UK Translator accepting USD payments - Alternatives to Paypal
Thread poster: Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:11
Member (2011)
French to English
+ ...
Sep 8, 2014

Dear all,

I have recently come into some substantial work from a US-based client and they say they only send out payments outside the US via Paypal. I am not regularly paid in dollars (predominantly euros) and I am trying to find alternatives to Paypal. It seems like I have no choice but to accept payments into Paypal (thus losing money) then I have to either accept the bank rates to convert into Sterling (again, losing money to Paypal in order to send the money) or open up a foreign currency bank account with a monthly charge attached, send money from Paypal to this account (again, losing money) then using a FX service for a better conversion rate.

Am I over-thinking this? Or am I overlooking something really obvious? I accept the fact I'll lose some of the payment along the way, but I'm just trying to minimise my losses. Do any of you have any experience with this kind of situation?

Thanks a bunch!


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:11
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
There's a bit I don't understand Sep 8, 2014

Christopher Smith wrote:
It seems like I have no choice but to accept payments into Paypal (thus losing money) then I have to either accept the bank rates to convert into Sterling (again, losing money to Paypal in order to send the money) or open up a foreign currency bank account with a monthly charge attached, send money from Paypal to this account (again, losing money) then using a FX service for a better conversion rate.

You're saying you have to convert twice? Or at least pay twice? AFAIK, you have two options with PayPal and bank accounts where there's a currency change needed.
A. You accept the money into PayPal in the client's currency (i.e. USD), keeping the money in USD. At that point you pay the standard commission for accepting the payment - I pay about €3 flat rate+about 3% I think (not sure exactly) - but there's no conversion so that's "all" you pay. Then when you transfer the USD to your GBP bank account you get whatever the current conversion rate is. Would that be PayPal's conversion rate or the bank's? I don't know.
B. You accept the money into PayPal in your currency (i.e. GBP). You pay the standard commission for accepting the payment and the rest is converted at PayPal's current rate into GBP. When you ask PayPal to transfer the GBP to your GBP bank account, that's done for free (neither PayPal or your bank charge for that, AFAIK.)

I don't know about using a foreign currency bank account but if there's a monthly charge to administer it then it probably isn't worth it. But PayPal shouldn't charge a cent to transfer your USD balance to a USD bank account.

You will always pay one PayPal commission. Plus the money will be involved in one USD > GBP currency conversion at some stage. Whether you gain or lose on the conversion depends on what has happened to the two currencies since you first set the rate for the job. Even if you earn exactly $100 per month, you'll find you get a different number of GBP in your bank account every time, no matter which route you choose. Nothing can ever get around that one. But you could find that the amount goes up each month for a while.


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ferreirac  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:11
Member (2013)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
US account Sep 8, 2014

If you are ATA's member, you can open a banking account in the OAS Federal Credit Union, an American cooperative that operates similarly to a regular bank. In this case, your client could just transfer the money to your US account.

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Seth Phillips  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 09:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes - try OAS Federal Credit Union Sep 9, 2014

ferreirac wrote:

If you are ATA's member, you can open a banking account in the OAS Federal Credit Union, an American cooperative that operates similarly to a regular bank. In this case, your client could just transfer the money to your US account.


After becoming an ATA member I actually was able to open an account it while outside of US, so I'd definitely give OAS a try if you are an ATA member.

[Edited at 2014-09-09 09:18 GMT]


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