5. September 2016

Transfer Money from “Europe” to USA via Paypal

To transfer money from, say, Germany to the USA costs fees – possibly on both ends – plus currency conversion ratio “variations”. We wanted to transfer $ 3000 from North Rhine-Westphalia to California. I tried with Paypal.
“Sending money to friends and family.”
Paypal’s fees are given here: a fixed fee of $ 0,30, plus 3.9 % if you debit your credit card. In my case, see below, this added up to $ 117.30, that’s 3.91 %. 
   You can see that (without actually transmitting anything!) logged into your Paypal account and following halfway through with “Sending Money to Friends and Family”.
   What you see in the screenshot below is sending via Paypal with (= from) your American Express credit card.
Trying to use your usual source of money with Paypal, probably your bank account, you’ll be out of luck hitting »Zahlungsquelle ändern« (change money source). 
   You cannot send directly via Paypal from your bank account, no matter how rich it is.
   If you want the lower 1 % fee (»Gebühren für vollständig über Bankkonto oder mit Guthaben finanzierte Zahlungen«) you will be at a dead end. 
   I called the free support (0800 723 4500) and was told, that for these type of payments they exclusively debit a credit card account, never the bank account. This explains why I could not switch the payment side to my usual bank account.
   Using my American Express credit card to pay Paypal’s transaction would have meant some further fees; as an example: To pay $ 180 regarding Carla’ US visa on June 29, 2016 to a “US Student&EV 1901 fee Williston” cost me € 166,23, including »Referenzkurs 1.1044 + Entgelt (fee) in EUR 3,36, about 2%.
   Support suggested that in order to avoid this, I beforehand transfer an amount covering the transaction as credit into my Paypal account. Then Paypal would take the money from this credit, so that no credit card fees would apply.
   Next hurdle is the fact that Paypal will not accept standard bank transfers, only “Giropay” inbound transfers. Your bank must take part in “Giropay”. (Kann ich auch ohne die Nutzung von giropay einfach Geld auf das angegebene [Paypal-]Konto überweisen, sodass es auf meinem PayPal-Konto gutgeschrieben wird? –
Nein, wir bitten Sie keine manuellen Überweisungen auf das Konto durchzuführen. Gelder, die nicht mittels giropay auf das Konto überwiesen werden, können wir nicht Ihrem PayPal-Konto zuordnen und überweisen das Geld direkt auf Ihr Girokonto zurück.)
   But is Giropay really necessary in this case? Elsewhere Paypal lets you transfer money to your Paypal account quite normally (Um Ihr PayPal-Guthaben aufzuladen, überweisen Sie einfach den gewünschten Betrag von Ihrem Bankkonto auf Ihr PayPal-Konto. Der Betrag wird in 1-2 Tagen Ihrem PayPal-Konto gutgeschrieben.)
   My bank does allow »Giropay«.
   However: Giropay fees were not to be found. The English Wikipedia suggests: “Costs are calculated on a per transaction basis and decrease with transaction volume or value. The NetBanx payment gateway quotes figures from 1.2% to 0.9%, plus 8c euro per transaction”.

Unforunately neither Paypal’s support nor I found a way to see the full costs in Euro beforehand, with a tranaction from Euro to Dollars. I could either try to transfer Euros and see it all in Euro, or transfer Dollars and see all in Dollars. In both cases the numbers were the same, and the currency conversion was not accounted for.

By the way I noticed that my Paypal account had been running  in US-Dollars as standard. This had never mattered. In the meantime I changed my standard setting to Euro. To do so look for your credit (»Guthaben«) in Paypal. Here it is at he right:
   Then click something like: “Manage Currencies” (»Währungen verwalten«). There you find a pull-down menu and can change to Euro as standard.

• Cash from German bank.
Takes a few days, currently 1.0723 $/€, no fees  
Moneygram with 1 € = 1.07203 $ to send $ 6000 to the US costs € 5764.81 i.e. with 1.0408 $/€ or some 2.9 %.  
Bitcoins 13.9.16 609.70/542.45 = 1.124 $/€ Warning

… I’ve given up for a while. A friend will pocket our Dollars when traveling to the states, maximum permitted is 10,000.

• Find a detailed article by Eve Lindemuth Bodeaux “International Payment Updates” in  “The ATA Chronicle” July/August 2016.

• Incidentally you’d perhaps like to look into custom keyboard layouts for windows (German).


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