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Client's banks fees debited to you
Thread poster: Rosanna Casamassima

Rosanna Casamassima  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Feb 11, 2015

Hello everybody,
I was just wondering if it has ever happened to you to have to pay your client's bank fees for an international wire (from USA 30$ or from India 54$ for instance). The payment of their fees (besides your bank's fees naturally) is becoming a trend or at least this is my experience lately.
Any comment is welcome,
Rosanna


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Nicole Coesel  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2012)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Yup, it happens ... Feb 11, 2015

And I also got severely burned by those fees.

So in oder to protect myself ... sorry for having to say so, I do not deal with any customers located in North America nor India, unless payment and any and all associated costs are discussed and cleared before accepting any work whatsoever.

That would be very hard to obtain, yet not impossible!!

So please do not let this message discourage you in any way, shape or form. Just beware.

Take care and all the best,
Nicole.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:28
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Invoice the amount Feb 11, 2015

It has never happened to me. I think it can only happen once per every client. In other words, you can only pay a certain client's bank fees once. After that, you should add that specific amount to your invoice (e.g. $30. for US, $54. for India, etc).

If you have to pay a client's bank fees once, it is not your fault. However, if you pay that same amount for the second time, it is definitely your fault. You are the one who determines how much your client owes you by sending an invoice.


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Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 11:28
English to Russian
+ ...
It depends, but I don't see any trend Feb 11, 2015

My biggest client is based in the US and charges me $20 for a bank transfer, but this isn't really an amount to dicker about on a $5000 invoice. They would charge nothing to pay by Paypal, but Paypal itself would charge a $170 cross-border fee on that amount. On the other hand, if the invoice amount is e.g. $100 and the client doesn't cover the transfer fee, I can accept Paypal and spend that money in web shops directly from my Paypal account.

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philgoddard
United States
German to English
+ ...
They are ripping you off. Feb 12, 2015

You don't pay their rent or electricity bills, so why should you pay their bank charges?

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Quite understandable Feb 12, 2015

Rosanna Casamassima wrote:
I was just wondering if it has ever happened to you to have to pay your client's bank fees for an international wire (from USA 30$ or from India 54$ for instance).


It is understandable that a client will favour a payment method that costs them as little as possible, so if the method that is cheaper for you is not cheaper for them, it is natural that they might want you to share the costs. You can choose to insist that they pay the fees (and risk losing the client). Or you can look into alternative payment methods that save money for both parties (e.g. PayPal).

I agree, however, that it is normal and accepted for the person who *sends* the money to pay for all of the fees associated with the transfer on his side, so that the amount of money being sent is the actual amount on the invoice.


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Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
They are taking the mick Feb 12, 2015

philgoddard wrote:

You don't pay their rent or electricity bills, so why should you pay their bank charges?


Quite so. They chose to use a foreign supplier, so the extra bank charges are their lookout.

Samuel Murray wrote:

it is normal and accepted for the person who *sends* the money to pay for all of the fees associated with the transfer on his side, so that the amount of money being sent is the actual amount on the invoice.


I'd say the amount *received* should be the amount on the invoice!

Trouble is, the bigger the company, the more inflexible their procedures. Easiest solution is often just to charge them that much more next time.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Just add them to the price! Feb 12, 2015

I understand some of the clients who do it. They need to assign every expense to a project, so they can bill the end-client properly. If one project involves, say, four vendors (e.g. translator, reviewer, DTP operator, DTP proofreader), they'll spend 4x the bank fees, in comparison to another one just involving one translator.

At the end of the month, their bank statement will show something like:
Debit 83 wire transfers sent @ $20.00 ea. ............... ($1,660.00)
... and they'll have a hard time keeping track of and assigning each such individual charge (cost) to the right PM, who will then assign it to the proper project.

So it's just a matter of negotiating it beforehand, knowing the amount, and embedding it in our price.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 11:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
@Chris Feb 12, 2015

Chris S wrote:
Samuel Murray wrote:
...so that the amount of money being sent is the actual amount on the invoice.

I'd say the amount *received* should be the amount on the invoice!


That is only possible if the sender and receiver are in the same country and use the same bank and the money is sent in the same currency as it is received. For transfers across borders, money is often lost due to the transaction fees of intermediary (aka correspondent) banks, and the sender can't predict how much will be shaved off the money before it reaches the receiver.


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Angie Garbarino  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:28
Member (2003)
French to Italian
+ ...
SEPA Transfers Feb 12, 2015

Samuel Murray wrote:


That is only possible if the sender and receiver are in the same country and use the same bank and the money is sent in the same currency as it is received. For transfers across borders, money is often lost due to the transaction fees of intermediary (aka correspondent) banks, and the sender can't predict how much will be shaved off the money before it reaches the receiver.



With Sepa transfers among eurozone, wire transfers are free... as far as I know.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:28
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
There are more then two sides (parties) to the story (bank wire transfer) Feb 12, 2015

It had been discussed several times (please search the forums) but an international wire often involves 3 types of costs: 1: sending cost, 2: intermediary's cost 3: receiving cost.
The customary (and common sense) thinking is that each party pays on their own end, however, the middle fees are often forgotten, and not part of the negotiation. The receiving party is caught by surprise that the amount is less than expected, and oftentimes the sending party doesn't understand why either, as they paid their fees on their end.
Please search the forum for keywords like "intermediary bank fees" or "SWIFT codes".

Edit:
Here is one of those threads, for example:
http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/181460-bank_fees.html#1592617



[Edited at 2015-02-12 16:31 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:28
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Simple rule Feb 12, 2015

Chris S wrote:
I'd say the amount *received* should be the amount on the invoice!

If your bank, PayPal or the postman takes some fees directly from you, then that's for you to accept (or change the payment method, bank etc). I doubt that many clients would agree to foot that particular bill, and that's why very few of us in Europe will accept cheques from outside our own country (if still used), and certainly not USD cheques. But clients MUST send every cent of what's in the invoice. Why on earth should you be penalised?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:28
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Again, don't forget the middlemen Feb 12, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

But clients MUST send every cent of what's in the invoice.


But they do.
They send the entire invoice amount, and also pay the sending fees. So their cost at that point is Invoice amount + bank wire sending fees (paid to their bank).

Yet, the amount arriving to the freelancer's account (even before the freelancer's own bank deducts incoming wire fees) is still less than the invoice amount. Why? Because of those pesky intermediary bank fees.

Negotiation on intermediary bank fees should be part of the initial terms agreement between the freelancer and the client, and should not come as a surprise after payment had been made.
That's the point of my post.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:28
English to Portuguese
+ ...
At last, we disagree! Feb 12, 2015

Sheila Wilson wrote:

Chris S wrote:
I'd say the amount *received* should be the amount on the invoice!

If your bank, PayPal or the postman takes some fees directly from you, then that's for you to accept (or change the payment method, bank etc). I doubt that many clients would agree to foot that particular bill, and that's why very few of us in Europe will accept cheques from outside our own country (if still used), and certainly not USD cheques. But clients MUST send every cent of what's in the invoice. Why on earth should you be penalised?


For years, I've been agreeing each and every time with Sheila Wilson on the Proz forums. Great minds think alike.

This time I disagree. I'm not getting penalized, I'm just making it more convenient for my client, by including in my invoice any amount that will be deducted from the payment on the way.

For instance, PayPal is owned by and intended for eBay. So their policies forbid payees to surcharge payers for their fees, under penalty of having them freeze the account, scoop the loot, etc.

So my price is stated considering payment via PayPal, which costs me 6.5% in fees + 3.5% in overtly lower-than-market exchange rates. I always offer a 10% discount to any client using any OTHER payment method than PayPal. They cannot punish me in any way, if their system was never involved in the transaction.

My net translation rate doesn't change, however the fees associated with the payment method and term may alter the amount I charge.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:28
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Yes, we negotiate the payment terms Feb 12, 2015

José Henrique Lamensdorf wrote:

My net translation rate doesn't change, however the fees associated with the payment method and term may alter the amount I charge.


Exactly.


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