Elevate vs Payoneer: An Alternative for Remote Workers Emerging Markets
CEO, Elevate Pay
Aug 14, 2023
6 minute read
What differentiates Elevate for emerging market remote workers is the fact that we offer a fully featured FDIC-insured bank account located in the United States. The account, and your deposits, sit with our US banking partner, a licensed banking partner with over $7 billion in assets. Payoneer is a non-insured wallet that has focussed its offering around facilitating businesses to either pay, or receive payments in multiple currencies. While it has found use among freelancers and remote workers it has never really focussed on offering USD financial and banking services to individuals. Its popularity in many emerging markets has been driven by the lack of other options in being able to receive payments. A common frustration is that Payoneer has really been designed for the benefit of the payer as opposed to the payee.
What we’re building at Elevate is more than an alternative to Payoneer, it’s a fundamentally different product that caters to individuals and not businesses. We focus on three areas that are critical to banking the emerging market remote worker :
Core Banking Services : A fully featured USD bank account provided by our licensed US banking partner offering a complete set of banking services that have previously only been available to US residents.
Cross Border Services : Functionality that has been tailored to remote workers in emerging markets like being able to send money back to their home accounts in local currency at the real market exchange rates. You’re also able to send money back home in USD without prohibitive SWIFT costs where possible. Elevate allows you to send USD home up to 5x cheaper than SWIFT.
A Direct Customer Relationship : We’ve experienced the pain of having your account blocked with no one to reach out to, or your transfers being stuck with no explanations and no point of contact. Elevate serves you with a dedicated support team to ensure you can always speak to a real person when you need to.
Core Banking Services : Bank Account vs Inbound Wallet
Before we go into the differences, let’s take a look at the similarities that exist when it comes to receiving payments from online platforms, retailers and US companies. In terms of receiving payments from employers both Payoneer and Elevate provide you with a routing number and an account number. These are your unique account details that allow you to receive payments via the two most common transfer methods in the US - ACH and Wire.
But that's where the similarities end. Without having a real USD account provided by a licensed US banking institution you’re limiting the banking services you can receive and missing out on critical features that impact the safety of your funds. Let’s take a look at the key features :
FDIC-Insured accounts with Elevate mean that your deposits are covered for up to $250,000. With uninsured wallets you don’t get that protection and should the wallet provider fail for any reason you may not be able to recover your deposits.
Fully featured banking services that aren’t only focused on inbound transfers. Multiple outgoing payment methods like Same Day ACH transfers can be sent from your Elevate account as well upcoming services like savings accounts for enabled countries.
Funds at Elevate are held with a licensed US based banking partner. That means as part of our terms and conditions you enter into a direct relationship with US banking partner for all banking services.
A debit card as opposed to a prepaid card. Debit cards are directly associated with your USD balance and do not need to be topped up. Debit cards are preferred by merchants as they’re seen as less risky with many merchants choosing not to accept prepaid cards at all.
Cross Border Services - Solutions For Emerging Markets
Elevate’s mission is to offer fully featured USD banking services to non US residents. However we do understand that the requirements of remote workers in emerging markets are different to those of US residents with a US bank account. This is especially true when it comes to being able to send money internationally and in many cases back to your home country accounts.
We spent a significant amount of time at Elevate integrating with global and regional cross border payment partners (e.g. DLocal, Wise). These partnerships allow Elevate users to send money back home in two ways :
In local currency (e.g. USD to PKR, USD to AED, USD to EGP) at the real market exchange rates. The real market exchange rate means we take the best rates available in the wholesale market that are significantly cheaper than the rates typically provided by your wallet provider and bank.
In USD to your home based USD account at rates that are significantly cheaper than SWIFT.
Apart from cost, Elevate focuses on the speed of the transactions. Whether you’re sending to your local USD account, or your local currency account (e.g. PKR,EGP, NGN, etc…) we always aim to settle transactions on the same day or within 1-2 business days at the latest. .
Pricing Comparison : Payoneer vs Elevate
Apart from safety and security, the highest priority for remote workers will be the pricing. Unlike many of our competitors we want to be as transparent as possible with our pricing model so you always know exactly what you’re paying. Below is a pricing comparison on the features offered for individuals with Payoneer and Elevate.
Your US Based Dollar Bank Account
At the start of this article we said Elevate was more than just an alternative to Payoneer, but a fundamentally different product. As well as pricing, we’ve covered the protection and additional features you get with owning a real US bank account provided by a licensed US banking institution. Wallets have historically been a good enough solution for residents in emerging markets but that’s no longer the case. Everyone should have access to all the features offered by a US bank regardless of where they live.
Your feedback drives us forward! We'd love to learn about your USD payment journey - the successes, the challenges, and what Elevate can do to enhance it. Reach out to me on LinkedIn or send your questions to email@example.com, and let's make payments hassle-free together.
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