How to Get Paid from International Clients

Working as a content copywriter in Spanish I am experienced receiving money from international clients, and it is always important to know the best ways to do and receive a cheap money transfer.

When you give a budget or price to your clients, it is important to take into consideration the fees you will need to pay because of currency exchange and the money transfer service. Clients expect to have a final price, and they do not want to see how the price increase a 5 or 10 % or even more, due to the money transfer. So if when you give your budget you give the final price including all the costs and explaining them you will seem more trustful.

Since I am based in Spain, international clients from European Union are not a problem. They work in euros and bank transfers are cheap and most of the times free. But when it comes to clients from USA, India and other countries things are much more difficult.

PayPal is usually the best-known tool among the ways to send money. Problem is it’s fees are not very transparent when you work with different currencies. They sometimes charge slightly more than 3 % and sometimes the micropayment fee that is a 5 %.

Since you don’t want to overcomplicate things when you are talking with a new client, having a PayPal account is a must because it is likely what they are used to use.

However, when your payments are above 200 € there are much more efficient ways to send money.

Nowadays there are websites that allow you to receive local bank transfers in many different currencies.

To avoid PayPal’s fee you need a way to do money transfer to a bank account with cheaper costs. I have found TransferWise

If your country’s currency is for instance euros, it allows you to set up a bank account number that works in dollars.  In other words, you can create your USD account and give them the bank account number, so they will just need to proceed as they do when paying people with a bank account in the US. This way, your American client’s can send you money paying the costs they would have had if they were making a bank transfer to someone else in the US. These costs are usually much lower than international bank transfer costs, besides they are more used to them so they won’t be a bad surprise.

They don’t even need to create a TranferWise account!

If you have the account, that’s enough.

Once you have received your money in USD you can change the currency to EUR or whatever currency you use (well check in TransferWise if they work with your currency, but they work with a lot of them). This has a cost, but when you receive money in PayPal there is also a currency exchange fee paid by you or your client, so in this case both ways to send money are equal.

Having an account in TransferWise you can also send international bank transfers much cheaper than usually. So it is also very helpful if you hire foreign freelancers.

Ther are other services like Skrill or Payoneer, but I personally find that PayPal and TransferWise satisfy all my needs.

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