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Using paypal for payments from a US customer. Better to open a USD account?
Thread poster: Jason Willis-Lee

Jason Willis-Lee  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:42
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 16, 2013

Hi,

I have a regular customer in Los Angeles, USA and I currently use paypal to receive payments and obviate complications with translatlantic transfers. I am based in Madrid, Spain. As users will already know, Paypal takes a commission based on the amount of each transfer.

I am currently considering enquiring with one of the banks I work with in Spain over the possibility of opening a USD account with them specifically to receive transfers from this customer.

I was wondering if anyone is or has been in a similar position and had any useful tips or advice to offer. In principle, I have ruled out invoicing every two months or quarterly due to the way the paypal commission is charged.

TIA,
Jason.


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 14:42
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
US Aug 16, 2013

As far as I know, the US transaction fees only applies for bank accounts within the US. So you are still paying the international rate even if you are using a USD account.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
PayPal USD stream? Aug 16, 2013

I don't have much call for it at present but my PayPal account has two balances: one in my local currency (EUR) and another in USD. When I receive payments in USD, they are automatically placed in the USD stream i.e. they aren't converted at all. When I get paid in AUD or some other 'third' currency, they DO get converted into EUR - I try to avoid that although it's only an occasional problem for me.

There are a lot of things on the internet that I, for one reason or another, would quite like to buy and that are priced in USD. When I pay by PayPal, I can use my USD balance - no currency conversion needs to be done. Alternatively, I wait for a time when the exchange rate is favourable before crediting my EUR bank account with the USD balance. I lose, but not nearly as much.


 

JanaB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:42
English to German
International bank transfer Aug 16, 2013

Does your customer pay several invoices in one transaction? If so, I suggest an international bank transfer.

The US based customers I work for send payments via international bank transfer. There is a fee per transaction, but it's significantly less than the ridiculously high fees Paypal charges. The total invoice amount is sent in USD and it comes right into my bank account in Euros at the current exchange rate.

I don't know if this is also possible in Spain.(?)


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:42
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Wire transfer to Spain is possible Aug 16, 2013

JanaB wrote:
I don't know if this is also possible in Spain.(?)

My Spanish bank accepts all currencies, which it converts into EUR at a reasonable rate, with no commission. I know the client pays, but I don't. It's why I'm not using my USD balance at PayPal at the moment. But it pays to be flexible and not all US clients are happy to pay via the bank system as it can be complicated for them.


 

Tina Vonhof
Canada
Local time: 00:42
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Some things to be aware of Aug 16, 2013

It works ok for smaller amounts. PayPal charges an extra percentage (over and above the exchange rate) if you want to convert to another currency. So, the larger the amount, the larger the fee.

Downloading US dollars to a US dollar account is possible only if you have a bank account in the US.


 

Edward Potter  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:42
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
PayPal alternatives? Aug 17, 2013

Does anyone have a good alternative to PayPal? I find their fees to be extremely high.

I really like Skrill/Moneybookers, which charges less than a euro per transaction, but it seems not so many people use this service.

Are there any good alternatives to PayPal out there?


 

Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:42
English to Polish
+ ...
Back to stuffing banknotes between post cards, I guess Aug 17, 2013

icon_wink.gif

 

Sarah McDowell  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 01:42
Russian to English
+ ...
Maybe Translatorpay Aug 17, 2013

Edward Potter wrote:

Does anyone have a good alternative to PayPal? I find their fees to be extremely high.

I really like Skrill/Moneybookers, which charges less than a euro per transaction, but it seems not so many people use this service.

Are there any good alternatives to PayPal out there?


Dear Edward,

I am also not happy with the fees that PayPal charges but so far have found no good alternative.

I have read about something called Translatorpay but unfortunately it doesn't work for all countries.

If the transaction amount is quite large, bank transfers can be a better option.

Sarah


 

yongzhou
Local time: 14:42
Chinese to English
+ ...
Top Paypal Alternatives Aug 18, 2013

http://www.techtoucan.com/paypal-alternatives-29996

I do feel robded being paid via Paypal as a translator.
One agency even charges $10 from the translator for Paypal processing.
And then, Paypal charges you 2.9%+US$0.3.
Then again if you need to convert to your currency and tranfer to a local bank,
the coversion rate is not favorable at all, almost cutting you back by another 1%.

[Edited at 2013-08-18 12:14 GMT]


 

Denyce Seow  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 14:42
Member (2004)
Chinese to English
Paypal upped its fees Aug 21, 2013

Just got an email from Paypal saying that the fee for receiving payments will be upped from 3.9% to 4.4%. That's a big jump. Paypal's fees and exchange rates are ridiculous. I am also looking around for alternatives to Paypal. Skrill seems to be quite a good one, but not many clients use it. I wonder why. My other alternatives are bank transfer and cheque.

 

Josephine Cassar  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:42
Member (2012)
Italian to English
+ ...
I really like Skrill/Moneybookers, which charges less than a euro per transaction, but it seems not Sep 14, 2013

Hi, all; I joined Moneybookers and you have to provide an address which has to be verified -they send you a letter, which, they claim, should arrive within 2-6 working days. Well, my letter did not arrive-now almost 8 working days, and I sent an email twice-the first one after 4 days. I got an automatic reply to say they are busy and will be answering, but no reply to date. I always receive goods, especially books very quickly, sometimes, within less than a week.
They have a disclaimer which says they are not responsible if letter does not arrive. I thought their service, because of the response, was very bad and does not encourage me to continue using their service. However, when they noticed I had not accessed Skrill for some time, they immediately notified me and stated that help was available. PayPal is exorbitant, even when someone pays you in € and your account is in €, they still deduct a % and another % to transfer to credit card. It seems there are new legal changes soon as I received an email. Thank you for any help, as I wonder if any of you had similar experiences.


 

ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 09:42
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
The Patriot Act Sep 15, 2013

I know that after nine eleven, they made it very difficult for foreigners to open a US bank account. Before that, it used to be very easy for anyone to open a US bank account. Not anymore. There is now what is called the Patriot Act, which covers the strict requirements for foreigners. If you like, you can google the Patriot Act to find out more. However, it may still be possible to open an account through Internet only banks. I am not sure.

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/153187-how_to_open_a_us_bank_account_for_non_residents_to_solve_paypal_problems.html

http://www.ask.com/question/us-bank-account-for-non-us-residents


 

Marius Reika  Identity Verified
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Xoom.com Sep 16, 2013

https://www.xoom.com/spain supports payments to Spain from the US. I used it, works like a charm and no ridiculous transfer fees to your client – tell him/her about it.

This method was already mentioned by other users, the problem is that not so many European countries are supported.


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:42
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Ask FIRST if the client will do bank transfers Sep 16, 2013

Jason Willis-Lee wrote:
I am currently considering enquiring with one of the banks I work with in Spain over the possibility of opening a USD account with them specifically to receive transfers from this customer.


Several issues come to mind:

1. US clients are notoriously unwilling to use bank transfers to transfer money (I'm told that it is a very expensive option for them). So make sure your client would be willing to use the bank transfer method before you go through the trouble of opening such an account. Make sure the client really knows what his transaction fees will be.

2. Can you use dollars in Spain (e.g. at shops)? If not, then what would the point be to have a bank account in USD in Spain? Bank transfers between countries do not require both bank accounts to be in the same currency -- if your bank account is in EUR and you receive USD, then your bank will simply convert it to EUR at their usual exchange rate (and where I'm from, banks typically give the best exchange rates anyway).

As users will already know, Paypal takes a commission based on the amount of each transfer.


Yes. This is also something that one has to tell US clients, because PayPal transactions that cost money outside the US are free inside the US. A person can send money inside the US via PayPal using a credit card, and it doesn't have to cost the sender anything, but sending money to Spain via PayPal using a credit card will cost the recipient 4% of his money. And sending money inside the US using a PayPal balance (or using a bank transfer) is always free, but sending it to Spain will cost the recipient 2% of his money.


 
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