Why you should use Wise.com (formerly TransferWise.com) for payments in currencies other than your own.

With Wise you pay about 4% less than you would with PayPal. Also, the recipient gets almost 4% more.  How can that be?

PayPal charges a much higher fee for international sales by sneakily using a poor exchange rate, which costs you 4% extra. For example, when I paid in euros Dec. 8, 2019 and the day's exchange rate was given on websites as $1.106, the actual rate PayPal gave me was $1.154 (dollars subtracted divided by euros I sent). That's an additional 4% that PayPal takes. TransferWise charges only the midmarket rate plus a small fee. 

Of course, you know the seller gets about 4% less than you send, which is the expected fee.

For example, the seller asks 100 euros and accepts PayPal and knows he will only get 96. That looks like 4%. But wait. I buy 100 euros in dollars (at $1.154/euro) so I pay $115.40. $115.40 really buys (in bulk at $1.106/euro) 104.35 euros. So, PayPal gives out 96 and gets in 104.35. That works out to a 8% take. I'll bet you didn't think the fees were 8%! You pay more with PayPal (4%) and I get less (4%)!

If you are in the US and pay abroad with PayPal, I invite you to compute the ratio of the PayPal deduction from your account in dollars to the number of euros or pounds or CHF sent. Then google the price of that currency that day and see how they compare. Any excess you pay goes into PayPal's pockets, and that is not counting the fee of about 4% to the seller.

That's way I now pay abroad with (Transfer)Wise (Their site:  https://wise.com/ . Their Wikipedia link). They give a much better rate and much lower fees. 

Wise takes a while to set up, but once I have paid a particular firm the second time is very easy. I feel good about giving the seller the full amount and not giving so much to the financial services industry.

By the way, Wise incurs no "wiring fee." Auction firms will remove any charge for that (often 12-20 euros) from your invoice.

By the way, if you try to pay anyone already in their system, unclick "I know their bank details" (even if you do). Their name and email address is enough.