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Seeking alternatives to Paypal
Thread poster: Ruth Braine

Ruth Braine  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Arabic to English
Nov 16, 2009

I am currently having a huge row with Paypal - they have 'reversed' a payment made to me from a client, and are charging me transaction fees for the reversal process. The client did not initiate this, and has no idea why they have done it. I have not been able to get an explanation from Paypal.

This has made me look around on the internet for more info on Paypal, and I am worried by the horror stories I have come across. I would really like to avoid using them in the future. However, without paying expensive bank charges, I am not sure how else to accept payments from abroad, particularly the States (I am based in the UK). Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!


 

Tiến Anh Lê  Identity Verified
Vietnam
Local time: 08:46
Member (2007)
English to Vietnamese
+ ...
Moneybookers Nov 16, 2009

Ruth Braine wrote:

I am currently having a huge row with Paypal - they have 'reversed' a payment made to me from a client, and are charging me transaction fees for the reversal process. The client did not initiate this, and has no idea why they have done it. I have not been able to get an explanation from Paypal.

This has made me look around on the internet for more info on Paypal, and I am worried by the horror stories I have come across. I would really like to avoid using them in the future. However, without paying expensive bank charges, I am not sure how else to accept payments from abroad, particularly the States (I am based in the UK). Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!


You should definitely try Moneybookers: https://www.moneybookers.com/app/?rid=4813582


 

Daniel Šebesta  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 03:46
Member (2007)
English to Czech
+ ...
Moneybookers for the U.S. Nov 16, 2009

smiles wrote:
You should definitely try Moneybookers: https://www.moneybookers.com/app/?rid=4813582


That's my favorite option too but it's quite useless for payments from the U.S. As far as I know, Moneybookers doesn't open accounts for users based in the U.S.

I would suggest opening a bank account in the U.S. while visiting the country and using Moneybookers for other countries.


 

Ines Burrell  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2004)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Careful with Moneybookers Nov 16, 2009

They have some practices very similar to Paypal's. If one of clients you received a payment from has bought something from a possibly shady site and paid by Moneybookers, they would block this client's account and all accounts this client has sent money to as well. On the plus side they do not steal your money as Paypal does and they are cheaper, as far as I remember - I have not used them or Paypal for several years now because both of them blocked my accounts without any reason or explanation, on top of that Paypal kept my thousand pounds for 6 months, again no explanation.

Ines


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Payment Nov 16, 2009

Ruth Braine wrote:

without paying expensive bank charges, I am not sure how else to accept payments from abroad, particularly the States (I am based in the UK). Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks!


Ruth, I'm sorry to hear this and it's another nail in the coffin for PayPal, which I have stopped using. Instead, I just ask my clients to pay me by bank draft. I agree, bank charges here in the UK are iniquitous (but they're worse in some other countries) but at least a bank transfer is reliable.

If you investigate the charges you UK bank makes for foreign transfers, you may find that there is a fixed charge regardless of the amount.

This is different from PayPal (and MoneyBookers) which charge a percentage - so the more you are transferring the more they take !

You may also be interested in this thread about the nefarious practices of PayPal:

http://www.proz.com/forum/being_independent/147692-paypals_bait_and_switch_technique_be_aware.html

[Edited at 2009-11-16 09:57 GMT]


 

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Western Union Nov 16, 2009

On two occasions I have been piad by a client in the USA by means of a Western Union cash transfer. Western Union is well represented in the UK, mostly in travel agency branches. I found one within two miles of where I live.

 

Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 04:46
Turkish to English
+ ...
Hidden cost Nov 16, 2009

Jack Doughty wrote:

On two occasions I have been piad by a client in the USA by means of a Western Union cash transfer. Western Union is well represented in the UK, mostly in travel agency branches. I found one within two miles of where I live.


Western Union is very speedy. Watch out, though, because there is a hidden cost. They apply their own unfavourable exchange rate on top of their visible charge.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Western Union Nov 16, 2009

Tim Drayton wrote:

Western Union is very speedy. Watch out, though, because there is a hidden cost. They apply their own unfavourable exchange rate on top of their visible charge.


Yes, and there are all sorts of hidden Terms and Conditions, such as having to physically go to their office with documents that identify you, etc.

A close looks at the Western Union UK website would be advisable before you go down this route.


 

Elene P.  Identity Verified
Georgia
Local time: 05:46
Member (2007)
Georgian to English
+ ...
similar to Western Union Nov 16, 2009

but cheaper are Moneygram and Unistream

 

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Flemish to English
+ ...
USPS Nov 16, 2009

There is such a thing as an "international postal money order". Slower than paypal and Western Union, but not so costly and very effective.

 

Dr. Andrew Frankland  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:46
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
An online bank account Nov 16, 2009

I have an online account with ING Direct and they charge no commission whatsoever for receiving payments. I then transfer the money to my "normal" account, i.e. the one where all my direct debits are, when needed, again with no commission. Although I live and work in Spain, I assume the situation re commissions is likely to be the same for you.

Andy


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 22:46
English to Portuguese
+ ...
More options Nov 16, 2009

Check these out:

http://www.ikobo.com
http://www.revupcard.com

While I used Ikobo a couple of years ago and was quite satisfied with it, I have been unable so far to find a living (or dead) soul who ever used Revupcard. They are quite similar, Ikobo using VisaPlus, and Revupcard using MasterCard.

[Edited at 2009-11-16 10:51 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
The ineluctable fact Nov 16, 2009

The ineluctable fact is that anyone who carries out a money transaction for you is going to charge you something for it, both on the transaction and on the currency exchange.

I have found one "price comparison" website where all these money changers are listed and compared, but it probably isn't independent and may be taking payment from the money changers it lists. By a strange coincidenceicon_smile.gif it doesn't list any advantages or disadvantages for PayPal.

http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/160563/banking/money_transfer_centres_comparison.html

THere are probably other, better ones. Does anyone know of a *reliable* and *genuinely independent* one?

[Edited at 2009-11-16 10:59 GMT]


 

Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:46
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
why not a foreign currency bank account? Nov 16, 2009

Many banks in the UK now offer no-fee bank accounts in foreign currency (Barclays, Citibank...).
This means that you take fees and fluctuations in the exchange rate out of the equation (if you also have a sterling account with the same bank), as well as all the risks associated with alternative payment methods.
Because your payments come from the US, Citibank might be a good solution as your clients may be already banking with them...

http://www.citibank.co.uk/personal/banking/international/eurocurrent.htm?merchant=citi


 
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