AdSense Exchange Rate Discrepancies?

There’s an interesting thread over at Webmaster World on whether the exchange rate that AdSense is using to convert income for it’s publishers is accurate or not when it comes to the Canadian dollar. I’m yet to really look into it as it applies to the Australian dollar but the thread has caused some real debate!

Source: email from Ryan

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  1. Ian McKenzie says:

    Looking at the direct deposit to my account, it looks like they calculated backwards. While the Canadian dollar is at a 30-year high, it is still lower than the US$. ;)

    I receive this message from AdSense a couple of hours ago:


    We wish to inform you that the exchange rate used for your April payment was incorrect. We’re working hard to investigate this error and will update you once we have additional details on how we intend to resolve the issue.

    If you normally receive communication for us in a language other than English, we will provide additional information in your preferred language next week.

    We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.


    The Google AdSense Team

  2. Jon says:

    Me too. I was down about $2k from expected. Before I got the email I thought, oh no…Google has formed it’s own country and begun collecting taxes :)

  3. james says:

    The Canadian dollar is worth about 88 US cents. Ian got it right – if you crunch the math, it looks like Google did the currency conversion backwards. They obviously have too many employees with PhD’s and not enough accountants on staff. :)

    It’ll be interesting to see how quickly they can straighten this snarfle out, and whether we get compensated for the trouble.

    (as an aside, I don’t like the fact that Google automatically converts to foreign currencies – it would be far better if you could keep your earnings in US dollars in a US account, rather than having to accept their rate.)

  4. Jason says:

    Hey Darren.

    This is kind of off topic, but a good Australian friend of mine, Mark Harrison–I’m American–is getting a blog rolling about world politics and society at Just a Pickle. It’s really not my blog, so don’t think I’m self promoting or anything. Just thought you might like it, and I didn’t want to add to your neverending pile of e-mails.

    ProBlogger rocks!



  5. Hardik says:

    Hi Darren,
    I have been receiving payments via cheque in INR since AdSense started payments in Rupees and there has invariably been about 1 rupee of difference between the exchange rates at the date of cheque (or ‘check’ like you call it :) ) issuance and that used by AdSense. It is very insignificant though, since 1 rupee is less than a 40th part of a USD.
    I suspect it might be because of bid-offer spread rather than anything else. Any given ways, when I used to get checks in USDs earlier the banks would generally charge some amount in lieu of foreign-currency checks.

  6. Andy Merrett says:

    I’ve never worked it out exactly for the UK pound – it always looked about right. I was never sure if they converted to UK pounds then wired the payment, or wired the US$ and let my bank do the conversion – either way you’re likely to lose out somewhere even if only a little – everyone has their own exchange rates.

    Also, how are people talking about April’s payments? It’s still April. Do you mean March’s payment, which was made in April? Sorry to be pedantic, just checking.

    I like this “I was $2K out” – wow – I should be so lucky to earn enough to get that kind of discrepancy! Lose the ‘k’, maybe :)

  7. ditto on that “$2k out” comment :)

    My payment due this month was payout of two months, totalling approx. $135 USD and received $119 CDN … I received that same email that Ian (comment #1) received almost the same instant after the wire in hit my bank account. But, I always expect to be screwed that way – like paypal taking an extra 4% off of their USD conversions from the going rate. If google were to be fair, they would just send me the USD$ amount and let my bank convert it – instead of converting it before hand and sending me CDN$, then they wouldn’t discount the rate. Even though they did the conversion backwards, and that thread suggests 0.884 … According to bank of canada exchange rate was 0.8926 (1.1203 the right way) it’s been like that on every payment for me – where they shave off about 0.009 from the rate. It’s like that Superman movie with Richard Prior… remember?

  8. Scott says:

    This kind of makes me glad I never got around to signing up for direct deposit.

  9. Nick Aziz says:

    Scott: Why? For non-direct deposit people they will have an incorrect check in the mail. That’s even worse.

    With direct deposit they will clear it up quicker.

    I am based in Canada and I didn’t get my direct deposit yet anyway. They must have cancelled it. They emailed me about the mix up.

  10. Nick Aziz says:

    Correction: i did get the deposit and it’s wrong. :)

  11. Jason says:

    “I have been receiving payments via cheque in INR since AdSense started payments in Rupees”


  12. Kayanush says:

    i opted for INR lets hope I get this month.

  13. Errol Mars says:

    Yes, I notice this on Friday and send in an email but never got a response makes you wonder if there’s someone manually entering the exchange rate each month?

  14. I received an email from adsense over the weekend or yesterday or sometime, but just looked at my account today .. and there was a message “action required”. Apparently, my bank account isn’t verified anymore, and I have to re-select another bank account and do that “google insert pennies” function before I can get balance owed to me. Did anybody else’s bank account get off the active list? (or, was it just me?) t.i.a.

  15. Jon says:

    Hart…if you follow the link to the WMW thread in Darren’s story you’ll see that the latest botch is wide spread…myself included.

  16. Thanks for update Jon .. heading over there to follow up!~ Thanks for heads up :)

  17. james says:

    OK, this gets weirder. I logged into Adsense this morning and it told me that an ETF transfer had failed and I had to enter new account information. I checked my account, and the incorrect payment was deposited automatically on April 28, so the “failed” transfer must be the additional payment to correct Google’s mistake.

    Have any other Canadians received the second payment properly?

  18. I had the same problem with ‘EFT failed – required action’ here in Sweden – so I guess it’s some kind of bug…