If you have been trying to work remotely, whether it's for a company or for yourself, but the company you work for or the clients you have want to pay via PayPal, then no doubt you have run into the issue of struggling to receive your funds.
In most countries where PayPal operates, companies or clients typically connect their bank accounts to PayPal, so their payments come from their bank accounts, rather than paying people through their credit cards.
This presents a big problem when you are in TT and most of our services, like our bank's e-commerce solutions, WiPay or any e-commerce service, focus on receiving payments through a credit card.
However, PayPal in TT only connects to a couple of Visa debit cards from banks like JMMB, Venture Credit Union, PSCU Credit Union and Visa credit cards from all institutions, except the RBC Visa credit card.
None of the new Linx Visa debit cards that the banks give out can connect to PayPal, so they cannot be used to receive funds from PayPal.
The other hiccup with using the Visa debit cards from JMMB, Venture, and PSCU is that they only give out those cards to personal bank accounts and not to business accounts.
I recently started using the service called Wise, formerly known as TransferWise. This is a virtual bank service for which you can register, and it provides several functions that can really help us.
But for the purposes of this article, we are going to stick to how you can use it to receive your funds from PayPal.
The biggest advantage to this is that with Wise, you can send your money to any bank locally and you can keep the funds in US dollars if you are depositing them to a local US-dollar account.
I will leave you to figure out how you can get the US dollars out of the local banks, but the point is, you have the option of keeping the funds in US dollars if you choose.
When you go to Wise.com, you will set up the account. It takes an initial US$20 fee to create the account: you can either pay with a bank transfer or they allow you to do a wire transfer to them for the setup, which can be done by visiting your local bank. They will provide you with the details for sending the money.
Once the account is set up, you can specify what currency you would like to receive money in, I set up mine in US currency and they provided me with the virtual bank details to receive US currency. They give you the bank account number, routing number, chequing account and the bank address information.
People or companies from around the world can now wire their money to your virtual bank account.
Now to connect your Wise account to PayPal: visit PayPal.com, go to account settings, then money, banks, and cards, select the option to – link new bank account and then add in the details for the account number, routing number, chequing or savings that Wise has given you for the virtual account.
In the event it doesn’t connect, you will need to call PayPal, which will do an over-the-phone verification, and the bank connection will be complete.
You will then go back to your Wise account, click on "recipients," select the currency you want to receive and then it will ask you if you want to set up ACH, Wire or Swift account.
This information is what you are going to receive from your local bank here in TT. I’d suggest using the Wire or Swift feature. I set up the Wire option.
What this means is that when I transfer the money from my PayPal to my Wise Virtual bank account, once the money reaches my Wise wallet, it will then Wire the money to whatever local bank account I set up during this phase.
This can be either your TT currency account or your local US account.
You can put in the information for your business account and that way, all your money received from PayPal will go into your business account.
To receive incoming payments into your Wise account costs US$4.14 and it can take four-five working days to show up in your account. Wise will tell you the cost of transferring the funds to your local account on your confirmation screen. You can visit its website for a complete breakdown of its fees.
I hope this helps you in receiving your money from international companies and clients from PayPal.
Keron Rose is a digital strategist who works with Caribbean entrepreneurs in building their digital presence. To learn more, visit KeronRose.com or check out the Digipreneur FM podcast available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or Google Podcast.