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getting paid from the USA

getting paid from the USA - alternative to paper cheques

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we have a client who receives the bulk of their income from American Universities. There institutions pay by sending physical cheques in the post despite repeated requests to wire the dollars. In the last 12 months several of these cheques amounting to thousands of dollars have been intercepted and the payee changed and the cash stolen. the client banks with Barclays and Barclays say they can't help - but what i don't understand is that when we have managed to retrieve the stolen paid cheques it has the words Barclays Bank Poole Dorset stamped on the back - does this mean the cheque has been paid to a Barclays Bank account ? - no one at Barclays seems to know! I would appreciate any ideas on how could the client could get  paid safely thanks. 

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By Wanderer
11th Jun 2021 09:09

Probably find the US universities can't get their minds around making international wire payments to UK bank accounts.
Get your client to set up a TransferWise (now Wise) account, then a US$ account within Wise.
That will give the customers a 'local' account to pay into.
Your client will also likely benefit from much better exchange rates than their UK bank are giving them.

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By sarahg
11th Jun 2021 09:10

Unfortunately the banking system in the US is very antiquated and when sending payments through 'online banking', the banks print a cheque (check) and post it out to the supplier.

It is a very frustrating system.

Transferwise cannot be used in this case as they don't accept cheques.

The Institute either need to send a wire or perhaps they could set up a direct deposit

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Replying to sarahg:
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By Wanderer
11th Jun 2021 09:38

sarahg wrote:

Transferwise cannot be used in this case as they don't accept cheques.

The Institute either need to send a wire or perhaps they could set up a direct deposit

The Universities can send a wire payment to a Wise account. It could be the international aspect, and extra charges, that is causing them issues.
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By tom123
11th Jun 2021 09:17

It would appear so, otherwise how is the bank stamp going to get on the back?

When you say 'intercepted' presumably you mean via the post 'before' they get to the client?

If the client is receiving cheques and then posting them to their bank, perhaps they could look at a different procedure.

I do manage to get most of my US customers to 'wire' me, but it is a struggle.

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By nick farrow
11th Jun 2021 10:00

many thanks for this v useful input - i know that Transferwise is supposed to be a good system - i should have said that we actually act as back office for this client and physical cheques get intercepted in the post before they reach us ( we only ever do a hand delivery to the bank once we receive the cheques) - a further frustration is that the envelopes virtually scream out "cheque enclosed"!

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By paul.benny
11th Jun 2021 11:03

Who's bearing the loss?

If the sender of funds, they might be more interested in ensuring that they use a more secure method of payment.

If it's client, they/you need to be a bit more assertive about insisting before they do more work that payment is by an agreed method.

It's probably open who should bear the first losses. But if client has advised payers, and requested payment by a different means, there's a strong argument to push liability back.

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Replying to paul.benny:
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By nick farrow
11th Jun 2021 11:45

thanks Paul - i totally agree with you

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