Payment methods
Thread poster: Grite

Grite  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:37
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Jan 17, 2016

I live in the US and am still getting paid by checks in the mail by most clients. Is it your case too? I feel that checks are - or should be - a thing of the past. So, how can I get paid in a safer way that doesn't cost me money? Paypal is too expensive. ACH? Any other methods?
Thank you for your input.


Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:37
English to French
+ ...
Checks are free Jan 17, 2016

What is wrong with checks?

Everyone has a checking account. And, they are free, contrary to all other forms of payment, except money orders.

However, I agree that checks from outside North America are a problem, since cashing them takes time and bank fees.


Grite  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:37
Member (2003)
English to French
+ ...
Checks Jan 17, 2016

What is wrong with checks is that they are not secure. They can get lost in the mail (happened to me), and they can take more time to get to you (happened to me too). Then there is the processing, deposit etc. Time-consuming. And they use paper. Yes, they are free although I doubt that this will last. Some countries are progressively abandoning the use of checks. Belgium is an example. France still uses them, but many banks are considering other methods.
I know I'm going counter-current here in the US but electronic money transfer is more secure and certainly a lot faster.


Local time: 01:37
English to Romanian
Free? Jan 17, 2016



In the US?

A US company issued a check for me - from US to Romania. Because of my domestic bank fees, I would have lost an important part of the amount entered in the check. So I simply let it go, it wouldn't have been worth the trouble, waiting for a long time for the money to come in and then losing it.

Not to mention that they had mistaken my name in the first place, so they had to cancel the first check and issue another.


ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:37
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Using Checks in the US Jan 17, 2016

I had lived in the US for quite some time but I live in Turkey now. I believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with using checks as long as you live in the States. However, cashing US checks overseas is completely another story.

When I moved from the US to Turkey, the utility companies (electric, phone, etc) sent my outstanding balance to my Turkey address in the form of checks. When I received the checks, I naturally wanted to deposit them to my Turkish bank account.

I did not know that I was in for a big surprise. The amount of processing fee that I had to pay the bank in order to deposit those checks was higher than the amount the checks were written for. In other words, I had to lose my money if I wanted to deposit those checks.

Needless to say, I could not deposit those checks, and I still keep a couple of those checks as reminders of this incident. So, if you think using checks in the US is expensive, think again. Personal checking accounts are simply a classic in the US.

By the way, personal checks in Turkey are not common at all. If you would like to open a personal checking account, you have to go through a bunch of steps including the reasons why you are interested in opening a checking account. Thus, I do not have one.


Laura van Staveren  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:37
Member (2015)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Wire transfer Jan 18, 2016

In The Netherlands it can cost you up to $100 to have a cheque processed (depending on who issued the cheque, the amount, and how it was sent).
As far as I know, wire transfer is the best method for Dutch residents.

[Edited at 2016-01-18 13:10 GMT]


Mohd Hamzah  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:37
English to Malay
+ ...
Comparison Jan 18, 2016

Hi. Just to add to this topic. PayPal and Moneybooker, which one charges higher transaction fee?



Woodstock  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:37
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Checks in the US are normal, but not in Europe Jan 18, 2016

Payment by check is still the gold standard in the US, which is horrifying, even downright medieval. I have not seen a check in Germany in years, as bank transfers are much more secure and efficient. However, my American family members still faithfully pay their bills monthly by check. At least some US banks, if not all of them by now, offer electronic bank payment services, but I have no idea if they are being used or not.

If I were you or ever decided to go back to the US to live, I would find a good credit union with electronic banking services. Their main concern is customer satisfaction, not their bottom line. My guess is that the regular banks earn healthy fees on processing checks, so it's no wonder they are not anxious to get rid of them. It's all about maximising profit over there, which is a major reason I'm not especially tempted to return.


Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:37
Member (2014)
English to German
US$ Account Jan 18, 2016

You could open a US$ account with either your bank or a bank that offers a good deal or free account.

I opened a Euro account with my bank and all clients who pay in Euros pay me into that account. This account is free to set up and if I am careful about how I use it, it remains free.

I could also have opened a US$ account, but there was a small charge and as I don't have many clients in the US it wasn't worth it for me.


Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:37
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Cheques in the UK widely used... Jan 18, 2016

Woodstock wrote:
Payment by check is still the gold standard in the US, which is horrifying, even downright medieval.

...or at least they were until 25 years ago. But the world has moved on, thank goodness.

Personally I have never been paid with a cheque, nor would I accept a job that stipulated payment by cheque.

Would the client pay me for the 20 minutes it would take me to drive to my bank, find a parking space and deposit the cheque (another 20 minutes) and then drive home, for a total of 60 minutes of my time? No, I didn't think so.

I do everything online these days. Takes me seconds, saves me hours, and the changes are reflected in my account in minutes.



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