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I used PayPal to send an invoice to an international client for consulting services, more than a week ago. The client paid the down payment within a few minutes. Great! I started to work.
However, PayPal did feel uneasy about this payment and thought it might be unauthorized. They blocked the funds and started investigating. After giving them some information to their questions, they logged a single status and went off to investigate. Nothing from PayPal to me since then. I know they contacted the buyer and have received the documentation they requested two days ago. But no release of the funds. I have no direct ability to request and update of the complaint case. BAD! I have written through the "Contact Us" channel, no reaction, not even an automated confirmation. BAD, BAD!
I appreciate that PayPal is looking out for my interests and wants to protect me from fraud. But I have no patients for blocking the business I'm engaging, and payments are a vital part of this. I was due to deliver first results yesterday, but I won't before payment is secured.
So my question, what are the alternatives to PayPal for international payments?
Is Google Checkout more responsive?
I look forward to your answers
it is prohibitively expensive to pay across international borders this way
calculations of exchange rates
extra fees (hidden in the exchange rate).
it takes weeks, until you know the results.
Huh? Wire transfers are almost always same-day. You'd certainly know within 1 week that you received the money.
[edited by: LifeinAsia at 4:57 pm (utc) on Mar. 5, 2008]
The client simply tells the bank the amount in the currency you have agreed on, for example 500$ and who will pay for the fees. Usually there are three options:
- BEN: Benificary pays all the fees
- SHARE: Everybody pays his own fees
- OUR: All charges are paid by the ordering customers, benificary receives full amount.
So just tell your client to make an "OUR" bank-transfer of x$ to your bank-account and you will usually have the money within 2-4 days. Probably even quicker.
And with Paypal you will always be the one ending up with paying the fees. And with the low dollar your international clients are saving so much money they should be able to cope with the fees involved in the bank transfer.
Out of curiosity I checked my banks fees. Germany to US would be for example:
100,00 USD: 0.00 EUR fees
100 USD to 2500 USD: 7.90 EUR
2500 USD to 5000 USD: 11.90 EUR
more than 5000 USD: 15.80 EUR
All you need is the SWIFT code for your bank.
When I do consulting work, my clients usually want me to start right away and with PayPal I know the money is there. (Knock on wood - I haven't had any issues, yet.)
The only alternative I see, are real credit card merchant accounts. But that gets a bit expensive when you don't have a lot of payments per month.
Anyone having experience with Google Checkout? I'd like to hear the story on that side.
That said, we do still use PayPal for all our cross currency charging (we're based in Spain (euro) but sell primarlily to UK (pounds) and Denmark (crown) and Ireland (euro). You pay for CC processing with whoever you use, but simply have to factor it in to your margins.