Money November 21, 2019

Customer wants to pay by mailing a cheque only!

Collins Ruto @kibe

Hello there,

I recently started a web development shop and got my first customer!

However, my client appears not to trust online payments at all, and has asked me for a physical address in the US so he can mail the cheque. I live in Nairobi, Kenya, so I don't have a US address.

Any ideas for this?

  1. 3

    Sadly, this is rather common in the US, I have US clients that still insist on paying by check as well...

    1. 1

      So sad! But as businesses I guess we need to cover everyone as well

  2. 3

    Something something Nigerian prince... (joke/sarcasm, sorry).

    I have 2 thoughts. First, I strongly believe in transparency and I believe honesty builds relationships. Second, if the amount is small and the customer is not hugely valuable you may just have to let it go. If it's a large amount then maybe its enough to justify setting up a P.O. box.

    I did just realize, I think it might be possible to mail a cheque to PayPal to add money to an account. So the customer could mail money into your account or their own account and then pay you. That's assuming their distrust is around giving out their credit card number rather than distrust that the transaction will go through.

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Thanks! He has a problem with internet banking in general, Paypal included. He says he can only send a check. It's really weird

      1. 2

        I'm emailing you

  3. 1

    I've had customers paying by Western Union before from the Middle East.

    Try suggesting that?

    1. 2

      Thanks for the sugesstion Ricky. @gilgildner has offered to help me receive the check then send the amount to me via Paypal or something, which is really nice of him, though we have never met!

  4. 1

    Critical information - How much is the cheque for?

    1. 1

      Not much. Just $2000.

  5. 1

    Hi there, that's a very frustrating situation because a US check will only work with a US bank account, so unless you have one of those it won't really pass muster.

    I would ask him if he can pay via wire or money order - if he can't do that, the only other option would be to find someone willing to accept the money on your behalf and forward it to you electronically.

    1. 1

      That's what we also thought, someone to accept the money the wire it to us. It's a hustle indeed

  6. 1

    My understanding is that there's some mail forwarding services out there that you could sign up for. You give him the address of the service and it ends up forwarded to you.

    However, I guess the next potential problem might be that your local bank could charge you a bunch for trying to cash an international check? Which would be unfortunate.

    On Upwork and other websites, they provide an escrow service - maybe that would make him feel better about online payment?

    Just some ideas - I hope you're able to get things sorted out. Sounds like exciting times for you with a new web dev shop :)

    1. 2

      Super exciting! This is our first client by the way :) I'll try ask him to use Escrow and see