THE CASE FOR OLEHPAY
Last Updated July 24, 2018
What we do
OlehPay allows you to transfer money from America to Israel with more convenience, affordability, and security than any other method on the market.
Who we are
OlehPay was founded by American Olim on the principle that there simply had to be a better way to pay move money between the United States and Israel.
How we work
OlehPay conveniently and securely links your US and Israeli bank accounts. Leveraging our strategic financial network, we can transfer dollar funds out of American banks and into Israeli bank both through local transactions - this enables fund transfer directly between foreign accounts, but without international wire, transfer, or bank fees.
Why we're different
Banks, exchange houses, wire services, and other such transfer services charge over the top fees, exploiting unfavorable exchange rates to bump up their commission. We use the Bank of Israel's official daily rate, and therefore, we do not control the exchange rate to our advantage. This gives our users the fairest rate possible, establishing confidence that they're getting the most bang for their buck.
Beware of other exchange services that claim to charge a lower percentage - they can often hide their fees in their exchange rates and not take into account international sending and receiving wire fees.
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, or bringing cold-hard cash from the States - there are all very commonly used methods. It's important for one to be aware of how each system presents its 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, those sending money are charged several fees, many of which one 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 https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/wire-transfers-what-banks-charge/.
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 http://www.nbn.org.il/aliyahpedia/getting-started-planning-aliyah/financial-planning/banking-in-israel/money-transfer-and-currency-conversion/.
For instance, an exchange company that claims to move money at 1% below the day's exchange mid-rate must work through several fees:1 & 2.
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.
This, along with the initial transfer fees, adds up to quite the sum.
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 up to $5 per withdrawal.
2) Israeli ATM's often charge fees on their end.
3) Industry standard exchange rates on regular debit cards are 3% lower than posted mid-rate.
4) ATMs often place withdrawal limits on their users, these limits are set by both by limits on the institution's issuing card and the ATMs host bank.
Without even considering the sheer inconvenience of a trip to the ATM, the fees make it clear that this option simply isn't fair to its users.
Transferring Money By Writing Yourself A Check:
Writing yourself a check is not a secure or convenient way to send yourself money. Because of the risk associated with cashing checks, it's very possible - and not uncommon - for money changers to reject your check.
Depending on your relationship with money changers, we've seen money changers cash checks for as high as a 5% fee. Check cashing fees are often presented broken down into two fees: a checking processing fee, and an exchange fee (the exchange fee can often be hidden as an unfavorable exchange rate). These often high fees, in fact, indicate checks are clearly not an economical way to receive money in Israel.
Exchange rates are the easiest way for exchange companies to hide fees. This is sometimes done unwittingly, as exchange rates are constantly moving targets and 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. In order to hide additional profits (and even in some cases to prevent currency fluctuation), exchange companies present a rate that is far lower than the mid-rate - mid-rate being the value of how many Shekels one Dollar is worth.
It is important to note fundamentally that the amount of Shekels one Dollar is worth is different from the number of Shekels one Dollar can buy. While the first is often averaged from the day's trades and is determined daily by the Bank of Israel, the latter is often posed with a degree a subjectivity by the bank exchanging your funds. In our experience, these presented exchange rates differ deceivingly between inattentive clients.
Clearly, ATMs, Checks, and Wire Transfers take advantage of their users in costly ways - OlehPay, in contrast, leverages its ability to transmit funds locally in the United States, and Israel, eliminating all the obstacles that lead to many of these fees. Further to establish objectivity when exchanging currencies, OlehPay trades at the true USD/ILS market mid-rate determined by the Bank of Israel, so dollars purchase the highest amount of Shekels possible during the trade. OlehPay takes only a modest 2% fee to continue running its services.
OlehPay is committed to providing you with a smooth and convenient experience from start to finish. Begin the registration process by hitting "Sign In" at the top of the page; you can choose to create an account via email, Facebook, or Google.
Documents and Information
Once you sign up, you'll be asked to begin uploading your documents and information to set up your account.
If you're Israeli, please upload your Teudat Zehut or Israeli passport
If you're American, please upload your US passport
Your second document can either be a passport (if not already uploaded above), or a driver's license.
After you submit your documents and information, you'll be all set to add your US and Israeli bank accounts.