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What Are the Best PayPal Alternatives for Freelancers?
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Lots of freelancers use PayPal to receive payments from their clients. While this is a popular online payment platform, though, it may not be the best for freelancers.
Like anything, there are advantages and disadvantages to PayPal. They hold funds for newer accounts until they reach a threshold. They charge pretty hefty fees. Some freelancers have even had their accounts suspended.
Fortunately, there are many PayPal alternatives for freelancers.
In this post you’ll learn about the 7 best PayPal alternatives so you can choose the right one for your freelance career.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why to consider PayPal alternatives
There are several reasons freelancers should seriously consider alternatives to PayPal. This is true whether you have just become a freelancer or you have been freelancing for years.
Here are some common complaints that freelancers have with PayPal:
- High chargeback fees of $20 per occurrence
- PayPal holds funds for newer accounts until they reach a threshold
- They can freeze and suspend your account at any time
- It can be very difficult to receive support from the customer service
- It can take up to 3 days for PayPal to allow you to receive your funds
Now, while PayPal for freelancers is not perfect, neither are any PayPal alternatives. So below you’re going to find both pros and cons to each of the 7 PayPal alternatives in this post.
7 best PayPal alternatives for freelancers
Skrill for freelancers
Skrill is considered a top alternative to PayPal for receiving online payments. This is because it currently has over 120,000 users worldwide.
To receive online payments, all you need is an e-mail address and a bank account. The platform is a wonderful option for those delivering services internationally because it offers a variety of methods to online sellers with over 100 local payment methods and 170 direct bank transfer connections. There are several pros and cons to Skrill.
Pros to Skrill
• Domestic money transfers between Skrill accounts are free. International transfers between Skrill accounts, however, have a 5% fee.
• Freelancers can fund their accounts almost instantly through Paysafecard, Rapid Transfer, debit card, and credit card payments.
• Freelancers have the option of receiving payments almost instantly through multiple currencies as well as making faster withdrawals.
• Skrill offers its users safe and secure transactions and also demands its users secure their accounts through two-factor authentication.
• Skrill is available for use across multiple browsers and on either Android or iOS, making it easier to send invoices while on the move.
Cons to Skrill
• The verification process can take a lot of time. This is because you will need to submit a photo of your national ID, your photo, and proof of address.
• Skrill has limited features based on geography. For example, they offer their prepaid card primarily in the United States and not many other regions.
• Customer service is limited with users receiving support from a chatbot called Sofia.
• Bank transfers can take up to 5 days to be processed.
Payoneer for freelancers
Payoneer offers freelancers the ability to receive online payments from global clients. The platform also allows users to send invoices and receive payments in multiple currencies. There are a few pros and cons to Payoneer.
Pros to Payoneer
• Payoneer offers a broad range of payment options. They have a 3% fee on credit card payments and 1% on ACH direct deposit (US only).
• Freelancers will receive payments in 1 to 2 days.
• Payoneer supports 150 local currencies.
Cons to Payoneer
• Payoneer charges an annual fee when an account is inactive for 12 months.
• The sign-up process takes a lot of time because they need multiple documents. It can take up to a month to receive a Payoneer card in the mail.
• Payoneer has higher exchange rates when receiving global payments. They take 3% off the transaction.
Wise for freelancers
Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is an online payment platform that allows freelancers to get paid internationally and almost instantly. Be aware of the following pros and cons to Wise.
Pros to Wise
• Wise supports multiple currencies and makes it easy to receive money through different payment options.
• You can receive a Wise card to make withdrawals at ATMs in most countries.
• The website and app are user-friendly. They have a walkthrough tutorial that eases up the sign-up process. It protects user data through a two-step login process.
Cons to Wise
• Wise isn’t the cheapest option when it comes to transaction fees. The number of fees charged depends on the amount, the currency you will be receiving it in, and the payment method. Therefore, it is important to take into account the cost when sending your invoices.
• Depending on the currency, it can take up to five days for a freelancer to receive money through a Wise transfer.
• Their customer support is very limited. There is little to no information on how they can be reached.
Venmo for freelancers
Venmo is one way you can receive online payments from clients. It is well known for its social features like making transactions public and receiving money with personalized notes and emojis. There are several Venmo pros and cons.
Pros to Venmo
• Freelancers can connect their bank account, and credit and debit card information to their Venmo digital wallet.
• A Venmo account can also hold multiple accounts and cards.
• No fees are charged for receiving payments and transfers to your bank account are free.
• The Venmo app is user-friendly making it convenient to send requests and track transactions.
• You can connect your bank account, debit, and credit card to the Venmo digital account and transfer to your bank account for free.
Cons to Venmo
• The service is only limited to freelancers based in the United States.
• There’s a weekly bank transfer limit and receiving payments through direct deposits can take up to 2 days.
• Despite most of its services being free, you might be charged extra fees when using Venmo. For example, withdrawing from an out-of-network ATM can attract a $2.50 fee.
Square for freelancers
Square is considered one of the best PayPal alternatives for freelancers because of its ease of use and security customization options. There are some pros and cons to Square.
Pros to Square
• Freelancers can customize their Square accounts to match their business needs.
• Square supports sending invoices.
• Square doesn’t charge for worldwide transactions, unlike PayPal which charges an extra 1.5%.
Cons to Square
• They have limited customer support. You can only receive assistance through a live chat or by reading their blog. There is no 24/7 phone support.
• Unlike PayPal, Square is unable to accept a wider range of payment options. This may hinder how you receive payments.
Stripe for freelancers
Stripe is used in more than 100 countries, supporting over 120 currencies. There are several pros and cons to Stripe.
Pros to Stripe
• Stripe has a live chat feature for responding to customers’ queries as well as a blog.
• Unlike PayPal, Stripe offers 24/7 phone support.
• Stripe has a simple setup process. All you need is the correct documentation.
• Stripe supports many payment options including credit and debits, bank transfers, and various local payment methods.
Cons to Stripe
• PayPal is available in more countries than Stripe.
• Stripe gears their platform primarily towards larger organizations.
• Despite having more options for customer support, some users have made complaints about the slow response time.
Shopify Payments for freelancers
Shopify Payments works for freelancers who sell services as products on an e-commerce site. They are a good PayPal alternative because they provide services in web design, inventory management, and customer service for your site. Here’s some pros and cons to Shopify Payments.
Pros to Shopify Payments
• Shopify Payments has an easy setup process and accepts payments from major credit and debit cards.
• The longest a transaction can take is two business days. Bank deposits can take between 24 to 72 hours to process deposits.
• They offer 24/7 customer support to their users.
Cons to Shopify Payments
• Shopify Payments is geared towards freelancers who sell products.
• They charge a monthly fee for the plans in addition to transaction fees they charge for processing payments.
• Shopify Payments is only used in 17 countries. This makes it hard to work with international clients outside the countries they serve.
Choosing the best payment method
Whether you choose to use PayPal or one of the PayPal alternatives, there are certain factors you should always consider.
Not all online payment methods are available worldwide. Likewise, not all payment methods accept all banks. So before you decide on an online payment method, you need to find out whether you can connect it with your bank. Make sure you can transfer money from your chosen payment method into your bank account.
If you’re a traveling freelancer working online in different countries, as long as you can connect your bank with your chosen payment method, you should be able to transfer money into and out of it through your bank account no matter where you are in the world. Make sure of this, though, by directly asking them before you start an account.
It is also really important to be aware of transaction fees and conversion rates when tallying up the total cost on your invoice. These fees can look pretty small, but they really add up.
Lastly, look at customer support. Check their hours of availability. If you prefer communicating in a language other than English, check on which languages they support as well. Lastly, read reviews to learn what other people say about the quality and responsiveness of their support. You don’t want to have a problem with your payment method and then not be able to solve it because of poor customer support.
I hope you’ve learned all you need to know about PayPal alternatives for freelancers in this post. For more advice on how to get off to the right start as a freelancer, take the World of Freelancers free 7-lesson mini-course.
Cover image by Maria_Domnina
Bryan Dewitts Onditi
Bryan Dewitts Onditi is a content writer who has worked internationally with businesses to help them tell stories that build an audience and convert them into customers. He has experience coming up with social media strategies, video, podcast, and blog content across various niches including entertainment, cannabis, EV, and thought leadership.
You can find him on LinkedIn where he shares posts on content marketing.
This Post Has One Comment
I find it quite amazing how freelancers and bloggers live in a world where we can get paid through so many channels. Nuts, really, compared to my prior life.
I worked a security guard job 20 years ago and got a check handed to me weekly. But I traded time for money and had to be in one spot. That was no fun.
But now we can work from home and get paid through so many channels, in addition to Paypal and of course, direct payment to our bank account. What a freeing way to live.
Great job on this post.