You may think writing great content is all you need to be a successful freelance writer, but as soon as you start taking action, you’ll find that it’s not quite that simple. There are lots of other tasks to get to grips with such as taxes, bad clients, and – the most frustrating of all – payment issues.
Due to PayPal limitations in several countries, many freelance writers (especially those living in third-world countries) face issues with receiving payments from clients. Not only that, many complain about exorbitant transaction fees.
This can leave you feeling ripped off, and unable to make progress.
Fortunately, PayPal has several viable competitors that can fill the void and offer cheaper transaction costs. In this article, I’ll examine my top 5 PayPal alternatives.
Payoneer is an international payment platform that focuses on helping people get paid from clients all over the world.
To use Payoneer, create an account and order their free international MasterCard (which you can later use to withdraw your earnings from any ATM in your country.)
What’s unique about Payoneer is its enormous audience that consists of millions of active users. So, many of your clients will be happy to use Payoneer to pay you.
To request a payment from your customer, follow these steps:
- Login to your Payoneer account
- Go to “Receive,” and then click on “Request a Payment”.
- Enter the details of your payment request
- Tap the button “Send”.
If you work with clients via websites such as Fiverr and Upwork, you’ll be able to receive payments directly to your Payoneer card.
- Receiving payments in the same currency is free
- Receiving payments in a foreign currency excludes a 2% transfer fee
- Annual Mastercard fee: $29.95
- Card replacement: $12.95
- ATM Cash Withdrawal Fee: $3.15
- ATM Withdrawal Decline or Balance Inquiry Fee: $1
TransferWise is one of the most flexible, cheap and fast international payment options. Because of meager fees, TransferWise is the go-to option to send and receive international payments.
Along with most European countries, this option is available in the following places: Asia, America, and Africa: USA, Canada, Brasil, Morocco, Columbia, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russa, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Thailand, and Turkey.
To learn more about how to use TransferWise to send & receive international payments, check out Rob Rawson’s in-depth review of Transferwise.
- TransferWise fees differ from currency to currency. Visit their Pricing page to learn more.
The Western Union is an international wire transfer company with agencies globally. To avoid expensive transfer fees, many freelance writers ask clients to send money via the Western Union.
Your clients can send the payments via a credit/debit card or a bank account, and you can receive them in cash at a Western Union agency or bank account.
Each transaction has a tracking number or MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number) that your client will give you. To get your money from the Western Union, you’ll need to provide the agency with the MTCN and your identity card that matches the details you gave your client.
Western Union fees:
- From your client’s debit card to your bank account: $10
- From your client’s debit card to a Western Union agent: $5
- A transfer from your client’s bank account to your bank account: $7
- From your client’s bank account to a Western Union agent: $9
2Checkout is one of the top PayPal alternatives for freelance writers in developing countries. Use them to send invoices and get paid.
They support all countries with a few exceptions (countries restricted by the OFAC; Iran, Cuba, Myanmar/Burma, Sudan, Syria, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea).
What separates 2Checkout from other payment methods is the eight different payment types they support (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, JCB, Diners Club International, and Debit Card).
Your balance needs to exceed $30 for you to transfer your funds from 2Checkout to your Payoneer card.. You need to have $300 in your account to get paid via wire or bank transfer.
Unlike most other payment options, your account needs to be approved to receive money. After getting approved, you can start sending invoices to your clients.
Invoices can be created by first going to the “Products” section in your account and filling out the blanks on the page “Add a New Product.” Then, head over to the “Request Invoice” section in the page “Sales” to send an email to your client with a link to the invoice.
- Transaction fee: 5.5% + $0.45
- Currency exchange fee: 5% of the paid amount
Skrill is a popular PayPal alternative based in the UK. In many countries where PayPal is unavailable, Skrill is considered the best option.
In addition to supporting most third world countries, Skrill does also apply minimal fees for currency conversions. For example, if you are a freelance writer from Nigeria, converting money from USD to Naira via Skrill is cheaper than PayPal.
To get started with Skrill, all you need to do is to sign up, choose your country, select your national currency, add your personal details, enter your phone number, and agree to their terms and conditions.
Thereafter, you should verify your:
Email address: by clicking the link you receive from Skrill in your inbox.
Address of residence: by sending them a 6 digits code you find in a letter sent to your address by Skrill
Credit card: by charging your card $2 then refunding it
Bank account: by adding your bank account to Skrill (after asking your bank to provide you with their SWIFT code) and withdrawing money from Skrill to your bank account.
Although PayPal isn’t available in many countries, starting petitions and initiatives that call for support for international payments from and to your country can put pressure on PayPal.
Especially when it comes to countries with a significant number of e-business owners. In Morocco, for example, internet entrepreneurs have successfully convinced PayPal to support international transactions.
But in the meantime, we suggest you use the above PayPal alternatives for getting paid.
What PayPal alternatives have we missed? Please, share in the comments below.