How to Receive International Payments for Freelance or Remote Work
Jun 19, 2023
If you’ve landed on this blog, then you’re either a remote worker or freelancer in North Africa, Turkey or South East Asia, or interested in the topic of receiving payments as internationally.
Many emerging markets have an abundance of highly talent youth population and large pool of skilled and experienced freelancers and remoter workers who can help businesses with professional services ranging from web design to translation services.
After Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) hit the world, more and more people are looking at remote work or freelancing when they want a career change or as a way to supplement their income.
As a freelancer or remote worker, one of the biggest pain points you will face is how you’re going to get paid! If you choose the right method, it’ll save you a lot of headaches and stress further down the line. You can also save some money if you select the right method of payment. We will describe several of the payment methods available in the market.
How do Freelancers or Remote Workers get Paid?
Most freelancers or remote workers from North Africa, Turkey or South East Asia either use PayPal, Payoneer, Elevate Pay or bank transfer to receive payments for freelance or remote work. Remittance companies like Western Union or Moneygram are available but due to costs and inconvenience, it isn’t as popular.
The most popular options though is PayPal and Payoneer which provide a way to receive foreign currency payment from abroad. The challenge with any existing payment method is the amount of time taken to receive the money. This varies from 1 day to several days, and you can expect fees of around 2-5% being deducted by these payment method.
Many remote workers or freelancers have experience some challenges in using these services – it’s not uncommon for PayPal accounts to be closed and so withdraw of the amount received is recommended. Other challenges might that have irked freelancers or remote workers is the typically high transfer fees.
Options and Next Steps
As a remote worker or freelancer, you have several payment methods to choose from:
PayPal. This is the most popular option. PayPal specializes in electronic money transfers and many organizations, freelancers, and websites use it as a primary means of accepting payments. You need to have an account, which requires you to register and provide a form of identity. PayPal also offers a way to pay for goods and services online.
There are some fees on withdrawal. Transaction fees vary depending on where your account is based. It is about 2% of total amount. This does not include the FX fee.
Payoneer. Payoneer is another popular payment option for freelancers and remote workers. Payoneer gives you a USD, GBP, and EUR account so you can get paid directly to an account. You will need to register with a form of identity to open an account.
Initial sign-up is free, there is a yearly registration afterwards around $29.95. There is a ATM card fee and withdrawal fees from $1 – $5. One of the disadvantages of using Payoneer is the high fees compared to other payment methods.
Bank Transfer. Many banks in emerging markets have IBANS (International Bank Account Number) - a set of characters attached to your bank account for domestic and overseas transactions. Created to simplify sending or receiving money internationally. You can find this on your bank statement or by asking your bank. You can receive payments internationally by giving anyone your IBAN number. Most accounts are local currency denominated, so when you do receive money from abroad, there is usually a international wire of around $25 and then an FX (foreign exchange) rate that your bank provides to exchange USD to your local currency which can be considerably worse. Some banks also charge a fee to receive international payments from abroad. This is typically the most expensive option.
Elevate Pay. This is a new payment method internationally. Remote workers and freelancers can open USD, GBP and EUR accounts abroad and receive money with a flat 1% fee. You can keep your money in USD, GBP or EUR and when you want withdraw it to a local wallet. You can sign up for Elevate Pay via this link: https://www.elevatepay.co/
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