The case for olehpay
Last Updated June 21, 2017
OlehPay avoids the banks completely.
What conventional exchange companies do:
Conventional exchange companies require users to wire money overseas. International wires are inconvenient and could be quite expensive, both by costly initiating wire fees in the United States and receiving wire fees in Israel.
"The average cost to wire money to Israel is around $65(1)"
What OlehPay does differently:
OlehPay saves the user from wiring money overseas. Instead, OlehPay collects US dollars in the states and transfers the funds in one sum. US dollars in Israel are then exchanged to Shekel at the Bank of Israel's exchange rate before being dispersed to individual accounts. By collecting funds in one pool, OlehPay saves everyone from having to make those expensive international bank wires.
"On average, one saves about $65 on wire fees by using Olehpay(2)"
Click here to learn more about how OlehPay compares to other ways of sending money.
How OlehPay changes the face of banking in Israel
OlehPay allows one to transfer money without the strict rules often enforced at Israeli banks, such as the requirement to be at the bank in person to accept transfers. OlehPay can also deposit shekel into account at banks that do not accept international wire transfers, such as Bank Hadoar.
Why does OlehPay limit transfers up to ₪50,000?:
OlehPay provides a convenient and inexpensive platform for sending money to Israel.
The regulatory requirement to fulfill a full KYC profile depends on the amount of money being transferred.
"KYC - or Know your customer is the process of a business identifying and verifying the identity of its clients(3)"
Under ₪50,000, Israeli Law does not require a face-to-face meeting. As such, OlehPay can ensure that the entire process can be done online for the client's convenience.
OlehPay is committed to providing the client with a smooth, effortless experience from beginning to end.
In less than five minutes, the client can go from creating an account to transferring money.
Determining Citizenship Status
Typically, those who hold Israeli citizenship and have a Teudat Zehut are required by Israeli law to transfer money as an Israeli citizen. Those without a Teudat Zehut are considered to be one who does not hold Israeli citizenship. The documents we require differ depending on your citizenship status.
Gathering the necessary documents:
A primary Id: American's without Israeli citizenship - we can only accept an American Passport as a primary ID. Israelis can provide either a Driver's License, Teudat Zehut or Israeli Passport.
Ensure that the scan is fully visible, your full name and profile photo
A secondary Id: Either an American or Israeli Passport, Driver's License, Teudat Zehut or Credit Card
A check from your Israeli Bank
Ensure that the scan is clear and does not cutoff the photo of the check.
Other information required:
Israeli Home Address
Personal Israeli Bank details
Social Security Number
The Four Steps:
Our on-boarding process is accomplished in four simple steps.
Step 1: Creating an Account
On the Home page, click on the Login button.
You can choose to sign in with your Google or Facebook account, or create a new account with an email.
Step 2: Creating an Account
Fill in all the necessary information with the same spelling as found on your Id.
The 'Israeli Home Address' must be the same address connected to your Israeli bank account.
While uploading your id's to ensure that your documents uploaded correctly, check that the progress bar is full:
It is recommended to look over the form to ensure that everything was inputted correctly, and then click on the continue button to continue to step 3.
Step 3: Adding your Israeli Bank account
Currently, OlehPay allows payment transfers from several US bank accounts, but only one Israeli Account.
(If at any point in the future you decide to change the account, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you transition.)
OlehPay uses the Check to verify your account. Ensure that the account associated with the check is the same account filled out in the other fields.
Signing the w9 form
In order for OlehPay to provide its services affectively and reliably, OlehPay is required by FATCA and Israeli law to keep such records of every client. OlehPay's clients should be prepared to provide this information at this point in the signup process.
Before clicking on 'Sign W9' button, the SSN (Social Security Number) field must be filled out.
When you click on the 'Sign W9' button, a digital W9 form will pop up:
After filling out all of the form, and agreeing to the terms and conditions, you have successfully completed creating your OlehPay account.
Click on 'Submit and Create Account' button, and you will be directed to the last step, "Making a Transfer".
Making a Transfer
After successfully creating an account, the client is directed to their account page where they are able to manage all of their US accounts and easy make transfers.
Adding an account:
On the right side of the page, click on the 'Add a US Bank Account' Button.
You will be presented with list of possible bank options. Sign into your account associated with your bank.
After a successful login, your bank will be added to the list of connected accounts.
On first time use of a specific account, you will be redirected to sign a debit authorization form. This gives us permission to debit the associated account on your behalf.
From then on, clicking on the specific account will bring up a prompt allowing you to designate exactly how much you would like to transfer.
Congratulations. You have successfully initiated a transfer. At this point, we must both verify your account and transfer your funds. As such, the initial transfer may take more than a week. Once your transfer clears, your account has been approved and future transfers should clear within three business days after the transfer is initiated.
Cost Analysis and Comparison
There are many ways one can send money to Israel. Initiating an international wire, pulling cash from an ATM, writing a check to a change place, bringing cold-hard cash from the States, to name a few. All of these methods are different, and it is important for a user to be aware of how and why they present their costs.
By far the most costly method to transfer money, the international wire presents a misleading fee structure. Banks levy hefty fees to send money across borders. Typically, one is charged several fees, many of which he might be entirely unaware.
There are two fixed costs of an international wire: an initiating wire fee, and a receiving wire fee.
Sending wire fees average $45 across banks in the United States, and are often more expensive at more popular banks; smaller banks attract customers by lowering these fees. You can see an aggregated list of examples of sending wire fees from the states here.
Receiving wire fees in Israel average $20 for flat rates, but are often presented as a 0.33% percentage fee of the overall transfer amount. You can read more about the costs of receiving wire fees in Israel on the Nefesh B'Nefesh website.
For instance, an exchange company that claims to move money at 1% below the day's exchange midrate must work through several fees.
1) 0.33% receiving fee.
2) 0.1% lost on purchase of currency (this number could be more or less depending on the volume of currency traded).
3) 0.57% left as profit for the trader.
Withdrawing money from an ATM:
For most people, withdrawing money from an ATM can be quite costly.
1) Typical fees from US banks when using ATM's can be $5.
2) Israeli ATM's can charge fees on their end.
3) Industry standard exchange rates on regular debit cards are 3% lower than posted midrate.
4) ATMs often enforce withdrawal limits on their users, these limits are set by both by limits on the institution's issuing card and the ATMs host bank.
Transferring money by writing yourself a check:
Writing yourself a check is not a secure or convenient way to send yourself money. Often times, because of the risk associated with cashing checks, money changers will reject your check. Depending on your relationship with money changers, we've seen money changers cash checks for as high as a 5% fee. Checks are not an economical way to send money as they are percentage based, and costs are not prorated proportionally on bigger transfers.
Exchange rates is the easiest way for exchange companies to hide fees. This is so sometimes done unwittingly, as exchange rates are constantly moving targets. Exchange rates are based on the relationship of two currencies. In our case, the Shekel and Dollar see constantly fluctuating values as they are susceptible to influence from many uncontrollable economic variables. Both possibly to sway from being exposed to currency fluctuation, but more commonly to hide additional profits, exchange companies present a rate that is far lower than the midrate - midrate being the value of how many Shekels one Dollar is worth.
It is important to note fundamentally that the amount of Shekel one Dollar is worth is different than the amount of Shekel one Dollar can buy. While the first is often averaged from the day's trades, the latter is often posed with a degree a subjectivity by the one exchanging your funds. By our experience, we found in many cases these presented exchange rates differ deceivingly between inattentive clients.
With OlehPay, we pool funds in the United States. This means we eliminate all the obstacles that lead to many of the fees above. Additionally, OlehPay trades at the true USD/ILS market mid-rate - that which is deemed by the Bank of Israel. This way, your dollars purchase the highest amount of Shekel possible during the trade. From that amount, OlehPay charges a small percentage fee to continue running this service.
Third Party Transfers
OlehPay currently does not allow transfers to third parties. In special cases, we can allow this. For parents of students, lone soldiers, or permanent residents we can provide services to these third parties. Contact us for specific case analysis here.
OlehPay goes great lengths to keep all of your sensitive information safe.
For US customers, you can verify your account in just a few minutes by entering your bank credentials. You may be familiar with this process if you've ever verified a bank account on Paypal or similar services. These banking credentials are never sent to OlehPay, but are shared with an integrated, trusted third-party, Plaid Technologies, Inc., to facilitate instant account verification. This service may store the provided credentials for verification purposes or use them on a per-transaction basis for fraud prevention, and to help verify a sufficient balance is available to process your transaction.
You may change your online banking password at any time after instant verification. You may use a temporary password without losing access to OlehPay’s transfer services. If you do change your password, transactions may be delayed, as we pull important information through the Plaid-linked accounts about the status of your transaction from within the sending bank.
For more information on security audits of Plaid Technologies, Inc., please visit Plaid's Security and Compliance Overview
For a list of commonly asked questions, see frequently asked questions.
OlehPay is a tool created for us specifically because of our frustration with the hefty fees banks charge. We hope you use our service and save yourself some money.
For more information or general inquiries contact us at email@example.com