A payment solution is a powerful and sometimes necessary tool for doing business in different currencies. In this post, we’ll show how Payoneer can work but also where it might not work for you.
I started using Payoneer in 2019 to help me get paid but I soon realised that getting paid and paying others in multiple currencies at lower cost is just the beginning.
Yes freelancers, online sellers, and digital marketers can save money but the biggest benefit can be from time savings.
And when it’s easier to get paid and pay others – this also can mean more business.
And Payoneer’s prepaid debit card can make it even easier to pay others 🥳 … if you can get it.
But that does not mean they are the best for you.
In this Payoneer review you will find the good, the bad, the ugly and even the alternatives.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
- Widely available in 200 countries
- Local receiving accounts in many currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, MEX, AUD, JPY, and CNY.
- Free Payoneer to Payoneer international payments
- 24×7 multilingual customer support
- Fee-free VAT payment in EU and UK
- Many types of fees (see “Real Fees” below)
- High card transaction fees
- Many hoops to jump through to sign up, with potential for prohibitive issues (See “Personal Experience” below)
|🏦 Established||2005 in the US|
|💁 Clients||Business (or Individuals in Business)|
|💱 Currencies||120+ global currencies|
|💸Multi-currency account||Yes – in USD, GBP, EUR, MEX, AUD, JPY, and CNY|
|🏛️ Physical Offices||The US, UK, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong|
|💻 Availability||Online and mobile|
|⚖️ Regulation||Regulated in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, China, Singapore, Hong Kong|
|🔒 Security||Certified at a PCI Level 1 Data Security Standard|
|⭐ Reviews||“Excellent” – 4.3 / 5 on Trustpilot with 48,000+ reviews (January 2023)|
|💰 Fees||Payment, Receiving, Withdrawing, and Currency Exchange Fees|
Annual Fees if the account is unused for 12+ months.
|🌐 Official Website||Visit Payoneer|
Payoneer is a leading online payment processor for freelancers, service providers, online sellers (e-commerce) and digital marketers who operate internationally.
Payoneer (click link for VIP rate which means you only pay 1.2% instead of 2% on transfers from your bank account – opens a new tab).
Payoneer is widely available in 200 countries and only focused on business payments.
They integrate with various e-commerce and service-related marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Upwork, Airbnb etc. to make online payments fast and easy.
Payoneer also offers local receiving accounts in these currencies: USD, GBP, EUR, MEX, AUD, JPY, and CNY. And having a one of the best multi currency accounts enables you to save significantly on exchange rate fees simply by exchanging only what you need.
Also you don’t need to maintain an expensive high street bank account – simply set up your local receiving account and get paid like a local.
Then make payments with a prepaid debit card.
Payoneer also provides many other options to manage your business finances:
- Tracking sales in multiple marketplaces on a single dashboard
- Creating custom invoices
- Paying other vendors and contractors
- Paying VAT and other taxes
- Downloading sales reports in PDF and Excel formats
1. When Payoneer Works (and When it Doesn’t)
1.1 When It Works
Payoneer (click link for VIP rate which means you only pay 1.2% instead of 2% on transfers from your bank account – opens a new tab).
Online sellers: If you are an online seller (like Amazon) that needs to accept payments from e-commerce marketplaces for your goods in multiple currencies, Payoneer can be a great option. You can also track sales in multiple marketplaces and generate reports to forecast revenue. Payoneer also offers access to working capital so you can invest back into your business or withdraw earnings using favourable exchange rates.
Freelancers or Service Providers: If you need to get paid by your clients or via marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, Airbnb or just work independently with businesses overseas, Payoneer can be a great option.
Digital marketers: Payoneer works really well if you work with clients in the US, UK, EU, Mexico, Japan, and China. You can create custom invoices for your clients, track upcoming payments, and get paid in multiple currencies with local receiving accounts in these countries. From your clients point of view it can make you look far more professional and much bigger than you might actually be.
Paying others: Payoneer enables you to pay your suppliers, contractors, or team members to other Payoneer account holders. If your company is located in the US, you can also use ACH bank debit to Payoneer account holders. Alternately if you are eligible and have a debit card you can use this.
1.2 When It Doesn’t Work
Paying others: Payoneer like PayPal has a system designed to keep you in their own network rather than make it easy for you to pay others directly to their bank account. If you want to pay others directly to their bank account Wise may be your best alternative. Here is out Wise multi currency account review.
Personal Payments: If you are want to make international money transfers between family and friends, or as a primary way to pay for things using their prepaid debit card, Payoneer is not for you.
Payoneer only accepts business transactions and is all about payments.
Large and extra large business transfers: Payoneer has limits on certain transactions. In case of payments for payment requests or the ones initiated by other Payoneer customers there is a limit of $15,000 USD/ €15,000 EUR/ £15,000 GBP in case of credit card payments and $15,000 USD with eCheck.
For payments from other Payoneer customers, there is a monthly limit of 100,000 USD. If you intend making larger transactions, then you may need to explore other providers. As a recommended alternative, in our OFX review, we show how OFX reduces the percentage fees you pay as the amount increases – business or personal.
Brick and mortar businesses: Payoneer is optimized for receiving online payments. If your business relies on POS payments, Payoneer may not be for you. This is where PayPal or Square might work better.
You might also like Payoneer Vs PayPal
2. Real Fees (including Hidden Fees)
Payoneer offers various ways to send, receive money and handle money.
Given the complexity of their fee structure we have broken down and simplified it into the main ways you will want to use Payoneer.
This way you can focus on what you will be using Payoneer for and see what you will pay.
2.1 Getting Paid
With Payoneer you can withdraw funds to your local bank account in local currency.
- By another Payoneer customer from their Payoneer balance – Free
- Directly via credit cards – 3% of the amount
- Direct via ACH deposits (US only) – 1% of the amount
- From marketplaces (Amazon, Wish, Fiverr, Upwork, Airbnb) – Depends on the marketplace (For example, up to 2% for Amazon to a local bank account)
- From local receiving accounts in USD, GBP, EUR, MEX, AUD, JPY, and CNY– Free (no currency conversion fees)
2.2 Making Payments
- From Payoneer balance – No service fee; currency conversion fees may be applicable if sending a different currency
- Credit card – 3% of the amount + cash advance fee (charged by card issuer)
2.3 Withdrawing Money
- In the same currency (USD to USD; GBP to GBP; EUR to EUR etc.) – $1.50 USD/ £1.50 GBP/ €1.50 EUR
- To a local bank account in a different currency – 2% margin on the exchange rate
- Other fees to consider – bank processing fees or other intermediary fees
2.4 Currency Exchange
- Converting between currencies you hold – 0.5%
- Conversion while paying from one currency to a different currency – varies. The currency conversion fee will be included in the exchange rate that you see before completing the transfer. (Unfortunately this is not fixed, and the fee is built into the rate, but based on our testing it seems competitive compared to PayPal. If you want to ensure you are saving the most money compare with using the Wise calculator which can be done without signing up. In some cases we found Payoneer is better.)
- Using the Payoneer MasterCard – MasterCard exchange rate + currency conversion fee of up to 3.5%
2.5 Account Fees
- Opening and maintaining an account is free as long as it’s active. If the account is inactive for more than a year, you’ll pay a $29.95 USD fee.
See all Payoneer Fees here
3. How Fast is Payoneer?
Payoneer-to-payoneer transfers (sending and receiving funds) – Almost instant – usually within 2 hours
Payments funded by credit cards – 2 calendar days
Direct bank transfer (local and global) – 2-5 business days
ACH transfers in the US – 1-5 business days
The speed may vary depending on your location and local banking regulations. Sometimes, delays can also be caused by bank or public holidays or if you get paid over the weekend.
3. How to Use Payoneer
3.1 Creating a Payoneer Account
- Click “Sign Up” on Payoneer’s website – Enter your personal details such as name, email, date of birth, address and phone number.
- Using the email address as your Payoneer username, enter a password and choose a security answer and question
- Enter your account details
- Confirm your Payoneer account by clicking on the link sent to your registered email. As an additional security measure, you will be asked to choose two more security questions
- Payoneer will then carry out a credit check. Verifying identity and running credit checks may take up to 2 days
- Once approved, you can start requesting and sending payments through Payoneer
3.2 Receiving Funds
There are two ways in which you can receive funds through Payoneer:
- When you use Payoneer to get paid by clients by sending them a payment request, Payoneer sends them an email with details of the payment and the options to pay you. You will receive the funds in your Payoneer account within a few days depending on the payment option used.
- To get paid by marketplaces and companies by bank transfer, Payoneer provides receiving accounts that work like local bank accounts. This means, you can receive local bank transfers in local currencies. Payments that come to your receiving account are transferred directly to your Payoneer account.
Other Payoneer customers can make business related payments to you using one of the many ways available to them depending on their eligibility.
If you provide services through marketplaces such as Airbnb and Upwork, you can just choose Payoneer as the payment method and get paid.
3.3 Making Payments
When you use Payoneer to pay another Payoneer user, you don’t have to pay any fee and the balance is transferred from your account to theirs within minutes.
You can also use Payoneer to make payments to those who do not use Payoneer. You simply need to add their bank account details and make the payment from your Payoneer account to their bank account directly.
4. What do Payoneer Reviewers Say (including Negative Reviews)?
On Trustpilot Payoneer has great reviews where they’re rated 4.3/5 with over 48,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”
Of these, a sizeable majority (90%) have rated Payoneer positively (3, 4 or 5 stars) with 10% of negative (1 or 2 stars) reviews.
- Helpful and responsive customer service team
“Such an improvement on Paypal it’s unreal. If you want to move money in USD to any other currency it’s just a 2% fee compared to the effective 10% fee charged by Paypal.”– Mariana Viaggia on Trustpilot
“The response time was just prompt. I did not have to wait. The agent was so kind and resourceful. In no time my issue had been addressed. Kudos Payoneer Help Centre.”– Benard Ozige on Trustpilot
- Account approval and getting paid process
Many customers revealed that their account has been in the verification stage for days or even a couple of weeks.
This can be frustrating if you’re planning to set up your Payoneer Global Payment account immediately to get paid.
We understand that they deal with the regulations of over 200 countries, so things can be slower or stringent at times.
The positive far outweigh the negatives.
However after categorizing all the one and two star reviews we found one main issue: related to regulations.
About 75% of negative reviewers reported blocked accounts (frozen funds), challenging signups or slower than expected payments. The majority of the issues seem related to the processes Payoneer follows to meet relations.
The good news is that these issues can usually be resolved but no doubt leave many people in frustrating situations.
5. Personal Experience – payment waiting for approval Payoneer
I wrote about my personal experience with Payoneer but essentially if you want to get paid by marketplaces and international clients as if you had your own local account then you will want to read this.
Payoneer has many hoops to jump through to receive a global payment. This can feel over the top after giving up copies of your ID to get “approved.” You also need to provide all kinds of evidence that whoever is paying you, is actually paying you (even though Payoneer already has the money by this point).
In our case, this included sharing an invoice, reason for payment verification, questions about the payment and screen shots of account activity and the account showing their address. This can take some time and more than a little zen mastery.
We understand that a lot of this has to do with meeting regulations and overall we think this is a good thing.
But you can get an email saying, “We are sorry to inform you that your access to Payoneer’s Global Payment Service has been discontinued” and the money they have from your client or customer gets returned.
This is not you typical “payment waiting for approval Payoneer” message.
The problem we have here is not that our ability to use Payoneer was discontinued but that there is no recourse nor any helpful information why this would happen.
This is just one experience and not isolated to Payoneer, but it makes us all the more keen for you to be aware of what we found when we analysed the reviews.
Payoneer also has some great alternatives you might want to know about. For example, in our Wise Vs Payoneer comparison we uncover the 7 most important differences.
6. Is Payoneer Safe?
Payoneer is a legit, fully regulated US company registered as a US Money Service Business (MSB).
They’re also regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland in Europe, by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department, by the Kanto Finance Bureau in Japan, by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, and by the Reserve bank of India.
They have also been in operation since 2005, and are certified at a PCI Level 1 Data Security Standard which means they need to uphold a high standard of security on their network and systems.
Recently, the FinCen (US) audited Payoneer with a clean bill of health. And, they employ quality external auditors from top 4 global firms to maintain their standards of integrity and regulatory compliance.
While we are not security experts by any means, we feel assured that your money is safe as reasonably possible at Payoneer.
7. The Payoneer MasterCard
Payoneer issues a prepaid MasterCard that you can use to spend the money you have in your Payoneer wallet.
It works both online and offline and anywhere in the world where MasterCard is accepted.
If you’ve received more than $100 USD in your Payoneer account in the last 6 months (excluding payments from PayPal or Skrill), you’re eligible to apply for a Payoneer MasterCard.
However, the currency conversion fees on the card are quite high for spending in foreign currencies – that’s why we recommend alternatives like the prepaid debit card that comes with Wise Multicurrency Account (review).
You may also like: Best International Prepaid Cards for Business.
Payoneer is a compelling choice for freelancers, e-commerce, content creators, digital marketers and Airbnb owners who operate internationally.
We gave them a very high 4.3 our of 5 stars. Apart from lowering fees compared to using multiple banks or PayPal, Payoneer can save time and frustration.
But Payoneer is not perfect and we found from our own experience (backed up by others) that getting approved and staying approved can sometimes be a challenge.
How much they will save you directly depends on many cost factors (above), but the biggest benefit might be the time saved managing money.
Click here to signup (opens a new tab) and get VIP rate of 1.2% for transfers from your Payoneer account to your bank account (normally 2%).
Overall, the pricing for their primary function (getting paid and paying others) is very competitive – so if that’s what you’re after, Payoneer is an excellent option.
For many people operating in a more global economy – Payoneer is a long overdue and very welcome option.
Is Payoneer better than PayPal?
PayPal can do more than Payoneer, however Payoneer is generally a cheaper and simpler if you need to get paid and pay others. That said, getting signed up can be a challenge and as a payment platform for multiple currencies neither is usually the cheapest or potentially the best.
Can you trust Payoneer?
We found Payoneer seems to adhere to very strict rules to ensure it is doing the right thing by regulators. This in conjunction with third party reviews which have improved over the years gives us confidence Payoneer is trustworthy.
Payoneer Review (2023) - 7 Must Knows with Pros and Cons
We rate Payoneer 4.3/5. We sifted through 100s of real user reviews (both positive and negative) and Payoneer also scores 4.3 from over 48,000 reviews on Trustpilot.
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