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PayPal or Moneybookers?
Thread poster: Jana Součková

Jana Součková  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:52
English to Czech
+ ...
Aug 22, 2008

Hi everybody,
I´ve been so far receiving all money for translations via bank transfer because all my customers were based in Europe. Now I have problems with payment of an Israelian company - they owe me a great amount and want to send it only via PayPal or Moneybookers. That´s why I started to consider which one is more convenient - I mean easier and less reductions of the sums companies send me (charges, exchange rate etc.) I´m not gonna use this way frequently, just when there is no other option.
Which would you suggest me - PayPal or Monebookers and how much money I will lose with them? I live in Czech Republic, which is EU now. Thanks!


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
Check their websites Aug 22, 2008

The best way to find the answer is to read the fine print on the PayPal and Moneybookers websites. My investigations led me to the conclusion that Moneybookers takes less out of your payment, but since nobody has paid me that way, I can't quite be sure. For all I remember, it may be different for people in different countries. There's also the question of currency conversion fees, which both websites address.

Susan


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raptisi  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:52
Member (2006)
English to Greek
+ ...
My experience Aug 22, 2008

I have had no experience with Moneybookers, but you can expect Paypal to deduct approx. 5% of the total payment amount.

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 20:52
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Moneybookers is a whole lot cheaper Aug 22, 2008

Go for Moneybookers.

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Bogdan Burghelea  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 21:52
English to German
+ ...
I'd go for Moneybookers Aug 22, 2008

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Go for Moneybookers.


Moneybookers worked flawlessly for me, whereas PayPal has given me nothing but headaches.


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:52
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Moneybookers Aug 22, 2008

My experience of both has been the same as Bogdan's. I have now left PayPal altogether.
The only disadvantage with Moneybookers is that it operates in a more limited range of countries than PayPal, but if it works between the Czech Republic and Israel, I'd say that's the one to go for.


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Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 20:52
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
Moneybookers has the best exchange rate Aug 22, 2008

In addition to the transfer charges, you have to consider the exchange rate if your own currency is different from the currency paid.
It is my experience that the exhange ysed by Paypal is lousy considerably lower than the finacial rate, and excrutiatingly lower than the cash rate.


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Ali Al awadi  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 21:52
English to Arabic
+ ...
Absolutely Moneybookers! Aug 22, 2008

I have an account at both of them. Compared to PayPal, Moneybookers is securer, cheaper, quicker, and above all promptly responsive to your enquiries. Moneybookers absolutely leads the way and has much to recommend. Even a short visit to www.paypal.com would be enough to make you feel helplessly lost for clear information. Send an email right now to both PP and MB and let me know who would be the first to respond informatively.

Good luck


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:52
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I used to use Moneybookers - but it is no longer the case Aug 22, 2008

Until a few months ago I would have agreed with everybody that praised Moneybookers over Paypal. However, at that point, all of a sudden MB started to deduct money from the amounts I received, without telling me anything about it. I just noticed that the figures did not match. It took me several days and several emails just to get an answer about what was going on. Apparently, they reclassified my account as a merchant account, solely at their discretion, and wanted to force me to sign their merchant agreement (about 10 pages). The text of that agreement was clearly targeted for businesses that sell stuff over the internet, and obviously I am not in that business. When I explained this to them, the short and I would say pretty rude answer I got was that it doesn't matter what type of business I am in, if I receive money to my account for commercial activities, I have to upgrade to a merchant account. (I thought this was not in line with what the agreement said, as it clearly defined "merchant", and it is clear that I am not one.)

For merchants, it is not only that they would deduct up to 5% or so as a fee from every transaction received, but they would also keep 10% of your running balance "for security" for 180 days. According to the agreement this is to cover for the risk of insufficient funds for reverse charges, which can occur if somebody buys something with a credit card, and then return the product, and the merchant would reverse the transaction without having enough money in their MB account. When I explained that I do not deliver goods that can be returned, I do not take credit card payments, and the whole model does not fit me, that fell on deaf ears. When I asked how much interest they are paying on the money they keep for 6 months, they said none, because "it is not a deposit, it is a security measure". At this point my stomach turned...
This was the last drop, I am not using them anymore.

Just before this incident, there was actually another one, when they asked me to verify my identity. This was strange, as I had to go through some verification when I opened my account. Anyway, I tried to oblige, but their online credit card verification did not work, I have no idea why (did not get an answer for that from tech support). Then, I tried the verification using the bank account I have been using to withdraw my money. They requested a copy of the statements that show the amounts, and that it was transferred from MoneyBookers.
I sent them the copies, and several days later I was told they were insufficient, because it was not clear that MoneyBookers was the sender of the money.
The bank statement showed "MB" and a few numbers, and the amount that matched the amounts that were withdrawn from my MB account. I called my bank and they said they cannot give me any other type of statement as this is exactly how the wire came in. I told Moneybookers this, and that this is their fault, they are the ones sending the wire like this. I got no response.
Next, I tried their automatic bank account verification, which involved withdrawing a small amount (but cannot be too small) to your account (and of course, paying the fixed withdrawal fee), and then you would go back to the MB site and type in the transaction code that shows up on the wire. Of course, this takes several days... So I did that, guess what, the wire came through again with "MB", not "MoneyBookers", and NO VERIFICATION CODE.
You can imagine what I thought. I sent them a copy of my bank statement, asking "now what?". A few days later I got an email saying that they reviewed my case and set my account status to verified. (No explanation as to why things were messed up like that.)

One more piece of info: I was not using MB to received huge amounts. In fact, it was only one client in the UK that paid every month a few hundred dollars to me via MB, so it is not that I was moving huge amounts. The whole ordeal about verifications, etc. started when I received a small, one time payment from an agency in Israel. I am not sure that had anything to do with it, I am not sure what would trigger some international money laundering red flag on their side...

[Edited at 2008-08-22 14:46]


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Iza Szczypka  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:52
English to Polish
+ ...
Customers from Israel Aug 22, 2008

I work for an Israeli company on a regular basis and they always pay by bank transfer, no hassle. Just once they paid me via PayPal, in breach of my payment terms specified on my invoices. When I wrote to them explaining why my terms say bank transfer only and showed them the amount PayPal charged from me on their one-off transfer, they apologised and duly returned to the bank transfer practice.
So it's just an agency problem, not a country problem.


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Jana Součková  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:52
English to Czech
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all! Aug 22, 2008

Thanks for your replies. I think I will risk Moneybookers in spite of Katalin´s bad experience. As I said - I´m not gonna use it on regular basis. I just need to get my salary from the Israelian company which refuses bank transfer. I´ve been reminding them for 3 months now to pay my invoice.

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Paul Kozelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:52
Member (2004)
French to English
+ ...
There's no free lunch but some are more nourishing than others... Aug 22, 2008

I could easily write double the number of Katalin's pages relating my comparable bitter experiences with MB. I think they started off free (except for a wee fee for withdrawals) as did PayPal back in the stone age, then discovered there was little/no cheap, secure and efficient competition and decided they could make a pile so, why not? Since I used to move large sums via PP, they upped me to a sort of merchant status and now deduct 5-9% (in part for what they all "trans-border transactions") and their exchange rate is less than sparkling, so I use them only when there's absolutely no alternative. MB put me through the "merchant status" wringer (including signing a 'contract' with several clauses that made no legal or practical sense in English and that they refused to change) and I have found other transfer means, thus leaving them with a substantial drop off in my account from previous years. They obviously aren't bothered. If anyone discovers a new or alternative site without 3.5% - 9% fees and with a decent exchange rate (they do have to cover overhead some way, after all), please do us all a favor and post it here!!

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Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:52
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Neither Aug 23, 2008

I have accounts with both of them, but feel they are useless - if you don't have an international credit card it is impossible to get the money. Use Pay Pal if you must for this transaction, but the best bet is definitely bank transfer or Western Union.

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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:52
English to Norwegian
Use all three alternatives. Aug 27, 2008

The solution is easy, and has served me well for years. I have both a MoneyBooker and PayPal account and I use them for small amounts (say up to a couple of hundred USD). They are easy, cheap and quick. For larger amounts I use bank transfer, that takes a couple of days and their charges are small when it comes to larger amounts.

I use this method both for receiving and sending money – and, of course, then I can accommodate if the other party want to use a specific method. Both PayPal and MoneyBookers have their strong and weak points.


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Francesca Battaglia
Italy
Local time: 20:52
Member (2007)
English to Italian
+ ...
ah! i'm finally seeing clear! Aug 29, 2008

ah! I've just come through some hard questioning with Paypal, and this is not the first time, since they blocked my account to VERIFY IT. First of all, it came in a very bad moment since I was expecting two payments and I really needed to move money to my bank account for a purchase I was about to do (and then wasn't able to..thanks a lot!).
My account was blocked for about 4-5 days, I had to send a copy of my ID, a bill and my bank account statement - something I wasn't really keen to send.
Then, I get an email saying they analyzed my information and the FIRST PART of the verification process was completed but they needed me to fill out a sort of questionnaire about my business/activity..Of course there was no option on translations or similar and I was forced to select things like "general business" "other activity"..Guess what? I got an email saying my account couldn't be verified since I gave general answers and I was supposed to send more detailed information explaining what type of activity I was doing and stuff like that.
I just couldn't believe it..
I replied that I really did not understand why they needed all this. I explained I wasn t feeling comfortable giving other information since, according to their questionnaire, my type of activity wasn't even contemplated..
Plus, they wanted me to specify how much I earned for an avarage "sell" and how much a year I earned from it..
Again I found myself explaining that, since I am no merchant, I am not selling anything. I am just offering my services to people who ask me for it. I couldn't specify any amount since the volume of work changed every month..

They finally reopened my account but now I got a message saying I reached the limit of 1000 eur this year and that they allowed me to receive money up to 2500 per year.
I am thinking of closing my account and opening a new one not indicating my VAT no., perhaps that's the problem.

Did any of you experienced the same?


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