What is treasury management? Find out in this helpful guide to companies trading overseas.
PayPal Here is a flexible payment solution if your business sells in person, in shops or markets, as well as online.
It comes with a card reader and app, so you can essentially turn your phone into a virtual point-of-sale device. This can help you take payments on the go, as well as online using your integrated business PayPal account.
But what about using PayPal Here for international purchases? In this guide, we’ll take a look at how it works and crucially, how it costs.
We’ll also touch on alternatives which could save you a whole heap of money on international payments, such as Wise.
But first, let’s put PayPal Here under the microscope.
PayPal Here is primarily designed to give sellers an option to take quick, low-cost contactless card payments on the go. It’s usually used for face-to-face transactions here in the UK.
If an overseas visitor wants to buy a product from your UK shop or market stall, they can swipe or tap their debit or credit card on your card reader just the same as any other customer. However, additional fees are likely to apply if the payment is in a currency other than GBP.
Whether they’re a UK or international citizen, the customer needs to have an accepted credit or debit card. The list of accepted cards includes major providers such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Maestro¹.
But what about international payments when the customer isn’t in the UK? The good news is that you can still use PayPal Here. Using your PayPal Here card reader and linked app, you can manually enter a customer’s card information in order to process a payment. You don’t physically need to have the customer’s card present.
PayPal Here may not be the cheapest way to accept international payments (we’ll look at that in more detail next) and it could actually be easier to use your ordinary PayPal account instead. But it’s useful to know that the option’s available if you need it.
While there are no monthly fees to use PayPal Here and it’s generally considered a low-cost way to get a card reader, there’s a complex list of fees for businesses to know about.
For starters, there may be a fee to get your card reader, although PayPal usually offers one type of reader free for new PayPal Here customers.
Once you’re set up, there are a number of per-transaction fees to get to grips with. These are higher for international PayPal Here transactions, compared to UK-based payments.
|Transaction type (international PayPal Here payments)||Fee²|
|In-person payments – international card present||2.70% + additional 1.50%|
|Payment from overseas – keyed in card details||3.50% + fixed fee depending on currency +1.50%|
|Currency conversion||3% above the base exchange rate|
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about. You may even have different fees depending on your sales volume.
You’ll need to do your sums to work out which fees apply and how much it’ll cost you to accept international payments using PayPal Here.
While PayPal Here does have a number of fees for international payments, the service overall does offer a brilliant number of features and merchant tools.
Here are just a few of the perks available:
- A card reader, so you can turn your mobile device into a POS
- Free PayPal Here app (available for Android and Apple devices), where you can track and manage all payments. You can even use the app to create a product list and set discounts, to make it quicker and easier to take card payments.
- Option to accept card payments by swipe, tap, or mobile wallet payments via Google Pay and Apple Pay
- Record cash and cheque payments using the PayPal Here app
- Issue invoices and receipts – you can even pair with a selected range of receipt printers
- Issue partial or full refunds in just a few taps
- Accept tips
- Set up sales taxes.
As we’ve seen, the costs can quickly start to stack up when using PayPal Here for international payments.
It’s a great solution for the relatively rare occasion when an overseas visitor makes a purchase in your UK shop. But if you regularly sell online to international customers, it's good to have a multi-currency account.
One of these is Wise. Open a borderless Wise business account and you can receive global payments with zero fees.
When you open your account, you can get your own UK, EU, US, Australian and New Zealand bank details without needing a local address. When a customer in one of these countries wants to pay you in their currency, simply give them the relevant local bank details to use and there’ll be no need for a currency conversion. This means absolutely no fees to receive the payment.
You can then hold the currency in your multi-currency account to cover future payments. Alternatively, you can withdraw to your bank for a small conversion fee and crucially – the real, mid-market exchange rate.
If your ecommerce business regularly sells on platforms like Amazon, you can also use the same clever solution. Provide your local bank details from wise and receive your payout from the platform in the local currency, without losing money on conversion fees and poor exchange rates.
So, there you have it – all the essential info you need to know about using PayPal Here to accept international payments. We’ve covered how it works, the features and of course, the fees.
If you’re thinking of signing up for PayPal Here and your business regularly sells to international customers, this guide should hopefully prove very useful. In particular, it can help you avoid nasty surprises when it comes to fees.
It’s important to check the small print carefully before signing up for a service like PayPal Here, as it might not be the right solution for your business. And remember that there are alternatives out there like wise, which actually specialise in international payments and could save you money.
Sources checked on 12-March 2021.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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