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How different currencies are handled on Spires
How different currencies are handled on Spires

Spires asks tutors to set their price in the students native currency

Shahid Lakha avatar
Written by Shahid Lakha
Updated over a week ago

What currencies can students pay in?

As Spires is an online platform, it is possible to see students from many different parts of the world. Students will be able to pay in different currencies depending on their location:

  • GBP - Students in the UK

  • EUR - Students in Europe

  • CAD - Students in Canada

  • AUD - Students in Australia

  • USD - Students in the USA or else where in the world

Setting your rates

The bidding system on Spires allows a tutor to set their price at the point of making contact with a student. This means that for students outside the UK you will set your price in their currency. You will not be able to set your own price in GBP when the student is from outside the UK.

When you are bidding on a student from outside the UK you will see this:

You will be able to either fill in the "Client price" box or the "You earn" box. You will see an estimated pay box, this is the "You earn" box converted into GBP at the current exchange rate. The current exchange rate is displayed there too, you can use this as guidance to help you set your rate.

This system means that there can be some variation in how much a tutor earns each week, which would come from fluctuations in the exchange rates. However, any fluctuation should be relatively, as the currencies we are dealing with are quite stable. If over time, you notice your converted payments are decreasing in value you can speak with the student/parent and renegotiate a new rate.

Platform Fees

The platform fee will be calculated after the payment is converted into GBP. For example, if a student is charged $100, this is converted to £71.64 at today's exchange rate. This is then split, Spires will take 35% which is £25.07 and you would be paid £46.56, the remaining 65%.

Receiving payments

Once a class has been conducted, tutors must log their time in order to be paid. When this happens for a non-GBP transaction, the client is charged in their native currency (one from the list at the top of this article), and Stripe converts this to GBP, taking a small fee, at the exchange rate at that point in time. If a charge fails, and the student is charged at a later date, the currency conversion will be done at that time.

The exchange varies every second and this means that a class done at 2pm can have a very slightly different exchange rate to one done at 3pm. However, the exact exchange rate will be logged in both your history tab:

And your payments tab:


Q: Why can't we charge the student in GBP?

A: Students or their parents would not be able to understand prices in GBP, and this may put them off tutoring altogether. When purchasing any good or service, it is normal to pay a fixed amount for it, in our currency. They would also pay a slightly different amount at the end of every class, due to the fluctuating exchange rates. This would most likely confuse and upset them and the Spires team would forever be dealing with complaints about about different charges. Tutors are smarter, educated people who are more able to understand the reason for the fluctuation in earnings

Q: What if my earnings go down due to currency fluctuations?

A: The only currencies we work with are relatively stable and not subject to large fluctuations, hence this is an unlikely scenario. However, as a self employed freelancer, you are free to renegotiate your rate with the student/parent after explaining the situation.

Q: Why is the exchange rate different to what I have seen?

A: The exchange rate is done by Stripe, at the exact second the transaction takes place using their "spot" rate, which also factors in a tiny fee for the currency conversion. It is not easy to search up the exact rate on Google or other public sources, and they often give the rate as an average of that day, rather than the rate on a per second basis.

Q: How is the platform fee calculated?

A: Platform fees are calculated based on the amount converted to GBP.

Q: Can the students currency be changed?

A: If a student wants to change their currency, they will need to contact Spires. We may be able to change it for them, as long as they have not had any classes so far. All existing scheduled classes will need to be cancelled and not rescheduled, but offered again from scratch.

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