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Which is the safest payment method?
Thread poster: Hugo Martínez Andrade

Hugo Martínez Andrade  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
French to Spanish
+ ...
May 28, 2012

Hello everybody,

My question is simple: do you accept payments via Paypal? Is it safe? Which is the safest method in order to be paid avoiding being swindled?

Thank you!


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Swindle May 28, 2012

Hugo Martínez Andrade wrote:

Hello everybody,

My question is simple: do you accept payments via Paypal? Is it safe? Which is the safest method in order to be paid avoiding being swindled?

Thank you!


Basically all international money transactions are a "swindle" in the sense that whoever handles the transation has to make money off it. So you need to look closely at how much they're taking for each transaction ,what exchange rates they apply for changing from one currency to another, and what terms and conditions are attached to using their service.

In the case of PayPal, which I stopped using some time ago and closed my account, the more money you receive the more they take off it before paying you. I consider that grossly unfair since the actual cost of the transaction is the same no matter what the amount is.

I've also heard that PayPal can suddenly block your account without warning, obliging you to then embark on a complex and highly bureaucratic series of procedures that can take a long time, which is why you should never leave any money in your PayPal account (thus largely defeating the purpose of having an account with them in the first place).

Anyway if you ultimately want to have your money not in PayPal but in your bank account, you have to carry out a second transaction yourself, which is a tedious and time-consuming thing to have to do.

Something the same can be said of Moneybookers.

Having tried both of these services and disliked them (and having found out how problematic it is to just close one's account and have all of one's personal data wiped from their systems) I reverted to ordinary vanilla-flavour international bank transfers.

I now receive all payments from abroad (usually Italy) from my client's bank to my UK (NatWest) bank. Apart from some deviousness with exchange rates (which you cannot evade no matter what payment system you use) NatWest takes off a fixed fee of GBP 1.00 if the amount if less than GBP 100, and a fixed fee of GBP 10.00 if it's more - which means that I could receive a million £££ and still only pay a fee of GBP 10.00.

Additionally there's a very big accounting advantage: for every individual payment I receive, NatWest then follows up with a letter detailing who paid me, how much, what the exchange rate and bank charges are, and how much I actually received in the end. These letters can be stapled to the invoice to which they refer, which makes my accounts so much clearer to understand.

You don't get any of that with PayPal.


 

Trevor Chichester  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:19
Member (2012)
German to English
+ ...
Welcome to the forum friend! May 28, 2012

PayPal is absolutely safe. In fact, that's my preferred method of payment because it has a built in history/invoicing system that keeps track of all of your pending invoices as well as when company x,y or z is due to pay you. There is a tiny fee associated with PayPal but, in my opinion it's totally worth it.

You can also do direct deposit into your bank account, it's equally as convenient but for my bank at least the fees are much higher.


Those are my two preferred methods of payment.


In terms of "not getting swindled" well, I highly HIGHLY recommend using the blue boards on this website. Simply research the company that has offered you a translation BEFORE you accept ANY work. If they have mostly positive feedback then by all means go ahead and start work. If their ratings are really low with lots of complaints don't even think about accepting work from them. When I was a young lad and was starting out translating, I learned the hard way and never received payment. Two years later out of curiosity I checked the blue boards here and found that they had and still do have a 1 rating.


Do your research and you'll usually be paid on time!


Cheers,

Trevor


[Edited at 2012-05-31 01:23 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:19
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Blue Board May 28, 2012

Trevor Chichester wrote:

I highly HIGHLY recommend using the blue boards



Well- maybe, so long as you keep a tub of salt by your workstation and occasionally dip your fingers in it icon_smile.gif

NEVER begin any translation job unless you have received written confirmation from the client that your price and delivery date have been accepted, and giving the fiscal address and VAT number of the actual person or entity that will be paying you. (Without that information you will not be able to issue an invoice).

Some agencies will issue you with a Purchase Order that should include these details; others, such as direct 1:1 clients, may not do so. That's why you need to ensure you have all their info before you start.

Finally: always do an excellent job on the translation ! Ultimately it's the quality of your work and your professionalism that will keep you in business - so be professional.

[Edited at 2012-05-28 21:27 GMT]


 

Hugo Martínez Andrade  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks May 28, 2012

Thank you both! Tom, I'm glad you've found a bank that suits you! Let's see if anyone else has some experience with Paypal to share.

 

John Fossey  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 06:19
Member (2008)
French to English
No problems with PayPal. May 29, 2012

I have been using PayPal for years with no issues to speak of. Once or twice they held funds to verify the bonafides of the transaction, but released them after a couple of days.

I also use Moneybookers, which is also a reliable firm, with good personal service - you can actually get them on the phone if necessary.


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:19
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
PayPal/Moneybookers May 29, 2012

PayPal used to take hefty commissions. They now have the free E-check options which is free. The only inconvenience with the free PayPal E-check is that it takes about 3-5 days for the payment to go through.

Moneybookers has also been a good option for me. They have very low transaction fees.


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 18:19
Chinese to English
Sorry to ask, but while I'm here May 29, 2012

It was always my impression that Paypal was taking a lot of my cash, like 5% or more. Is that not the case? Can you tell me about how much you have to pay them?

And in the days of internet banking, what advantage does Paypal offer? I don't really see what convenience/value added it provides.


 

Hugo Martínez Andrade  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Paypal May 29, 2012

I don't know what's the use. But I've seen that some clients ONLY accept paying via Paypal; this is kind of strange since, if they were good payers, they wouldn't mind other means of payment, such as wire transfers. Should I avoid this clients?

 

Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Another aspect to take into account May 29, 2012

Hi Hugo,

In the last post you said you don't know exactly what is the use of it (naturally, apart from the fact that some clients say they need it, if not they won't be able to pay you with another system). I have a Moneybookers account but still did not use it, because I am working for local clients who use bank transfer. But I can tell you one more aspect to take into consideration.

My very first job (since I am a freelancer) came through a ProZ-mail from a not-logged in client. Since I hardly found any information about this private person (no BB records, no Internet-data, almost nothing), naturally I was preoccupied for the issue of payment, even though I had my PO signed by the alleged person. Having that I sent over the translation, when it turned out that there will be a second part of it. This made me very suspicious and I told her that I only will be able to make this second translation if I see the proof of payment. That is what she did, I got a copy of the Internet-made BANK TRANSFER and rushed with it to my bank, to see if this receipt or document is authentic and valid and make sure that I will receive the amount. They told me in the bank that it seems very original and all right, but that they can't guarantee anything because it takes between 3-4 days for the money to arrive on my account and that there are no guarantees. The client naturally did not have that much time to wait for the translation, so after having signed PO and bank transfer info I decided to send over the translation. But I will never get the money, now I now.

After this incident (bad luck with my very first translation) in the first place I opened a PayPal account, but didn't find it very easy to manage myself within their platform. I missed some clear explanations and information, so I cancelled it and opened a Moneybookers account for cases like the one I told you before. I still did not use it, but I understand that if some "remote" client sends me a payment to my Moneybookers account I CAN SEE IT IN THE SAME MOMENT, not after 3 or 4 days, as in case of a bank. I hope this is true, I did not have the chance to check it out yet. But if it is true, this means that BEING FAST is an added value even if they take their share of your money, at least you are sure you have it. So this was one of the reasons for which I opened an account with them.

Best regards,

Agnes


 

Ann Krol  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Member (2008)
Polish to English
+ ...
I confirm May 29, 2012

Hi Hugo,

I use both of them paypal and moneybookers and both are safe. There is only one aspect to be considered - moneybookers has lower commissionsicon_smile.gif

best regards,
Ann


 

Hugo Martínez Andrade  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:19
French to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Paypal/Moneybookers May 29, 2012

Regading comissions, how much are we talking about with Paypal and/or Moneybookers?

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:19
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Horses for courses May 29, 2012

Hi,

I've got both and I use both from time to time. My quotes are always for receiving money in its cheapest form.

For EU clients, that means I expect them to pay by bank transfer - if they insist on payment that's going to cost me money then I add a supplement to the invoice unless they agree to pay very quickly. Simple as that.

For clients in other parts of the world, wire transfer is not necessarily cheap, in fact it can be crazily expensive for both parties. So then I encourage them to pay by other means. For them, the rate I quote is a shade higher (generally speaking they pay in another currency, so I need some insurance against poor exchange rates), so no supplement.

I don't disagree with their rates - they've got a business to run! A bank has a million and one ways to make profits (even though a few are going bankrupt at the moment). I don't think PP and MB do anything much else: if they didn't charge us then they'd go out of business very quickly.

The comment Agnes made about verifying receipt within seconds is very true. It does occasionally happen with wire transfers nowadays, but not always.

Sheila


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:19
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
3.99% May 29, 2012

Phil Hand wrote:

It was always my impression that Paypal was taking a lot of my cash, like 5% or more. Is that not the case? Can you tell me about how much you have to pay them?

And in the days of internet banking, what advantage does Paypal offer? I don't really see what convenience/value added it provides.


plus a very small per transaction charge. This applies to all cross-border transactions and all payments for goods and services. Domestic transfers may be free if funded by a PayPal balance only and "from friends and family", i.e., not commercial transactions. There may be fees to withdraw, depending on the method.

PayPal is convenient for US customers receiving international payments, because incoming bank transfers are still fairly expensive for us (as much as $25-35), and for small and medium payments the PayPal commission tends to be less than that.

Also, PayPal allows multiple currencies. If a customer insists on paying in Euros, e.g., the only option for me is to use PayPal or a similar service, as it is essentially impossible to have a Euro bank account in the US, although some banks might do the conversion to USD before putting it in your account. My own bank does not charge incoming wire fees, but it would simply reject a payment in Euros.

Getting the Euros back out of PayPal is another story entirelyicon_frown.gif( Either pay another hefty commission to PP in the form of a disadvantageous exchange rate to convert to USD, or just wait until you need to buy something in Euros via PayPal.


 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:19
Member
English to French
It's all out there May 29, 2012

As information is most reliable from a first-hand, reliable source, I suggest that the OP browse the Web to know exactly how much he will pay using each online banking option.

A starting point for Paypal:
https://cms.paypal.com/es/cgi-bin/marketingweb?cmd=_render-content&fli=true&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full&locale.x=en_US#8.%20Fees

Philippe


 
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