How to transfer money to Thailand from abroad using Paypal

Call me stupid, I deserve it. Last week I fell for the trap.
In many countries in Asia ATM machines will give back your card only after taking the money, where I was used to to first  take out your bank card in order to get the money. You should know what is coming by now.
In some situations it can be worse to forget the card rather then the money. Well, never mind, just be alert..
Last week in a moment of what must have been day dreaming, I actuall managed to forget my card after which it was most likely swallowed by a nasty machine. Big Blush!
When coming to Thailand last year, an older German guy advised me never to use ATM’s, since they were dangerously evil card hungry devices. I thought it to be an exaggeration and was well aware to take my card back each time, but I now had the AlTzheiMer stigma myself.
I needed that card for online banking as well, since my Dutch bank requires a challenge-response device to confirm my ID, so transferring money to my newly openened Thai bank account was no option. Panic, what to do? Why didn’t I bring a backup card? Some banks allow for transfer by phone, but mine didn’t, stupid bank!
Getting a new card meant that it had to be activated at an ATM in Holland first, after which a friend should have sent it to my hotel by mail. I decided not to wait for that, since I felt like a junkie waiting for his heroine.
I did have a credit card intended as financial backup, but my monthly credit limit had been decreased, since I didn’t sent a proof of income earlier. Begging the bastards to increase my limit didn’t help either, rules were changed. Back in the old days, when we could not use bankcards abroad, I would just phone them to increase limits, now they refuse to do that and demand a proof of income which will take months to produce. After reading a story about a Dutch women, who flew back from Africa just to quickly activate her card, I had to control my nerves and fled to alcoland.
Restlessness can sometimes be a good advisor. What about Paypal? Was it possible to throwing your money in Cyberspace and then safely take it out at the other side of the world?
Fortunately enough Paypal was already being authorised to withdraw money from my Dutch bank.
One nasty thing is that they do not allow to include foreign bank accounts to your excisting account, so I needed to create a second Paypal account, where I’m living in Thailand, linked to my Thai Kasikorn bank account.
In Thailand, Paypal will verify your local bank account through your credit card statement, as opposed to Holland where they can also use your bank. The use of the anonymous Visa-card supplied by Kasikorn was not accepted, since it is a debit card and requesting a ‘real’ credit card was virtually impossible, since you’ll need a work permit, steady income and other things I don’t have. That’s where a so-called K-web shopping card from Kasikorn comes in (Thank you, wonderfull people from Kasikorn helpdesk staff). I requested the card online and it was issued the very next day.
One unique stealthing property of a K-web shopping card is that it’s 100% virtual and and apart from serious hacking attempts cannot be lost, stolen, or damaged. Actually it is some kind of low threshold workaround to be able to do internet payments without ‘abusing’ the card in shops or something like that. Kasikorn will even provide you with a 3-digit CVV code, which you need for any internet transaction. Take care; Air Asia will somehow not accept this virtual card, so I found out the other day and currently I’m not informed who does and who doesn’t.
So now, besides a regular credit card, I possess a 100% virtual Visa card as well a fully anonymous Thai Visa card. It’s a strange world we live in. Blablabla.
Anyway 5 days later (Update 6-12-2010: It now takes 10 till 14 days) the money arrived at my Thai bank account and I was saved. Big relief.
The Paypal & Kasikorn construction saved me to lose face when borrowing money from local friends or asking friends or family back home to make Western Union transfers, an ultimate nightmare.
Paypal will charge you a commision of 0.5% but at a higher exchange rate, still making direct bank to bank transfers the preferred choice.
The next day I was called by someone from Paypal Singapore about the uncommon transaction, but it was merely a security check. (Update 6-12-2010): It seems a valid constuction, since I have never been called again and used it three times, however I now use bank to bank transfers.)
By the way, a good alternative for the Paypal construction seems to be Moneybookers, maintaining a ceiling of Euro 0,50 or 0.65 USD plus a fixed amount of 1,80 Euro or 2.35 USD per transaction, which seems to be cheaper than Paypal and they allow multiple banks in different countries within the same Moneybookers account. I don’t know about the exchange rate of Moneybookers right now. But I do know someone from Holland who is using Moneybookers and Kasikorn enthousiastically for a long time now. Moneybookers will first require you to deposit the amount at their bankaccount.

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5 Responses

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    anyseo October 11, 2010 at 7:42 am |

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  3. Devid
    Devid October 15, 2010 at 11:56 am |

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    Ron November 19, 2010 at 10:26 am |

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