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Poll: On average, what do you pay in payment fees when your clients pay you?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:06
SITE STAFF
Apr 25

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "On average, what do you pay in payment fees when your clients pay you?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:06
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
0% Apr 25

I have an online e-banking account and there is no charge for transfers received as all my regular clients are in the Euro zone. For clients outside the Euro zone, all my invoices have a note saying that my payment terms are X days net from date of invoice, exclusively by bank transfer (net of all bank charges). I also pay 15 EUR each month as a bank management fee.

neilmac
Els Govaerts
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:06
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
Zero Apr 25

You shouldn't pay a client's bank fees when they pay you.

writeaway
Teresa Borges
Natalia Pedrosa
Paul van Zijll
neilmac
Els Govaerts
Eckhard Boehle
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 25

I'm afraid I don't really understand the question. I'm based in Europe and nowadays all of my regular clients pay me by bank transfer. AFAIK, my bank doesn't charge me any fees for this service, which is why I opted for this online bank (ING Direct) in the first place.

Eckhard Boehle
 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:06
French to English
There is no reason to do so nowadays Apr 25

There are a number of ways to avoid this nowadays. It was a regular practice until 5-10 years ago. A little scouting around on the web enables you to find a way that suits you and your clients to avoid paying what used to be, and still are for certain banks, horrendous fees for receiving payments from overseas.

I note also that some agencies expect their freelancers to cover their fees too when the freelancer already has to pay a fee upon reception. Firstly, agencies who expect tha
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There are a number of ways to avoid this nowadays. It was a regular practice until 5-10 years ago. A little scouting around on the web enables you to find a way that suits you and your clients to avoid paying what used to be, and still are for certain banks, horrendous fees for receiving payments from overseas.

I note also that some agencies expect their freelancers to cover their fees too when the freelancer already has to pay a fee upon reception. Firstly, agencies who expect that are not playing the game. In a number of situations, the agency is probably not paying anything as they generate a sufficient amount of business, or are in a position to negotiate or to obtain low or free rates for making payments. Secondly, if the agency has to pay high fees to pay its freelancers, it should be conducting its business in such a way that those fees are covered. Afterall, isn't being in business about making sure you cover your costs... but surely not at the expense of your key suppliers at the end of the food chain? Morality and business are not incompatible!
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neilmac
Angie Garbarino
Kaisa I
Teresa Borges
 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 25

neilmac wrote:

I'm afraid I don't really understand the question. I'm based in Europe and nowadays all of my regular clients pay me by bank transfer. AFAIK, my bank doesn't charge me any fees for this service, which is why I opted for this online bank (ING Direct) in the first place.


PS: When I make transfers to other accounts, I have the option of imputing the transfer fees (where applicable) to the recipient, paying them all myself, or sharing them. I usually go for the sharing option. I don't recall ever billing anyone outside of the Eurozone, and I've only invoiced clients based in the UK 2 or 3 times in the past decade or so. My regulars are all Spain based except for one French bloke, who hasn't sent me any work for over a year.


 

Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 00:06
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
I'm afraid that there is more to the world than Europe Apr 25

neilmac wrote:
I'm afraid I don't really understand the question.


I'm surprised that a translator on an international forum doesn't understand the question. Not all of us are in Europe.


Virginia Koolhaas
Muriel Vasconcellos
Julio Madrid
 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:06
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Paymenyt Fees <> taxes, right? Apr 25

Considering only payment fees, I pay 1% to Payoneer and 7% to Paypal. If you consider the usual spread to convert USD into BRL, there goes another 4%. Considering I'm avoiding PayPal, but some clients still require it, I'd say I lose about 3% in payment fees and 4% in foreign exchange spread. If you add income tax to that, I probably "burn" almost 30% of my money.

 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:06
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Of course not Apr 25

Jo Macdonald wrote:

You shouldn't pay a client's bank fees when they pay you.


But how about your own payment fees? If you don't use any payment services like PayPal and the like, it may be possible, but quite unlikely.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:06
Spanish to English
+ ...
Too many unjustified"fees" Apr 25

Laureana Pavon wrote:

neilmac wrote:
I'm afraid I don't really understand the question.


I'm surprised that a translator on an international forum doesn't understand the question. Not all of us are in Europe.


Well, I'm sorry, but to me the whole notion of "payment fees when your clients pay you" just seems like taking the mickey. From what I've heard, billing on the other side of the pond can be a nightmare, especially when the payments are by cheque, which I believe is still common practice in some places, although I haven't seen one for about twenty years. Another item I find absurd is "account maintenance fees", which can vary wildly between banks. The way I look at things, these are all just various types of chiselling by the unscrupulous. Anecdotally, a friend of mine just flew back to the UK this evening to sort out problems about a bank account he closed over a year ago (Barclay's, notorious for their dodginess). It turns out they've been charging him fees for all that time, and there is no possibility of him resolving the issue by telephone or online. He has to go to the bank himself, in person, thousands of miles away.


 

Laureana Pavon  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 00:06
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
So you do understand Apr 25

neilmac wrote:
Well, I'm sorry, but to me the whole notion of "payment fees when your clients pay you" just seems like taking the mickey.


So you do understand the question, you just don't pay any fees.



[Edited at 2019-04-25 18:39 GMT]


Muriel Vasconcellos
Julio Madrid
 

Maxi Schwarz  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:06
German to English
+ ...
I don't understand the question Apr 26

Who would you pay fees to? For what? (feeling a bit dense)

 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:06
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Apr 26

The situation is quite different in the U.S. and countries in Latin America. Luckily, I don't get charged a bank fee when my main clients (international organizations) deposit my payments here in the U.S., but I have to pay a $30 fee for wire transfers from Europe and Mozambique, not to mention exorbitant fees for currency exchange at really high rates.

A colleague in Latin America working for an international organization in Washington, D.C., tells me that the fees are so high that
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The situation is quite different in the U.S. and countries in Latin America. Luckily, I don't get charged a bank fee when my main clients (international organizations) deposit my payments here in the U.S., but I have to pay a $30 fee for wire transfers from Europe and Mozambique, not to mention exorbitant fees for currency exchange at really high rates.

A colleague in Latin America working for an international organization in Washington, D.C., tells me that the fees are so high that he can't afford to from for the client.

Actually, for non-Europeans, PayPal fees, as high as they are, are more favorable than many bank-to-bank transactions. I do some work for Japanese companies, and in those cases PayPal is the only way to go because anything else is much more costly.

So, to my European colleagues, enjoy your good fortune, but please understand that the rest of us are not misguided or less clever because we are faced with high fees.

[Edited at 2019-04-26 07:36 GMT]
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Julio Madrid
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:06
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
At the end of the day it really shouldn't cost you anything to get paid. Apr 26

Mario Freitas wrote:

But how about your own payment fees? If you don't use any payment services like PayPal and the like, it may be possible, but quite unlikely.


Hi Mario

After having a bank account in the past that charged me to send and receive bank transfers, nowadays one of the things I check before opening a bank account is that all transfer costs are included. If you shop around you should be able to find banks offering zero (or very low) annual fees, free debit/credit card, etc. as long as you receive a certain amount of payments per month in that account and use the card, plus maybe a few other clauses, but basically you get free banking.

For sure there may be some difference depending on the country you're in but I think different banks will probably adopt different policies wherever they are. Here in Spain for example there are banks that charge you for every transaction and others that don't and the same bank might have different contracts for different customers. No harm in shopping around to see if you can save a few hundred bucks/year.

Paypal charges can be penalising to transfer funds to your bank account but I try to use Paypal as little as possible, use the Paypal funds for online purchases and on larger amounts come to an agreement with the client that if they want to use Paypal there will have to be a 4% surcharge to compensate for additional Paypal charges.

At the end of the day it really shouldn't cost you anything to get paid.


[Edited at 2019-04-26 07:40 GMT]


Mario Freitas
 

EvaVer  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:06
Member (2012)
Czech to French
+ ...
Depends where you are based Apr 26

Maxi Schwarz wrote:

Who would you pay fees to? For what? (feeling a bit dense)

If you are located in the Euro zone and so are all your clients, of course you don't. I am not.
I pay less than 1% on average - a small amount (the equivalent of about 0,24 EUR) for local transactions beyond a certain number, and about 0,78 EUR for SEPA payments. I practically stopped working for clients from other countries (mainly the US), where fees were huge, whatever the means of payment.


 
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