best payment method for translators in Russia?
Thread poster: Pascal Zotto

Pascal Zotto  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to Letzeburgesch
+ ...
Oct 15, 2015

Hi,

I run an agency and get more and more requests to translate from an to Russian but with the first translation I had to deal with where the translator was based in Russia, we got some payment issues:

I only pay my bank/payment method (payers) charges and the receiving party has to pay its payee charges (so called SHARED costs payments). At the moment I offer payment via bank transfer (mainly within Europe/SEPA area) as it is the cheapest method for both parties within Europe/SEPA, Skrill/Moneybookers/PayPal for payments outside of Europe due to the higher bank transfer costs (including costs for intermediary banks). This lead to the fact that the translator did not want to be paid via PayPal/Skrill as according to him, they were forbidden payment methods in Russia and he asked me to pay via bank transfer which made him lose about 15 EUR on a 20 EUR invoice for his banks and mainly intermediary bank fees.icon_frown.gif

As I want to avoid this in future I asked around and a friend from Russia told me that PayPal or Skrill are not forbidden but that in Russia they charge at least 25% of the money paid which of course explains why translators do not want to be paid with these methods.

- He also told me to check WebMoney (www.wmtransfer.com) which is a Russian online payment method. The rates seem quite fair to me with a max to be charged for payments and apparently I can use it from an Austrian bank account.
- Another method he told me was to ask for a prepaid card at my bank that is issued without holder name and to send it to the translator by mail so he could retrieve the money at any ATM at around 3,5% fee for the card issuing company (VISA or Mastercard). But in my eyes this method is quite insecure as anyone could intercept the card and use it.
- Yet another method I thought about would be Western Union but here I find it quite insecure as after the money is sent, anyone knowing the password or identity of the payee can have it rerouted to any account he wants.

What do our Russian collegues think of these ways of getting paid?
Are there any other methods you can think of that would be low in costs for both parties and that I could use from within Austria?
Which would be your preferred way of getting paid?

Thanks in advance for the feedback,

Pascal


[Bearbeitet am 2015-10-15 17:05 GMT]


 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Baltic states? Oct 15, 2015

Once I outsourced to a Russian agency, they had a euro account in a Baltic state. Because of their historic relations, it may be easier for Russians to open accounts there. Cyprus also seems to welcome at least certain Russian clients, but I don't know if they are interested in clients that aren't super rich. But I know almost nothing about this.

Sending a debit card you have opened in your name (how on Earth should it be possible to get one without a name on it?) to someone else is an absolute no-no. You are liable for all use of the card, and even if it shouldn't be possible to misuse a prepaid card, you would violate the terms and conditions for the card. Should it end up being used for crime or terrorism, it will be your name that goes on the list (police, intelligence services, Schengen database, travel bans ...).

Then there is Bitcoin, but it's not something I would touch myself for the moment.


 

Pascal Zotto  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to Letzeburgesch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bitcoin Oct 15, 2015

is not an option. It's way to often used for fraud.

I found out a bit more about these prepaid cards. In fact they are not issued on behalf of a person and have blank names but they can only be used once in terms of charging them and only for a sum of 10-150 EUR and they can not be used for retrieving money at an ATM but only for paying for goods at normal conditions. Costs for payer: 3,90 EUR for card emission and costs for sending the card to payee. Liability is not bound to person charging it as it is a prepaid gift card.


 

Inna Borymova  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:55
Member (2013)
English to Russian
+ ...
PayPal or Bank Transfer Oct 15, 2015

I am a Russian translator myself and for large amounts I use a bank transfer and for smaller ones - PayPal/Scrill. PayPal/Scrill are not proibited in Russia, the only problem with PayPal is that one can only withdraw money in the local currency using their exchange rate that is not quite good. This is definitely not 25% of the amount.
On the contrary, having accounts outside Russia for Russian citizens is against the law.

P.S. My advice is to change the translatoricon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2015-10-15 11:45 GMT]


 

Pascal Zotto  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to Letzeburgesch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
fix translator team for Russian Oct 15, 2015

is not set yet as there were not many requests up to now.

So using PayPal for small and bank transfer for larger amounts would be no problem even if the payee has to pay his banks fees?
For PayPal I could also go and have the equivalent amount of roubles sent to the payee directly as conversion costs for European PP accounts are not that high (although still higher than at a normal bank), which would reduce costs for the payee. e.g. 10 EUR > 744,84 RUB at todays rate.


 

Vitals  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 04:55
Member (2008)
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
Please, see my email Oct 15, 2015

Dear Pascal,

Please, see my email on this matter to your office@....com address.

All the best,
Vitaly


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:55
English to Russian
accumulate small amounts Oct 15, 2015

You can accumulate even half-euro amounts and pay them once a month for example.
With its benefits, Paypal commission and exchange rate are negligible factors. If it was only my decision, I would not use any payment method other than PP. Unfortunately, some clients cannot use PP for some legal limitations in their countries.

Some clients wish they could dump the intermediary fees on me. However I believe that if I deliver a 100% product to client and client does not care how I do that, then client should deliver 100% payment to me and I don’t care how they do that.
In this regard, PP is beneficial for both, me and client, because the PP fee is close to none (not 25% of course).

25% rate is possible in some former USSR countries where PayPal is not available for cash-out (not Russia). In such countries, there are mediators who help get cash from PP. This can be a reason for 25% rate, but not in Russia.

[Edited at 2015-10-15 13:14 GMT]


 

Andrejs Gorbunovs  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 04:55
Member (2013)
English to Latvian
+ ...
Natives in other countries Oct 15, 2015

I would advise to look for native Russian speakers in the Baltic States.
We (here in Latvia) still have a large population of Russian speakers, who have corresponding education in Translation and/or other fields.
I think that you can easily find native Russians with 10+ years of experience, who live in the Baltics and thus your payment issues would be solved.

Sincerely,
Andrejs


 

Stanislaw Semczuk  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:55
Member (2007)
Polish to English
+ ...
Use other countries Oct 15, 2015

I understand that you may have a good reason to work with these people in Russia. But if this is not necessary, there are many native Russian speakers elsewhere. In the entire former Soviet Union and the US or Canada. There are a lot in Israel.
US based Russian native used to be only marginally more expensive than that based in Russia. This perhaps changed after severe fall of the ruble, but still the rates are not breathtaking.


 

Stepan Konev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 04:55
English to Russian
former Soviet Union Oct 15, 2015

Exactly in former Soviet Union states (not all) they cannot cash out money from PayPal. This is what causes such 25% rate, but not in Russia.
Not a problem for translators in Russia.


[Edited at 2015-10-15 13:03 GMT]


 

Pascal Zotto  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 03:55
Member (2009)
Dutch to Letzeburgesch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Nov 2, 2015

for the answers.

working with people from Russia is not a matter of price or country of living but most important for me is that people translating to a specific language grew up in the country where that language is spoken.

Regarding payment methods it then seems that I don't need to change anything for the time being.

Thanks,
Pascal


 

Eugenio Garcia-Salmones  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:55
Russian to Spanish
+ ...
I work Nov 2, 2015

I work principally how corrector for several russian agencies and I use Paypal, without problems.

 


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