How to withdraw CAD or USD from your Skrill account

December 14th, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

A company owed Mango a non-trivial sum of money.  After much effort, he finally convinced them to pay him...but they insisted on using Skrill.

For the non-Europeans, Skrill is a payment service much like PayPal, but popular in Europe.  Unfortunately, it's not popular in Canada or the USA, and Mango does not regularly do shopping in Europe.  So he needed to transfer the funds from Skrill to a Canadian bank account.  While possible, Skrill only does wire transfers to Canada, and, only in Euros.  This means that Mango would have to pay two currency conversion fees and two wire fees (sending and receiving).  All together this totalled about 9% of the balance.

Instead, Mango used his Skrill account to buy Bitcoin from a British dealer called Cubits.  He then transferred the Bitcoin to a Canadian dealer called QuadrigaCX.  He sold the Bitcoin for US dollars (QuadrigaCX also sells Canadian dollars but he needed US dollars for this project) and transferred them to his US dollar account at a Canadian bank.

The cost?  If Mango had sold the Bitcoin immediately upon transferring it to the Canadian dealer, 5%.  More than it should be in 2016, but less than the cost of a wire.  Since Mango is frugal, and Bitcoin was going up at the time, he waited a while before selling his Bitcoin, making the cost of the transfer zero.

This is not a recommendation nor endorsement for either of these Bitcoin dealers, just a report of success from one customer.

Now let's look at what it could have cost if the company had simply purchased Bitcoin, leaving Skrill out.  The least expensive way to fund a Cubits purchase costs 0.8%.  QuadrigaCX charges a 0.5% commission on the sale.  For approximately 1.3%, you can send funds from Europe to North America quickly, easily (once you know how), and securely.  If, unlike Mango, you don't have to pay for currency conversion, a wire transfer becomes cheaper around the $2000 mark.  One day, when everyone carries a Bitcoin balance and converting from local currency to Bitcoin is a thing of the past, funds transfers will be nearly free.

We're deliberately leaving details out of this post, because this is not something that should be attempted by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.  For example, you should know how Bitcoin works, what a wallet is, and how to secure it.  If you don't, the concepts are not hard to learn with a little research.  If you do, it's worth it to consider Bitcoin as a method of transferring funds internationally.

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