OFX vs Frontierpay: Money Transfer Chalk and Cheese

When looking to transfer money internationally, it is important that you find the right provider to suit your needs. It’s no wonder you might be feeling 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

Frontier Pay

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

Rates: Depends on the currency and amount you are sending

Fees: No fees

Speed: 1-2 business days for most transfers

Service: Excellent customer service both on and offline

The Verdict

OFX and Frontierpay are both good at what they do - most reviews and customer forums will point that out.

The thing is, while they both allow you to transfer money overseas, they focus on different kinds of customers.

Frontierpay is very good at servicing businesses, particularly large corporates and NGO's. They also tend to service personal customers with larger transfers very well.

OFX on the other hand, are very good at taking care of anyone sending $10,000 to about $10,000,000. The business customers they suit best are small to medium size importers, exporters and online sellers.

For this reason, both are good options depending on which kind of person or business you are.

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Frontier Pay

Let's have a look at them in more detail

Summary of OFX

Where did it first start?

Previously known as OzForex, OFX is an Australian-based money transfer provider with headquarters in Sydney. OFX vs Frontierpay - OFX logo It was established by Matthew Gilmour in 1998, and grown tremendously over the 19 years and 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 currency at the wholesale rate, which means it offers its customers better rates than all banks, who typically add a mark-up on the mid-market rate. aBecause 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! Easy savings for everyone!
OFX markets itself as an easy, simple and fast transfer service that teams itself with great savings. It requires a registration and 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 there and then, and away you go!

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 Frontierpay

Where did it first start?

Established in 2009 and originally known as the FX Firm, Frontierpay (renamed in January 2017) is another UK-based company that transacts $1 billion annually. As a privately-owned, slightly bigger company than TransferWise, it covers a wider range of services from expense management, mass payroll to international money transfers. Focusing on the latter, you are given the ability to open a personal account or business account based on the reason and circumstances behind your transfer.

 

How does it work?

You will be assigned a dedicated account manager with Frontierpay, who will organise you competitive exchange rates, with one of their Forex market specialists. The website also boasts that their account managers, unlike a lot of other money transfer companies, do not work on commission, so you can trust the advice you recieve.
It gives to customers the ability to watch rates and receive alerts when their favoured exchange rate is reached. You can organise a one-off payment with Frontierpay, or a fixed-payment plan if you’re looking to make regular payments.

 

Security of Frontierpay

  • Frontierpay is an FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) authorised and regulated global payments specialist. Number: FRN 577057
  • Frontierpay maintains segregated customer accounts. This means that Frontierpay keeps their customers’ assets separate from their company accounts, meaning that if the worst were to happen, the customers’ assets would still be protected.

Exchange rates and fees

Time to crunch 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, or 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.

  • OFX charges a $15 fee up to $10,000, above which they will waiver the fee.
  • Frontierpay charges no fees.

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 $754.57
Frontierpay $1000AUD Nil. 0.766 $766.00

Available currencies to transfer

All money transfer companies will offer you the ability to transfer in any main currency, such as GBP, AUD and 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.

Frontierpay

Frontierpay’s website openly boasts that it supports 140 currencies, but will not give you a full list. However, we do know it includes the following: EUR, GBP, AUD, USD, SGD, THB, CAD, AED, JPY, NZD, HKD, INR.
Unfortunately, the website does not offer a full list of all the currencies. They ask that you get in contact.

Minimum and Maximum amounts to transfer

OFX Frontierpay
Minimum $250 £500 or currency equivalent
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 you choose to transfer your money on a particular day.

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

OFX vs Frontierpay – The Pros and Cons

OFX Azimo
Pros Cons Pros Cons
Very easy website with accessible information Transaction fee applies (although waived after $10,000) You get your own personal account manager There is no live quoting available of their website so you have to sign up to obtain a quote.
Offers an app for all smartphones No cash pick-ups No transfer fees No cash pick ups
Competitive exchange rates. Phone transfer fee of $15 applies if you choose this method. Multiple options for international transfers Website is quite limited in the information provided.
Headquarters based in Sydney No app available.

 

It’s always imperative that you are aware of the exchange rate you’ll get and fees involved with overseas money transfers. Whatever your reason for transferring money abroad, 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 your friend.

Learn more about OFX

Learn more about Frontier Pay