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victoria@claritytransactions.com

Accepting Payment From Canadian Clients

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Hi, All:

 

For those of you in the US who have clients in Canada, could you share with me how you work out payment arrangements? The client has attempted to pay me through wire transfer from their busines account in Canada into my business account in the US but even though the wire transfer was initiated on August 7th (6 business days ago) my bank still has not received the funds and they couldn't even trace the transfer because I would need to tell them the exact amount of the transfer and I wouldn't know. It would depend on the exchange rate on the particular day the funds are received in my account.

 

I've looked into having them pay me through Paypal but the fee is too high since my sales volume is not high enough yet. They would charge me 3.9% + .30 cents for receiving the funds and an extra 2.5% for making the currency exchage. That means for every dollar they pay me I only receive .63 cents after you account for all the fees. Those fees seem awfully high to me.

 

This is a good client and I see a lot of work coming from the in the future but I don't want to have to wait ages for payment - through no fault of the client's.

 

Any suggestions from this incredibly knowledgable pool of VAs?

 

Victoria

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Hi Victoria,

 

At my last job I sent wires from Canada to the US and throughout the Americas and it never took more than a day. If I were you, I would have your client check with their bank that the wire was sent and ask them to send you a confirmation.

 

Take care,

 

Kelly

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Welcome to VANA, Victoria! :welcome:

 

I've looked into having them pay me through Paypal but the fee is too high since my sales volume is not high enough yet. They would charge me 3.9% + .30 cents for receiving the funds and an extra 2.5% for making the currency exchage. That means for every dollar they pay me I only receive .63 cents after you account for all the fees. Those fees seem awfully high to me.

 

I haven't tried making any wire transfers yet, but I work with several Canadian clients, and the PayPal fees really aren't as high as you think. For example, I received a payment of $250 and paid only $10.05 in fees. That's only 4% in total, or 4 cents for every dollar. I've also received some other payments from Canadian clients that seemed to have a flat $5 fee associated with them, even though the amounts were for $300 and $150. I'm not sure why the flat rate was applied, but I'll take it! However, I should point out that this particular payment method seemed to take quite a while to clear for some reason.

 

Anyway, if you can't get the wire transfer straightened out, I would definitely recommend trying PayPal.

 

Please let us know what you decide to do. Good luck! :)

 

Angela

 

P.S. Edited to add: The 30 cents is a per-transaction fee, not a per-dollar fee. For example, you would pay 30 cents per transaction whether it's for $1 or $100. Hope this helps!

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I am the opposite - a Canadian with an American client. I am using PayPal. This way they can choose the method that they pay with. I have used PayPal for lots of things in the past and have never had a problem and it is always cheaper than I think it will be.

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I've looked into having them pay me through Paypal but the fee is too high since my sales volume is not high enough yet. They would charge me 3.9% + .30 cents for receiving the funds and an extra 2.5% for making the currency exchage. That means for every dollar they pay me I only receive .63 cents after you account for all the fees. Those fees seem awfully high to me.

 

Victoria -

 

I think the math may be a little off. the $0.30 is only charged once, for the transaction, not for each dollar. I've received payments viz PayPal from Canada and Scotland and never paid more than a gross 6% or so. It's a little high, but the fees are completely deductible as a business expense. You might call PayPal and talk to them directly.

 

I am a little confused as to why you wouldn't know the amount you're receiving - did you invoice the client in Canadian dollars or US? If it's US then you should receive the amount you invoiced them for, no matter the exchange rate applied.

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Hi, All:

 

Thanks so much for all your replies.

 

Kelly, that's what I thought too. It should only take one or two days but my own bank told me it could take 3 to 5 business days.

 

Angela, Darrell & Dy, I know. I realized after I sent the post that my math was all wrong. Math was never my strong suit. Maybe I'm being greedy but if I can get away with paying zero fees I rather have that. Hee, hee. I'm realizing that I might need to bite the bullet and use Paypal or another merchant account company if I want to see my money right away.

 

We'll see what happens tomorrow. They are supposed to get me some sort of written confirmation or I will ask them to cancel the transfer and pay me via Paypal. They are a good company and I know they are not trying to stiff me since another VA has worked for them for quite a while never having trouble getting paid. It's just something we need to work out.

 

Thank you so much for your suggestions!

 

Victoria

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I received payment from a client in the US (I am in Canada) using PayPal today. I only lost about 1.5% of the total amount in charges. Transferring the money to your bank account is free for US bank accounts. I hope this helps you compare your costs when accepting credit cards.

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