Exchange rates used to pay participants

Good morning.

I need to pay participants today (09/06/22) exact bonus amounts in USD, but my account is in GBP. Different participants were promised different amounts of bonus (according to how they performed during my task), and all the amounts are all in USD (because participants are in the US).

Can someone tell me the exact exchange rate that Prolific will use to convert GBP to USD today so I can calculate exactly how much to send in GBP, so that my participants get their promised amounts in USD?

Thank you


Bumping this. Any updates? We need to pay the bonus to the participants and without knowing the exact exchange rate, participants could get less than they expect in USD.

Sorry for the delay @Leo_C - there’s a lot of nuance on how exchange rates are handled, and part of it is actually more in the hands of the participants than ours, so let me try to give you some context before answering the question.

The GBP → USD exchange rate that is used to calculate your study’s cost and the participant’s compensation for is actually set when you quote for your study, not at the time a participant cashes out. For example, if you quote for a study on 1 June to pay US participants, but don’t launch the study until 10 June and don’t pay out until 20 June, this would all use the exchange rate as calculated on 1 June. Participants based in the US would see the payment rate you set in GBP calculated with this exchange rate in USD. Our excellent Support folks should be able to look up the rate that applied to your study: to do so you’ll need to raise a support ticket and provide the specific study ID of the one you’re looking to pay out on. You may not need to do this for your bonus payments though.

Your participants won’t actually receive the exact bonus amount in USD, as all payments are made in GBP regardless of where the participant is located in the world (more details in the Participant Support centre). The amount of USD the participant actually receives depends on when they cash out with PayPal, so depending on the conversion rate in play with PayPal they could receive less or more than the exact amount. It’s for this reason that Prolific generally does not advise quoting a specific amount on one’s study, especially if it’s in a different currency to one’s own, and instead stick to advertising the reward rate set in the researcher’s account currency, as this avoids the fluxuations of conversion rates and completion times.

All in, it may be somewhat out of your hands to pay the exact USD bonus amount, and you’re well within Prolific guidelines to issue your bonus in GBP as close as possible to the promised USD bonus amount, as participants will receive this in GBP anyway. If you want to be as close as possible to a promised figure, best advice would be to use the exchange rate on the date you are issuing payments, as this will be the closest possible rate to when a participant cashes out (though will likely vary from the rate used to calculate your study in the first place).

Hope that’s useful, and apologies again for the delay!