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Which Hosting Companies Accept Wire Payments?
In the fast-paced world of Web hosting, developing, and publishing, the quick and ultra-secure nature of wire transfers can be both valuable and practical when it comes to paying your hosting provider for their services. However, there is a problem-few hosts accept wire transfers as a payment method. Some large hosts like HostGator are willing to accept bank wire payments, but other big hosts like BlueHost simply do not.
Why wiring money can be useful
While credit cards are usually everyone’s favorite payment method when it comes to online transactions, wire transfers have some advantages that credit cards do not.
First and foremost, there is the issue of security. Even if you trust your hosting provider completely, security breaches in credit card transactions can still pose a worrisome threat, and the illicit interception of credit card information is still a possibility. Banks are frequently targeted by hackers and even the biggest names in the industry are not invulnerable.
With wire transfers, however, that possibility is significantly reduced. Wire transfers require both the recipient and the sender to have verified identities tied to legitimate bank accounts, and, since every transfer is conducted through each party’s respective bank, the transaction is carried out right on the banks’ websites instead of through a payment system created by a third party (i.e. a third party payment ‘rail’ – usually a credit card company.
Wire transfers also eliminate the risk of credit card chargebacks and disputes, which should be good news for hosts as well.
So why aren’t more hosts willing to accept wire payments?
Unfortunately, these advantages are often outweighed by the added cost of processing wire payments and other problems.
Wire transfers have their risks as well, the majority of which involve wiring money to strangers (especially internationally, and especially to cash offices). They also require the host to share a lot of account information with the customer.
Speed is another problem, especially when it comes to international transfers. International payments are not processed quickly and the banks involved in the process have to conduct their business in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) frameworks. This means it usually takes a few days to transfer the money.
Practicality is another problem. Most people have simply grown accustomed to using credit cards for their online payment needs. Many simply do not view wire transfers as an alternative for a number of reasons – convenience being the most obvious one.
Wire transfers remain prohibitively expensive
In truth, the most tangible downside to wire transfers lies in the fees that could potentially go along with them. Depending entirely on your bank, you could be charged $25 per transfer, $15 per transfer, or a symbolic fee.
Naturally, international transfers tend to cost more. In case you have to pay monthly invoices for cheap hosting plans, wire transfers are simply not an option from a financial perspective, as the fees would be too high (e.g. paying a $15 fee every month to pay a $30 invoice does not make much sense).
On the host side, things are a bit better, but there are still a number of problems. Most hosting companies tend to use highly automated billing systems and processing wire transfers is simply too slow, manpower intensive and impractical. In many cases they would also have to pay a fee for accepting wire payments. The added cost would inevitably be passed down to the consumer. That is why only a small number of relatively big hosts are willing to deal with wire transfers – and even they have a number of caveats.
For example, HostGator is willing to accept wire payments only if the payment exceeds $100, or if the customer buys one year of hosting. Wire payments are not refundable and the company simply adds them to the customer’s credit – remember - no chargebacks.
If you know that your hosting provider is a reliable and trustworthy vendor, and you know exactly how much your bank will charge you for each transfer (and if you find that charge to be agreeable), you may want to consider paying with a wire transfer instead of a credit card. To do this, simply make sure that you choose a Web hosting provider that accepts wire transfers as payment and work out the overall cost.