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Client wants to pay by bank transfer - I prefer cheque
Thread poster: Jenny Forbes

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Nov 2, 2007

A good client in the UK (my own country) has recently been badgering me for my bank details so as to pay me by bank transfer in future. For various reasons, I prefer to be paid by cheque by clients in the UK - all my overseas clients pay me by bank transfer.
I don't want to be difficult with this good client, but think I am entitled to request payment by the method that suits me best. How should I handle this situation?
Regards,
Jenny.


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Andrzej Lejman  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
German to Polish
+ ...
Why should you force your client to use cheques? Nov 2, 2007

Maybe they don't use them at all?
Last but not least, this payment method will die off sooner than later.
Here in Poland we don't use cheques for several years.

Regards

Andrzej


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Kemal Mustajbegovic  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:33
English to Croatian
+ ...
Bank transfer - my favourite Nov 2, 2007

I'm sure, Jenny, you have your reasons and you know your priorities, but bank transfer is #1 payment option for me and cheque the least preferable option. Even for the clients based in Oz.
And how should you handle this situation of yours? Well, I don't know. You say that it's a good client, from your own country so in my book bank transfer is the best option - instant money, no fees or charges... So, I see no problem. But, as I said you know your priorities.
GL


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
The service provider sets the payment terms Nov 2, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:
I don't want to be difficult with this good client, but think I am entitled to request payment by the method that suits me best. How should I handle this situation?


You are entitled to set your own payment terms. And, if my memory of the United Kingdom is correct, payment by cheque is still widely accepted, isn't that right (whereas in ZA I wouldn't touch a cheque in lieu of payment).

You obviously have reasons why you prefer a cheque -- and I think you should just tell the client that you prefer it... for whatever reason you can think of. Perhaps your accounting system works better with cheques. Perhaps the bookkeeper prefers cheques. Perhaps you share your bank account with people that you don't want them to see the amounts of incoming payments.

You don't owe the client a reason -- you are *entitled* to set your own payment terms. But for the sake of a good relationship, I would suggest coming up with a reasonable reason or excuse or explanation.



[Edited at 2007-11-02 12:23]


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Lily Waters  Identity Verified

English to Tagalog
+ ...
Bank Transfer Easiest way Nov 2, 2007

I prefer bank transfer payments, less hassles and I do not need to go to my branch to deposit the cheque and it is easier for the client/agency as well. I just check online if my invoice had been paid. If you prefer cheque then there should be no reason why your client cannot pay you by cheque as it is still acceptable in the UK.

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Amy Williams  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:33
Italian to English
+ ...
Cheques = hassle for businesses Nov 2, 2007

Hi Jenny,
As others have said, it's 100% up to you which payment types you accept (at least while cheques are still around); I'm certain that you are entitled to ask a client to pay you using a particular method but there's no guarantee they will be willing to accommodate it.

Just a couple of things I wanted to bring up from the business side, though:
Cheques are a pain, especially for small businesses without accounts departments: they need to be printed/written and posted (= time and expense), and then the business is charged (albeit a small amount) for the privilege! So from the business' point of view, an instant online bank transfer is quicker, cheaper (generally no fees for these) and confirmed immediately. When you're trying to keep costs down it's a no-brainer.

Have a great weekend,
Amy


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Erik Freitag  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 01:33
Member (2006)
Dutch to German
+ ...
Same problem - but the other way round Nov 2, 2007

Dear Jenny,

I have the very same problem, but the other way round: A regular client insists on sending cheques, which is most unfavourable for me (takes a lot of time and effort, costs HUGE amounts of fees). After the agency several times ignored clear agreements with me as to send payment by wire transfer, I chose to decline their check, sent it back, and insisted on what had been agreed before. Hopefully they remember it next time...

So, two points: 1. I have no idea why anybody would prefer checks, but there you go! 2. You are by all means entitled to chose the way you would like to be paid!

Kind regards,
Erik


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
French to English
Tell them what they are Nov 2, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:

For various reasons, I prefer to be paid by cheque by clients in the UK - all my overseas clients pay me by bank transfer.
I don't want to be difficult with this good client, but think I am entitled to request payment by the method that suits me best. How should I handle this situation?


Just say "I would prefer to be paid by cheque 'cos ....." whatever the reason is.

Thing is, cheques are on the way out.
They're no longer used in several countries in the EU.
Either Asda or Sainsburys will refuse to accept them from the new year (I forget which, I was in both this week!)
Some bank accounts charge way more for issuing cheques than they do for electronic payments (HSBC for one, altho I don't actually pay anything for either, but not all businesses are in my position).
If you're paid electronically, you get the security of knowing the money is there straight away.
And so on and so forth

I think most people would say that electronic transfer is way better than cheques.
EXCEPT, of course, in terms of security.
I can kinda see that the fewer folks have your bank details, the safer life is.
But, by not giving them, you're effectively saying I don't trust you......


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Anita Cassidy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Member (2005)
English to German
Can you share your reasons? Nov 2, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:
For various reasons, I prefer to be paid by cheque by clients in the UK - all my overseas clients pay me by bank transfer.


Well, as others have said, cheques are really a bit of an antiquated form of payment - I often have the opposite problem, i.e. trying to convince US and UK clients NOT to send me cheques as I find them incredibly annoying (and expensive in the case of US cheques).

Of course you're right that you can set your own payment terms, but I can't really imagine what sort of security risks (if that's your reason for preferring payment by cheque) giving out your account number and sort code would pose - after all, those details are also printed on all the cheques YOU make out when paying someone else by cheque.

Anita


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for feedback Nov 2, 2007

Thank you for your feedback, everyone. It seems this is quite a hot potato!
Andrzej, I'm not "forcing" the client to do anything - indeed it could be said that the client is trying to "force" me! And I gladly accept payment by bank transfer from all my overseas clients, as I said in my original posting.
There is a reason for my preference for cheques from my UK clients - I just didn't want to bore you all with it. I don't want everything going into my current account. Sometimes I want to put some receipts into a savings account - see a recent thread here about investments. So if everything goes into the current account, I still have to write a cheque on that account myself and take it to the savings bank - and anyway, as I live in the middle of my town and usually have to go out for something, I don't find it a problem to go to the bank - in fact it does me good to take a walk and see some human beings sometimes - not to mention that one of my accounts is in the most beautiful building in the town with splendid neo-classical pillars. coffered ceiling, and so on, and it's a pleasure to be in it.
So, all in all, while cheques remain acceptable in the UK I shall continue with my eccentric preference.
In fact I did politely explain all this to the client (except the bit about the décor) and they have pleasantly agreed to continue paying me by cheque.
Kind regards,
Jenny.


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 09:33
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Online Banking Nov 3, 2007

Hi Jenny,

Have you thought about online banking? I only mention it because it works like a dream for me living in China yet maintaining accounts in the UK. I've been with the Royal Bank of Scotland for years and been using their online banking system and it's very good. Very secure, very efficient and always available.

Clients I have in the UK just pay me directly by CHAPS into my current account with no charges and the moment the funds arrive I can then just log on and check that everything is OK and either leave them where they are or transfer them to my savings account there or I can transfer the funds to other accounts at other banks within the UK.

It might be worth checking out because it will give you the freedom to do what you want with your funds without having to deal with cheques and no more trips to the bank and waiting in line:)

Mark


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:33
German to English
+ ...
Client wants to pay by bank transfer - I prefer cheque Nov 3, 2007

Jenny Forbes wrote:

I don't want everything going into my current account. Sometimes I want to put some receipts into a savings account - see a recent thread here about investments. So if everything goes into the current account, I still have to write a cheque on that account myself and take it to the savings bank (...)


Open a separate bank account for your business. Any other arrangement is bad business practice and looks very amateurish.

What you then do with the money that goes into that account is up to you, and has nothing to do with your customers.

(...) - and anyway, as I live in the middle of my town and usually have to go out for something, I don't find it a problem to go to the bank - in fact it does me good to take a walk and see some human beings sometimes


Get a dog.

Marc


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Business accounts Nov 3, 2007

Marc P wrote:

Jenny Forbes wrote:

I don't want everything going into my current account. Sometimes I want to put some receipts into a savings account - see a recent thread here about investments. So if everything goes into the current account, I still have to write a cheque on that account myself and take it to the savings bank (...)


Open a separate bank account for your business. Any other arrangement is bad business practice and looks very amateurish.

What you then do with the money that goes into that account is up to you, and has nothing to do with your customers.

(...) - and anyway, as I live in the middle of my town and usually have to go out for something, I don't find it a problem to go to the bank - in fact it does me good to take a walk and see some human beings sometimes


Get a dog.

Marc


You silver-tongued charmer, you!
Banks make a charge for business accounts whereas, provided they remain in credit, there is no charge on personal accounts.
Jenny.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:33
French to English
Not necessarily Nov 3, 2007


Open a separate bank account for your business. Any other arrangement is bad business practice

He's right you know
I wouldn't wanna be in your shoes if HMRC were to pop round.
Altho that is unlikely:-)
Actually, I had just assumed that the account was a separate business savings account, like one you store up money for tax in advance of HMRC asking for it, for example. But your subsequent comments make me think this may not be the case after all....

Banks make a charge for business accounts whereas, provided they remain in credit, there is no charge on personal accounts.
Jenny.

You need to shop around if that is the sole reason for your arrangements.
Rest assured, I pay not one single penny for my "trading account".

If you don't fancy getting a dog, always remember that internet banking is your friend


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:33
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Looks amateurish"? Nov 3, 2007

Marc P wrote:
Open a separate bank account for your business. Any other arrangement is bad business practice and looks very amateurish.


To whom and how? In Europe, can customers spot a business account by its account number or something?

I'm with Jenny. At least for in-country customers, I'd rather have a check and then decide which bank and which account to walk it to. It generates a physical paper trail (the deposit slip, the receipt from the bank teller, my photocopy of the check, etc.), so if the wrong amount goes into the account I can prove it was a mistake. If something goes wrong with an online transaction, it's very hard to prove.

[Edited at 2007-11-03 14:56]


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