Moneybookers as a Paypal alternative for freelancers
Recently Paypal has faced some issues with RBI which has resulted in withdrawals being reversed etc. Moneybookers is a service similar to Paypal. Moneybookers is available as a withdrawal option in Scriptlance , Getafreelancer , Odesk.
Moneybookers charges 1.9% + 0.29 EU for receiving commercial payments compared to ~ 4% in paypal. In Moneybookers the payer is also charged. Moneybookers account needs verification before it can be used fully.
The first simple option is to verify address by requesting a letter. In there moneybookers would send a letter with a verification code to the account holder's address. Upon receiving the letter the account holder must type in the code back into moneybookers. By doing this the address gets verified and limits are lifted so some extent.
Now if transactions exceed euro 1000 in a 90 day period or something similar then moneybookers requests further verification of bank account or credit card. To verify bank account a withdrawal of < $15 should be made from moneybookers to bank account. In this transaction moneybookers would send a reference number which is to be used to verify the bank account.
The $15 withdrawal method of verifying bank account doesnt seem to work for all.
The best way to verify a bank account is :
1. Contact moneybookers and send them a screenshot / scanned copy of you latest bank statement. They may verify it within 2 hours!!
2. Or send them a scanned copy of a FIRC certificate that you may have received while make smaller withdrawal.
Either way would work and bank account would be verified quickly. This would lift the limits further and enable good volume of transactions.
Another good aspect of moneybookers is that it can send dollars directly to your bank account if you have dollar as your currency in moneybookers. USE dollar as your currency in moneybookers as you would save more. If you use inr as your currency in moneybookers then when you receive a dollar payment it would be converted into rupees at higher currency conversion charges. Instead if you receive dollars directly in your bank accounts then banks would charge less for the currency conversion , giving very good forex rates. Hence KEEP you currency DOLLAR in moneybookers. Paypal doesnt have the option to withdraw dollars. It forcefully converts dollars to inr at very low forex rates.
Moneybookers also charges 2.29$ per withdrawal. So making large withdrawals with moneybookers can save money as compared to Paypal. Also there is no issue of chargebacks with moneybookers. In paypal if someone files a chargeback , then no matter what you do , you account will be debited. Sellers have no protection in Paypal. Paypal will happily pay back the payer and seller will simply stand and stare. No such problems exist with moneybookers.
When receiving dollars in Indian banks there are varying charges. For e.g. HDFC bank charges Rs. 90 + s.t. when receiving dollars whereas ICICIBank charges Rs. 600 + s.t.
So for e.g. Scriptlance > Moneybookers > HDFCBank is really a optimum , fast and low fee solution for freelancers.