We all have Bank accounts in our respective home countries or residences. No problem with that - it is easy to get. We need this to run our lives, do our day to day activities off-line and so on. It is no big deal or a problem. So it is until I got online to make money two years ago.
When you get online and try to make money, then you realize that the rule of the game will change for you. Suddenly you will realize that you need a US Bank account with a Bank over there in the US. Why? Because 80%-90% of the Internet businesses is controlled by people in US / Canada. That is the way it is for now and in the foreseeable future. And I doubt if the equation is ever going to change at all.
When you want to make money online, in most cases the buyer will be a US native who is either using PayPal or a Credit card to pay for things online. You have got to hook up with PayPal by opening an account with them to receive your payments from other PayPal users. But PayPal only allows people from about 50 countries of the world to use her services. In other words, you can not open an account with them if you are not from these 48-50 countries. Then you realize you are stuck.
What is the alternative if this is your situation? Get a Merchant account or a third party payment processor to take credit and debit cards payments for you. From our earlier equation, 80%-90% of the time, the guys will be in the US. When it is time for the card company to transfer your money to you less their charges, you are going to receive a check which might take 2-4 weeks to get to you, depending on your location. You get the check, assuming you are lucky it did not get lost in transit, and deposit the same with your Bank in your home country. Your bank sends the check for collection in US - another 2-4 weeks. In US, your funds get cleared in 2-3 business days. Then you get your credit. Now your Bank will charge you about $25 - $45 for the check: remember they have to pay DHL / Fedex to transport your check along with other documents, plus they are in business. Get it?
Now for all they care, your check may be for an amount of between $100 to $200, especially if you are just starting out. If you get 10 - 20 checks in a year (yes you can be getting many checks from various affiliate programs) you might find yourself paying $250 - $900 for the year.
Now compare yourself with someone with a US Bank account. He gets paid by what they call ACH (Automated Clearing House) system. This is just an electronic fund transfer system initiated by individual account owners in US to pay others within a network of some banks in US / Canada. This takes just 2-3 days and bang, your money is in your US bank account. It is mostly free to go. In some case you pay a token. I pay $3 to receive ACH into my US Bank account. I live in Africa and I have access to my funds by use of the Card issued to me by the US bank. I can withdraw money daily at the ATM in my country, no problem! My problem is to make the money go into my US bank account:-
Also I can use my Card to buy things online, a privildge not enjoyed by many especially in the developing and under-developed countries.
Now you can see that it is a must for you to have a US bank account if you want to make and retain money from the Internet. But getting one is one of your greatest nightmare as a non-resident.
A non-resident refers to the non-US citizens, having no residential base in the country. It is generally put in to the use by the country's banking sector.
- Added: October, 19th 2011
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- Tags: merchant account, accept credit cards, accept credit card
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