6 of the best payment systems for accepting US dollars


Whether your business offers a product or a service, markets these days are global so you need to be able to accept multiple currencies, including US dollars.

Before we crack on, a few definitions.

Payment system: A mechanism for transferring cash. As you’re collecting US dollars in this case, these will be online.

Presentment currency: The currency that the customer pays you in.

Settlement currency: The currency accepted by your account.

Here’s a look at six key providers, along with their fees and conversion rates.

Airwallex

The Airwallex Global Account is an international collections platform which lets you receive foreign currency payment as if it’s local, using the local clearing system.

You can use the Global Account alongside Airwallex’s conversion engine and multi-currency wallet.

Fees: None

Conversion rate: 0.5 per cent

Ideal for: Small businesses who deal with a larger number of multi-currency transactions

GoCardless

GoCardless offers flexible payment processing and it integrates with over 350 other systems including Xero, Salesforce and Sage. You’ll always get the real exchange rate based on currency conversion through Wise.

Fees: 2 per cent + 20p per transaction (conversion rate included); no monthly fee on Standard account

Conversion rate: N/A

Ideal for: Businesses that get a lot of recurring payments

Braintree by PayPal

The difference between PayPal and Braintree is that PayPal only allows you to accept payments through PayPal whereas Braintree allows payments through Venmo, Google Pay and Apple Pay too.

With Braintree you can have single or multiple currency set-ups. If you’ve got a single currency account and somebody makes a purchase in their local currency, the bank will convert the sum to GBP, subject to your bank’s currency conversion rate.

You have the choice to present or settle in multiple currencies. If you want to accept different currencies as well as US dollars, you can put on additional merchant accounts in different currencies. Those who are unsure can experiment with collecting various currencies in Braintree’s testing environments.

Fees: 1.9 per cent + 20p per transaction + 1.5 per cent multi-currency transaction fee

Conversion rate: In line with bank’s conversion rate

Ideal for: Businesses who want to give customers more payment options.

Wise for Business

Wise for Business claims to be 19x cheaper than PayPal. For example, if you’re receiving a $2,000 in GBP it’ll cost nothing on Wise compared to PayPal’s £66.88.

Fees: It costs £45 to open an account. Getting USD wire payments through to your account will incur a 4.14 USD charge.

Conversion rate: US dollars are free to receive, though holding limits apply

Ideal for: Freelancers and micro businesses

Stripe

With Stripe you can display currencies in your customer’s preferred currency and make global payments in over 135 currencies. If the charge currency differs from the settlement currency, Stripe converts the charge to your settlement currency.

The good news is that you won’t be bundled with set-up fees, monthly fees or hidden fees. Though if you want to avoid the conversion rate, it’s best to create multiple settlement accounts.

Stripe has multiple balances for different currencies so that your US dollars will automatically go into a different balance.

Fees: 1.4 per cent + 20p for UK cards (1.1 per cent for European Economic Area); 2.9 per cent + 20p for international cards

Conversion rate: 2 per cent

Ideal for: Online businesses who want to limit their fees

Payoneer

With Payoneer, it very much depends on what accounts your payments are coming from. You’re provided with a local receiving account so people can pay you as if you have a local bank account. You’ve also got the option to accept payments via Payoneer networks for free and receive funds from Amazon, Wish, Rakuten and more.

It allows you to manage currencies and move them between balances for a flat fee of 0.5pc.

Fees: As mentioned, you can receive payments fee-free from other Payoneer customers and via receiving accounts. However, USD payments taken directly from your customers incur 3 per cent on credit card and 1 per cent through ACH Bank Debit. Fees on payments from marketplaces and networks depend on where the payment came from.

Conversion rate: It ranges from free to a small fee, depending on the country that it’s coming from.

Ideal for: Freelancers and service providers, online sellers, digital marketers and holiday rental hosts.

Read more

Accounting in foreign currencies: what small business owners need to know



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