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Old 15th Apr 2024, 12:22 pm   #1
WaveyDipole
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Default Paypal and USD conversion

I recently wanted to make a Payment to a member in Scotland (I am in England so both of us are in the UK), but Paypal is insiting on converting my payment to USD, which naturally incurrs a conversion charge. Would the recipient then also incur a charge for converting the currency back to GBP? Needless to say I did not complete the transaction. I have not encountered this problem before and have previously done countless transactions with members.

I found my timezone was somehow set to the Eastern US and I changed it back to GMT London. That made no difference. I checked my wallet and found I had two currencies set - GBP and USD. I removed USD so I now only have GBP, but that still made no difference.

Today I contacted PP customer services. All they did was check my wallet on the account and confirm that my account was set to GBP, which obviously I can see for myself online. They then advised me to contact the recipient and get them to change their wallet to GBP. The recipient says they have had no problem receiving PP payments from others. Perhaps not surprisingly, PP would not accept that there may be a problem at their end.

Another weird thing. During the call, before I was connected with Customer Service, I was quoted my my balance. The figure given was correct figure IN GBP, but you guessed it... the automated system said US dollars - not pounds.... go figure. I mentioned this to the representative as there is obviously a singificant difference in monetary value between GPB and USD, but she was not having any of it and just kept repeating that she had checked my account and it was Ok and to contact the recipient.

I thought I would mention this here as many of us use Paypal and Googling brings up other mentions of similar problems being encountered by others. I do wonder whether anyone on here has encountered anything like this recently?

I obviously don't want to incurr currency conversion fees for making Payments to members in the UK, but if this continues, I may have little choice but to withdraw my funds and drop Paypal as a payment method.
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Old 15th Apr 2024, 12:26 pm   #2
paulsherwin
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

It happened to me once as well. There's a setting somewhere in your account that changes your default currency, but I can't remember the details now.

It's nothing to do with paying somebody in Scotland, it'll apply to all your payments until you manage to fix it.
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Old 15th Apr 2024, 1:12 pm   #3
WaveyDipole
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

Yes, the currency setting is in wallet and mine is set to GBP for all payment methods. It also had USD added which I have already removed.

Since I posted, the member who was receiving the payment also checked their Paypal and found that the currency setting on their account had also been changed to USD. He changed it back after which I re-tried the payment and this time it completed successfully using GBP.

Hopfully resolved for now, but curious that the currency should suddenly have changed to USD like that. Sounds like an update at their end that has impacted at least some peoples account settings, but I guess we will never know. The upshot is that if anyone encounters an unexpected currency conversion request when making UK-to-UK payment, then check your own account currency settings and also get the recipient to check that their account currency hasn't been unexpectedly defaulted to USD.

Last edited by WaveyDipole; 15th Apr 2024 at 1:21 pm.
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Old 15th Apr 2024, 1:15 pm   #4
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

Yes, I think that was what happened in my case. "All the world's America" to these US companies.
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Old 17th Apr 2024, 9:50 pm   #5
arjoll
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

If it's payments within the UK in GBP, can't you just do a bank transfer through online banking or your app? It's what we do in NZ, happens immediately with the same bank or within an hour or two between banks, no third parties, fees or currency conversions. From what I've seen with clients I have with Australian bank accounts who transact there, it's the same in Aus.
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Old 17th Apr 2024, 10:25 pm   #6
WaveyDipole
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

Sure. Done BACS transfer a number of times, but not everyone is comfortable with giving their bank account number and sort code.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 1:20 am   #7
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

It's on their cheque if they pay that way...

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Old 18th Apr 2024, 6:14 am   #8
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

Cheques were phased out here in 2021 but in the early days of online banking (over two decades ago!) I used the same logic - the number was right there anyway and all people can do with it is pay you! Pretty much every business will include their account number on invoices and statements, and it's the main payment method used on Trademe. I thought it was only the USA where it wasn't common.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 7:23 am   #9
Keith956
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

PayPal does weird things occasionally. I wanted to buy some ICs from a US company recently; they sent me a PayPal invoice in US $. Despite paying for stuff before in USD, and receiving payments in US$ only a few days ago, the PayPal website just refused to allow me to make the payment. It claimed the seller did not have an account that allowed them to make transactions outside the US (which is a new one on me).

I gave up in the end and ordered the ICs from China, no problems with PayPal in USD to a Chinese company... go figure.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 8:24 am   #10
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

I have just checked my PayPal account to make sure that I have GBP set as default.
I have both GBP and USD set as currencies but GBP is still my default.

BUT I have another strange issue. Both my home phone (landline) and mobile are set as Primary. We are dumping the landline as we never use it but Paypal will not let me delete it unless I add another number. I cannot understand why as my mobile is also flagged as Primary.

Peter
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 11:32 am   #11
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio Wrangler View Post
It's on their cheque if they pay that way...

David
Not only that but a cheque also provides your signature which used to be the Banks’ primary way to confirm the identity of its customer.

The only cheques I write now are the ones for the stall at Retrotechuk.

Transferring money via internet banking is easy with a phone app, the most awkward part, at least with my bank, was calculating and inputting the one time code needed for each new payee. Now I use fingerprint ID it is simple.

PayPal is very easy although does throw up some strange anomalies from time to time. Always thought that was because I joined them before they had a UK “branch”. For the very few times I have called them the customer service was excellent and presumably done within the UK as they were understandable!

Peter
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 12:32 pm   #12
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjoll View Post
Cheques were phased out here in 2021 but in the early days of online banking (over two decades ago!) I used the same logic - the number was right there anyway and all people can do with it is pay you! Pretty much every business will include their account number on invoices and statements, and it's the main payment method used on Trademe. I thought it was only the USA where it wasn't common.
The UK banking industry has been trying to phase out cheques for 20 years or more, but there is political resistance from a number of pressure groups, notably the elderly and small traders. I haven't written a cheque for several years.
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Old 18th Apr 2024, 6:21 pm   #13
Reelman
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

I doubt if many personal account holders have a need to write a cheque these days, indeed younger members of my family have not seen a book for years and the youngest one has never had a book!

Those who worked at a bank branch in the past won’t regret their passing. Everyday we looked through every cheque received to ensure words and figures corresponded, the date was within 6 months and not in the future and that the signature was correct, receipted if necessary. A final check for “stops” then stamped paid with the date and filed away for 6 years. Before this they were of course sorted into alphabetical order. All this by hand and often when our other duties allowed.

However there are probably still a few firms who make frequent use of cheques for payment of cash prizes in lotteries etc.

A cheque is still covered by the Bills of Exchange Act 1882, subsequently modified by the Cheques Act 1957. Sorry to drift a little off topic but it proves the point of taking the banking exams back in the 70s! Don’t have much of a chance to use the information these days.

An old banker,

Peter
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Old 20th Apr 2024, 12:08 pm   #14
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

You're definitely logged in via <www.paypal.com/uk/home> ?
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Old 20th Apr 2024, 1:36 pm   #15
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Default Re: Paypal and USD conversion

As there is an answer and threads like this are really not topics for this forum the thread will now be closed.

Cheers

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