Sorry, no.

We cannot do this, even though we know it would help some of our authors who make thousands of dollars in royalties every month.

Here's why...

We are a Canadian company, and we collect USD from customers and pay authors is in USD.

The only way we can withdraw the USD from PayPal is as CAD.


PayPal will not send us USD.

We know that PayPal's exchange rate fee is about 2%, since we pay it ourselves when we withdraw Leanpub's profits from PayPal every month.

However, if we were to use something like TransferWise to send you Euro, we would have to do the following:

USD in PayPal => CAD in our bank (at PayPal's exchange rate) => Euro (at TransferWise's exchange rate)

Now, if I could get USD out of PayPal, then this would just be:

USD in PayPal => USD in our bank => Euro (at TransferWise's exchange rate)

This would obviously be better if it was possible, since TransferWise's USD-to-Euro exchange rate is better than PayPal's.  But it's not possible, since we cannot withdraw USD from PayPal via legitimate methods.

Now, if you Google "Can you withdraw USD from PayPal account in Canada", you will find various articles where freelancers try to trick PayPal
Canada into withdrawing USD into a USD account. 

We obviously can't and won't do that.  We follow PayPal Canada's Terms of Service.

(By the way, these articles sound promising, until the part where they say things like 'PayPal found out and suspended my account'.)

For completeness, since we pay authors directly from PayPal, the flow that currently happens is:

USD in PayPal =>  [author's currency, e.g. Euro] (at PayPal's exchange rate)

So, there's a cost to the author, but there is no more cost to us, since the money goes directly to the author from PayPal.

So, the short answer is:

Sorry, no.

The slightly longer answer is:

Sorry, no, we cannot support cheaper alternatives like TransferWise.  Even though their exchange rate is better, there is an entire currency conversion which gets passed on to us first, at an exchange rate which amounts to a similar fee to what you are paying.

Now, it's a small consolation, but consider the big picture.  This is a prime example of "first-world problems".  We are talking about a problem (and yes, it is completely legitimate issue) where you are getting thousands of US dollars in royalties per month. Sure, PayPal is getting a nice exchange rate when we send the USD to you, but at least we're paying you thousands of dollars in royalties per month!

We do feel the pain here, believe me. We are a web startup, and we do have lots of USD expenses. Having to withdraw CAD from PayPal sucks for us too...

Did this answer your question?