How does PayPal work?
Thread poster: maryblack

maryblack  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:27
Member (2013)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Feb 4, 2015

A few years ago I moved from Spain to the U.S., but since all my clients are still in Spain I have left open my accounts there for my clients' convenience. The problem is that with ever-changing bank ownership and provincial procedures (I can no longer make an international transfer) it is sometimes actually difficult to access the money I live on... and I pay exorbitant fees to do so.
I'm thinking of switching to PayPal and wanted to know about their fees, how it works internationally, whether there is a delay in deposits and having those funds available, clients' willingness to use PayPal...and any other insights. Thanks!!!


Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:27
Member (2007)
+ ...
Have you checked? Feb 4, 2015

I'm sorry, I know it's both unhelpful and a bit rude, but research skills are second nature to a translator, and most of the answers are available on the PayPal website.

Clients are very often more than happy to use PayPal. It costs them nothing, but it costs us something to receive their payment. So I'm happy to accept it from non-EU clients, at least for smallish amounts, but I almost never accept it from EU clients. What I do like about it is the way you can keep several streams i.e. a balance in more than one currency. I never leave more than a couple of hundred euros or dollars there, but it is handy to have both available for on-line purchases. I'm sure if I was canny I could make money (or at least recoup costs) by playing the exchange rate game. But I'm not - I just appreciate the convenience. One drawback is, I believe, beyond PayPal's own control: if you move country, you have to close your account and open another in the new country, otherwise you can't link a bank account to it.

Can't your Spanish clients transfer money into a US bank account? Or are US banks not really geared up to accept transfers? I am at last getting paid by wire transfer from one US client so it looks as though they are being introduced there now.

I'd also recommend that you look for some local clients to diversify your client base and get into a new market, but that's up to you, of course. I believe there's a lot of work over there between Spanish and English, and they might pay better rates (and in the best currency for you).


Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Money transfer companies Feb 4, 2015

I would have a look at using a money transfer company such as Transferwise or HiFX. There are plenty of them. Transferwise is transparent about fees and commissions and reasonably priced, contrary to many others. Watch out for the exchange rate which is where many banks and transfer companies scrape off 3% to 4% without telling you. Compare with a neutral reference rate such as the daily reference rate published on .

Paypal is very expensive, and thousands of people have reported horror stories about them on . Paypal isn't really designed for transferring money between your own accounts anyway. They can be handy for being paid modest amounts from clients outside your own currency area, though.

Be sure to comply with all the new FATCA requirements for foreign accounts. Penalties for non-compliance can be heavy.


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How does PayPal work?

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