Which One is the Best Payment Gateway (for both Agencies and Translators)?
Thread poster: Bora Tasdemir

Bora Tasdemir  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 10:25
Member (2012)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Jan 29, 2016

Dear colleagues,

We have been using a payment gateway with my agency, but we have always had problems with transferring the money, high transaction fees etc.

Could you please recommend the best payment gateway (like PayPal, Moneybookers etc.) which will be the optimal solution in this case? Many thanks in advance!

Best Regards,
Bora Tasdemir


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Depends Jan 29, 2016

That depends in which country/ies the payer and the payee have bank and payment accounts, as fees and availabilities vary.

Obviously SEPA whenever possible, but fees and commissions in some non-euro countries can be outragerous, notably in the UK.

Transferwise is good and cheap but only available in few countries.

PayPal is expensive but not available in all countries, and when something goes wrong with PayPal, it's like hammering your head against a brick wall.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:25
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
PayPal Jan 30, 2016

I had used PayPal for several years when I used to shop at eBay. I was in the States then. However, I have not had a chance to use it recently except for a couple of small transactions. I do not remember encountering any problems with PayPal back in those days. It really works. Yes, it is pretty expensive. I recommend that you study the PayPal website first so that you get familiar with their rules and principles.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:25
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not PP Jan 30, 2016

Several years ago I did have an account with PayPal. Then I realised that to get paid, I was going through far more operations than I would be with a straight bank transfer. First of all my client would pay the money to PayPal. Then when I needed it, I would have to transfer from PayPal to my bank account. On each occasion there was not only a bank charge but also a PayPal charge. And each operation took me twice as long with lots of extra clicking on extra websites, etc.

Moneybookers seems to do exactly the same thing as PayPal but with a different GUI.

Then I began to encounter problems with PayPal and realised that to be on the safe side, one should never ever have any money at all deposited in one's PayPal account since without prior warning, PayPal may block the entire account for spurious reasons, and getting it unblocked seemed to be an incredibly labyrinthine process.

I therefore did away with PayPal, and shopped around instead for the bank with the lowest charges and the best exchange rates. I now require all payments to be made by bank transfer, but maybe I'm lucky because I work almost entirely with European countries, where the direct bank/bank transfer system has been getting better and better. I always lose out, of course, because the UK isn't in the Eurozone, which gives all the UK banks the opportunity to slap on extra charges, and there's no way to avoid them.

Nevertheless I was glad to get away from PayPal, because subsequently I came upon websites such as the following:

http://www.paypalwarning.com

http://www.paypalsucks.com

I have suggested, on more than one occasion, that Proz.com might like to set up its own payment system for members only, called ProzPay, but so far there's been no response. I imagine it would be very complicated and you'd have to piggy-back on an existing transfer system.

[Edited at 2016-01-30 15:07 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 09:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
It depends on so many things Jan 30, 2016

Bora Tasdemir wrote:
We have been using a payment gateway with my agency, but we have always had problems with transferring the money, high transaction fees etc.

Could you please recommend the best payment gateway (like PayPal, Moneybookers etc.) which will be the optimal solution in this case?

Obviously, every party involved is going to want to make a profit - otherwise they wouldn't be providing the service! So there are going to be charges somewhere along the line. Mind you, within the Eurozone there are sometimes no specific charges for the transaction, although you can be sure it's to the banks' advantage to offer the service 'for free' to their clients.

PayPal (and, I think Skrill too) have a set fee plus other percentage charges. They can be really good for smallish amounts but there are some major disadvantages that could come into play, even if both parties do actually have access to PayPal:
- large transactions incur large charges
- accounts can be frozen if there are security concerns with your account
- only a certain amount annually can go through a personal account
- any currency exchange will involve commission AND very poor rates of exchange
- charges can vary depending on the type of transaction (e.g. whether initiated by credit card or from a PayPal account or a bank account.

I find PayPal a great alternative payment method for those clients who have a good reason for not wanting to pay by my preferred method - bank transfer. Individuals can pay from their desk, for example, even if their bank won't initiate international transfers online. And I certainly won't accept cheques from US-based clients, but I will accept PayPal payments from them. Restricting its use to certain clients means I don't get in very large amounts. In fact, if they wish to pay in USD then that's fine. Instead of losing out by exchanging dollars for euros, I prepare my invoice in USD; payment in USD comes into a separate stream in PP; it stays there until I can usefully use USD for an online purchase. No fees other than the basic transfer one.

It must be slightly different for agencies, I would imagine. They have a lot more money going in both directions and they'll need to avoid paying double charges on every pair. If banks are charging a lot, keeping cash short-term in PayPal might be a good alternative. But I think it has to be a decision on the transaction level, not one rule for every transaction. That might be simpler, but I very much doubt that it would be the most cost-effective or the most popular.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 12:25
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Amazon? Jan 30, 2016

By the way, I almost forgot. I remember Amazon.com used to accept payments via PayPal. However, I recently shopped Amazon but there was no PayPal option upon exit so I had to use my CC. Does anyone know about this?

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Chris P.
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:25
German to English
A few other options.... Feb 1, 2016

You might like to check and opt for one of the following, which offer transfers to bank accounts in many countries:

http://www.smallworldfs.com
https://azimo.com

Good luck.


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Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 17:25
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
Paypal Feb 1, 2016

What Paypal does well is that it provides clear records of transactions and their details, including the source, the amount, and fees involved. That's not always true of online banking.

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