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Suggestions for medium sized payments from the US ?
Thread poster: Maria Drangel

Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 13:31
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Apr 14, 2009

I am looking for tips on efficient (moneywise) ways to get paid from US-clients (to Sweden).

I find Paypal very expensive and with the wire I am using at the moment I pay fees of a total of 64 US $ per payment. If I use checks, which they prefer, my Swedish bank charge me about 25% of the amount and appearantly Moneybooker doesn´t work anymore. Are there any more cost efficient (and safe) ways than bank wire?

I have been thinking about the opportunity to open a US-bank account but feer that I would need to declare my income in the US as well then...

Looking forward to your suggestions


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Dinny  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 14:31
Italian to Danish
+ ...
Western Union? Apr 14, 2009

I have the same problems and am tempted to avoid working with US agencies... but would rather find a solution. On a couple of occasions I have received my money through Western Union, as far as I recal it was not as expensive as any of the other solutions. But, of course, you can't be sure that your agency wants to go through the trouble of sending it through Western Union...



[Edited at 2009-04-14 13:23 GMT]


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Martin Feuk
Local time: 13:31
English to Swedish
Payment by check Apr 14, 2009

I always receive US payments by check and my bank (Handelsbanken) charges 100 SEK per check when the money from the check is put directly into my bank account. The only downside is that the transaction usually takes 10-15 days.

I usually have the customer accumulate their payments to me, which means that my checks are for at least 5000 SEK/check.


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teddd76
Local time: 13:31
English to French
I'd love to know Apr 14, 2009

As far as I know Paypal is the best way to receive payments in foreign currencies.
Don't get me wrong, I think Paypal lacks transparency (can anybody explain precisely how they charge their commissions?) and their rates are not particularly good.
However it's still better then cashing in a check in a foreign currency or getting a wire transfer. My (French) bank charges me 14 euros per international foreign currency wire transfer. Add to that the changes in exchange rates and the agencies nice enough to make you pay their OWN bank charges (it happened to me more than a few times), in the end you get almost nothing for a small job.
Personally, I set up a USD account on Paypal. I usually wait for the payments in USD to "pile up" and depending on how good the exhange rate is I transfer the whole amount into my bank account. This keeps the commissions to a "relative" minimum.
However, if there's a cheaper and better way that avoids "rip-off" rates and commissions, I'd love to know!!


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Diana Delgado  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 12:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Citibank Apr 14, 2009

Have you ever tried Citibank? I think that they dont charge international transfers between some countries. I am not sure about the US, but maybe its worthy to have a look.



diana


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 13:31
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
xe.com Apr 14, 2009

xe.com proposes such services, too. I have no first-hand experience with it, but some colleagues do; you can read their feedback in this thread.

Kind regards,
Attila

[Edited at 2009-04-14 16:00 GMT]


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 13:31
Italian to English
+ ...
Bank relationship Apr 14, 2009

A lot depends on the type of relationship and account you have with your bank or banks.

For example, if your account has a certain amount, many banks will waive such fees as wire transfer fees. If you regularly have a significant amount on deposit, negotiate that with your bank and threaten to close the account if it does not comply. You could also try opening a commodity brokerage account, but again, the more you have on account, the more you are treated with respect.

There is no withholding tax on bank/brokerage accounts in the US and if you are not a US resident you have no tax reporting obligations. However, you have to check current personal identification rules (e.g. "Patriot" Act) for opening a US bank account. The bank should provide such information and the necessary forms.

Alternatively you could open a USD account with a bank in London; someone mentioned Citibank, check with them or other international money center banks with offices in London.

Unfortunately, like health care and public transport, the US is underdeveloped when it comes to international banking for small business (cfr. gaping trade deficit), and I do not expect any of those deficiencies to improve in the foreseeable future.

In addition, most businesses in the US still use the quaint checking system and they have not yet got wind of some of the more advanced electronic payment systems that have been available even in the US for some time now.

[Edited at 2009-04-14 11:30 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-04-14 11:31 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-04-14 11:33 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-04-14 11:34 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-04-14 11:35 GMT]


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xxxwonita
China
Local time: 09:31
PayPal commision Apr 14, 2009

teddd76 wrote:

As far as I know Paypal is the best way to receive payments in foreign currencies.
Don't get me wrong, I think Paypal lacks transparency (can anybody explain precisely how they charge their commissions?) and their rates are not particularly good.


PayPal commision varies from country to country. Below is the transaction fee for the PayPal users in the UK to receive money from abroad:

£0.00 GBP - £1,500.00 GBP 3.9% + £0.20 GBP
£1,500.01 GBP - £6,000.00 GBP 3.4% + £0.20 GBP
£6,000.01 GBP - £15,000.00 GBP 2.9% + £0.20 GBP
£15,000.01 GBP - £55,000.00 GBP 2.4% + £0.20 GBP
above £55,000.00 GBP 1.9% + £0.20 GBP

If a UK PayPal user receives 2000 GBP, he has to pay: 2000*3.4%+0.20 = £68.20 GBP as transaction fee. The money deposited on his PayPal account would be £1831.80 GBP.

The payment condition in Germany is very similar, and I assume it is more or less the same for French users as well.

[Edited at 2009-04-14 11:44 GMT]


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teddd76
Local time: 13:31
English to French
Income requirements with Citibank Apr 14, 2009

Diana Delgado wrote:

Have you ever tried Citibank? I think that they dont charge international transfers between some countries. I am not sure about the US, but maybe its worthy to have a look.



diana


I think there are certain income requirements to open an account with Citibank...


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:31
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
More Citibank info Apr 14, 2009

Hello,

I am US based and have a Citibank account. Citibank charges me $10 to receive a wire transfer and $40 to send one. I didn't have to meet an income requirement, even for my business account. Do you mean minimum balance in the account? That would depend on the type of account you open. I find their online banking to be pretty good.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 07:31
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Xoom Apr 14, 2009

Xoom.com is very cheap and reliable. According to their website, sending up to 2,999.00 costs only $4.99 with a US bank account. I've used it a few times to send money and I've found that in most cases is the best choice. The payee has the option to receive the money in many local banks but the money is usually paid as local currency.

[Edited at 2009-04-14 13:50 GMT]


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:31
English to Norwegian
PayPal it is Apr 15, 2009

teddd76 wrote:
As far as I know Paypal is the best way to receive payments in foreign currencies. Can anybody explain precisely how they charge their commissions? Their rates are not particularly good.

I think you just answered your own question.

I have found that PayPal is the best solution for smaller amounts – less than USD 200 – for larger amounts, go for bank transfer (or a check from USA, they still love the paper version).


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Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 13:31
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Xoom.com? Apr 15, 2009

Hi thanks for all the tips! I still think PayPal is one of the worst options as they charge something like 4 % IN ADDITION TO giving an extremly poor exchangerate and since they have a complicated structure of fees I have learnt that if I count with losing 10% (!!!) of whatever the client is paying me in his currancy, than at least I will not be dissapointed. Generally I think that Moneybooker is better than PayPal, but they offer a bad exchange rate as well (I count on losing 2% including all fees).

Checks are not a great option for Sweden as our banks stopped using it as a common method of payment decades ago. Handelsbanken seem to be an exception, but only in some offices and only for known clients and only if the check comes from a foreign bank as opposed to a check by a company or a private person. Otherwise in general you need to wait for the payment for maybe a month and then the bank charges about 25% (!!!) commission for the trouble of checking through a very complicated system that the check is a good one...

What I find to be the most interesting option so far (but I must admit I haven´t tried it yet) when it comes to getting as much as possible of the money that the sender is paying, is Ikobo (although accessing your money is complicated and would make the book-keeping more complicated than in needs to) or Xoom.com which seems a bit too good to be true, but I think I will try it on my next invoice to the US.

Thanks for that tip, it looks really great and is nice to know that someone has tried it too!

[Redigerad 2009-04-15 19:00 GMT]


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