How to use a Transferwise borderless account to get paid by FastSpring

We use FastSpring to sell our software, which means that our account balance is in USD. FastSpring can pay out in EUR to a SEPA bank account, but new FinTech companies seem to offer better exchange rates.

Transferwise is one of these companies. Their bordereless account (which is not the same as their regular account) makes it possible to get paid by FastSpring to a US bank in USD (for free), convert the payment into EUR at Transferwise’s advantageous rates and withdraw it to a EUR account.

1. Sign up for a Transferwise borderless account

Click here and apply (this should direct you to the borderless signup page). You can also click on this affiliate link to get a free transfer and to support this blog, but please note that this will send you to the regular Transferwise signup page.

It took quite a while for Transferwise to open our borderless account. If you don’t hear from them within a few business days, I recommend logging in to check if further documents are required.

2. Activate USD as a currency and get your bank details

Transferwise activate currency

After logging in to your borderless account, you’ll be able to activate currencies. Obviously, you’ll need USD to get paid by FastSpring. Activating USD as a currency also gives you your USD bank details.

Transferwise borderless account USD bank details

I strongly recommend clicking on the “How do I use these?” link to learn more about using your USD bank details.

3. Enter your bank details in your FastSpring account

Things get a bit more difficult here. In your FastSpring account, go to “Payment Methods”, set the bank country to “United States” and click on “Enter Direct Deposit (ACH) Information”:

 

FastSpring payment methods
Note that these are the instructions for FastSpring’s “Classic Springboard”, things will look different if you’re using the more recent “contextual” dashboard.

Transferwise gives you all the bank details you’ll need to enter with the exception of the bank’s name. However, you can easily find the name by either entering your wire routing number (a.k.a ABA routing number) on this website or by entering your ACH routing number here. In our case, both numbers returned “Community Federal Savings Bank” as the bank’s name.

To make things more confusing, FastSpring asks for a “Routing / ABA (9 digits)” number. Do not actually enter the wire routing number (a.k.a ABA routing number) here! Instead, enter the ACH routing number (FastSpring customer support has confirmed that this is correct).

Transferwise recommends choosing “checking” and not “savings” as the account type, so I selected “Business checking”.

My completed form (colors match the colors used above):
FastSpring direct deposit ACH information using Transferwise borderless account

4. Add your EUR bank account to Transferwise

Transferwise will notify you when you’ve received a new payment. In order to withdraw it, you first have to add a bank account:

Transferwise add EUR account

5. Convert and withdraw your money in EUR

You can then convert your USD to EUR and send them to your account in one step:

Transferwise send money

Transferwise will show you the exchange rate and the fees (1% for USD to EUR). Soon afterwards (on the next business day in our case), your money will show up in your EUR bank account.

Are there alternatives to Patreon?

Update December 13, 2017: Patreon is sorry and will not roll out the fee changes.

Services provided by Patreon

Patreon is an intermediary between content creators and consumers (“Patrons”). The value-added functions provided by Patreon are:

  1. Payment processing and management (subscription / per creation).
  2. VAT handling.
  3. Low fees for micropayments (through payment aggregation).
  4. Content hosting and access regulation.
  5. Social networking.

Patreon has recently announced changes to their fee structure which will make it significantly more expensive to support a large number of creators with small amounts, effectively eliminating the third point. For further information, read this discussion on Reddit, this blog post or head over to Twitter to witness the shitstorm. There’s also an interesting theory that financial regulations might be the true reason why Patreon suddenly shot themselves in the foot .

Patreon alternatives

The only alternative providing all of the 5 functions listed above appears to be Drip (by Kickstarter). However, Drip is currently “invite-only” and not yet open to all creators.

All other alternatives I found may fulfill some of the functions, but not all of them. Nevertheless, they often charge higher fees than Patreon.

Snowdrift.coop maintains an excellent overview of crowdfunding and fundraising services  (there are several lists on that page, be sure to scroll all the way down). However, many of them won’t solve the micropayment problem (notable exceptions are Flattr and Liberapay).

You could also have a look at marketplaces for digital goods, particularly if your supporters expect to get something in return for their payments. Here are two lists to get you started:
12 Platforms to Sell Digital Downloads
Sell Product Online

The majority of creators I used to support on Patreon offer direct donations through PayPal or via bank transfer. Obviously, this only satisfies the first point on my list, but it might still be an acceptable solution to many small donors who removed their pledges on Patreon in protest against the new fee structure.

Updates: Other articles (chronological order):

Updates: Other possible alternatives to Patreon:

(alphabetical order, last updated on December 12, 2018)

How to connect your YouTube channel with your Google+ page

The problem

You have an existing YouTube Channel for your business with a number of videos (in my case, it was called “SmartluxBalances“).

You also have a Google+ page for this business or activity (“+BalancesLu“). The channel and G+ page are not connected, so when someone clicks on the “Videos” tab on your G+ page, no videos show up:
No G+ videos

Instead of uploading your videos again, you want the existing videos from your YouTube channel to appear there.

Assumptions

You’re using your personal G+ profile as the current manager (and owner) of your G+ page.

Your YouTube channel is not currently connected to a G+ profile (otherwise you’ll first have to disconnect it).

The solution

1. Go to your G+ page’s settings and add a new manager. Indicate the exact email you’re using to log in to your YouTube channel. Sign out.

2. You’ll receive an email to become a manager of the G+ page. Click on the link (or better, copy it to an incognito window). This is where things become confusing because you’ll have to set up another personal G+ profile. Just do it (you’ll delete it again in the next step). I recommend using your company’s logo as profile picture. Your former YouTube account is now a manager of your G+ page, too.

3. Still using your former YouTube account, go to your G+ settings and delete the useless profile that you’ve just set up in step 2. You’ll still be a manager even after the profile is gone.

4. Go to your YouTube account settings and click on the option to connect your channel to a G+ page. As a (new) manager of your business’s G+ page, you should now be able to select your G+ page as the new name for your YouTube channel:
Select new name for your YouTube channel

5. After a few minutes, check out the “Videos” tab on your G+ page. It should now be called “YouTube” and all the videos from your YouTube channel should be displayed:
YouTube videos on your G+ page

If things didn’t work, head over to YouTube Google+ Integration for help.