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How To Save Exchange Fees (for Canadian Shopify Partners)

At Unite this year I talked to other Canadian Shopify developers who were using PayPal to transfer money from Shopify into their Canadian dollar bank accounts. They were surprised to learn that you don't have to do that - there's a way to keep the Shopify transfers in USD, even with a Canadian bank account.

That's how we do it for Rewind. We have a USD bank account at RBC (along with a USD credit card for all our USD purchases), and we get the transfers from Shopify, to PayPal, and then to our USD bank account without ever having to transfer to / from CAD. We save on the exchange fees, which add up!

There are instructions on the web for how to set this up. We didn't figure this out ourselves, we followed those steps. Here's what you do:

  1. Setup an RBC USD bank account for your business.
  2. Login to PayPal, go to your Wallet and add a new bank account.
  3. Make sure you select "Other bank account".
  4. When filling out the bank details, change "Canada" to "United States" and select "Royal Bank of Canada".
  5. Select a "Savings" account.
  6. Use the following routing number: 026004093. This is the routing number for the RBC US branch.
  7. For the account number, enter the combination of 5 digit transfer number + your account number (eg. 06032 123456 with no spaces in between).
  8. If this doesn't work, add the bank number 003 between those two numbers - ie. 06032 003 123456, again without spaces).
  9. One done, PayPal will send two deposits to your account to verify it. Verify the amounts in Wallet a few days later and you should be all set.

We've done this ourselves and it works without any problems.

I'd also suggest setting up all your USD purchases to be billed in USD. For us that would cover nearly all our online advertising, hosting costs and Shopify podcast sponsorships.  Our CAD expenses are salary, rent, phone etc..., and we transfer money from our USD account to our CAD account to cover those when the exchange rate is favourable.

Mike Potter

Written by Mike Potter

Mike is a serial entrepreneur and currently the co-founder and CEO of Rewind.

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