Figure it out: you’ve landed on a client. It is your first encounter. You set the terms of your engagement. To ensure you keep the client, you dedicate all your energy and wit in delivering pure gold.The client is happy and wants to fulfill her part – paying you your dues. She requests you to provide your preferred modes of online payment.
“Your proposed method is not acceptable in our country.” For you, it is the only method you know and understand.
Now, you’re not sure what to do. Will you forfeit you hard earned coins or what next? Well, if this is your case, you do not need to worry. As a freelancer, there’re several methods you can use to receive cash from your client(s).
Before moving on with the modes of online payment for freelancers, here are some things you need to know:
- Some of the methods require verification using a debit or a credit card.
- Each method has a transaction fee and sometimes a commission of the amount you send or receive.
- You can install an app of your preferred mode of payment on your phone. So, you can withdraw your cash at any place.
- The best payment option is the one favorable for your client.
- Each method has its pros and cons.
Having said this, it now time to go into details.
If you’ve been around for some time, PayPal is not a new term to you. PayPal is one of the leading modes of online payment. It is the pioneer of virtual payment solution and has been in existence for the last 20 years.
The platform stands out as the largest online payment solution having over 267 million users and acceptable in over 200 countries across the global.
So, your client might be one of PayPal’s accounts holder. As a freelancer, you can create a personal or business account. The process of creating a PayPal account is simple. PayPal charges you a transaction fee of 3.4% + $0.30.
However, upcoming updates that will become effective from July 2019 may alter these charges.
Now, you’re asking: what are the benefits of using PayPal as your mode of payment? Well, let’s look at its pros and cons.
Simplicity and ease of use are the reasons why PayPal stands out in the virtual payment niche. For you to create an account, you only need an email address. However, you must provide authentic information for verification purpose.
Again, ensure the names and email you use for registration are similar to ones on your ID and credit card. This aspect will save you from future challenges when PayPal will require you to prove you are the authentic owner of the account.
The next merit of PayPal is familiarity. Many clients are aware of this mode of payment. Also, the clients do not need to have an account with PayPal to pay you.
If you have a website, you can add a PayPal plugin to enable you to receive payment from anyone. Also, you can create and send an invoice to your clients using this platform.
Apart from this, withdrawing your cash is easy. As a Kenyan freelancer, this method is a great option for you over other modes of online payment because you can integrate your PayPal account with your Equity Bank account.
This step will enable you to withdraw and receive your cash within 3 business days. Nonetheless, waiting for three days may seem like a nightmare. Particularly, when you have an emergency that cannot wait for more than a day, any delay can make things worse.
Fortunately, you can now withdraw and receive your dues within 2 hours on your Mpesa. Safaricom entered into a partnership with PayPal to enable online merchants and freelancers enjoy swift services.
Hence, you can attest that PayPal is a convenient mode of payment for freelances.
Unlike other modes of online payment; if you breach PayPal’s terms, you face account suspension or termination. For instance, if you receive ransom amounts than usual, you must provide proof of their origin or a payment receipt.
Failure to taking this action, your account can be frozen or suspended for 180 days. While this aspect can cause inconveniences in your operations, it is one approach for preventing money laundering in the virtual space.
Also, there have been complaints about PayPal’s customer service. It is sometimes hard to solve issues by calling the company’s customer services. Due to this issue, many clients are avoiding it. Hence, if PayPal is your only haven, you’re likely to lose a client.
Lastly, digital goods do not form part of PayPal’s Seller protection policies. So, when you sell a product to your customer in electronic format, they can use it and reverse the fund they paid to you. Scammers can utilize this pothole to terrorize you.
Nevertheless, PayPal is a renowned mode of payment and a priority for many online clients. But what if your client’s country does not accept PayPal?
Here are the alternatives:
Skrill is another popular online payment processing gateway. Like PayPal, it allows you to send and receive cash from your clients. This digital wallet is acceptable in over 200 countries. Also, you can transact using over 40 local currencies.
So, when a client sends you some dollars, you will receive them in Kenya Shillings.
When it comes to a transaction fee, Skrill changes you 1.9% transaction fee. Also, you need to pay the conversion charges of 3.99%. Just like the other modes of online payment, Skrill, too, has pros as well as the drawbacks.
Skrill enables you to withdraw cash to your Mpesa account. This service is faster compared with the one of PayPal to Mpesa. Hence, it can save you on a dark day. In addition, it helps to save coins in form of agent’s fees when you have an emergency.
It is simple to setup and add to your mobile wallet (Mpesa).
Again, your client does not need to have a Skrill account to pay you. This digital wallet has hosted payments option for this purpose. The platform is also PCI compliant which is an assurance of your safety when using your credit/debit card or bank account.
Despite the pros, Skrill has its bad sides, too. First, it lacks seller and buyer protection policy. The platform states that it is an intermediary for enhancing payment processing. So, whether you lose money or not it’s upon you to take due diligence in your deals.
Also, the platform charges hefty withdrawal fees compared with PayPal.
Another shortfall of Skrill is that it requests a lot of sensitive information. Many clients are not willing to share such information due to their privacy issues thus going for other modes of online payment.
On the other hand, many freelancers complain that there are hefty hidden fees, thus making the freelancer to receive very little money from what was initially paid by the client.
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Nonetheless, it is a good option for you to receive cash from your online clients and maybe a life saver in case of an emergency that needs money fast.
If PayPal and Skrill are not serving you and your clients well, Payoneer can be a good idea. Payoneer is a leading international online payment gateway. Like other modes of online payment, it enables you to receive cash from different freelancing market places.
The platform has over four million users and accepted in over 200 countries. Also, you can transact with over 150 local currencies. In terms of fees, Payoneer will charge you between 0.5% and 3% per transaction excluding the conversion charges.
But what are the good and bad sides of Payoneer?
- You can withdraw cash on the nearest ATM using the Payoneer Prepaid Card. Once, you signup for a Payoneer account, you can request for a prepaid card (MasterCard). Hence, you have an opportunity to use this card for transactions on any places where MasterCard is acceptable. Good idea?
- You earn referral and signup bonus: You earn $25 for every referral receiving $1000 on their account. As such, you have a chance to add an extra income stream through this online payment method.
- Apart from allowing you to receive payment from clients, Payoneer offers you an opportunity to generate passive income. That is, the company offers you a bonus of $50 (approximately KES 5000) once your account hits $1000 in a transaction.
- You pay Payoneer card annual fees of $29.95 and a replacement fee of $12.95. These fees add extra costs to your business.
- No live chat support available. Hence, if you have a problem with your card, it will take a longer duration before solving it.
Are you looking for a way to receive cash directly to your bank account? Or maybe your clients are in a country that does not accept PayPal, Payoneer or Skrill. If this is your case, do not lose your precious clients.
Transferwise is a good idea.
Transferwise enables your clients to send you cash to your bank account or Mpesa and eliminate any third-party channels. Also, you do not need to wait for days to receive your cash. Once your client pays you, the cash will be in your account within 59 minutes to 24 hours.
The transaction fee is another good thing about this digital online payment mode.
To process your cash, Transferwise will charge you $2 as Bank Debit fee and $10.71 for the transaction totaling to $12.71. Considering the time value of money, these charges are fair. Also, the signup process is simple. You can either use your Facebook or Gmail account to sign up.
However, you need a scanned copy of your ID and a proof of address for verification. Nonetheless, the signup and verification process is easy and quick.
On the downside of Transferwise fees are higher compared with other online payment methods. See, you are surrendering $12.71 (KES 1,271) for processing a transaction! Well, despite this shortfall, it is a good idea when time is your priority.
If your client is paying you less than $10,000, World Remit is a good mode of online payment to consider since it is acceptable in Kenya. It is a favorable option for over 2 million users across 20 countries in the world. However, you can transfer or receive cash from any country.
This digital money transfer works well for transfers for clients in Asia, South America, and Africa. Is World Remit a good option for you?
To answer you, here are the pros and cons:
The first benefit of this online cash transfer platform is that you can receive money in your Mpesa or Bank account. The transaction can be instant or take up to 7 days depending on the option you take.
Also, the transaction fee is cheap. The platform has a calculator to help your client see the charges they will incur depending on where they reside (Transfer fee is zero for most of the American states).
So, does this mode of online payment have its bad sides? Certainly, yes. Like other digital money transfer platforms, World Remit has its cons. First, you cannot transfer more than $10,000 at ago. Also, the amount can be lower than this in some countries.
Secondly, the transfer fee varies with the amount and country. Also, your clients’ country may not accept this mode of payment. However, as a Kenyan freelancer, World remit is a good option for receiving your dues.
Wrapping Up Modes of Online payment
As you can see, a number of online payment options are available. When one option is not available in your client’s country, you can opt for the other. The key thing is ensuring your payment method is acceptable to your client.
Was this information helpful? If so, share the good news with other freelancers who are struggling to know the best modes of online payment they can use. Also, do not hesitate to ask any question regarding this topic on the comments.