Finding the Right Payment Methods By

Finding the Right Payment Methods

There are many things that set SabbaticalHomes.com apart from other home-sharing sites, and one of them is how we deal with payments—or rather, how you deal with payments.

SabbaticalHomes.com lets our members decide amongst themselves how they want the payment process to work, which leaves you with a lot of freedom, but also a lot of choices. We’ve done a little research to find some of the best payment apps and systems that you can try, for both the United States and abroad.

Be sure to protect yourself by checking references and signing a lease or contract with the other member prior to sending or receiving payments.

Related: SabbaticalHomes.com FAQ Trust & Safety Between Members

U.S. Based Payment Options

Venmo

Venmo is probably the most well-known payment app. This app is perfect for quick transfers, like splitting the cost of a meal or repaying someone for coffee, but it could also be used for bigger transfers like rent or a security deposit.

You can connect your bank account and transfer the money you get sent directly to that account. There are usually no fees associated with a transfer on Venmo, but if you send money using a credit card (as opposed to your bank or debit card) there’s a 3% fee, so watch out for that. Right now Venmo is only available within the U.S.

Zelle

To send money with Zelle, all you need is an email address or a phone number—you don’t need any bank info, any usernames, nothing. If you have an email address (which you probably do, if you’ve come to an agreement!) you can send money to anyone.

And, if your bank has partnered with Zelle, you don’t even need an app—you can do it right from your computer. This is a great option for one-time payments to people you don’t know that well. Zelle is only available to those who have U.S. based bank accounts.

Related: 15 Best Travel Apps You Need for Your Vacation While on Sabbatical

International Payment Options

Xoom

A Paypal service, Xoom is meant specifically for international transfers. They have an app, but you can transfer from your computer as well. You can get text or email updates to track the location of your transfer, and you get notified when it gets through to the other person.

There are fees associated with the exchange rate, but you can check their exchange rate calculator to see what that fee would be before you hit send.

Wise

Wise is another site specifically for international transfers, that you can make right from your computer. Their claim to fame is that they don’t charge you anything other than the exchange rate fee, while banks and other payment systems jack up the price.

They’re also soon releasing a “borderless account,” which will make it easier to bank internationally—perfect for SabbaticalHomes.com members who live in two different countries throughout the year, or who travel a lot for work.

Paypal and Paypal International

Probably the most common among SabbaticalHomes.com users, Paypal and Paypal International let you send money within the states as well as abroad. As with any site, there are some fees associated with international transfers (check out this page to see what those fees are), but if you link and transfer to a bank account within the U.S. or Canada, the transfer is free.

International Escrow Services

Some members have asked about using third-party escrow-style services to have more control over their security deposits and payments. These services will charge a percentage and/or fees on the transaction. If you are interested in looking into an escrow service, here are two possibilities to research:

Escrow.com

Escrow.com is used worldwide, but they do not operate in all countries, so please check if your country is included in their service area. For rental security deposits and payments, their most applicable category is called Milestone Transactions, which they describe as being a useful tool when “paying for a good or service and want money released only at certain stages? Use Escrow to assure that money is released only when you’re happy with each step.”

Trustap.com

Trustap.com covers 135 countries, is powered by the Stripe payment technology and “works exactly like traditional escrow-type platforms do, except it manages entire transactions online, from the funds to the item or service involved.”

Note: SabbaticalHomes.com has not vetted these services. Members are responsible for their own research and/or usage of all third-party escrow and payment services.

Avoid Hidden Fees & Read the Fine Print

There are so many payment options available on the internet, but when using any of them, make sure to read the fine print. Double-check your transaction before you send it to avoid unfavorable transfer rates, hidden fees, and more. Doing your homework before can help save you money in the long run.

Also keep in mind that getting a refund can be difficult, especially when the payment happens between two people directly. Protect yourself by checking references and making sure that you vet and trust the person that you’re doing business with before you send anything.

Do you have a favorite payment processing system? Let us know in the comments below!

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