PayPal vs. Western Union
Thread poster: Eyob Fitwi

Eyob Fitwi  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
Member (2013)
English to Amharic
+ ...
Aug 24, 2010

I live in Ethiopia, and here I can the financial system is fairly 'traditional'; meaning you don't find internet-based online transaction services like PayPal and the like. I'm new to this online translation business and I have been trying to get clients for translation jobs for a while. Once I found one from India but it didn't work out because they insisted on using PayPal and that Western Union didn't work in India. From where I am, we can use only traditinal-like bank transfers like Western Union, Moneygram, direct bank correspondence or other similar ways.

What I want to know is am I really over my head, being left out in the game if I can't use online payment services? Or are there clients who are willing to use these method of payments (can I still float in the business)? I'd really appreciate it if you share your experiences with me.

I'd also appreciate it if you have tips for me as a beginner in this online translation business.


Local time: 15:57
Member (2003)
English to Danish
+ ...
PayPal free for the sender Aug 24, 2010

That's why some clients would prefer paying via PayPal.

However, you would lose out on the exchange rate and a fee collected by PayPal, when you want to withdraw your funds from PayPal. The latter is the reason why I never accept larger payments via PayPal - the fees for transactions above around Euro 100 would vastly exceed those of my bank's usual costs.

Western Union also get paid by offering you very low exchange rates when you receive the funds, so be aware of this when accepting this payment form.

All of my clients outside of the US always pay via ordinary bank transfer, and my US clients pay via cashier's check. No problem there.

Good luck.


José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:57
English to Portuguese
+ ...
P2P (person-to-person) vs B2P (business-to-person) Aug 24, 2010

PayPal serves both individuals and businesses sending money.

Western Union, Ikobo, Moneygram, and several others are intended for individuals sending money to other individuals. If your client is a private individual, they will be okay. For a firm to use them, the only sensible way would be for the PM to receive your payment in cash, and sending it to you.

Revupcard seems to be the B2P version of Ikobo, but I haven't been able to find anyone who ever used it.

IMHO Xoom serves both, but so far I haven't been successful in convincing any translation agency of this.

Wire transfers serve both, of course, however they may be costly at the receiving end.


Eyob Fitwi  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
Member (2013)
English to Amharic
+ ...
Thank you Aug 26, 2010

Thank you guys for sharing some insight.


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PayPal vs. Western Union

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