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How to accept Payment from the US?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by Patrick Ward, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Patrick Ward

    Patrick Ward New Member

    Hey guys,

    I'm just looking for advice on the best way to receive payment from the US. Previously I've used Paypal but last time they charged me over $100 and I'm afraid they'll charge double that for my next payment.

    I've tried a US cheque which my bank, Halifax, will cash, but they take 8 weeks! to clear it. Western Union is more expensive than Paypal (£213!) as are the 3 dodgy cheque cashing shops I've tried. I looked into moving accounts to Santander and Natwest and the both said up to 8 weeks. I'll of starved and lost the house by then.

    All my clients now are American and they all seem to be loathe to use direct transfer because of the cost to them (about $60). Should I just ask them to invoice me for the charge (which would result in my having the whole issue in reverse) or should have it subtracted from their invoice? Or is there a viable alternative?


    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  2. Patrick Ward

    Patrick Ward New Member

    Seems a bit pathetic answering my own question but here goes. These are from very hurried attempts and digging round, are by no means exhaustive and I don't guarantee their accuracy. So now that I've disclaimed everything . . :confused2

    Option1: open a bank account in the States with someone like the Chase Bank. That way your US client can simply transfer money for a minimal fee (if anything at all) to your US account. Its then up to you to sort out transfer to the UK and pay the charges. The idea of having a foreign bank account is new to me and I don't know how comfortable I feel about it.

    Option2: just have you client transfer directly to your account using SWIFT. Problem is that your client will be changed $50+. Many aren't happy about that so you'll have to reimburse them. You'll also have charges for conversion from a foreign currency.

    Option3: open an International Currency account in the UK. You could have this with your current bank. The advantage is that you could use this for ALL foreign currencies rather than just American. European clients would be able to transfer money very quickly and cheaply. clients outside the EU will again have their full charges levied. Not popular.

    Option4: US cheque. My bank (Halifax) are happy to accept US cheques and only charge £10. but they take upto 8 weeks to process it. Santander says 8 weeks for the first check and subsequent cheques take 5 days for anything under £2000 and 8 weeks for anything over.
    Asking clients to send cheques in multiples of £2000 or less smacks of amateurishness.

    Option5: Paypal. Fees can be astronomical. Last time I received money through them I was charged $99. The payment I'm trying to sort now would be charged $250. Thats unacceptable. I've also had them freeze my account and it was a nightmare getting them to reopen it and give me access to MY money. They're not a bank and so appear to work to their own rules.

    Option6: Western Union. For the same payment as above they want to charge me £213. Thats using their online calculator. Not acceptable.

    Option7: There's various online options such as billfor.it but after browsing their sites I didn't feel confident. Maybe that says more for their sites than their services but even so they often just seem to act as a portal for multiple online payment schemes such as Paypal or Nochex.

    Option8: open a UK business account with Visa facilities. Not really had a chance to look into this yet but its interesting.

    My main aim is to ensure payment from my clients is easy and cheap, preferably free. Generally as little inconvenience to them as possible. The rest is my responsibility so Option 1, though leaving me a little uneasy, possibly suits me the most.
    Tyrene41 likes this.
  3. Lupita

    Lupita Member

  4. seddon

    seddon New Member

    US payment problems

    Hi Patrick

    Just joined the forum and noticed your thread as it's something that's increasingly an issue for me too, so thanks for the info you've put together. The thing I was going to add was, I've discussed the problem one-to-one with my main clients in the US and they've actually been really understanding about it. We've come up with a compromise where a small increment is added into the budget for anything I work on and it kind of spreads the cost between both the client and I.

    I'm not saying for a second that everyone will be lucky enough to have clients as friendly as mine, but I reckon it has to be worth a direct conversation to see what can be done. Many of them didn't even realise it cost us even more money once the payment arrives in our accounts to change the currency and they were all pretty sympathetic about that.
  5. Freeman

    Freeman New Member

    I use Paysera account 3 years and have no problems with acceptance from anywhere. Recommend!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
    Tyrene41 likes this.

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