Press releases

2018

UK SMEs plan to boost European sales despite Brexit uncertainty

London, July 2018: Despite uncertainty surrounding the terms of Brexit, small British businesses are increasingly optimistic about international trade – especially with Europe. In fact, the majority expect to increase overseas sales in the next year, according to data released today by international payments company, OFX.

OFX’s annual survey of 500 small business owners and senior managers found that 62% feel confident about doing business outside the UK. In addition, the majority of small businesses (46%) said that Brexit-related uncertainty around the UK’s future trade deals and customs arrangements had no effect on their appetite for international trade, with only 15% reporting that it had reduced their interest.

Their confidence is not just talk: 

  • Since 2017, 47% increased overseas sales, growing international revenues by an average of £50,000. 
  • This year, 40% said that they expect to increase overseas sales in the next twelve months – a substantial jump from 2017, when only 17% expected to do the same. 
  • OFX’s own customer behaviour supported the trend. In the last year, OFX saw a 21% increase in the overall volume of international money transfers made by small and medium-sized British businesses.

Europe regains popularity as an export market, while the Commonwealth splits opinions

Surprisingly, with just nine months until Brexit and continued uncertainty around its outcome, Western Europe became SME respondents’ favoured export market this year, with the USA falling dramatically in popularity. 

It was a completely different story last year, as small businesses looking abroad for growth singled out the USA as the most attractive market for exports (62%), with Western Europe lagging far behind in popularity at just 20%. 

This year, in a U-turn:

  • 45% chose Western Europe as their favoured market, giving the region a 25% boost in popularity and suggesting that Brexit-related uncertainty is no longer holding small businesses back from their EU trade ambitions. With the Brexit transition deal now in place, small businesses may feel on surer footing when approaching trade with Europe. 
  • The finding was supported by OFX’s own payments data, which saw a 21% increase in the value of sterling/euro transfers from UK SMEs in the last twelve months.
  • 20% chose Eastern Europe, up 14 percentage points and the second-biggest climber since 2017. 

Only 36% favoured the USA – down 26%, and by far the biggest faller this year, perhaps because President Trump’s tough trade strategy has spooked foreign businesses.

As a potential target for trade after Brexit, Commonwealth markets split opinion. Younger entrepreneurs were optimistic about future trade with Commonwealth countries, with 61% of those aged 18-40 believing that this was a viable option for their company. However, those aged over 40 disagreed, with more than half (51%) saying Commonwealth trade was not an option for their business.  

Jake Trask, FX research director at OFX, said: 

“More than a year after Article 50 was triggered, small businesses have learnt to live with Brexit uncertainty, and refuse to let it limit their European ambitions. Despite the slow progress of Brexit negotiations, businesses are increasingly optimistic about trade with Western Europe – suggesting a desire to keep calm and carry on with international business, along with a quiet optimism that all will be well.” 

Brand Britain is helping to boost international sales

This year, more than half of small businesses trading internationally (53%) said that their company’s ‘Britishness’ is a valuable asset when selling goods and services outside the UK. This was particularly true for companies exporting to New Zealand (74%), Australia (60%) and the USA (65%) – but also, perhaps surprisingly, to Russia (64%).

The appeal of ‘Brand Britain’ was also a major motivator for upping exports. Almost a quarter (24%) of small businesses planning to start or increase international sales in the next year said that their main reason for doing so was the growing international appetite for Brand Britain.  

Though confidence in trading internationally is growing, businesses outside London want more support when selling overseas

Though the overall findings were positive, this year’s survey uncovered a regional disparity in small business’ confidence around international trade. In England, 72% of small businesses said they feel confident about doing business overseas – but this fell to only 40% in Scotland, 48% in Northern Ireland and 58% in Wales. 

In addition, the majority of respondents in Wales (50%), Northern Ireland (46%) and Scotland (36%) believe that there is not enough support available to small British businesses trading internationally. Outside London and the West Midlands, this finding was replicated across England – in marked contrast to the result from London, where 63% of small businesses said that there is enough support on offer. 

Joshua Williams, co-director of Welsh menswear company Tails and the Unexpected, sells British-made clothes online from the company’s base in Penarth, near Cardiff. He says: 

“My father founded our business almost forty years ago as a stall in a Cardiff antique market. Today, we make almost all our sales online, with more than half our customers based outside the UK. Local heritage and family history are both central to our brand, and we’re lucky that the internet has made it possible to grow our business abroad without losing our Welsh roots. We have sometimes had to travel for specialist guidance, but it’s a minor inconvenience when compared to the huge advantages and quality of life we gain by running our business in Penarth.”  

OFX’s Jake Trask adds: 

“The rise of marketplaces like eBay and Amazon means it’s now easier than ever for small businesses to start selling overseas, no matter where they are based. This year, events like the Royal Wedding have shown that there’s a real opportunity to tap into the global appeal of Brand Britain. London brands don’t have the monopoly on ‘Britishness’, so I’d expect businesses across the UK to leverage their unique heritage and boost their international sales in the next twelve months.” 

Based on a survey of 500 owners and senior managers at UK businesses with between 10 and 249 employees.

About OFX
OFX is the modern way to make global payments, and one of the only international payment platforms to offer 24/7 transfers and customer support. With competitive rates and unmatched customer service, 80% of client transfers are delivered within a day. To date, OFX has handled $125bn in international transfers for more than a million customers worldwide. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) since 2013, OFX deals in 55 currencies and employs 300 people across offices in London, Sydney, San Francisco, Toronto, Hong Kong and Auckland.  

About Tails and the Unexpected 
Tails and the Unexpected is a menswear retailer run by two generations of the same family, and distinctive for the importance it places on heritage. Clothes from its own label – Tails – are mostly made in Britain, from Leicestershire-woven knitwear to Yorkshire corduroys and Welsh formalwear. Tails uses OFX to make international payments. 

OFX Introduces Global Currency Account for Ecommerce Marketplace Sellers

SAN FRANCISCO & SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Foreign currency exchange company OFX (ASX: OFX) today introduced the new OFX Global Currency Account designed to simplify cash flow management for online sellers trading on international marketplaces. With the Global Currency Account, eCommerce merchants can manage multiple currencies - in Euros, British Pounds, US Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars, Australian Dollars and Canadian Dollars - all in one convenient place, saving money on exchange rates, and, freeing up time.

With the incredible growth of online marketplaces1 more and more eCommerce merchants are using digital to expand and access global markets. Historically, it has been difficult to obtain a local bank account without being physically present in a country, making it challenging to do business in another currency. Borderless business solutions are on the rise and OFX is at the forefront of empowering eCommerce merchants to be fully globally active with a true multi-currency account.

David Nicholls, Director of Enterprise Development at OFX commented: “OFX has been committed to growing eCommerce business for online sellers with local currency accounts. We asked our customers what would help them better manage their global revenue and, based on their feedback, responded with a product that efficiently manages every account, balance and transfer from multiple marketplaces, in multiple currencies, simply and easily.”

Global Currency Account users can also hold balances and make secure payments to their global suppliers and even pay taxes, directly from the account. To keep track of each marketplace, users can nickname accounts to correspond to the marketplace where their proceeds originate from. For additional flexibility, sellers can provide instructions to have account balances automatically paid to their domestic bank account when they prefer. The Global Currency Account is meant to give online sellers advantages usually reserved for much larger global businesses.

Adi Gullia, an eCommerce entrepreneur, is excited about the new functionality. “Being able to pay global suppliers from our OFX currency accounts will really save us time. This, coupled with the great rates we receive from OFX make this the type of convenience that every small business dreams of.”

“The world is moving to new ways of making money that require new ways of moving money, securely and easily. We are excited to be a part of creating efficiencies in the global economy for our eCommerce customers. And we are just getting started,” said Skander Malcolm, CEO and Managing Director of OFX.

A global company with its North American headquarters in San Francisco, OFX is intent on continually improving services for businesses and consumers in the international payments space.

Interested parties can view an explainer video and learn more about the Global Currency Account at the OFX website.

About OFX

OFX is a leading international currency exchange service for consumers and businesses transferring large dollar amounts across borders. OFX combines a streamlined digital experience and expert personal service with great rates so customers can transact across borders when, where and how they want at a better exchange rate. Founded twenty years ago, OFX has transferred more than $100B in 55 currencies around the globe. OFX is a stable, profitable, fast growing fintech with over 350 employees and offices in San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The OFX Group Limited is a publicly listed entity on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX") under the code "OFX." USForex Inc. dba OFX. OFX is the registered trade name for USForex Inc. a licensed money transmitter. NMLS #1021624. For more information visit OFX.com.

1 Amazon reported $51 billion in net sales in the first quarter of 2018 or 43% increase compared to Q1 2017.

Contacts

OFX
Melita DeHazes, 415-364-6614
melita.dehazes@ofx.com

2017

ClearXchange Co-Founder Joins International Payments Provider to Lead North American Growth

SYDNEY & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OFX Group Limited (ASX: OFX), one of the world's largest international payments providers, today announced the hire of Mike Kennedy as President, North America, effective immediately. Mr. Kennedy, who previously co-founded, led and organized the sale of digital payments platform clearXchange, joins OFX’s Group Executive Team as it focuses on fueling its North American growth.

In its last fiscal year, OFX handled nearly $20 billion in global money transfer funds.

In this newly created position, Mr. Kennedy will be responsible for overseeing OFX’s North American operations and accelerating the delivery of OFX’s growth in this region. As a publicly traded Australian firm, OFX has grown steadily over 19 years to become a global leader in the international money transfer market. As the international interests of small businesses and consumers increase, global money transfer services are rapidly becoming an essential part of modern life. In addition to the US, Canada and Australia, OFX serves customers in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Hong Kong. In its last fiscal year, OFX handled nearly $20 billion in global money transfer funds. The firm is now poised to boost its already positive year-on-year growth in North America under Mr. Kennedy’s leadership.

“Attracting someone of Mike’s caliber underlines the tremendous opportunity we have in establishing OFX as a leader in the North American market,” OFX Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Skander Malcolm said. “Mike's experience founding, leading and rapidly growing clearXchange, a leading digital payments company in the US, combined with his success and connections across traditional banking and emerging fintech, made him the natural choice to boost OFX’s momentum in North America,” he concluded.

Mr. Kennedy is an accomplished executive with significant US and international experience in payments, fintech and management consulting. He most recently was the co-founder and CEO of high-growth digital payments company, clearXchange. After founding and leading clearXchange to ubiquitous adoption, Mr. Kennedy sold the company in early 2016 to Early Warning, a top provider of digital risk management solutions.

“OFX challenges traditional ways of moving money internationally, with trusted technology and outstanding customer service that is relied upon in the moments when customers need it most,” said Mr. Kennedy. “I’m excited to apply my knowledge and expertise of the US payments market to help customers with international money transfer needs here discover the value of OFX. The market is ripe for modernization with new methods for sending and receiving payments internationally. OFX is in a great position to serve the changing financial needs of an increasingly globalized world.”

Before founding clearXchange, Mr. Kennedy was an Executive Vice President with Wells Fargo and an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Co. He has a Master of Business Administration, with distinction, from Harvard Business School and a Master of Science, Industrial Engineering and Bachelor of Science, Industrial Engineering, with distinction from Stanford University.

About OFX
OFX gives consumers and businesses a smarter, online and mobile alternative to existing currency exchange services. Since its launch in 1998, OFX has transferred more than $100B in 55 currencies across the globe. Drawing from two decades of experience, OFX Group is a leading global money transfer business, with over 300 employees and offices in San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Auckland.

The OFX Group Limited is a publicly listed entity on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX") under the code "OFX." The OFX Group is consolidating services under the global brand OFX from prior and existing brands OzForex, UKForex, USForex, CanadianForex, NZForex, Tranzfers and ClearFX. OFX also powers the international money transfer services of Travelex, MoneyGram, ING Direct, Macquarie International Money Transfers and other international financial institutions. USForex Inc. dba OFX. OFX is the registered trade name for USForex Inc. a licensed money transmitter. NMLS #1021624. For more information on OFX, visit OFX.com.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Lavelle, Justin Lavelle Communications, LLC
(703) 912-7671
justin@justinlavelle.com

Melita DeHazes, OFX
(415) 364-6614
melita.dehazes@ofx.com


Ecommerce Community Partnership Benefits Merchants Seeking Better International Payments

SAN FRANCISCO and SYDNEY, Sept. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- OFX (ASX: OFX), one of the world's largest international payments providers, today announced their relationship with Retail Global to be the official Global Currency Exchange Provider for their growing retailer conference business. Retail Global is a leading ecommerce conference provider with a passion for helping the global trade community thrive. The Retail Global OFX relationship benefits ecommerce merchants who want a smarter way to move money internationally to support their global growth.

Another Bold Move as OFX Further Supports Online Sellers' Smart Global Money Transfers

As the volume of online retail purchases continues to grow globally, ecommerce merchants look for forums to engage with each other and learn about extending their businesses to other places. Retail Global hosts annual conferences in both Las Vegas (12 September 2017) and on the Australian Gold Coast (May 2018) every year, reaching hundreds of internationally focused online sellers.

Retail Global and OFX both share a commitment to supporting the future success of the global online seller community with common roots that include sharing knowledge to help those trading overseas, growing a customer base in multiple countries, and, business headquarters in Australia. This partnership will help OFX continue to provide guidance to the seller community on best practices for managing their foreign exchange needs.

In fact, Retail Global founder Phil Leahy, Australia's largest eBay seller for a number of years, is a customer of OFX. "Retail Global has been in the forefront of online retail for over 11 years, supporting businesses and providing tools and advice for the many retailers who attend our conferences each year. This partnership with OFX cements our commitment to drive and support cross border online selling communities. We aim to educate and provide the best currency exchange technology to our growing sellers and lead by example. It is great to have OFX as our Global Currency Exchange Provider, a service we use for our business."

Growing Demand for Currency Management Among Global Online Sellers

"Since our entry in the ecommerce space, we've seen the potential to impact global online sellers and their ever-increasing currency management needs," said David Nicholls, Director of Enterprise Development and Ecommerce for OFX. "We want to make global money transfers fast, easy and secure. By combining OFX's currency account technology with Retail Global's strong online seller community we are showcasing our commitment to providing best-in-class payment capabilities to global ecommerce businesses."

About OFX
OFX gives consumers and businesses a smarter, online and mobile alternative to existing currency exchange services. Since its launch in 1998, OFX has transferred more than $100B in 55 currencies across the globe. Drawing from two decades of experience, OFX Group is a leading global money transfer business, with over 300 employees and offices in San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Auckland.

The OFX Group Limited is a publicly listed entity with shares on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX") under the code "OFX." The parent group is consolidating services under the global brand OFX from prior brands OzForex, UKForex, USForex, CanadianForex, NZForex, Tranzfers and ClearFX. OFX also powers the international money transfer services of Travelex, MoneyGram, ING Direct, Macquarie International Money Transfers and other international financial institutions. For more information on OFX, visit www.OFX.com.

About Retail Global
Retail Global is a leading ecommerce conference provider with a passion for the industry and helping others who conduct business on marketplaces and cross-border. Their goal is to provide highly relevant education and a networking forum for the online seller community as it continues to grow in the US and globally. This year marks their twelfth year of the conference in Australia, where they remain Australia's most trusted ecommerce event, and the third year of their growing annual presence in Las Vegas.

For more information, please contact:

Media Contacts
Melita DeHazes, OFX
(415) 364-6614
Melita.dehazes@ofx.com

Justin Lavelle, Justin Lavelle Communications, LLC
(703) 912-7671
Justin@justinlavelle.com

Olivia Novello
+61 431 377 114
olivia@retailglobal.com

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OFX (ASX:OFX), one of the world’s largest international payment providers, today announced the debut of a new currency calculator widget on Yahoo Finance. This is OFX’s latest move to help educate U.S. consumers and businesses that there's a smarter way to move money internationally. The widget gives users access to real-time rates and a one click option to register and transfer their international payments with OFX.

Currency transfers are commonplace in many areas of the world but less so in the U.S. OFX is intent on helping consumers and businesses understand that there are less expensive alternatives than transferring money through a bank. OFX is able to pass on their low cost of moving money online to consumers and businesses because of their global network of banking relationships and the fact that they have no physical presence.

David Nicholls, Head of Payments Solutions at OFX stated: “We at OFX are on a mission to help consumers and businesses better understand the difference between the rates banks charge each other (the interbank rate) and the rates consumers receive which are inflated by margins, markups and fees. By partnering with Yahoo Finance, we hope to accelerate savings to consumers and businesses that need to move money internationally. Armed with the right information, consumers and businesses can save significantly by switching to a provider that offers better rates and an improved customer experience.”

About OFX

OFX gives consumers and businesses a smarter, online and mobile alternative to existing currency exchange services. Since its launch in 1998, OFX has transferred more than $100B in 55 currencies across the globe. Drawing from two decades of experience, OFX Group is a leading global money transfer business, with over 300 employees and offices in San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and Auckland.

The OFX Group Limited is a publicly listed entity with shares on the Australian Securities Exchange ("ASX") under the code "OFX." The parent group is consolidating services under the global brand OFX from prior brands OzForex, UKForex, USForex, CanadianForex, NZForex, Tranzfers and ClearFX. OFX also powers the international money transfer services of Travelex, MoneyGram, ING Direct, Macquarie International Money Transfers and other international financial institutions. USForex Inc. dba OFX. OFX is the registered trade name of USForex Inc. a licensed money transmitter. NMLS #1021624.

For more information on OFX, visit www.OFX.com.

Report Strong Growth & Expansion to New Markets, Adding Suppliers & Hiring Skilled Talent.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - May 4, 2017) - OFX, one of the world's leading foreign exchange companies, today announced the results from its second annual SMB Confidence Indicator. OFX commissioned SurveyMonkey to poll over 500 U.S. SMBs with a global presence, identifying trends and market sentiments about their current and future international operations.

While optimism and growth remain strong among small businesses, optimism has experienced a dip compared to last year's report, published before the presidential election, when it was as high as 96 percent. Still, the majority of SMBs (57 percent) are positive and undeterred about conducting business internationally, despite the change in political climate, trade war rumblings, threat of hikes in border taxes and rising popularity of nationalism both at home and abroad. Moreover, nearly two thirds (63 percent) reported good to booming growth internationally. When asked about specific plans for global growth in 2017, expanding into new international markets ranked highest, followed by adding more foreign suppliers and hiring skilled workers from abroad.

"New technologies continue to open doors to international expansion in ways not previously possible, and SMBs are one of the largest groups taking advantage of these new ways to work," said David Nicholls, head of payment solutions at OFX. "But with every new opportunity comes challenges, especially when we constantly hear about global instability. The fact that SMBs are still optimistic about operations abroad, are growing and expect to grow more tells us that SMBs might hold the key to economic stability on a global scale." New online commerce channels and tech tools are making expanding internationally easier. OFX's data spotlights where SMBs are taking their global operations, as well as identifies the barriers to entry and how external events are affecting their ability to do business.

Small Business Global Economy Outlook

  •  More than half of businesses (57 percent) are confident conducting business overseas.
  • Sixty-three percent of global small businesses report positive growth -- either meeting projections or business is booming.
  • Over a third (36 percent) currently have customers in 2-3 countries outside of the U.S., and another third (31 percent) have customers in 4 - 10 countries.
  • 65 percent have suppliers or vendors outside of the U.S. Retail/e-commerce, business services and consumer products are the top three industries with the most overseas operations.
  • Quality continues to be more important than cost: U.S. SMBs are looking offshore for access to higher quality talent (26 percent), as opposed to cheaper talent (20 percent). 

Market Opportunities with Overseas Operations:

  •  Top international markets where SMBs currently operate, ranked in order:
    1) Canada
    2) Mexico
    3) Western Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.)
    4) China/Hong Kong & Japan
  • Markets where SMBs are planning further expansion in 2017, ranked in order:
    1) Canada
    2) Western Europe
    3) Mexico
    4) China/Hong Kong & Japan
    5) South America
  • Opportunities SMBs cite for international expansion:
    1) Expanding to new markets
    2) Adding better suppliers
    3) Tapping more skilled talent
    4) Tapping cheaper talent
    5) Opening another office

Market Challenges with Overseas Operations:

  • Challenges SMBs face when doing businesses overseas ranked:
    1) High taxes and tariffs
    2) Border delays/inspections
    3) Language barriers
  • Top concerns over current global events:
    1) Global market instability
    2) Rising U.S. interest rates
    3) Global terrorism
  • Top three concerns with trade relations:
    1) Free flow of trade and commerce
    2) Customs duties
    3) Foreign currency fluctuations

To view an infographic of the data please visit: http://bit.ly/2qFMHq4

Methodology: The OFX SMB Confidence Indicator surveyed small to midsize business owners by SurveyMonkey for the week of April 19, 2017 - April 21, 2017 among a national sample of 515 adults aged 20 and over. The survey was commissioned by OFX, a provider of international money transfer for businesses and consumers. The margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the overall results is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

About OFX:
OFX is the modern way for today's global citizens and global businesses to make payments and send money to more than 190 countries. We are the only international payment platform to offer 24/7 trading and customer support -- all while offering better-than-bank exchange rates. Our strict adherence to security and focus on unmatched customer service make OFX the most convenient, secure and transparent way to send money overseas. As a leading online foreign exchange company, OFX deals in 55 currencies from offices in San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Auckland.


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