Why I use Paypal to pay VAs and writers (as opposed to low or no fee alternatives)?

Paypal on mobile phone

Paypal has its problems. I know that.  The biggest problem is the fees it charges especially when paying folks you hire such as VAs and writers.  Despite that, I pay all VAs and writers in Paypal.  I set this fact out in hiring ads so that new hires know that they will need to have a Paypal account.

For most folks, Paypal isn’t a problem but recently I started working with new writers who were referred to me and so aren’t quite as familiar with the digital freelancing landscape as other folks I’ve worked with.  They had to set up a Paypal account.  What really irked them were the fees Paypal dinged them.  They emailed me saying they were concerned about that and thought it grossly unfair.  I can’t blame them. If I were in their shoes, I’d be choked as well.

What did I do?  Did I pay their Paypal fees or tell them to suck it up as a cost of doing business on the Web?

I put on my Mr. nice guy hat and said I’d pay the fees.  I said they need to add a “Paypal fee” line to their invoices and that I would pay it.  I only do this for the best writers; writers I do not want to lose over a few bucks.  If I’m on the fence about anyone, I wouldn’t offer to pay the fees and if it’s a dealbreaker, so be it.

That’s how it is always.  I’m willing to go the extra foot or mile for talent.  For lesser talent or talentless, I won’t.  Most folks are the same.

Given Paypal’s fees, why do I continue using it to pay VAs and writers?

I know there are better options. Recently a fellow blogger told me about Wise and how if both parties have an account, there are no fees.  I think there are other options. They look good and if I wanted to save every nickel possible, I’d make the switch, but I haven’t and I doubt I will for the following reasons.

Paypal syncs seamlessly with Quickbooks:  Quickbooks saves me thousands every year in bookkeeping fees.  Since Paypal syncs perfectly, it’s a huge cost saver for me. Moreover, it saves me piles of time dealing with bookkeepers.  My bookkeeper and accountants are familiar with the platform.  Changing would cost me thousands in accounting fees and time spent resetting everything up.  I don’t really want to deal with all that now (or ever haha).

Paypal works perfectly in Canada: A couple years ago I monkied around with another online payment processor and it had issues with me being in Canada.  I don’t want to waste time again with another option only to find it out it doesn’t do what I need it to do because I’m in Canada. Paypal does everything I need it to do.

I have Paypal synced to my bank accounts already: I’ve already synced up Paypal to my business accounts for easy money transfers.  Okay, this is a lame reason not to switch because syncing bank accounts is pretty easy but it’s still something I would need to do.

Paypal payments funnel through my American Express card: this is huge. Maybe other options can do this as well but I love paying all my bills via American Express because I accrue tens of thousands of rewards points every year. It pays for a trip.  It adds up.

I know the platform fairly well (as do my accountants):  I’m not a fan of having to learn new dashboards and software.  It’s not fun for me. I know Paypal. My accountants know Paypal. It’s easy. It’s the path of least resistance.

Most people working online have a Paypal account set up: Most folks who freelance online have a Paypal account so they’re set up for payments already as well.

I don’t want to manage more than one payment platform:  Paypal is ubiquitous.  I receive a lot of affiliate commissions from various merchants into my Paypal account.  I doubt most of those merchants pay to other platforms (some might but all pay to Paypal).  This means if I set up another payment platform, I’d have to manage two payment platforms.  That would add to the accounting which would cost me more than the few bucks I pay in Paypal fees now.

It boils down to the hassle factor.  Switching would take up a bunch of time and may not work after all that.  For me, it’s the devil I know and the Paypal devil I know well and it does what I need it to do even if it costs me.

But Jon, the conversion fees from USD to CAD currency are horrible… surely there’s something better?

I think there is. I actually spent some time looking into it but it wasn’t easy to set up. In fact, there were many workarounds which I simply didn’t want to bother with.  Fortunately, the lion’s share of my online revenue is deposited directly into my bank account instead of being funneled through Paypal.

Do I use the Paypal app?

Yes, Paypal has an app.  I don’t use it though.  I have no idea whether it’s good or not. Outside of work I don’t work.  At work I’m on a desktop so that’s sufficient for me.

Will I never leave Paypal?

I can’t say that.  Maybe one week will come along where I have nothing better to do than toy around with a new payment platform but until then, Paypal it is.

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