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Dealing with Foreign Currency Transactions

If you do business outside the United States, there are two ways to handle payments in foreign currencies. You can either keep payments in foreign currency and then convert those payments at some point to withdraw them, or you can have payments automatically converted into your primary currency at the time of the transaction.

As such, you can use PayPal to help you deal with foreign currency transactions. There are two primary settings you'll want to configure.

Managing Currency Balances

For day-to-day management of foreign currency transactions, go to your profile, click My Money on the left, and look for the line displaying your PayPal balance. At the end of that line, instead of the usual Update link, there is an invitation to see More, with a downward arrow. When you hover over this, click the Currencies link which appears—displaying the Manage Currencies page, shown in Figure 4.13. From here you can add new currencies, select your primary currency, and convert funds from one currency to another.

Figure 4.13

Figure 4.13 Managing foreign currencies.

Accepting or Denying Cross-Currency Payments

You can also configure your PayPal account to accept or deny payments from selected currencies. When a customer pays in a currency you accept, funds appear in your PayPal account in the balance for that currency. When a customer tries to pay in a currency that you do not accept, you can opt to accept or deny that payment.

To configure these settings, go to your profile and click the My Selling Tools option on the left. Under the Getting Paid and Managing My Risk heading, update how you want to block payments. The Payment Receiving Preferences page appears. Here, you will see an option to "Block payments sent to me in a currency I do not hold." You can check Yes to block these payments; check No to accept them and convert them to U.S. dollars; or check Ask Me if you want to determine your course of action on a case-by-case basis.

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