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What's the best way to send international payments (esp Taiwan)?

We're working with an engineer based in Taiwan and need a good (reliable and inexpensive) way to pay him. Xoom doesn't serve Taiwan, and there's only one, inconvenient bank that accepts Paypal. I tend to think of Western Union as only for underbanked; is it a decent option? Or is this simply a matter of finding the bank that has a robust, affordable wire transfer or is there another good option?

3 Replies

David Still
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David Still Advisor
Founder of Start-ups, Entrepreneur, Financier and Advisor

Use your bank and they will select their optimal and/or most expensive methods: 1.debit account transfers between foreign and U.S. due-to bank accounts for small dollars (legacy system); 2.Clearing House InterBank Payments System (CHIPS) - private clearing house for large-value transactions; 3.Society for Worldwide InterBank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) 4. foreign currency wire transactions; 5 etc - lots of labels at the banks (the bigger the bank the more the confusion) but not always clear what is behind their transaction curtains. If you are ready to be confused, then ask the bank about options and detailed methods of transfers ex-marketing names. Also ask for unbundled and hidden pricing such as reciprocity and float skim.

James (Jim) Forte
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James (Jim) Forte Entrepreneur
International Technology Innovator - Timeshare Expert
What size of payment?

In China I use PayPal
Ryon Lane
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Ryon Lane Advisor
Film Producer, Consultant, Author, Attorney
With a business bank account at Bank of America and a very knowledgable local business banker...and quite a few questions and reassurances to assure that the $35K was going to the right place, I've had no difficulty transferring payments to a Taiwanese manufacturer's bank. In fact, I don't recall the international transfer fee ever being more than $10 or $20.

If I'm transferring any substantial amount of money overseas, I have no doubt that PayPal is now a good solution, but for my money I want a major bank and an employee at a major bank on the hook for that money until I receive a confirmation that the money has hit the recipient's bank account.

This is a nightmare of mine since I've started doing business overseas: Can you imagine having to open a "trouble ticket" with PayPal because $50K has left your PayPal account, and a week later the foreign recipient bank claims still not to have received it? No thank you.

I learned to request that the BofA business banker call me to confirm when the transferred funds have posted to the foreign bank. (Just make friends with them and they're happy to help!)

Good luck!
Ryon
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