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I need to pay someone in Canada for services rendered. We have agreed on an amount and to pay by check, and the contract specifies it will be paid in US Dollars. Is the transaction as simple (for me) as writing a regular check and mailing it to them? Is it reasonable to expect that their bank in Canada will convert the funds to the correct amount in Canadian dollars without me having to do anything special when I write the check?

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    important: did you agree to pay by cheque? I would not assume that a business would accept a cheque from another country, unless they told me to send one. Apr 21, 2023 at 18:58
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    Yes it was agreed to pay by check
    – nuggethead
    Apr 21, 2023 at 19:53
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    In that case, send them the check in USD as agreed. Canadian banks can easily handle USD. Many Canadian businesses have dual-currency accounts. As an individual I can walk into my bank with a US check and get it converted to CAD, no issues.
    – d3jones
    Apr 22, 2023 at 23:03
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    "I would not assume that a business would accept a cheque from another country" If you're the recipient you sometimes don't get a choice: if a cheque from the US arrives in the post (only Americans seem to use cheques/checks these days) then your options might be to accept it, or not to get paid at all. Apr 23, 2023 at 11:26
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    @MichaelKay It's not uncommon to agree upfront how the transfer of funds will be made, as has been done here. Which renders the whole issue moot and is exactly how it should've been done.
    – Mast
    Apr 23, 2023 at 13:57

3 Answers 3

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We have agreed on an amount, and the contract specifies it will be paid in US Dollars.

That's good the currency is defined.

Is the transaction as simple (for me) as writing a regular check and mailing it to them?

It appears so.

Is it reasonable to expect that their bank in Canada will convert the funds to the correct amount in Canadian dollars without me having to do anything special when I write the check?

They might deposit it into a US bank. They might deposit it into a USD based account in Canada.

You can't control when they will deposit it. They could do it minutes after it arrives. Or they could wait months. You can't even guess let alone account for a change in exchange rates.

One caveat. This answer assumes the contract doesn't define the payment method in more detail. It might require a specific type of check, or that it be transferred electronically.

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    The timing of the cheque deposit is only going to affect when the money is drawn. The amount OP pays is static. The recipient will get more or less depending on the exchange rate, but that's not the OP's problem. Cheques also have a deposit limit in some places. I'm not sure if banks will accept cheques more than a year after the deposit date.
    – Nelson
    Apr 24, 2023 at 8:21
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If the contract requires that you pay in US currency - then you pay in US currency. What happens after you paid as the contract requires of you - is not your problem. The recipient may want to convert it into CAD (and pay the associated conversion costs), or maybe deposit into their USD account, or maybe do something else - not your concern.

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I've received cheques from Canada (in CAN$) and deposited them into my USD account.

Banks may vary, but with US Bank, they deposited the amount into my account immediately, and then a week or so later (ISTR), there was a correction transaction taking into account the exchange rates.

I only did it once or twice, but even the bank tellers at my local branch seemed to understand the process. Maybe ask them?

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