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Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Posted by chisue (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 28, 11 at 14:32

We own a vacation rental condo on Maui. Most of our guests pay by check. A few charge the rental. I've just had someone ask to pay by wire transfer.

I do not know anything about this person. Our only contact has been emails, proceding from our ad on VRBO. I'm leary about providing information about my bank account to a stranger.

Am I paranoid?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

"Am I paranoid? "

No, you aren't paranoid. I would never give a stranger my banking info.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Yeah, never give out banking information. NEVER.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Thanks for the mental health checkup!

Some 'regulars' here may recall my posts about whether to offer guests the option to charge their rental expenses. Everyone thought I should do it. I thought I might be missing some guests if I did not advertise that we accept CC's, so I registered with a service in March.

So far, I've had only two guests who wanted to charge anything: Booking deposit, balance due or the $500 damage deposit. One only wanted to charge the booking deposit; he's sending a check for many thousands balance due and the damage deposit. I tell guests that we prefer checks and money orders because the CC's cost us fees, plus 3.5% (4.5% for non-US card holders), and they understand.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

I'd just point out that in Europe almost all the transactions we do by paper check in the US are done by wire transfer, so this isn't necessarily anything sinister.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

When you write a check, your account number and the bank's routing number are on the check. This is all the information that one would need to 'ACH' money to your account, so it should be safe to give out this information. I'd still verify this with my bank before doing so, just to make sure it is a one-way-street.
Your customers may wish to ACH funds to you, a fee-free transaction in many cases, rather than wire them, which almost always incurs a service charge.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

randy427 -- Well, duh, you are right: I will be sending the guest a damage deposit refund via a check...with the account and routing numbers on it. What is "ACH", please?

writersblock -- Thanks for the information about non-US customs. This guest is in Australia.

bill?

sushipup?


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

They can wire money to you - they can't get money from your account. It's perfectly safe.

As others have pointed out, your bank account information is on every check you write.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

When you travel to another country, you have to follow their rules and customs. That is just how international travel goes.

As for your bank info being on your check, yes, it is. I assume you don't just go handing checks out to strangers though either.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

ACH: Automated Clearing House.

Now pretty much supplanted by the term: EFT: Electronic Funds Transfer


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Thank you all. I suppose now I've offended my guest. Hope not. I just had not had anyone want to wire me funds before. I don't believe there's any expense if I *receive* wired funds; just on the sender's end.

I wonder if I should set up a small checking account JUST for the condo rentals and damage deposits. (Limit possible losses.)


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Check with your bank.

Ours (BB&T) does charge us to receive a wire.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Yes, my bank charges me $15 to receive, more to send. You might look into paypal.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Chisue, be aware that if you take a wire transfer, it is the same as if the person handed you cash.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

"I wonder if I should set up a small checking account JUST for the condo rentals and damage deposits. (Limit possible losses.)"

I think this is a good idea.

We did this when we opened another brokerage account. We weren't happy with the previous brokerage and didn't want them to know where we did the bulk of our banking.

We only use the account for this brokerage and keep just enough money in it to cover any fees. If there is ever a problem, (hopefully) it will be confined to that one institution and shouldn't affect any other accounts (overdrafts, etc) we have at our other bank(s).


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

As said, your check shows all the necessary information. Many people give "strangers" checks all the time, no problem.
It is good to be cautious, paranoid not so much.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

Yes, for tax purposes you might set up a seperate account, even if it is with our regular bank. That way everything is kept together and not get mixed up with your personal records. I did this when we had a rental.. Same bank, two different accounts. On the checks, I listed rental account.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

I do a lot of VRBO rentals and most who take CCs do so through Paypal. Very easy & reliable for both parties.

I have a client who pays me regularly using a wire transfer with his Quickbooks program and I don't get charged any fees from my bank.


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RE: Talk to Me About Wire Transfers

You can use Western Union for a wire transfer. It's instant, and you will receive a code whereby you need to go to a WU agent to claim the money. A lot of convenience stores and grocery stores are WU agents.

I sent money to Sweden using a regular wire transfer. It cost me a bundle because it was international, about $40. Anyway, the recipient in Sweden gave me all her account information.


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