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How to accept Euro payment without European bank account?
September 10, 2010 9:59 AM   Subscribe

How can I be paid in Euros from a European bank account, without having a European bank account myself?

I will be going to Belgium on exchange this coming Fall term. During this time, I will be subletting my apartment to a girl from Germany. As she has Euros, and I will need Euros while in Belgium, I'd like to find a way for her to pay me rent on the sublet in Euros. Unfortunately, due to the constraints of my visa, I think I won't be able to apply for a European bank account, and so I'm trying to find a method for her to pay me that involves the least overhead in terms of fees. While it's simple in concept, I've found that, without a European bank account, it's difficult to move this money from point A (her bank account) to point B (cash in my hand), and so I'm looking for creative solutions. In terms of resources, I have bank accounts at two major Canadian banks.
posted by otakuj to Work & Money (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Paypal? From her bank account ---> your paypal ---> your bank account ---> get it from an ATM.
posted by naturalog at 10:02 AM on September 10, 2010


Have you spoken with someone at either of your banks? I know that Royal Bank (my bank) has U.S. dollar accounts - maybe something similar exists for euros?
posted by purlgurly at 10:10 AM on September 10, 2010


Paypal sounds like a solution, but if that is not possible for one reason or another: the girl has to call her bank how to make an international payment. The only thing you have to do is give her the IBAN code for your bank+ account. I found that most European banks will be able to pay internationally. The only thing that could be really annoying is the time ittake sto transfer the money. Some banks will make this happen within the same day, others might take a week or longer.
posted by ouke at 10:55 AM on September 10, 2010


Cash.
posted by Biru at 11:00 AM on September 10, 2010


western union
posted by jannw at 11:31 AM on September 10, 2010


If you use Paypal, there's still going to be a conversion into non-Euro currency unless your Canadian bank can provide you with a Euro-denominated account and provide you with a bank card that draws on that account.

What you want to avoid is her transferring Euros -> your bank converting it to CAD -> you converting back to Euros while withdrawing it. You lose money on each conversion, and if you add Paypal in there, there are Paypal fees as well.

In terms of practical advice, are you sure you won't be able to open a bank account while over there? When I studied abroad in Germany in 2004-2005 (banking laws vary by country, of course, but there should be some harmonization of this type of law within the EU) I was able to open an account at a German bank.

Even if you are able to open a bank account in Belgium, there may also be not-insignificant fees that result from transferring money from an account in Germany to Belgium.

Wish I could be of more help. Something like Moneygram or Western Union as jannw suggested might be worth looking into. Though then the German girl who will be in Canada would probably have a hard time.
posted by polexa at 1:37 PM on September 10, 2010


If you use Paypal, there's still going to be a conversion into non-Euro currency unless your Canadian bank can provide you with a Euro-denominated account and provide you with a bank card that draws on that account.

This. Generally, Paypal is a bad idea, unless you have a Euro-denominated account at your bank, in which case, you can just do a straight bank transfer and skip the fees with Paypal.

What you need: Euro-denominated account at any bank - in Germany, or in your Canadian bank, or an offshore unit.

1) Are you unable to open an account in Germany? This is far by the best (read: cheapest) solution. If you can't open a bank account in Germany *right this very minute*, you can get a brand-new Paypal account denominated in Euros and not linked to any bank, and ask her to pay it to that brand-new Paypal account. Then, when you finally open your Germany bank account, you can withdraw funds from your Paypal account and into your Germany bank account for use by you!

This way, you skip the double currency conversion fees (Euro -> Can -> Euro) and most wire transfer charges (Wire transfer charges can be up to $25 for international transfers!)

2) Some Canadian banks will have Euro-denominated accounts; however, this is one of those 'special services' that will have high monthly fees attached to it.

3) Unless we're talking large sums of money here, an offshore account will not be worth it (high monthly fees).

Finally, is cash not an option?
posted by moiraine at 4:56 PM on September 10, 2010


Oh and lastly, you can mess about with the forex exchange or ETFs if it's your thing.
posted by moiraine at 4:58 PM on September 10, 2010


How about a low effort, low creativity intermediate solution. Get first and last months rent in Euros in cash from her, and just resign yourself to accepting the rest in dollars. And the online forex have fantastic rates if you need to do exchanges.
posted by sesquipedalian at 3:13 AM on September 11, 2010


Even if you are able to open a bank account in Belgium, there may also be not-insignificant fees that result from transferring money from an account in Germany to Belgium.

The one thing I can answer on this question is that transfer fees within the Eurozone are negligible or nil. By law the costs have to be shared between sender and recipient, and AFAIK the costs are usually nothing anyway.

I would definitely see if you can open a Belgian bank account. As long as you have a valid student visa, I don't see why this wouldn't be possible. An increasing number of businesses (shops, restaurants, train ticket machines etc) only accept banking cards - NOT credit cards) so life will be much more difficult without a local account.
posted by rubbish bin night at 9:18 AM on September 11, 2010


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