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Preferred Payment Method by International Translators
Thread poster: AberCap

AberCap  Identity Verified
United States
Member (2010)
English
Nov 12, 2008

Hello Translators & Subtitlers,

I contract translators to work for my company, Aberdeen Captioning, and I was wondering if you translators could let me know how you prefer to get paid. We are a company based in the US and are just starting to contract with a lot with translators overseas. In the past most of our translators were in the US and we were able to pay via US check, which of course is very easy all around. Are translators usually responsible for PayPal/Moneybookers fees or does the employer usually pay for it? What are the fees like with different payment methods?

Any of your payment insight would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards and thank you in advance for your helpful responses!


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Amex Nov 12, 2008

Hello AberCap,

- Paypal is out of question for me since they froze my account because they are unable to verify my identity, and because their 5% fees are often more than the traditional wire transfer or check cashing fees.

- Moneybookers is my preferred provider for micro payments, but they are not available in the US because (as someone told me) the US legislation does not allow any provider who has clients in the online gambling industry.

- A US client of mine has found a way to pay via Amex, for only $10 per wire transfer directly to my German account, so this seems to be the best choice for payments from the US to Europe.

Best,
Harry


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:49
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
PayPal Nov 12, 2008

Hello Albercap

Paypal is my preferred, US checks and wire transfers are more expensive than Paypal,

Moneybookers is cheaper but it seems less realiable than Paypal.

I use PayPal since 2003 and never had a problem, instead they were able to solve a problem caused by my bank.

As for identity Paypal verified my identity in 10 minutes, I just added a credit card to my account and when I surpassed a certain amount I just sent them my identity card scanned.

All the best!


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Oleg Rudavin  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 23:49
Member (2003)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Experiences of a Ukraine-based translator Nov 12, 2008

...with US outsourcers

1. Cashing a US check means $US 45-60 deduced from the amount (consisting of the fee charged by the local bank for processing a check, fee for the transaction taken by the paying bank and fee charged by a correspondent bank)
2. PayPal doesn't work in Ukraine (or Russia) for receiving funds
3. Moneybookers is OK. The amount transferred by the sender is exactly what I get on my MB account, and cashing the funds is 3.6% (for example, MB charges EUR 1.8 for transferring EUR 500 to a bank account or bank card); something one can put up with. The tricky issue in the exchange rate: as a kind of hedging against possible fluctuations, MB (and PayPal either, as far as I know) uses exchange rates which are slightly lower compared to the forex rate (by 1.75%, I guess)
4. Wire transfer: ideal for the recipient; especially when the sender covers the correspondent bank's fee. The latter is not that high though: the amount I receive is usually $US/EUR 10 less than the amount wired. The fee the sender has to pay may vary from country to country and depends on the beneficiary's country.

Hope it helps

Cheers,
Oleg

[Edited at 2008-11-12 23:56]


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Roy Chaudhuri  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 02:19
Member (2006)
English to Bengali
+ ...
Payment preferences Nov 13, 2008

1. Wire transfer : This is the best method though it attracts a fixed charge. The money is in my account within 48 hours

2. Paypal: The charges are higher. However Paypal provides facilities to directly withdraw the money to my bank account in India.


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:49
Member (2004)
German to English
I don't mind as long as you pay the fees involved Nov 13, 2008

What I object to is issuing an invoice to a US company and having them deduct bank charges before paying me. If my invoice is USD120 I expect to receive USD120 and not that amount minus bank charges of any kind. I recently stopped working for a US company for this very reason.
Gillian


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Oleg Osipov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 23:49
English to Russian
+ ...
Two options so far Nov 13, 2008

To comply with the Russian law regulating entrepreneurship, covering the scope of our translation-related business activity I prefer:

1. Wire transfer
2. US check


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 22:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Some answers to AberCap Nov 13, 2008

AberCap wrote:
In the past most of our translators were in the US and we were able to pay via US check, which of course is very easy all around.


The only clients that pay me by cheque, are Americans. I guess one can be a bit apprehensive about whether the cheque will in fact arrive in the mail, but even though our local post office boasts that up to 5% of mail is lost, and anecdotal evidence indicates the amount of lost mail may be closer to 30%, I must say that I don't think I've ever had a cheque from an overseas client get lost in the mail.

I suppose cheque may be cheapest and easiest for the American client. For me, it means having to go to the bank, stand in a long queue, fill in a long form, and wait about two to three weeks for the money to clear. There are also transfer costs and exchange costs involved, but I tend not to worry about those too much, because I don't believe they can be controlled. That's what a minimum fee is for.

I've also had American clients pay me by Moneybookers and by what the Americans call "wire" transfer.

Are translators usually responsible for PayPal/Moneybookers fees or does the employer usually pay for it?


My approach is that you pay the fees on your side. However, sometimes there are fees that creep in somewhere that neither bank will say is "theirs". This is why I tend to be lenient when it comes to fees.

I recently had to pay an outsourcee in Europe by SWIFT, and someone tacked on an extra EUR 10.00 in transfer fees. His banks says it's my bank's fee, my bank says it's his bank's fee, and both of us are honest. If I was the translator, I would have looked the other way, but in this case the translator insisted that we add the money to the next invoice, and as an outsourcer I don't have a problem with that.

What are the fees like with different payment methods?


As I mentioned in a previous thread elsewhere, PayPal seems cheap to clients because it passes all of the costs on to the translator (and translators seem happy to accept the arrangement). Moneybookers seem expensive to (American) clients because most of the transfer fees are passed on to the client. In both cases, there are fees, and in both cases my approach would be that each party pays the fees on their side (so yes, MB would be more expensive for you, if you're penny-pinching).

Personally I don't think it can be healthy for a business to run on such a tight margin that quibbling about transfer costs becomes a deal-breaker (or a business-breaker). Make sure your accountant is flexible and not lazy -- I suspect much client rigidity actually comes through accounting departments that want to keep things simple and insist that all accounts be treated equally, as if all translators are local.

Bank transfers (SWIFT, "wire", etc) are somewhat expensive for both parties but it is the safest and easiest way of transferring money for me (don't know about folks in other countries). The transfer fees are often mostly the same, regardless of the amount transferred (hence its not ideal for small amounts (hence the minimum fee)).

If ever you work with ZA translators, remember they can't receive money via PayPal.


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Mahmoud Rayyan  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 22:49
English to Arabic
I agree with Gillian Nov 13, 2008

Gillian Searl wrote:

What I object to is issuing an invoice to a US company and having them deduct bank charges before paying me. If my invoice is USD120 I expect to receive USD120 and not that amount minus bank charges of any kind. I recently stopped working for a US company for this very reason.
Gillian



That is right I don't care how you will transfer the money as long as I will receive the same amount I asked for

But my first preference is
1- wire transfer
2 - Moneybookers


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:49
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
Ok but this is not possible in Italy Nov 13, 2008

Mahmoud Rayyan wrote:

Gillian Searl wrote:

What I object to is issuing an invoice to a US company and having them deduct bank charges before paying me. If my invoice is USD120 I expect to receive USD120 and not that amount minus bank charges of any kind. I recently stopped working for a US company for this very reason.
Gillian



That is right I don't care how you will transfer the money as long as I will receive the same amount I asked for


If I get a wire transfer from USA I must pay my bank fees, which last time were 40 euros for a 400 dollars payment.

As for US checks, since the end of September (I guess because of the US banks crisis) my bank now clears US checks in 2 months. (before it was 2 days urghh).
Not sure about other Italian banks...

[Edited at 2008-11-13 09:52]


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ST Translations
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:49
French to English
preferred payment Nov 13, 2008

I have never had a problem with wire transfer. Please note if you use Moneybookers, they are completely incompetent and you will need a lot of patience! Good luck.

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Vanda Nissen  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 06:49
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
about Paypal Nov 13, 2008

- Paypal is out of question for me since they froze my account because they are unable to verify my identity, and because their 5% fees are often more than the traditional wire transfer or check cashing fees.

Hello Harry! Try to call them. I had the same problem in July when they froze my account because they could not verify my identity. I was simply mad and called their office. Female clerk was extremely helpful, immediately found out that the problem was with my Swedish ID-card which was issued by the Swedish bank - they did not know that a national ID-card can be issued by bank! I sent them a link and one hour later I got an access to my account.
And yes, all my US-based clients use Paypal.
Regards,
Vanda


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
No way Nov 13, 2008

Vanda Nissen wrote:

Hello Harry! Try to call them..


Hello Vanda,

I exchanged about a dozen emails with them, most of the time I felt like talking to a bot, and the few times I was in contact with a "human" correspondent, they did not know what they were talking about. Meanwhile my account is frozen permanently.

In my eyes PayPal is only good for micro payments (from/to outside Europe) which are not worth any trouble, so I can do without them.

Now I am happy with Moneybookers, who also provide a nice functionality allowing me to automatically accept credit card payments for online shops, without the credit card owner needing to open an account with them. Moneybookers' support was always reasonable for me, and I completed all of their possible ID verification procedures (to increase my limits for sending and receiving).

Regards,
Harry


[Edited at 2008-11-13 19:37]


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 17:49
Portuguese to English
+ ...
PayPal Nov 13, 2008

I've been using PayPal for a long time and am happy with it. I don't mind paying for convenience. I realize that you can't use Paypay in some countries, which I hope will change in the future. I'm moving from the US back to Brazil next week, and keeping my Bank of America account here, so I'll continue to use PayPal there.

Sorry you had a bad time with them, Harry. I've had good experiences with them, including having them clear things up over the phone. There are things that could be improved on their website, especially with regard to address and bank changes, but otherwise I have no complaints.


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Niina Lahokoski  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 23:49
Member (2008)
English to Finnish
+ ...
Wire transfer Nov 15, 2008

1. Wire transfer (IBAN/Swift)
+ My bank does not charge anything for receiving payments from other countries
2. PayPal/Moneybookers
- Expensive with bigger amounts, and although you can see the money right away, it takes days to withdraw it to your account so it's not at your disposal any faster than with wire transfer.

If the client insists on using PP/MB, I will add the fees to the invoice. In the case of wire transfer the client is responsible for their own fees.


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