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Local Funds Transfer Became Even Better!!!

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Philippine contractors are surely thankful for the enhanced LFT.  The beta launch provided a direct transfer of oDesk funds to Philippine banks with a $1.99 oDesk withdrawal fee (free for the first try). Particularly for BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands), there is no incoming foreign remittance fee.  Other banks charge around P50 to P200.  In my post about my first try of the LFT, I hoped for oDesk to revise the beta lauch to make it at par with the best features of Paypal’s $1 withdrawal fee and shorter remittance period of 2-3 days.  I received below email from oDesk regarding the official launch of the LFT, and lo!  The LFT became even better! What with an even lower fee of $0.99, and 2-3 days processing!  LFT will now definitely become my choice of withdrawal method!!!

Below is the notification on the official launch of the LFT:

Thanks to oDesk for always listening to requests, suggestions and recommendations from contractors who’d want to maximize their earnings.  Kudos!

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Local Fund Transfer vs Paypal

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In an effort to address the clamor of Philippine contractors for a better withdrawal method, oDesk announced the beta launch of the Local Fund Transfer method. This new method is being considered as a low cost, direct (to Philippine bank) withdrawal method. These are the main features of the LFT as claimed by oDesk.

What is Local Funds Transfer:

  • Transfer funds directly to your local bank account. No third-party payment providers are involved. You deal directly with oDesk.
  • Your first withdrawal is Free! Thereafter, each withdrawal is just $1.99.
  • oDesk offers a very competitive exchange rate that in most cases will beat the other payment providers. You can see the last oDesk exchange rate on the withdrawal form before you withdraw funds.
  • You will receive your funds in 5 business days or less.

Since oDesk’s announcement of the beta launch last December 2010, Philippine contractors rejoiced at the promise of savings from withdrawal fees,and for a more efficient payment system with a better exchange rate. Many became curious, tried the new method and had their piece of good and bad experiences.  The “sigurista” in me deemed it best to become a spectator first before diving into the pool.  I’d like to ensure that everything will go as planned. Most of the time there is an advantage at not initiating a particular action unless one is 100% sure that the desired results would be obtained.  Visiting the forum and reading from other contractors’ experiences gave me a better glimpse at the situations I might find my funds into if I decide to use the new method.  Some say the method is confusing…others say there is not a remarkable difference in exchange rate from the other methods like Paypal or Payoneer….and still others say they’re happy as there is another equally good alternative.  Many believe in the saying “experience is the best teacher” and so do I. Okay then…now its my turn to dive.

Step 1 – setup LFT as another payment method with my Bank of the Philippine Islands account.

Step 2 – Withdraw my oDesk funds into my chosen payment method/s.

My first try on the LFT was February 10, 2011. I decided to withdraw from oDesk into both LFT and Paypal at the same time, with equal amounts of $285 each. Here are snapshots showing the exchange rate comparison between the two methods:

For LFT, the rate is higher compared to Paypal – at least by 0.277. On this, oDesk’s promise that the new method offers a “very competitive exchange rate that in most cases will beat the other payment” proved to be true .

From LFT, I should be expecting about P12,145.56 to hit my bank account.  Should there be rate changes from the time the withdrawal is processed up to the day the funds hit my bank account, I believe the amount will not be substantially different.

Paypal on the other hand, will be sending me P12,066.61. There is about P78.95 difference, and LFT at least gave me additional budget for a Jollibee or McDonalds meal….not bad. In this aspect, thumbs up for LFT…it got 1 point score.

How long did I wait for the money to hit my bank?

My estimate from February 10 (Thursday) withdrawal:

LFT – 3 to 5 business days into bank….so more or less by February 17 the funds should have reached my bank account.  And because February 12 & 13 are weekends, therefore not considered “business days,” those were not considered in counting the days. The actual date I receive the funds was February 16 (Wednesday), or 4 days from withdrawal.

PAYPAL – 2 to 4 business days into bank…I should receive the funds more or less by February 16, Saturday and Sunday also not considered in the counting.  I received my money on February 14.

Although with LFT there is longer waiting period, oDesk still delivered its promise for a maximum 5 business days.  But, Paypal proves itself better than the LFT, especially for contractors like me who are in a rush to get their fund transfers. Okay, 1 point for Paypal….they tie in score now…

But wait…..

The actual amount credited into my bank account from Paypal was only P11,916.61, and not P12,066.61.  There was P150 incoming/foreign remittance fee charged by the bank….and that means my daughter will not get her 2 orders of Kiddie meals with free toys.

From the LFT remittance, the actual amount I received was P12,190.41 and not just P12,145.56….a higher rate therefore was used by oDesk which is P42.773 instead of P42.3390 as indicated in the notification. This could be the prevailing rate at the time of the remittance, not at the time of withdrawal, hence rates could vary.

Based from this, the effective exchange rate difference is $0.434.  The total amount difference between the two methods I used is now P273.80. My daughter can have 3 kiddie meals with toys.

In sum:

Now, which payment method is the best?

It will really depend on the contractor’s personal circumstances.

If one is in a rush to get their funds the same day (to pay utilities or bills etc. and avoid surcharges on late payments), Payoneer Debit Card is the best, but the big disadvantage is that the deductions are substantial.

Paypal is the next best alternative for those in a hurry, with shorter waiting time compared to LFT, but still, the disadvantage being the lower exchange rate and bank remittance fee charged by the banks.

LFT is the best when it comes to those who want to save on bank remittance fees since every centavo counts nowadays. One just needs to be patient and be willing to wait for max 5days. This method will prove to give substantial savings if it lowers the withdrawal fee of $1.99 to be at par with Paypal’s $1.

As for me, I’d like to have a payment method added….the COMBI….

It is a combination of the best features of the 3 methods – LFT with Paypal’s Shorter Waiting Period, a choice for Immediate Load like Payoneer at very minimal fee and a Very Competitive Exchange Rate.  Should this improved LFT be implemented in the official launch…..I’m pretty sure that oDesk will get everybody’s…

 

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Another Payment Method for Philippine Contractors

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Its good news for Philippine contractors!  Thank you, oDesk, for finding ways for us to save on withdrawal fees.  I always use my Payoneer Debitcard (immediate load), and seldom my Paypal. These payment facilities have their own unique features, however, with the new payment method of Odesk direct to bank account, the latter proves to be the best.  Below is a re-post from Mollie Carter’s (of oDesk) post on the new payment method:

Submitted 12/16/2010
molliecarter 20 posts

If you are a contractor in the Philippines, we’d like to invite you to participate in our beta launch of Local Funds Transfer in the Philippines!

You’ve been asking for a better withdrawal method, and we’ve been working on it. We have a new local funds transfer withdrawal method for the Philippines that will allow you to withdraw Philippine Pesos directly into your local bank account for $1.99 per withdrawal.

Join Our Beta Program Today!
oDesk is offering Local Funds Transfer as a beta. We are also waiving the $1.99 fee on your first withdrawal. We are confident in the system — your funds are safe and after you add your bank and request a withdrawal, you will receive your funds in 3-5 business days. But, we’d like your help to understand better what’s working really well and what could be improved before we officially launch.

If you have any questions before or after you join the beta, please contact our Customer Support team directly.

Add your bank now to participate in this beta release.

What is Local Funds Transfer:

  • Transfer funds directly to your local bank account.  No third-party payment providers are involved.  You deal directly with oDesk.
  • Your first withdrawal is Free!  Thank you for trying this new service. Thereafter, each withdrawal is just $1.99.
  • oDesk offers a very competitive exchange rate that in most cases will beat the other payment providers.  You can see the last oDesk exchange rate on the withdrawal form before you withdraw funds.
  • You will receive your funds in 5 business days or less.

Your local bank may charge you an incoming remittance fee. oDesk does not earn any part of this fee. Please consult your bank about possible incoming remittance fees.  Because of oDesk’s banking relationships, there are reduced fees for the following banks:

  • Bank of Philippine Islands customers will not be charged any incoming remittance fees.
  • Union Bank customers will be charged a reduced incoming remittance fee of 50 Pesos.
  • Please see our help page for information on other banks.

If you are interested in participating in this beta launch, please click here to add your local bank.

You may also click here for more information.

Now, I can withdraw my oDesk earnings direct to my bank account (BPI or BDO for me).  From this payment method I get to save $0.01(odesk to payoneer) + $2.50 (about P110 for immediate load into my debitcard) + P200 (BPI charge for international funds) and another P352 (for BPI atm withdrawal charges). Wow! Thats-a-lotta-savings!

More power to oDesk! Gracias!

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Curiousity Did Not Kill The Cat

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Ever since I started earning on oDesk, I have always used my Payoneer debitcard for my fund withdrawals. Not only is it convenient but the exchange rate is more or less close to prevailing rates. I added Paypal as another payment method but never used it. I always get inquiries from fellow odeskers as to which of the two payment methods is the better one. While I can vouch for Payoneer, I was clueless as to Paypal, so I deemed it best to try it myself. For the first time, I tried withdrawing my week’s earnings from oDesk to Paypal.

Upon logging into my Paypal account and opting for withdrawal, I got this window:

I suddenly remembered some forum posts about a situation where the freelancer apparently failed to get his money as expected because there were discrepancies in his bank info.  In my case, my lastname as per bank records is “delos Reyes” while my Paypal account was “de los Reyes

Who would have thought that a character or even a space will matter a lot in this century?  Anyway, I wanted to play safe so I contacted Paypal Customer Support for the correction.  (Typographical errors are easier for Paypal to respond to unlike in those other complicated matters).

I logged into my account and started the fund withdrawal on October 12.  Since the amount is at least P7,000 then I am assured that there will be no withdrawal charges.  However, the exchange rate is lower than the prevailing rate that day.  I guess that’s the catch for the “freebie” withdrawal fee.

And then I wondered how many days it will take for the funds to reflect in my bank account. When I checked my bank balance after 3 days, I confirmed that the Paypal withdrawal was successful.  There was just about P80 deducted from the balance, maybe a charge by the bank.  I’m glad that I did not experience any problem with Paypal and got my hard earned money without fuss. Now, I have a proven alternative for withdrawing my earnings from oDesk.

Thanks, Paypal!

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My oDesk Debit Mastercard

My  oDesk debit Mastercard finally arrived!          mydebitcard

I’m ecstatic!  I received my oDesk debit Mastercard (powered by Payoneer today.  After having been approved June 4th, I will finally have the chance to use my debit card to taste the fruits of my virtual labor.

I started working online via oDesk on May 26, 2009, although I became a member in  April of the same year.  That means I got my first online job more than a month after.

I have tried searching the web for online jobs a year ago, but my frustrations caught on me due to articles I read about other peoples’ experiences of being scammed. Google online jobs and you will be presented with millions of websites offering and promising easy money as a freelancer. From what I’ve read, there are so many unscrupulous websites offering online jobs, promising big bucks earnings.  Some of these would claim that you can earn $5000-$10000 in a week or less, some even have the temerity to entice you to try their methods which will make you rich doing nothing but sit…..I repeat, you do nothing but sit back and relax and your money grows tremendously.  Can you believe that?  For the money greedy individual, these enticements are effective come-ons.  What they usually offer you is for you to invest some amount in membership then you will be led to a site or sent an email instructing where you can download their so called “secret weapon” at earning tons of cash.  They make it appear that there is no risk, since they offer free items valued at $$$$$$, with money back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the product, at the same time keep the free items.  How will they do it?  You are asked to fill in electronic forms stating personal circumstances, then your payment method, usually credit card or Paypal account information.  Next, you receive email notification bearing download procedures and codes, then you can already access the “secret weapon” which are nothing but tons and tons of e-books of how-to’s.  Very convenient  isn’t it?  If you are not vigilant and give in to these scam maniacs, you’ll soon find out that you are being billed regularly for nothing but trash, since you can search on these topics in the web anyway, for free, as long as you want.

I nearly gave in to this system in one of the websites.  I filled out their form with my personal details, including my credit card details.  I was about to click on the submit button when my little girl suddenly called me for some assistance in installing anti-virus in her desktop.  That bid me some time to think if it was wise to subscribe.  Is it really possible to earn big bucks doing nothing but sleep, eat, travel leisurely, and at the same time your  virtual cash register keeps on filling with cash?  While that is the lifestyle that everybody aims for, those who are in that status worked really hard and made lots of sacrifices in order to attain their goal and state of life.  There’s nothing more fulfilling than earning your money the hard way,  that is, investing your time and energy in a job that reasonably pays you based on your output and performance.  Well, I prefer this method….slowly but surely, so to speak.

So, when I returned to my virtual desk I canceled the transaction.  And thanks to my little girl, Hannah.    My guardian angel did a good job by using my child to keep me from possible scam.  Sometimes, when our kids distract or disturb us at a time when we are deep into our jobs, we soon realize that such a disturbance is a blessing in disguise.

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