Open Financial Exchange

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What Does Open Financial Exchange Mean?

Open Financial Exchange (OFX) is a freely-licensed unified specification for the electronic exchange of financial data through the Internet, and between or among financial institutions, businesses and customers. OFX is not a financial institution.


OFX was created by Microsoft, CheckFree and Intuit in 1997 by converging independently developed data exchange mechanisms. It is also currently used by many other firms to support financial data exchange for their products and services.

Techopedia Explains Open Financial Exchange

OFX versions 1.0 and 1.6 were extended from Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). This made them simple to use in creating well-formed OFX documents.

A proprietary variant is Intuit’s Quicken Financial Exchange (QFX). Its documentation uses the term OFX without distinguishing between the two. However, Intuit’s products only work with QFX.

The OFX specification supports a variety of financial activities including:

  • Small business and consumer bill payment
  • Banking
  • Bill presentment and stock, bond and mutual fund investment
  • Downloading tax data, bank images and loan and amortization schedules
  • Financial planning and insurance services may be added in the future.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.