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Poll: Do you accept payments by credit card?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:36
SITE STAFF
May 18, 2007

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you accept payments by credit card?".

This poll was originally submitted by Paulo César Mendes MD

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
"Other" May 18, 2007

My answer was "other", since we accept credit card payments time in time.

But we prefer not to, since paypal (the only way I know to work with credit cards) charges almost 4%, and if you exceed 5 operations per year you need to upgrade to business account, with which paypal charges 4% of ALL the payments received.

My idea was to open a new paypal account, only for credit card payments, but never really got into that.

Take care,

Andrés


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Stanislaw Czech, MCIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:36
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
Thinking about it May 18, 2007

I am thinking about accepting cards using Paypal, but it's still just a plan.

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eesegura  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
"Yes" May 18, 2007

But with the following qualification: When invoicing with PayPal, the client has several payment options, including paying by credit card. I can invoice via PayPal even to clients who don't have a PayPal account. Of course, PayPal charges a fee to handle the transaction.

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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Yes May 18, 2007

Some years ago I accepted payments by credit card directly, but nobody used it.
Then I accepted them via Paypal, and some clients used it, but I had too much trouble with Paypal, so currently I accept credit card payments only via Moneybookers or Moneygram (for U.S. to Europe).


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:36
English to French
+ ...
I accept them May 18, 2007

I do accept credit card payments, but none of my clients has used this method yet.

In reply to Andrés, I don't think PayPal charges are an issue - as long as you also offer other methods. I offer PayPal, wire transfer, cheque and credit card. However, all charges except currency exchange are at the client's cost. None of my clients have ever had a problem with this - but my clients do tend to prefer cheques, since there are practically no charges involved. So, in case a client would prefer to pay by credit card, they would add the 4% that PayPal charges for the transaction to the amount paid. In case they want to pay me $4000, then they would actually pay $4160. I often get payments of this size, so I wouldn't ever be willing to cover that charge - if kept in my pocket, this amount would pay my bills for the month, or at least a large portion of them.

I think this is a sound practice - when I go shopping, it is I, and not the merchant, who pays the debit card usage fee. It's only normal my clients pay for their transaction fees. However, sadly, this seems to be a practice not yet widely used by translators - they don't seem to realize this is how things work in all other forms of business.


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eesegura  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:36
Spanish to English
+ ...
Good point May 18, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

However, all charges except currency exchange are at the client's cost. None of my clients have ever had a problem with this - but my clients do tend to prefer cheques, since there are practically no charges involved. So, in case a client would prefer to pay by credit card, they would add the 4% that PayPal charges for the transaction to the amount paid. In case they want to pay me $4000, then they would actually pay $4160. I often get payments of this size, so I wouldn't ever be willing to cover that charge - if kept in my pocket, this amount would pay my bills for the month, or at least a large portion of them.

I think this is a sound practice - when I go shopping, it is I, and not the merchant, who pays the debit card usage fee. It's only normal my clients pay for their transaction fees. However, sadly, this seems to be a practice not yet widely used by translators - they don't seem to realize this is how things work in all other forms of business.


Thanks for pointing this out, Viktoria, it's a valid issue. Doing this (letting the client pay the transaction fee) didn't occur to me when I first started using PayPal.

[Edited at 2007-05-18 17:25]


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Andres & Leticia Enjuto  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 10:36
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
You're right, Viktoria, but... May 18, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

In reply to Andrés, I don't think PayPal charges are an issue - as long as you also offer other methods. I offer PayPal, wire transfer, cheque and credit card. However, all charges except currency exchange are at the client's cost.


You're right, Viktoria, and thanks for putting things in perspective.

My main point was that, if I accept credit card payments with paypal in a regular basis, I would have to upgrade to business account and that would then force me to charge an aditional 4% to my customers that do not use credit card payments (since with paypal business account there is a % fee for every payment received, no matter the source).

That is why I though of opening another account for credit card payments exclusively, but never needed it since we also offer the options you mention.

Thanks,

Andrés


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Ursula Derx  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 15:36
Member (2005)
English to German
prefer moneybookers May 19, 2007

I am mostly the "client" paying translators via paypal or moneybookers. I also think, that charges should be born by the payer, i.e. the client (myself).

Moneybookers collect the charge directly from the client, you can upload money into your account either by bank transfer or by credit card. Only after uploading you can transfer money. The transfer fee is automatically charged to the person transferring the money.

Therefore, I think Moneybookers is better for translators. (Since it is always troublesome to calculate the charges yourself and add to the amount manually. I never do that, when payping via Paypal.)


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:36
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Shopping at merchants May 19, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I think this is a sound practice - when I go shopping, it is I, and not the merchant, who pays the debit card usage fee. It's only normal my clients pay for their transaction fees. However, sadly, this seems to be a practice not yet widely used by translators - they don't seem to realize this is how things work in all other forms of business.
It might be that it works differently in Canada, but in France, when you go shopping, the client pays no fee and the merchant does.
So you see there's just no universal rule about that.


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Hester Eymers  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:36
Member (2005)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Different practices in different countries May 19, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

I think this is a sound practice - when I go shopping, it is I, and not the merchant, who pays the debit card usage fee. It's only normal my clients pay for their transaction fees. However, sadly, this seems to be a practice not yet widely used by translators - they don't seem to realize this is how things work in all other forms of business.


In the Netherlands, practice seems to be a bit different. When I go shopping, I pay the same amount in let's say a bookshop, whether I pay cash, with a cheque/bank card or with a credit card. Some shop owners do make an exception when the customer wants to pay a very small amount (below €25) with a card. In this case the customer is charged something extra, usually €0.25 or €0.50.

Of course the shop owner pays different fees for different methods of payment. But it is considered a service to the client to offer different methods of payment.

As a translator I offer the same service (though I do encourage American clients to pay me via PayPal, as the transaction fees for cheques or wire transfer are several times higher than PayPal fees).


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:36
English to French
+ ...
Reactions to many posts May 19, 2007



Andrés wrote:

My main point was that, if I accept credit card payments with paypal in a regular basis, I would have to upgrade to business account and that would then force me to charge an aditional 4% to my customers that do not use credit card payments (since with paypal business account there is a % fee for every payment received, no matter the source).



You are right, Andrés, you would have to charge that fee regardless of the type of transaction. I have an intermediate account (don't know what it's called now) and I charge the 3% PayPal charges me every time I get a regular PayPal payment. The only inconvenient I see here for clients is that if I had to upgrade my PayPal account, my client would have to pay a 4% fee instead of a 3% fee. Otherwise, it would come down to the same thing.



Sophie wrote:

It might be that it works differently in Canada, but in France, when you go shopping, the client pays no fee and the merchant does.



In fact, there may be such a cultural difference between different countries. However, the procedure is the same - it is the merchants who deal with it differently. The system used in shops for debit card payments (called Interac in Canada) works pretty much the same all over the world. The merchant buys or rents the equipment from the bank/debit card transaction processing company and pays a certain fee for each transaction depending on the deal they have (mostly depends on transaction volume). Then, the merchant has the choice to forward that fee to their client or not (it is the merchant who sets up these parameters in the equipment). I guess most French merchants choose to pay the charges themselves as an extra service to their clients, whereas North American merchants prefer to have their clients pay for this. In either case, though, the bank (intermediary) who processes the transaction (the client's bank) also charges a fee for this, separate from the fee charged to the merchant for the use of the processing system. So, when I pay $20 in a shop, I usually pay $20 for the merchandise, $0.50 to my bank for the processing of the transaction and another $1.00 to the merchant for using the system. However, on the receipt, only the amount of the transaction and the fee charged by the merchant appear (that is, the total shown on the receipt is $21.00 and not $21.50, the actual amount debited from my account). Depending on the kind of account I have with my bank, I may have a certain number of free transactions or a lower transaction fee.

In fact, since the choice of charging or not charging a fee to the client for the use of the debit card processig system, as well as the exact amount charged, is entirely up to the merchant, in many cases, merchants in Canada actually use this system to make money - and the marketing of the system does rely on this. Reps who "sell" the system never fail to mention that there is money to be made for the merchant - often, merchants charge $1.00 when the fee they pay for usage is only $0.50. Multiply that by just 1000 transactions per month, and their utility bills are entirely paid for by the transaction fees they charge to their clients.

So, in light of all this, we can conclude that French merchants don't yet have as capitalist a mentality as North Americans do. In any case, I was only trying to say that it would be illogical for me to pay both transaction fees on my purchases AND transaction fees on my earnings. However, this may make more sense in France, where it seems to be mostly the other way aroud. I do admit it would be unfair to have your client cover fees on their outgoing AND on their incoming transactions.



Hester wrote:

As a translator I offer the same service (though I do encourage American clients to pay me via PayPal, as the transaction fees for cheques or wire transfer are several times higher than PayPal fees).



This is another difference between Europe and North America. In Europe, it is very expensive to cash in a cheque, whereas in Canada, it only costs a few dollars, no matter what the amount of the transaction is. However, wire transfers are rather costly over here - the fee is more or less proportional to the transaction amount (percentage). So, while cheques may be a preferred payment method for me (practically no cost for me and none for the client), in other countries, PayPal/Moneybookers may be better.

In conclusion, I only meant to say that no matter what country you live in, the fair practice would be to participate in the system in an equal manner, that is, noone should be stuck paying for both incoming and outgoing transactions, while the other party pays for neither. Also, remember the golden rule about payments in exchange for services: you should get the total amount of your invoice in your pocket, and not the total amount minus the transaction fee (in many cases, you woud lose more than half of your earnings this way).

Sorry for slightly highjacking this thread - back to the original topic.

All the best!


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