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 Post subject: Sending payments internationally, Paypal alternatives
PostPosted: 20 Jun 2016, 10:49 
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Hello!

Of course most people are using Paypal to pay across countries and currencies (although Paypal Forex fees are usually quite bad, sometimes up to 5% fees) on top of their 2.9~3.9% commissions.

On the other end of the spectrum is Western Union which can be quite expensive but works well for countries where having a bank account is complicated: they pay in cash.

In between are a few new services trying to focus on Forex transactions and I've been playing with some of them recently to assess how good they are, namely: TransferWise and WorldFirst. So far TransferWise looks more attractive because your exchange rate doesn't depend on the amount you are transferring like WorldFirst (assuming you hit the minimum amount requirement) and their fees are in the 0.5~0.7% range, that's including Forex + transaction.

I tried WorldFirst once and it worked as described but TransferWise was faster, more friendly, with locked rate policy (24 to 48h) and generous starting promos. Used it 4 times so far, no issue. Transfers even arrive earlier than the initial ETAs.

If you want to give it a try, assuming you have currencies to move around or significant currency payments to send/receive, you can use my affiliate links below to get a discount, and I get a bonus as well!

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Create an account and transfer currencies using this referral link.

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Create an account and transfer currencies using this referral link.

Keep in mind that they do not provide buyer/seller protection like Paypal does, only use it to transfer currencies for yourself or interacting with people you entirely trust.

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: Sending payments internationally, Paypal alternatives
PostPosted: 03 May 2018, 06:02 
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Update!

Disclaimer: these are affiliated links, you get a sign-up discount and I get a referral bonus.
Why do I advertise them? Because they have delivered impeccable service to me over the last 2 years and with more users, the fees will get even better.
I wouldn't have been able to enter into foreign real-estate projects without them, when my bank was charging me 12% on international transfers that would takes several business days to clear! TransferWise offered 0.7% then 0.4% on the same service, delivery within 1~2 days, and removed recipient acceptance fees.
I've met the local team and the CEO twice, some of my schoolmates work at the HQ, they're 100% legit and professional.

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TransferWise got even better by:


Quick review of the service: How It Works?

Account pricing for borderless accounts (that's even cheaper than direct transfers!)
Free = Creating your account
Free = Hold 40+ currency balances
Free = Get a UK account number and sort code
Free = Get a U.S. routing and wiring number
Free = Get a European IBAN
Free = Get an Australian account and BSB number
Convert currencies = 0.35%-2%
Transfer money to a local currency account = £0.50 / €0.60


Example:

Mrs X in Europe bought for $100 of LDs from Mr Y in the USA. Payment must cross border + change currency.
Let's assume shipping costs $50.

At today's Paypal condition, paying $150 in Euro from outside the USA would trigger a 3.9% + $0.30 commission as well as Foreign Exchange conversion fee.

Paypal quoted rate: 1 EUR = 1.1597 USD
Mid-Market rate at that time: 1 EUR = 1.19834 USD

So Paypal is taking a sweet 3.22% conversion profit making the whole process more than 7% costs.

If the buyer only sends $150, seller would get $145.17 after FX and $138.20 after Paypal fees. A total of 7.2% fees or $11.80.
If the seller expect the full $150, then the buyer would have to send $161.60 to cover all the fees representing $11.60.

Paypal pros: fast/instant, anonymous account, work well on small amounts, local or international transfers
Paypal cons: expensive, restricted to your local country linked to your bank account/credit card, payments can be reverted by scammer several months after transaction

Now if I use TransferWise to do the same thing I get:

Mid-Market rate at that time of transaction: 1.1980
Total fees: 2 EUR (that's $2.40 or almost 5 times cheaper than Paypal)

"You send 127.21 EUR, recipient will get exactly $150."
With Paypal buyer would have to spend 134.94 EUR for the same result.

TransferWise pros: very low rates, locked conversion rates, anonymous account, work well on bigger amounts, transfer can't be reverted, providing US/UK/EU/AU bank accounts
TransferWise cons: can takes longer (from 5min to few days), only international transfers when currency is different, not ideal for small amounts


If you use the same example but for a $1,000 transfer net to the seller, Paypal jumps to 897 EUR while TransferWise is 839 EUR. These 58 EUR saved could buy a few more LDs!

I have personally used TransferWise in excess of 100,000 EUR total and never had any issue.
They just deliver on their promise, 0 BS.

Give it a try!

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: Sending payments internationally, Paypal alternatives
PostPosted: 03 May 2018, 07:31 
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I've been using Transferwise for all transfers to my Japanese Proxy bidding service for quite some time now. Not 'instant' like Paypal but far cheaper and still quite fast.
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 Post subject: Re: Sending payments internationally, Paypal alternatives
PostPosted: 04 May 2018, 10:03 
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Very good (and unplanned) timing to look for alternatives since Paypal updated their conditions starting April 19th (USA) and the following days (Europe).

New PayPal Policy and Fee Changes Take Effect in April

Quote:
We’re removing the variable rate pricing for sending money to friends and family members who have PayPal accounts in a country other than the United States when you send money using PayPal balance or your bank account and introducing a new flat fee of $2.99 or $4.99 per transaction depending on the recipient’s country. However, when you send money using your credit card, debit card, or PayPal credit you will be charged the new flat fee per transaction depending on the recipient’s country + 2.9% of the transaction amount + a fixed fee based on the currency.

Quote:
We are adding the ability to create a negative balance in your PayPal account when we reverse a payment to cover eBay buyer protection claims that the seller loses.



PayPal Price Hikes: PayPal’s new fees and user agreement explained

Quote:
First off, lets go through the fee increases. US users looking to convert currency through PayPal will now pay 3.0% instead of 2.5%. The standard transaction fee for sellers selling goods or services online to buyers outside the US also jumps from 3.9% to 4.4%, and non-US store transaction fees are rising from 3.7% to 4.4%.


All payments Friends & Family in the Euro zone should remain free.

I simulated sending 5 EUR to my sister (France to France) => 0 EUR fee
I simulated sending 100 USD to myself (France to Canada) => 2.77 EUR fees -- that's the FX conversion fee only, no fee

It really looks like a USA-world punishment.

Best options right now for me:

  • USD from USA => bank transfer
  • USD from rest of the world => Paypal invoice (3.9% + $.30)
  • Other currencies => TransferWise virtual wallet

Any better option?

Because my Paypal account is based in Canada, I disabled the "Paypal Donate" button on LDDb for now since the fees are too crazy for modest US$ amounts.

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: Sending payments internationally, Paypal alternatives
PostPosted: 10 May 2018, 09:52 
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I used Transferwise once, not for LDDB business , but to transfer money to another european country that didn´t have the € as currency. I was glad that I found this service, since it´s a pita to transfer money from my bankaccount to a non-€ currency. That´s expensive and most banks try to avoid this service (at least , mine)
But as Julien mentioned, it lacks the PayPal insurance, though there was never the need for me as a seller or my buyers to use it.I guess I will offer this service as well now, seems to be a good one.
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