Best method to receive international payment
Thread poster: Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 07:05
Spanish to English
Feb 1, 2016

Good day fellow Proz people,
I have a doubt about PayPal, wire transfer etc. I live in Chile and do not have a credit card to directly link to PayPal. I would have to use an intermediary called Multicaja and saw they had online complaints against them, so I am hesitant.
Also I think I saw PayPal takes 3 % commission. Did I understand that correctly.
In any even,t I am wondering which option would be the most secure and cost the least to use.
Thanks in advance for your help.


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ATIL KAYHAN  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:05
Member (2007)
Turkish to English
+ ...
Bank Transfer Feb 1, 2016

Unfortunately, international money transfers are not free. However, some are more expensive than the others. Probably the cheapest way would be bank transfer, i.e. they transfer the money directly to your bank account (also called wire transfer I believe).

As I know it, PayPal charges 3 % plus fifty cents. If we ignore the 50. cents, 3 % is a good estimate. PayPal is very secure but expensive. I think it is a good choice if you do not have any other choices like bank transfer.


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 11:05
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
PayPal charges more than 3% Feb 1, 2016

Last week I received a payment of €2612.00 and PayPal charged me a fee of €128.34, which is nearly 5%.

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finnword1
United States
Local time: 05:05
English to Finnish
+ ...
Moneygram Feb 1, 2016

I have sent money from US to Chile on several occasions, using Moneygram. They have pick-up agents throughout Santiago, at least. However, since you apparently are at the receiving end, you will have to accept whatever method the sender chooses to use.

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Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 07:05
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In Brazil it reaches 6% Feb 1, 2016

Helena Chavarria wrote:

Last week I received a payment of €2612.00 and PayPal charged me a fee of €128.34, which is nearly 5%.



It is a high fee, but very secure and accepted by most of my clients.




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Luiz Barucke
Brazil
Local time: 08:05
Member (2013)
Spanish to Portuguese
+ ...
In Brazil, PayPal, wire transfer, and Skrill Feb 2, 2016

I use 3 different payment methods.

PayPal - it's expensive (about 6% in Brazil), but fast, simple, safe and accepted by virtually all clients.

Wire transfer - an international bank transfer. Depending on the bank of the receiver, the process can be annoying and bureaucratic. Fees vary also depending on receiver's bank, but it's often cheaper than PayPal.

Skrill - it's something between both previous methods. It's free from receiver side (and not from payer's, and that's why not everybody likes to pay through it) and it's cheap to withdraw to my bank account through wire transfer. So I join multiples individual payments and make a single withdraw cheaper than PayPal (with a small fee, about € 3). It also offers a prepaid international card, which can be very interesting.

[Editada em 2016-02-02 01:29 GMT]


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
PayPal in Brazil costs at least 10% Feb 2, 2016

PayPal has managed to pull the wool over at least two of my translating country fellows' eyes.

They deduct 6.5%~7.5% of the amount you receive as their "fees" before it reaches your account. This is "lost income" even if you intend to squander that money online. I haven't yet figured out what causes the variation within this range, Bottom line is that if the client pays you US$ 1,000, you get US$ 925~935 credited to your PayPal account.

Before PayPal established its own operations in Brazil, it was possible to transfer funds from your account at PayPal, convert them into BRL, and get them credited as a cash deposit to a bank account in Brazil between 1 (usual) and 24 (maximum) hours on banking days using Xoom, whose fee was USD 5 per transaction involving up to USD 3,000.

As soon as PayPal formally opened in Brazil, Xoom immediately stopped accepting funds from PayPal.

Now PayPal does this part of the transaction. They openly declare on their help screens that they adopt a 3.5% lower-than-market exchange rate. Assuming that you got the net average, US$ 930 (from the US$ 1K your client sent you), after they convert that into BRL (-3.5%), the amount credited will be equivalent to US$ 897.45.

However PayPal's currency exchange and banking system are not as fast as Xoom. Including the possibility of having a weekend there within, a rather lenient average would say that it takes them (at least) three days to credit those BRL to your bank account, in spite of the lightning-fast, real-time service ANY bank in Brazil has nowadays.

Now let's take the worst case: Brazilian interest rates on revolving credit card balance. These are actually higher, however 15% per month is a close-enough figure. In three days, that's 1.5%. If computed, from the original US$ 1,000 the client paid via PayPal, the translator in Brazil will receive US$ 884 worth in BRL. That's 11.6%! (almost TWICE the percentage my esteemed colleagues mentioned here.)

The cherry on the top is that PayPal - in its policies & user agreement - clearly forbids surcharging clients (aka "buyers") for the use of its services. So, technically, after you have negotiated a price for payment via bank transfer or P2P services (e.g. Moneygram, Western Union), if the client says, I'm having trouble paying you the way we agreed, can I send your payment via PayPal?, you can't ask them to increase the amount by 11.6%. If they got wary of it, they'd be entitled to freeze your account and 'scoop the loot'.

Therefore I state my standard rate for payment via PayPal. I offer a 10% discount to clients willing to pay me via any other method. PayPal can't impose any penalty if their system is not at all involved in the transaction, and they can't prevent me from giving a discount to anyone.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:05
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Definitely not the way I run my business Feb 2, 2016

finnword1 wrote:
since you apparently are at the receiving end, you will have to accept whatever method the sender chooses to use.

That hasn't been the case with any business I've ever bought goods or services from. If I buy something online, I'm generally offered a choice of two or more methods, sure, but if I would prefer to use a method not offered then I would expect the supplier to refuse, more than likely - and it's not my position as the client to make demands. Also, I have to accept that some methods may cost me more.

The same is true of my own business. I try to be flexible, but clients have to agree to my T&C, or find another supplier. For example, I will expect a eurozone client to use (free) wire transfer unless they have a good reason not to. And if they want a method that I do make available but that costs me money (e.g. PayPal or Skrill) then the terms will have to be renegotiated. In the past I've accepted all sots of workarounds when clients have had real problems finding a way to pay (from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Lebanon...), but I don't simply accept whatever method they choose. The same is true of currency - we can maybe agree on something other than euros, maybe not.


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Sayed Fathy
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 14:05
English to Arabic
+ ...
Western Union Feb 2, 2016

I think WU is the best known method to receive payments.

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Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:05
English to Indonesian
+ ...
In fact, Paypal is a thief Feb 2, 2016

ATIL KAYHAN wrote:

Unfortunately, international money transfers are not free. However, some are more expensive than the others. Probably the cheapest way would be bank transfer, i.e. they transfer the money directly to your bank account (also called wire transfer I believe).

As I know it, PayPal charges 3 % plus fifty cents. If we ignore the 50. cents, 3 % is a good estimate. PayPal is very secure but expensive. I think it is a good choice if you do not have any other choices like bank transfer.


Paypal blocked my account because I did not have Credit Card. I tried to send my ID Card, bank account report, etc, but I could not draw my money. I, then, googled with keywords "paypal thief" and "paypal steal my money". Hell!! Thousands pages discussed this before. I was so sorry and angry. To present, I still cannot get my money. For me, Paypal is a thief.

Try Moneygram. It is better than paypal.

[Edited at 2016-02-02 10:02 GMT]


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Dani Karuniawan  Identity Verified
Indonesia
Local time: 17:05
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Agree, Moneygram is better Feb 2, 2016

finnword1 wrote:

I have sent money from US to Chile on several occasions, using Moneygram. They have pick-up agents throughout Santiago, at least. However, since you apparently are at the receiving end, you will have to accept whatever method the sender chooses to use.


I agree, Moneygram is better. I accepted payment from USA using this service. Withdrawal was easy: I just went to my local bank near to my home and showed my national ID card and withdrawal code. The process only took 3 minutes (I didn't count queue).

[Edited at 2016-02-02 09:53 GMT]


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Guillaume Brownlie Pacteau  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:05
Member (2016)
French to English
Transferwise Feb 2, 2016

Maybe slightly off subject here, but I have in the past used Transferwise to send and receive foreign currencies. Very practical and cheap compared to 'proper' international bank transfers, Paypal and others, but not one a lot of businesses use (as yet).

Two minutes to set up a payee and send the money for a fraction of the cost.


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RuralTranslator
Local time: 11:05
French to English
Receiving money internationally Feb 2, 2016

I don't think it exists yet in all countries but there is a new UK based organisation that offers very safe, transparent and cheap transfers between many currencies. It is called Transferwise (http://transferwise.com/) and you can also use it to send payment requests.

I can highly recommend this service and they are much cheaper than banks. They are also fully regulated. Like paypal you have to set up an account, and it allows your clients to pay with a card. The money goes directly into your bank account.

Hope this helps! I am all in favour of organisations such as Transferwise who are trying to combat the sneaky, underhand practices of so many other transfer organistations.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 08:05
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The problem with P2P services Feb 2, 2016

... is that they are P2P. I mean Moneygram, Western Union, Xoom, and a few others.

If your client overseas is a private individual, that's okay. They could be paying you in cash if a trustworthy friend was about to visit your country, or if either one (client or friend) had funds in an account in your country.

When the client is a company (overseas!), this involves someone (owner, accountant, PM, anyone) there receiving in cash on your behalf from that company, and then taking this money to the nearest outpost of that P2P service. Such services have a "store locator" on their web sites, and there are many of them most everywhere.

This would be equivalent to you going to their offices, getting that cash... and signing a receipt, so their accounting would have something to show. If the receipt is fake, it wasn't you who received the money, the burden of the proof will remain with them. However if someone from the very company takes the money, there will be no signed receipt, and local tax authorities may take a dim view on that, because it looks like money laundering.

Moneygram and Western Union don't see any of it. They just see an individual in one country, sending money to another individual.

The receiver will go to specific locations to get CASH. In Brazil it's either Bradesco or Banco do Brasil for Western Union; Itau for Moneygram. It doesn't matter if you have an account with these banks, if they've known you for years, or if you are a complete stranger; it makes no difference if you go to the same branch to get paid by the very same clerk every week: every time you go there, they'll make a copy of your photo ID, tax ID, and proof of address.

Xoom is money-laundering-scared. The difference is that the payee doesn't have to go anywhere. The transfer hits a bank account directly. In those ancient days, they gladly accepted evidence that a PayPal account and the destination bank account belonged to the same person, and lifted all barriers.

After the PayPal-induced embargo, Xoom became 100% intolerant to handling transfers that were not obviously intended to send support to some ailing/elderly blood relative overseas.

Once I had a Brazilian client in NYC who needed some sworn translations from me. We chatted over Skype, and even discovered that her first cousin (I recalled the surname) and my elder son had been classmates and good friends in junior high school. However that's not a blood relationship. She works in a bank, so she knows the ropes. Three times she sent me a Xoom transfer, and three times it was automatically cancelled within three seconds, as shown on the incident reports. They rated it as a "commercial transaction", forbidden. Eventually her sister in Brazil paid me via a local bank transfer.

Hence it's not that easy to convince a not-so-small translation agency to use these P2P contrivances.


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