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    Managing Credits In Different Currencies


    Hi, my site allows users (buyers) to buy e-learning courses for other users (receivers).

    The courses are different prices and are in a mix of different currencies such as USD, EUR, AUD and users pay for them with paypal.

    If the receiver does not start the course within 28 days the the buyer gets a refund back but paypal does not like issuing all of these refunds, so i am thinking of changing my system to a credit system instead of a refund.

    For example, if the buyer buys a $10 course and it is not started, the buyers site account is credited $10.

    My worry is, how can i manage the currency conversion etc. As the site takes the initial payment of $10, then credits the buyers site account with $10, but what if the buyer then wants to buy a 7 course for another user and that gets refunded and so on and so on... how can i manage the currencies and credits as exchange rates need to be managed but a user is only paying with credits the second time around... thanks in advance for your help.
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  3. Confused badger
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    Take payment when they take the course (not when they sign up for it), that way, there's no credit system to worry about.
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    Thanks for your reply, however authorised payments won't work as they need to be taken from the account within 28 days and my timeframe goes to 60 days
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  7. Sarcky
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    Stop giving the refunds, make the purchases never expire. That way, again, it's not credit-based.

    You're basically saying "they buy a product, and if they don't use it within 28 days, I want them to get a coupon to use it whenever they want."

    Just let the courses never expire.
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    Sorry, the idea of the site is that if the course i not started within 28 days, the buyer gets their money back
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  11. Sarcky
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    Then do that. You can't give someone their money back after 28 days and also not give them their money back. This is not a code question, it's a logic question.

    If I'm selling tickets to enter a park, and the tickets expire after 4 weeks, how can I convert those tickets into vouchers for tickets which never expire while still refunding people's money?

    The answer to that is "those things are mutually exclusive, also, don't bother with vouchers, just make the tickets not expire."

    Edit: You need to decide what will happen. Either a refund, a voucher, or simply never expiring the gift.

    Refund: Do the refund, done. This is not what you want, it seems.

    Voucher: Give them a voucher in "points" if you want, and give your classes a price in "points" as well as real currency. Or just give them a voucher in their original currency and pull from a currency conversion service when they try to redeem a voucher. Or only let them redeem in their original currency, so you avoid the conversion problem.

    Not expiring: Not sure why this just isn't the solution. They buy something, they can use it forever. If you cancel the thing they bought before they use it, give a refund. They'll be far more rare.
    Last edited by ManiacDan; October 16th, 2012 at 02:32 PM.
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    The money is for an individual course, right? Not like a pool of money that gets spent on whatever?
    When the buyer purchases the course, the receiver gets to use the course. Record a relationship between this "gets to use" and "purchases the course" but don't make one rely on the other. So then you can refund the purchase but the receiver still gets the course.

    Or are we just not understanding what you're asking about?
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    thanks for the replies guys, however the idea of the site is that the buyer gets their money back, so i need to have it like this (this cannot be changed as it is one of the key ideas of the site (there is a bit more to it)

    refunds: there will be a high rate of refunds per courses and paypal HATE this

    credits: i think the best way to handle this is to have a different credit wallet for each of the 4 currencies that the site supports
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    Originally Posted by oo7ml
    refunds: there will be a high rate of refunds per courses and paypal HATE this
    What the heck kind of product are you selling where you'll be issuing so many refunds? How does this make any kind of business sense?
    Last edited by requinix; October 16th, 2012 at 03:25 PM.
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  19. Sarcky
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    Yeah I'm not sure how giving people their money back is a key feature of your business.

    Maybe stop using paypal? Or start mailing them checks?
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    There will be a high rate of refunds and you don't want to issue many refunds? Have you thought this through?

    Why have multiple currencies in the first place? Sure show them that $10.00 is about 6.20 but charge them $10.00. Then you can refund them $10.00 or put $10.00 in their credit account.
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    As you've probably figured out, what you're asking doesn't have a straight forward solution.

    Financial companies don't like processing refunds for the simple reason that they end up eating the processing costs of both the original payment and the refund (neither of which are free for them). The margins for a payment processor are not big, so if you end up generating too many refunds relative to the number of non-refund payments they will take a loss on your account and just drop you because it makes no financial sense to keep you as a customer if you're losing them money.

    Currency conversion is also a difficult topic given that exchange rates are literally constantly changing. You want to avoid as much currency conversion as you possibly can.

    As the site takes the initial payment of $10, then credits the buyers site account with $10, but what if the buyer then wants to buy a 7 course for another user.
    So my question is: why would a buyer buy one course in dollars and another course in euros? Do you have some courses that are priced only in euros and others that are priced only in dollars?

    Buyers generally do not frequently change currencies. (As a US citizen,) if I have a choice between paying in euros and paying in dollars, why would I choose to pay in euros?

    Assuming you offer all of your courses in all currencies, have the buyer choose a currency when they sign up and don't allow them to change it. Everything they buy will be in that currency, all of their credits will be in that currency. That keeps it simple: No refunds, no currency conversion.
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