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Several bank transfer charges?
Thread poster: Christine Tubridy

Christine Tubridy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:39
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
Feb 20, 2014

Hello everyone!

My first forum question

I did some work for an agency in December and received nowhere near the amount I invoiced them for. I sent several e-mails asking for an explanation, with no response. Finally when I sent a more firm e-mail yesterday I got a response this morning explaining that my money was transferred through two intermediary banks (US banks, original agency based in S Korea), both of whom charged quite heavy commission rates.

I feel so frustrated because I was totally unaware that my money would be passed around like that and I feel it should have been made clear as I would have accounted for that when originally invoicing the agency. Is this just a live-and-learn experience guys? Is it my fault for not checking a detail like this before invoicing? I guess I didn't think to as any work I have done in the past has never been charged like that! Or do I reserve the right to contest this with the agency at all?

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks so much

Christine


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Siegfried Armbruster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 06:39
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
There might be a solution Feb 20, 2014

Fees can eat up large amounts of your invoice. But there might be a solution for you for future projects - TranslatorsPay

For more info, there is a webinar in the pipeline http://alexandria-translation-resources.com/product/translatorpay/

Just to clarify things, I have no shares in or what so ever with TranslatorsPay, the webinar is free.

Yes there are other options, but what I hear from translators using it, it seems to be a reliable solution costing the translators and the LSPs less compared to PayPal or other solutions.

[Edited at 2014-02-20 14:33 GMT]


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Christine Tubridy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:39
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Feb 20, 2014

This is fantastic, thanks Siegfried. I will definitely be signing up!!

I know I nearly died when I saw my bank statement !

Christine


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Huasha
China
Local time: 12:39
English to Chinese
+ ...
Are there any such terms in the agreement? Feb 20, 2014

Hi Christine,

Sorry to hear that, but are there any terms regarding the transfer fees in the agreement? If so, it's lost forever. If not, you just learned a lesson, it's also good, cheer up
As far as I know, Moneybookers is a good way, and Paypal too, though the fee is a little high.
Also Siegfried, many people have recommended translatorpay, will have a look.

Leo


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Christine Tubridy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:39
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Feb 20, 2014

Hello Leo

Thanks for the response!! There was no mention at all of any transfer fees, certainly not two!! You're right though, roll with the punches and all that

That's a lot of helpful food for thought, thank you so much!

Christine


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
English to Norwegian
There are several methods Feb 20, 2014

This seems to be marketing for one specific money transfer system (Translator Pay); by all means attend, but there are several other possibilities. For instance PayPal is widely used and this topic has been extensively discussed on proz

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/95524-pay_pal_money_bookers.html
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/113305-paypal_or_moneybookers.html

The solution is easy, and has served me well for years. I have both a MoneyBooker and PayPal account and I use them for small amounts (say up to a couple of hundred USD). They are easy, cheap and quick. For larger amounts I use bank transfer, that takes a couple of days and their charges are small when it comes to larger amounts.

I use this method both for receiving and sending money – and, of course, then I can accommodate if the other party want to use a specific method.
As for this time, you should consider the fees as money spent for education;-)

Regards, Magnus


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 07:39
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
International Bank Transfers Feb 20, 2014

I was once moving a (modest) sum of money from the US to Turkey. My bank in the United States has charged me a fee for the transfer. I was thinking I already paid for the transfer, and I was about to pick up my money in Turkey. Guess what? The bank in Turkey also charged me for the same transfer, which I did not expect at all because I already paid for it in the States. I tried to negotiate with the bank in Turkey, but it did not help at all. The bank told me if I want to pick up the money, I have to pay the fee. So did I. However, I was not happy with this transaction at all.

My feeling is that it always works that way. When a bank experiences a transfer of some money, they actually see this as a great opportunity to MAKE MONEY. There is already a sum of money in the pipeline, they think, here is our opportunity to make money on it. If you happen to be flying for the same route that the money will be transferred, the best course of action is to take the money (in cash perhaps) with you. The risk you take by taking the money in cash is probably less than the risk you take when you make a bank transfer. At least, this is my take on the subject.


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
English to Norwegian
Bank transfer VS Translator Pay Feb 20, 2014

When you transfer via bank, the money can move between several banks, and each will take a fee. Translator Pay promises better possibilities; here are a couple of discussions:

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/248677-translatorpay_publishes_recommendation.html

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/257497-translatorpay_am_having_a_bit_of_a_problem_with_the_withdrawal_of_funds.html

and of course, the story:
http://translatorpay.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/translator-pay-the-inside-story/


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
This is a normal part of doing business internationally Feb 20, 2014

Christine Tubridy wrote:
I got a response this morning explaining that my money was transferred through two intermediary banks (US banks, original agency based in S Korea), both of whom charged quite heavy commission rates.


Yes. If there is no direct relationship between the client's bank and your bank, the money is sent to an intermediary bank that has a relationship with both those banks. Or sometimes the money needs to be passed through two or three intermediary banks to get to you. Every bank charges a fee. And the difficulty is that it is very difficult (practically impossible) to find out exactly what each bank charged. In fact, you often don't know who the intermediary bank is, and it's not always the same bank, so you can never be certain exactly how much will be deducted by the time you get it.

This is a normal part of doing business internationally. You can attempt to reduce the transaction fees by a variety of techniques, as explained elsewhere in this thread.

I feel it should have been made clear as I would have accounted for that when originally invoicing the agency.


The agency is in the same boat as you -- they don't know what will happen to the money either. They tell their bank to pay the money, and then their bank does what it thinks best. They have no control over the route that the money takes after they paid it to their bank. You don't either, if you ever decide to send someone money in another country.

Whether or not it is fair for you to add any such transaction fees to the invoice is a matter that you would have to agree with the client. You can't simply add it as a line item without asking. And besides, you have no way of knowing what the amount will be.



[Edited at 2014-02-20 16:50 GMT]


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Per Magnus  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
English to Norwegian
Split the fees Feb 20, 2014

Samuel Murray wrote:


Whether or not it is fair for you to add any such transaction fees to the invoice is a matter that you would have to agree with the client. You can't simply add it as a line item without asking. And besides, you have no way of knowing what the amount will be.


You explained the process very good, Samuel.

I always split the fees 50/50 with the other part. I think that is reasonable and I have never had problems with that philosophy.


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Christine Tubridy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:39
Member (2013)
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Agreed Feb 20, 2014

I agree. Adding a line to invoice without consulting the client first is not something I would do... Clear and concise is how I roll, even if it's not always the way some other businesses do

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Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 06:39
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Bank fees Feb 21, 2014

Hi Christine,
I was in the same position a few years ago, so looked for a bank with all fees (for sending and receiving transfers) included in the monthly charges.
I now have a postal account with online banking and all fees included here with the Spanish post office (costs €3/month).
This covers all fees at my end.

If a client goes through 1 or 10 banks to send me money that's their business and they should pay the fees. If I invoice 100 bucks, the client sends me 100 bucks (less 20 bucks bank fees) then imo they have not paid my invoice in full because they've only actually paid me 80 bucks, and unless they do pay me in full I won't be working for them again.

Say for example I buy a shirt online
Costs 20 bucks
I send 20 bucks, the banks deducts 5 for the transfer
Will the shirt seller send me my shirt?
Nope, because I haven't paid for it


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 06:39
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Jo Feb 21, 2014

Jo Macdonald wrote:
I was in the same position a few years ago, so looked for a bank with all fees (for sending and receiving transfers) included in the monthly charges.


I think Christine's problem is not the fees of her own bank or the fees of her client's bank, but the fees of the banks that sit between her bank and the client's bank. Neither bank has any control over those fees (unless you can find a bank that allows you to specify which intermediary they should use), and they can't include those fees into your monthly fees because they have no way of knowing what those fees will be.


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:39
French to English
Fees, and intermediary fees Feb 21, 2014

There are bank fees for sending and receiving transfers. These fees are known ahead of time. In my experience, generally the sending party will bear the cost of sending fees, and the receiving party bears the fees on their end. These fees are determined by each party's own bank.

Then, there are those pesky intermediary bank fees, that neither party controls. I found an interesting FAQ that I am pasting below, you might want to considering negotiating in the future with your clients that bank transfers have to be sent on an "OUR" basis.

http://www.experts123.com/q/what-is-the-difference-between-swift-charging-codes-sha-our-and-ben.html

"SHA – all correspondent bank transfer fees are shared between the ordering customer and the beneficiary customer. The ordering customer only pays Loyal Bank’s standard fee. Most SWIFT wire transfers are sent with charges SHA. OUR - all correspondent bank transfer fees are paid by the ordering customer including any fees charged by any foreign bank. With charges OUR the beneficiary receives the exact amount sent by the ordering customer although the beneficiary’s bank might still make a charge for receiving the funds. The sender will have to pay 0.375% min. USD 61.00 (or currency equivalent) max. USD 422.50 (or currency equivalent) for an OUR wire transfer. BEN - all bank fees are paid by the beneficiary customer by a deduction from the amount of the transfer except for Loyal Bank’s standard fee which is paid by the ordering customer. Loyal Bank has no control over the amounts that foreign banks might deduct and senders should agree with the beneficiary that the beneficiary pays these ..."


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Cathy Flick  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:39
Member (2004)
Russian to English
+ ...
my clients pay their own bank fees Feb 28, 2014

I've never understood the idea of letting bankers deduct fees from my invoice. I tell all clients that they are responsible for their own bank fees, and my full invoice must reach my bank account without any deductions by intermediary bankers. If they forget, I re-invoice for the missing amount. If they persist in "forgetting", I add the fee to my next invoice… If they want to pay via PayPal, I add the fee PayPal charges me to receive the funds to my invoice. (PayPal is just another banker.) If they need to pay me in advance (e.g., new client without recommendations, an individual, or a known deadbeat/slow payer), I include the cost of the transfer in my advance fee. Sometimes I have to be like a dog with a bone, but I've been burned too often by being nice about "forgetful" accountants. I give non-US clients the same rate as US clients, which is possible only if they pay me the full amount invoiced without all this bank fee deductions nonsense.

Really, it's ridiculous. Can anyone imagine buying anything else and not paying the full selling price, telling the seller that you deducted your bank fees from the agreed-upon price?!? No vendor would accept that. They would laugh in your face and send a bill collector after you.


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