Before you continue to read, please note that these guides are for a remote worker to accept a single payment for an individual.
These guides are not covering the topic for the site owner who’s looking for payment gateway services to receive payment from their site. I’ll write such guides on another post.
Some days ago, I wrote about my recommended payment methods for a freelancer based on my own experience.
Then, I got some questions how did I choose those payment methods for the first time?
Everyone had their first time experience.
I am no exception.
How did I choose them properly, when I just getting started to work remotely?
Back in 2012, when I just started to work remotely, I already tried some of the popular payment methods at that time like Skrill and PayPal. The reasons behind my choices are they’re just popular and I am curious.
When I had started to work on a remote project, I saw some of my employers are paying their employees through PayPal.
However, to withdraw the PayPal balance to my bank account, the accounts need to be verified using a credit card or any supported debit cards with Visa, American Express, or MasterCard logo.
I managed to get the card from my bank account and verify my PayPal account.
Using PayPal to receive payment was not smooth sailing for me, at the beginning.
Not long after I verified my PayPal account, when I try to withdraw my PayPal balance for the first time, my account status was set to be limited.
That means I can’t use my PayPal account until I resolved the verification issue.
Luckily, I asked my employer and he told me not to worry and just follow what PayPal asked on the resolution center.
I followed the instructions on their resolution center, sending all required scanned documents to them.
Then, as I remembered, for the last step, they even call me by the phone for verification.
In the end, it’s worth the effort.
My account was restored, and I can withdraw the PayPal balance to my bank account successfully up until now.
It’s a happy ending.
I also had good experiences with Payoneer, UpWork, and Xoom ( well it’s another one of PayPal service ).
Fast forward to these days, unlike six years ago, there are many more payment methods to choose.
This is good, but it also makes someone, who plans to start freelancing or working remotely, feel overwhelmed.
Which of the payment methods should I choose? Is it safe? Will it work? How much is the fee? So here we go with those complete guides on how to choose payment methods for remote workers.
Table of Contents
- Does it work in a country where you’re living now?
- Does your employer agree to use it?
- How much is the total fee, can your earning endure it?
- How long for the process of transferring money to your account? Can you wait?
- Do they have a good reputation?
- Easy to use for your employers as a sender?
- Easy for yourself, as a receiver?
- How is its security?
- How’s their customer service or supports? Is it good?
- Allow you to spend the money online without having to withdraw to your bank account first?
- Support your local currency?
- Does it have mobile phone support, like a native mobile application?
This should be your first question and your first consideration when choosing payment methods to get paid as a remote worker or freelancer.
There’s no point to set up an account on one of payment method where it did not support sending money to your local bank account.
But if you’re living in the United States, you can skip this to the next guides.
This because most of the payment services providers were originated from there, and of course they will support to send the money there.
To find out about this information, whether it works or not on the country you’re living, you can check on their global acceptance list.
Usually, they’ll have a list of countries they supported for the time being.
Be sure your country is on their list, and not on their blacklist.
You need to communicate this with your employer.
Because they are the one who’s going to send you the payment.
Make sure you had their agreement before choosing one of the payment methods to get paid.
Even better, if they’ve already used that payment service to pay the other remote employees.
For a large company, usually, they used massed payment solution like PayPal Mass Payment
You can discuss with them about this.
But if your employer is an individual and they live in the United States, most likely they will agree to pay you through PayPal or Xoom.
This is the second question to consider. You don’t want most of your hard earnings lost because of the total fee imposed by the payment service provider is huge.
Usually, the higher your earnings, the lesser the total fees. So, it’s better to wait for your earnings to pile up over the time before requesting a withdraw.
Those fees can be conversion fees, transaction fees, transfer fees, and others, including the tax.
Make sure you checked on the details for this so your income did not shrink too much to pay for those fees.
Though it’s not advisable to let your earnings piled up too much.
Just calculate it yourself. If your earnings had been strong enough to endure the total transaction fee, just request a withdraw to your own bank account.
Better safe, than sorry, right? We’re talking about your hard earning money here.
This is important when you need the money as soon as possible.
It’s better to make a plan earlier.
The more days you can wait for the money to arrive, usually the cheaper the fee.
But if you don’t have enough patience to wait, and still want your money to arrive quickly within hours, UpWork may be for you.
UpWork offered its freelancer to withdraw money to their local bank account within hours with a very cheap transfer fee.
Some of my friends even said they can get the money transferred to their bank account for less than $1.
However, do remember that UpWork will charge your employer 20% from your rate if you’re new to their service.
After you work more than thousands of hours and billed some thousands of bucks(can’t remember quite well), the fee will be lowered down to 10% or 5%.
That’s an example from UpWork.
Other payment service providers will surely have different schemes for their fees.
Again, we’re talking about your hard earned money here.
Though most of the payment services I know had a good reputation and they always transferred the money properly and before the deadline they specified, there’s nothing wrong to be more cautious.
It also did not hurt to do a quick search on Google about the payment method you’re going to use.
Yes, there are always case but you need to observe deeper on each case.
Most of the time, the case is caused by users who did not read the terms of services carefully and then file a complaint.
This is another question to consider.
This includes how much it charged the sender.
Is it allowed the sender to send you the money with funding sources from their credit card or bank account?
There are some payment service providers that required the senders to come in person to the bank, to verify and authorize sending the money.
Of course, you don’t want to impose such a hurdle on your employer.
I also bet that your employer will refuse to pay you using such a payment service.
Based on my experience, PayPal and UpWork are the easiest ones for the senders.
Both allowed your employers to pay you through their cards.
At some points, one of my friends told me about Xoom ( which is actually one of PayPal’s service ), which allow your employer to send the money outside of their country from their credit card or from their bank account.
This is also important.
I almost gave up for the beginning, when I used PayPal to receive the payment.
The first withdrawal process, as I had written on my own story above, needs more effort from my side.
But I guess it’s normal, as a security precaution.
Once I passed the verification process, I never had any more problems with PayPal again.
Just make sure that you always update your card with a valid card, when the current one had expired.
That’s the example based on my experience.
Yes, PayPal and most of the major payment services are secure.
But it won’t hurt to read some of the testimonials and stories on their support forum.
See if there’s any complains or news about their security problem in the past, is that problem fixed properly?
Did they provide an additional security layer like a two-verification step, or verification by SMS to your phone?
This is important so in case someone was able to break into your account, they still need to verify their identity through codes sent on your phone.
See my story above.
We never expect to come across any problem but when the problem raised, we need to talk with their customer supports staff.
Are their customer supports good? Do they have support forums or communities? If they do, is it active?
Observe how often or how responsive their support staff to answer any question on the forum.
What are the other channels available for support? For example, Payoneer gave its account holders live chat support, phone support, and e-mail support.
UpWork provided similar channels.
PayPal also provided similar channels and an additional page for “Resolution Center” where you can see the issue you need to solve relating your account.
Fortunately, based on my experience, PayPal’s customer support is good, give answers very clearly, and work on the issue quickly once I submitted the required documents.
Payoneer, another payment service I had in-touch with their support, also has good customer support.
They even give me live chat support.
This is not mandatory, but if it allows you to spend the money online without withdrawing to your bank account first, it will be more convenient for you.
You can save the conversion, transaction, transfer and other fees related when you withdraw the money to your bank account.
In fact, PayPal and Payoneer allow it.
You can spend the money on your PayPal or Payoneer account on most of the online merchants.
Personally, I even used Payoneer to buy some books for my brothers from Amazon.
However, unlike PayPal or Payoneer, UpWork and Xoom only gave you service to withdraw the money to your bank account before you can spend it to buy something else, either offline or online.
Again, you can skip this part if you’re living in the United States.
Most of payment service provider only supports major currency like USD or EUR.
If it doesn’t support your local currency, then once you withdraw it to your bank account, you’ll get the money converted to your local currency.
There’s a conversion fee for this.
Also, the amount of money you received on your local currency will vary from time to time.
It depends on the conversion rate of your local currency compared to the USD or EUR or the currency supported by your payment service provider.
How’s the experience when you opened their web page on your mobile phone browser?
Is it easy to navigate there?
Does it provide you with a native mobile application?
For example, Payoneer provided its native mobile application though I never used it since most of the time, I am online on my Mac.
Even if they provided you with the native mobile application, is it secure? Can it lock automatically if somehow, you lost your phone?
If you can give “Yes” to all of those questions above, then go ahead to sign up for an account on that payment service provider.
Be sure to read their terms of services properly.
Review it in detail.
If you’re still in doubt to decide which payment services to go, feel free to read this recommended payment service for freelancers, based on my own experience.