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5 Sep 2014

Alternative Payment Options When Paying International Freelancers

Everybody knows that PayPal is one of the easiest and fastest ways to send and receive money worldwide. However, PayPal isn’t available to everyone in the world. Case in point: a few years ago, I had to pay someone to write a quick document for me. Without bothering to check, I discovered I could not pay them via PayPal since they were living in Israel. Luckily, I’m pretty good friends with them so I was able to pay them via buying a Steam game they had on their wishlist that was equivalent to the price we had agreed on. Both of us walked away from the transaction happy, but it taught me a valuable lesson:

PayPal isn’t the universal method for sending money on the Web.

Should you sign up for a PayPal account? Absolutely. More times than not, it’s going to come in handy when you need to pay a freelancer – but as stated above, it isn’t a viable option all the time. Thus, consider these alternative payment options when hiring freelancers that may/may not live in a country that PayPal supports. Who knows? You may find a payment method that is even better than PayPal.

Outsourcing platforms

The great thing about hiring freelancers from outsourcing sites such as Elance and oDesk is that no matter where the freelancer may reside in the world, it is simple to pay them via your own PayPal account. From there? The freelancer simply receives the payment through the outsourcing platform, and after the platform takes a percentage of the freelancer’s earnings? They can transfer the rest into their account via a variety of methods such as a wire transfer, bank account transfer, check, and other payment methods that differ from country to country.

Google Wallet

If you cannot pay directly via PayPal, consider checking to see if Google Wallet is accepted in the freelancer’s country. In my opinion, paying via Google Wallet is even easier than PayPal, as you can pay directly through your Gmail account! Moreover, you can use your credit card to send money, and the fee per transaction is ridiculously low as well (2.9%).


With the ability to send money to over 200 countries in over 70 currencies, Payoneer is essentially a PayPal-esque service that supports quite a few countries that PayPal currently does not support. The fees are about on par with PayPal, but you can also receive a free Mastercard tied to your Payoneer account if you choose to spend money out of your Payoneer account. It also takes less time to withdraw money to and from your account than PayPal, making Payoneer a solid alternative.

Crypto Currencies

A lot of freelancers prefer to be paid via a crypto currency nowadays. Currencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and most recently Litecoin. What’s great about these currencies is that they are literally universal. Once a freelancer receives their payment, they can then easily transfer the crypto currency to their local currency, or if they prefer? They can use the crypto currency anywhere that accepts certain crypto currencies. It’s a form of payment that is going to continue to increase in popularity, and it’s worth a consideration.

Western Union

Finally, you can use the traditional method of sending money internationally: by wiring it through a service such as Western Union. Because Western Union is available all over the world, it’s still one of the best ways to send money no matter where your freelancer may live. The fees will cost a little more than the other services listed above, but if you need a tried-and-true method that just works, Western Union is the way to go.

Do you have any questions about paying your international freelancers? Have any payment methods to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reddit

1 Response

  1. Jerrad

    Thanks for sharing this. I could add a couple of options which I found useful in an analogous situation: Payza (formerly AlertPay) or Paysera. Both are available in a large number of countries all over the world. Transactions are easy to make and processed relatively quick. With the latter option free transactions are possible in case both sides have a personal account. I came to a conclusion that this is a cheaper way even than paypal.

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