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Question about exchange rate and ribbis

Question:

I sent someone a payment in dollars. The agreement was she would send me the equivalent in shekels. I did the dollar payment and about an hr later she sent me the shekel payment. In the meantime when I checked the currency converter after she sent me the shekels, I saw I overpaid her about $3 as the the shekel went down. The currency rate keeps fluctuating all day. Is this a problem of ribbis or not? What should I do?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

If I am understanding you correctly, you sent her dollars, and she was going to send you back shekels, therefore you are the lender and she is borrowing from you. Since you sent her more money than what she gave you it is not ribbis because you -the lender gave more. If it would have been the other way then it might be problematic. In Israel the currency is shekels, and to sell dollars, whose price fluctuates, can potentially be ribbis d’rabonon, if the price of dollars will go up.

For the future if you are going to do something like this, in order to avoid any ribbis issues, you should make up with the other person that you are not lending her dollars for shekalim, rather you are selling her the dollars at the exchange rate of that day, and then she will owe you a specific mount of shekalim.

Best wishes

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