Options for international payments
Thread poster: Kathryn Malan

Kathryn Malan  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 09:31
French to English
Dec 1, 2010

I am just starting out as a translator and want to ask: what is the best/easiest/most popular method of payment for clients paying you for work done? How do you normally require your clients to pay you, and do you offer more than one option for this?

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Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 04:31
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
My replies Dec 2, 2010

>what is the best

The cheapest and safest way
>/easiest/

e-payment
>most popular method of payment

PayPal? Or bank transfer?
>How do you normally require your clients to pay you, and do you offer more than one option for this?

For small amount: Moneybookers [no fee to me] or PayPal [a bit of fee to me]. I negotiate for payment methods/terms and payer of bank fee etc.

Soonthon Lupkitaro


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:31
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It depends Dec 2, 2010

So much depends on your own country's banking facilities and your clients - where they live things may be very different.

Obviously, you should offer as many payment possibilities as possible. But push for the one(s) that you prefer (ie quicker, cheaper). In my case that means a real preference for wire transfers from all European clients, with a supplement if they insist on using PayPal. But for clients in America, India, Syria I have accepted PayPal quite happily with no particular supplement (but of course I knew where they lived when I quoted so it wasn't a nasty surprise).

Be very sure to agree with a new cleint about who pays what, even for a very small job. Otherwise an unscrupulous client can land you with their fees as well as your own.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 18:31
English to Portuguese
+ ...
It varies a lot from country to country Dec 2, 2010

You should be aware that your client won't know what expenses/deductions you'll have on your side after they've sent you the money. Likewise, you seldom know what expenses they have on the sending end. Furthermore, these things change from time to time.

I'll illustrate with two cases in Brazil, irrelevant to you, however they show how money 'leaks' out of the international payment systems on the way, and how things change over time.

1. PayPal

How it was before:
The amount anyone sent to my PayPal account was deducted by almost 4% upon arrival. The best way to transfer it to Brazil was Xoom. They used charge some additional 4% from the sender (me), and the money hit my bank account on the next banking day (sometimes on the same day). Exchange rate is some 2% lower than market.

How it is now:
PayPal has set up operations in Brazil, so Xoom has burnt the bridges with them. The amount anyone sent to my PayPal account was deducted by almost 4% upon arrival. If I request they transfer the funds to my bank account in Brazil, there are no fees if the amount is above a certain minimum, however their exchange rate is 5% lower than market. Yet it takes 3-5 banking days before the funds are credited to my account.

It is worth considering that if the client is not PayPal-verified, and pays from a bank account using an eCheck, there is an additional 3-5 banking days delay. This means that it is possible that I'll receive the money 5+5=10 banking days (i.e. two weeks at least) after the client has paid me.


2. SWIFT bank transfer

How it was before:
My bank (Itau Personnalite) used to charge an ~USD 80 fee to process receiving such a transfer, per transaction, regardless of the amount involved. Standard market exchange rates, funds being credited to my account 2 banking days after receipt.

Once a client was about to send me such a transfer for USD 55, a pending balance to my credit. My account manager confirmed my suspicion; she told me to halt it if I could, otherwise, upon arrival, my account would be charged USD 25, and I wouldn't get one red cent for my work!

How it is now:
The bank has recently lowered that fee to under USD 25, everything else remanining unchanged.


So, not only you'll have to find out what works in your country (e.g. Moneybookers doesn't work for Brazil), but also keep track of changes that occur from time to time. Stay tuned!

[Edited at 2010-12-02 11:52 GMT]


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Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Member
Dutch to German
+ ...
Account in your clients' area Dec 2, 2010

Maybe you should also consider getting a bank account in countries where you have several clients. For example: it never hurts having an account in the Euro zone, although the (im)possibility of getting one without residing there varies from country to country. Bank transfers within the Euro zone are free and you could access your money through ATMs in NZ.

Some North American clients insist on paying me by check. If this is the form of payment you might expect at some point, you should check with your bank how much they will charge you to cash them. Luckily enough, I now live in a country where they do that for free, but in Europe, the charge was about 30 USD.


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Kathryn Malan  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 09:31
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Dec 8, 2010

Thanks everyone! That is really heplful.

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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:31
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
PayPal Mass Payments Dec 8, 2010

PayPal offers an option that is even more cost-effective than eCheck: mass payments.

Mass Payment allows anyone with a Premier or Business account to send multiple payments instantly—saving time, money and the hassle of having to individually send funds to every payment recipient.

...

Competitive pricing

A low fee of 2.0% of the payment amount with a cap of $1.00 USD (or its equivalent in the payment currency) is assessed on each payment made with Mass Payment.


See more details at https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_batch-payment-overview-outside (and in the tabls listed on the left-hand side).


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Vie007
Local time: 14:31
Vietnamese to English
+ ...
Personal Transfer using PayPal Dec 20, 2010

The PayPal webpage below reads "Free when the money comes from PayPal balance or bank account. Or, 2.9% + $0.30 USD when the money comes from a debit or credit card or PayPal Credit"

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-fees-outside

How true is it ? Anyone knows ?


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Paula Gordon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:31
Bosnian to English
+ ...
Yes: PayPal transfer is Free when the money comes from PayPal balance or bank account Dec 24, 2010

I received payments this way from a client, and neither of us were charged. This was over a period of about 18 months in 2005-2006.
Paula

Vie007 wrote:

The PayPal webpage below reads "Free when the money comes from PayPal balance or bank account. Or, 2.9% + $0.30 USD when the money comes from a debit or credit card or PayPal Credit"

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-fees-outside

How true is it ? Anyone knows ?



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