters in London. It has transferred over £4 billion since establishment, and provides fast transfers with competitive rates to all of its customers. FC Exchange markets itself towards a wide variety of audiences, individuals and businesses, proving that it can deal with the diversity of transfers.

 

How does it work?

FC Exchange purchases its foreign currency in bulk and at wholesale rates. This means it's able to offer affordable rates to customers due to the saving they make on their purchases.
To transfer with FC Exchange, you will need to go through a standard registration process. You will then be assigned an account manager who will talk you through the best rates, and answer any queries you may have. This can be particularly attractive if you have never transferred money abroad before, and wish to receive professional advice, or if you wish to set up regular payments because the same account manager will organise these each time.

 

Security of FC Exchange

  • Segregated customer accounts (if the worst were to happen to FC Exchange, your money would be protected)
  • 1A2 Credit Rating: Offered by the global rating agency to companies that show considerable financial strength
  • Full Grant Thornton Audited Accounts: Grant Thornton UK LLP is one of the leading tax and advisory firms who have been working with FC Exchange since 2005
  • FCA Authorised

Available currencies to transfer

All money transfer companies give you the ability to transfer in any main currency, such as GBP, AUD or USD. 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

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.

FC Exchange

FC Exchange can send to and from 43 currencies, including: GBP, USD, CAD, EUR, HKD, INR, NZD, SGD, THB.
For more information on all the currencies, click here.

Minimum and Maximum amounts to transfer

OFX FC Exchange
Minimum $250 £3000 (or currency equivalent)
Maximum Nil. Nil.

Exchange rates and fees

It’s important to know the numbers before transferring money internationally.
The first to consider is the exchange rate. Providers and banks will add a mark-up of their choice onto the mid-market rate which is the one you get off Google or xe.com. This is called the margin. This is where their profit comes from, and you consequently get less for your money.
The idea is that, providers will add less of a mark-up than banks, so you will get more for your money when you go through a money transfer provider, like OFX or FC Exchange, than your bank.
You also have to consider the fees as a lot of providers will either charge a transfer fee that’s fixed and will be waived over a certain amount, or choose to charge a fee that 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.

  • OFX charge a fee of $15 on all transfers under $10,000 AUD or equivalent.
  • FC Exchange charge a fee of £10 on all transfers under $10,000 AUD or equivalent.

To make you 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 $754.57
FC Exchange $1000AUD £10 (or currency equivalent) 0.7623 $762.3

What does the above tell you?

In this case, transferring $1000 AUD-USD is better value through FC Exchange based on the exchange rate offered on their websites.

Payment methods and types of payment

Based on the type of transfer that you are wanting to make, you might benefit from a range of payment methods to choose from.

We’ve put together a table below showing the types of payments both providers offer.

FC Exchange OFX
One off payments Single transfers
Forward contracts Recurring transfers
Regular payments Buy now, transfer later
Limit orders Target rate
FX option

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 you choose to transfer your money on a particular day.

  • OFX will transfer your money in 1-3 business days.
  • FC Exchange will transfer your money same-day for some destinations, otherwise will take a typical 1-4 business days.

OFX vs  FC Exchange – The Pros and Cons

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

OFX FC Exchange
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Very easy website with easily accessible information. Transaction fee applies (although waived after $10,000). You are automatically assigned to an account manager uponr registration. Transaction fee applies for under£10,000
Offers an app for all smartphones No cash pick-ups Same day transfers for some destinations. Very high minimum amount. Not good for people wanting to make smaller transfers.
Competitive exchange rates. More supported currencies. FC Exchange will match a better exchange rate if you recieve one from another provider. Not many supported currencies
Headquarters based in Sydney. 

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Global Reach