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Best way to receive international payment
Thread poster: Julianne Rowland

Julianne Rowland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Jan 16, 2007

I have recently begun doing work for agencies/clients based in Europe and would appreciate any advice about the best way to handle payment so as to minimize transaction fees for international wire transfers.
My bank charges a $10 receiving fee for international wire transfers, and for one client, in particular, another $25 fee is taken out somewhere along the way - from an intermediary bank somewhere along the way, I assume. I have requested a lump payment every 2 or 3 billing cycles to minimize the charges, but of course, I would rather not have to lose $35 in fees every time I receive a transfer! I think I could probably eliminate the $10 fee on my end by using another bank, but what about the $25 middle-man fee?


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Capesha  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
good experience with PayPal Jan 16, 2007

maybe it is not the top solution, but I am satisfied with PayPal. It is quick and charges are ok.
Maybe here are other experts who can recommend a better solution?


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:25
English to Russian
+ ...
Moneybookers, Paypal and.. Jan 16, 2007

international postal money order (in US dollars of course) are the options I use to receive payment from European and Japanese clients and avoid those bank fees. By the way, you can request the client/outsourcer to cover those bank fees, at least half of them - but you have to agree on it together with the rate and payment method.

Speaking of fees, Paypal charges appro 3,5-4.0% of the total for withdrawal, so it would be fair to request the outsourcer to add at least 3% to the payment, to cover the Paypal fees.

Moneybookers is a good option, they send you a check after they confirm your postal address, for a decent fee of about $4, or you can provide them with your credit card info and they will credit the amount directly there, the fee will be even lower.

The option I discovered just recently: international postal money order and this is the best option since the postal fees are paid by the outsourcer/client and all you have to do is to bring it to your US bank. However, it happened to me just once, it was a Japanese client and it seems to be rather an exception than a rule.


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Assimina Vavoula
Greece
Local time: 04:25
Member (2005)
French to Greek
+ ...
safe international payments Jan 16, 2007

You could use http://www.moneybookers.com/app/ or PayPal.
I have used PayPal and I am satisfied with PayPal. It is quick and charges are ok.


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Giulia TAPPI  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:25
French to Italian
+ ...
Client has to pay for the fees Jan 16, 2007

It seems normal to me that your client pays your invoice plus the bank fees.
I used to have this kind of problems in the past, but now it is settled.


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RWSTranslation
Germany
Local time: 03:25
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
XE.com Jan 16, 2007

Hello,

heard that XE.com could be an alternative.

Hans


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hschl  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:25
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Other options Jan 16, 2007

With some customers I just changed over the check payment, they send me a postdated check in the mail which I then deposit in my bank account here in Canada. No fees involved.

Another option is open an account ANYWHERE in the EU, since banking fees for transfers from one country to another in Europe is regulated to cost the same as a bank transfer within the same country, i.e. a few dollars max. This way you could just draw a check from your own account every couple of months and your customer would also have it easier. For me this works great, since I do not pay any bank charges on foreign currencies and I get prime exchange rate.

(I hope I represented the European banking fee story correct. If not, please advise)

Henrik


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Julianne Rowland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the suggestions Jan 16, 2007

Thanks to everyone for the helpful suggestions. I will look into PayPal, Moneybookers, etc., and will take to heart Giulia's suggestion to have the client pay the fees.

Julianne


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 20:25
English to Russian
+ ...
From personal experience Jan 16, 2007

Hi, Julianne

I deal with international wire transfers to/from Europe, mostly for personal matters but this does not matter.

I prefer bank wires but I'm surprised to hear about the receiving fees and/or intermediate charges. My local credit union bank charges neither, only a wiring fee of $30 regardless of the amount being wired from my account. If you are banking with some small local US bank, which I suspect is the case because of the above fees, they likely do not have SWIFT/IBAN, just like many other domestic American banks, mine including. It should not matter but this nuance might turn into a nightmare. Many European banks, especially the smaller ones, simply can not comprehend that an international wire to the US is possible without those numbers. ABA and account No. and holder 's names all that is required. Several banks in Belgium, Italy and Russia simply refused to accept wire transfer applications from my senders, driving them and me up the wall. "We can't do it, the money will never reach the point and what are we going to do about fines" etc. One bank we finally found in Italy charges 19 euros for international wire. This charge should be paid by your client.

Should you decide on banking, maybe you could shop around for free checking with the large international US bank that has those codes and does not apply extra charges, or make sure that your client has no problems on his end. I was about to do it myself but finally we found all the right banks in Europe. In other words, it's doable but, on the other hand, could be one hell of a totally unexpected bump on the road.

Good luck,
Irene


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 23:25
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Paypal Jan 16, 2007

Hello Julianne and everybody,

Our customers usually pay us through paypal, and then we transfer the money to our U.S. bank account.

Transferring from paypal to any U.S. bank account is free of any charges and takes around 3 business days.

sokolniki wrote:

Speaking of fees, Paypal charges appro 3,5-4.0% of the total for withdrawal...



Regarding sokolniki's comment, those fees apply only to the premium or business paypal accounts (where they charge you for ANY moneys you receive, no matter the source).

But we use a personal paypal account and pay no fees at all.
We can not receive credit card payments, but we inform this to our customers in advance.

An option is to have two paypal accounts (a premium one for credit card payments, and a simple one for the rest).

Recently a German customer payed us directly from his bank account to our paypal one... I do not know how did he do it, but it is possible.
We received the amount in Euros and converted it to USD. You can also keep Euros and USD amounts (along with several other currencies).

Good luck, and let us know when you solve it.

Andrés

[Edited at 2007-01-16 21:20]


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:25
English to Russian
+ ...
moneybookers is better than paypal Jan 16, 2007

if we compare system charges.

Maximum charge for payment of any amount within the system is 0.50 euro
Withdrawal to bank account - 1.80 euro
Withdrawal to credit card - 1.80 flat fee

more details here:
http://www.moneybookers.com/app/help.pl?s=fees
http://www.moneybookers.com/app/faq.pl?gid=9&qid=723


[Edited at 2007-01-16 21:47]


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Julianne Rowland  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:25
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Fee even with Large US Bank Jan 16, 2007

IreneN wrote:

If you are banking with some small local US bank, which I suspect is the case because of the above fees, they likely do not have SWIFT/IBAN, just like many other domestic American banks, mine including.


Hi Irene,

Thanks for your input! Actually, I bank with Citi, one of the largest US banks, and Citi charges a $10 receiving fee, which is reasonable compared to another, smaller bank I use, which charges between $15 and $20.

As far as the intermediate fee is concerned, I have a feeling it has something to do with the sender's bank, because this fee was charged when I received a payment from one client in the UK, but not when I received payment from another client, also in the UK. In addition, I received a transfer from this same client to my account at the regional bank I use and was charged the same $25 fee. I did some probing and found that the charge was made by Wachovia bank, so somewhere along the line between the client's bank (Lloyd's, I believe) and mine, Wachovia got involved and charged a handling fee.

So, I think I will try Moneybookers or PayPal in the future. Thanks again for everyone's help on this!

Julianne


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Sergei Tumanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:25
English to Russian
+ ...
regarding intermediate fees Jan 16, 2007

I think there is a simpler explanation.
When I make international remittance here in Europe and complete an international transfer form I have three choices:

a. all remittance costs on sender's account
b. split remittance costs between sender and receiver of the funds
c. to make remittance with all costs to be on receiver's account.

I am confident my clients have same three choices when they pay me.
Some of my clients pay such costs themselves, and I get the full amount of what was agreed in the relevant PO.
Others put these costs on me////////


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SandraV  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 20:25
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Paypal and Moneybookers Jan 16, 2007

I normally use Paypal and Moneybookers with good results.

Good luck!


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ntext  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:25
Partial member
German to English
+ ...
www.netbank.com Jan 17, 2007

Netbank charges no fee for incoming wire transfers, i.e. it is free to receive money.

Sending the money from Europe will probably still incur a fee. As far as I know, the remitter can specify whether he or the payee is charged with the fee, or whether the fee is split between the two parties.


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