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What’ the common practice regarding the bank commissions?
Thread poster: xxxMihai Badea
xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
Jun 22, 2006

I thought it’s only the client who bears the bank commissions. All the amounts I received into my bank account so far were equal to the invoiced amounts. This time, however, the amount I received from a German client was EUR 10 smaller than the invoiced amount. I understood from my bank that the client had chosen to share the bank commissions with me, although they also had the option to bear the bank commissions fully.

What I’d like to ask you is what the common practice is.

Thanks,

Mihai


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Sonja Tomaskovic  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
English to German
+ ...
No common practice Jun 22, 2006

IMHO, there is no such thing as a common practice. It is all up to you to negotiate such things beforehand. I never assume that any of my clients are simply going to bear the bank commissions. I always ask before accepting a job what means of payment they support, and if they accept bank transfer I make sure that either they are going to pay the transfer fees, or - if they don't - to negotiate other means of payment, share transfer fees or turn the job down if the commission fees cannot be calculated beforehand.

Sonja


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
No common place Jun 22, 2006

Thank you for your answer, Sonja. I think you’re right. I should have negotiated this aspect with the client before accepting the job. In lack of such negotiation, he could choose whatever option he liked. I’ve learned my lesson. From now on, I will include a clause regarding the bank commissions in my terms of payment.

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Steven Sidore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:19
Member (2003)
German to English
Not only is there no common practice... Jun 22, 2006

but this is often what prevents me from taking small jobs from foreign (i.e. non-Euro zone) clients--the bank fees often are as large as the payment sum itself, and if the agency balks, then there's no point!

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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Small jobs Jun 22, 2006

Steven, but is there any reason that would prevent you from using services such as Paypal or Moneybookers? Their commissions are much lower and may be a good option for small jobs.


[Edited at 2006-06-22 20:19]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:19
English to French
+ ...
According to simple business sense Jun 22, 2006

I offer various way for my clients to pay. I am fortunate enough that I can accept cheques, as the fees for this are very low in Canada (just a couple of dollars). If the client chose the costly method among all the methods offered, they are liable for that. Therefore, I do not accept to pay or share the charges.

When you go to the movies and choose to pay with a bank card, you assume the transaction charges, right? The same way, when a client pays the translator, they should pay the charges. They simply have to get an amount of money equal to the amount invoiced to the translator, by whatever means they have. If they choose methods that are costly, it's not up to you to pay for that.

But I do agree that there is no common practice. Still, I do think that if the client has some kind of policy of sharing the bank charge or if they decide at some point to do this, it should have been agreed to beforehand. I don't like surprises...

I have a client who regularly pays me by transfer and they always pay the charges. We never even mentioned it.

[Edited at 2006-06-22 23:56]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:19
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Client's side's fees should be paid by client Jun 23, 2006

Mihai Badea wrote:
This time, however, the amount I received from a German client was EUR 10 smaller than the invoiced amount. I understood from my bank that the client had chosen to share the bank commissions with me, although they also had the option to bear the bank commissions fully.


IMO the banking fees on the client's side of the payment should be paid by the client. Always. Especially if both the client and the translator are in the same economic region (but perhaps there are special rules for Germany-Romania transfers that I'm unaware of). The only fees payable by the translator should be for things like currency conversions or other taxes imposed by government.

For example, if the client were to pay by cheque, he wouldn't deduct his own cheque account fee from the payment amount, would he? He'd write the full invoiced amount on the cheque (even if more than that amount will ultimately be deducted from his bank account, owing to banking fees). The same goes if the client chooses to pay via SWIFT (and SWIFT fees can be huge).

But if the translator chooses the method of payment, and his preferred method is more expensive than any other reasonable method, then the translator should pay the fees (or at least he should pay the difference between the fees of the expensive option and the cheap option, if those amounts are known).


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xxxMihai Badea  Identity Verified
Luxembourg
Member (2004)
English to Romanian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Bank commissions Jun 23, 2006

Thanks, Viktoria and Samuel, for your comments.

Samuel Murray wrote:

(but perhaps there are special rules for Germany-Romania transfers that I'm unaware of).


I am not aware of any special rules for Germany-Romania transfers, but I remember some time ago I worked for another German client and the received amount was equal to the invoiced amount.

But, the bank commissions seem to be indeed pretty high for Germany-Romania transfers. For an amount of just 69 EUR the client paid EUR 1.50 and I paid EUR 10.00. I wish my client had used Moneybookers, the other method of payment I had included in my terms of payment. Next time, if any, I will insist on using Moneybookers unless the client is willing to pay by bank transfer and bear the commissions fully.


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Aleksandr Okunev
Local time: 17:19
English to Russian
What I do. Jun 23, 2006

I always ask my clients to bear the bank charges.
Luckily, most of them are old European businesses where people stopped charging the beneficiary some 211-213 years ago.

A few agencies made their first payment at my expense. Later they stopped doing this, some of them I later dropped, some of them dropped me, not a single such one at present.

If I ask people to use an exotic payment method (like PayPal into Webmoney) I bear the transfer and conversion charges. But I rarely use such things.

Stay well
Alex

[Edited at 2006-06-23 14:35]


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:19
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Just a note of caution about generalisation. Jun 29, 2006

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

When you go to the movies and choose to pay with a bank card, you assume the transaction charges, right?


No, not right. Maybe in Canada, but not everywhere. Certainly not in the UK.


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Levente Bodrossy Dr.  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:19
English to Hungarian
+ ...
The agreed sum should appear on your account Jul 23, 2006

I am working for quite a few translation agencies and all, except one, take it self-evident that what we agree upon is the sum that should show up on my account. If this is Paypal or Moneybookers, how I withdraw it then, and what further costs it imposes is my problem. But, the agreed fee is appearing on the account specificed.

Just today I had the next discussion with that single agency. The first payment I received from them was 21 EUR less, then agreed. As it turned out, the missing sum was the banking fees imposed on me. I requested this to be paid, and offered the use of PayPal (the agency, even though has an office in the EU as well, has its headquarters ooutside of the EU). The next payment came, no sign of the 21 EUR, but it was sent from a credit card. To receive a credit card transfer, one must upgrade to a business PayPal account, which means ALL transfers in the future are subject to a fee of a few percent. Today I spent at least an hour to fish out all the relevant emails to support my case. This is roughly the same time as the 21 EUR is worth. I don't think I would work for this agency again until they sorted out their payment practice. It is just not worth the hassle.


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What’ the common practice regarding the bank commissions?

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