Hi, I’m Quinn Askeland. In 2016, I started Transumo after experiencing expensive, slow, and frustrating international transfers and payments through banks. My mission is simple: to help others simplify and reduce the cost of transfers and payments. Fortunately, today, there are excellent alternatives for international money transfers and payments. See My Full Bio.
Payoneer and PayPal may share similar functions in online payment platforms, but they are not the same. They have different features, fees, exchange rates, customer service, and user feedback.
In this article, we will compare Payoneer and PayPal, and help you decide which one is better for your circumstance and need. We will look at the real fees and hidden costs, the safety measures, the ease of use, the customer reviews, the payment speeds, and the effectiveness of their debit cards.
In the next few minutes, we will give you the facts you need to make an informed decision, without any fluff.
Let’s dive in.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.
On Trustpilot, Payoneer has 4.1/5 with over 52k reviews and 84% positive reviews, while PayPal has 1.4/5 with over 250 reviews and only 10% positive reviews. Both companies provide reliable services, but they cater to different international business needs.
Payoneer (review) (est. 2005) is focused on helping business and freelancers get paid and pay others – internationally and domestically. Payoneer makes it simple to work with multiple currencies inexpensively and simply – saving time and money. To get paid, you can send direct payment requests or invoices which can be paid by credit card or bank account. You can also receive payments from top marketplaces like iStock, Airbnb, Fiverr, Upwork and others in different currencies.
Sign up here with Payoneer (opens a new tab).
PayPal (est. 2008) can do almost everything Payoneer does and more. PayPal can be a payment gateway (integrated into online shops and websites) and offers POS for bricks and mortar stores.
Choose one over the other?
To save you time, it might be helpful to think in terms of the common transactions you need and then review the fees.
Also third party reviews can highlight important differences.
- Multi-currency account (accept, hold and manage currencies)
- Convert between 7 currencies (including USD, GBP, EUR, CAD, AUD, JPY, and CHN)
- Supports 150 currencies for payments
- Can request payments by creating invoices
- Convert funds between currencies at a low 0.5% fee
- Manage and analyse multiple marketplaces in one dashboard.
- Working capital for eCommerce
- Integrates with PayPal as a digital bank account (payment source)
- MasterCard debit card is chargeable at $29.95 per year
- Yearly fees of $29.95 applicable if account is inactive
- Can be used as a payment gateway that intelligently offers payment options depending on the customer’s location
- Supports 27 currencies for international payments
- Can request payments by creating invoices, integrating into your website and POS
- Bulk payments to 10,000 accounts
- No yearly fee
- Complex a relatively expensive fees if you need to convert between currencies (2-4% compared to 0.5%)
- No multi currency account
- Fewer currencies supported for payments
1. Real Fees & Hidden Costs
- Free payment to other Payoneer customers (currency conversion fees may be applicable for international payments – 0.5% of the amount)
- Fees applicable for different payment options while funding payments:
- eCHECK: 1%
- Credit card: 3%
- Local bank transfer: 1%
- Fees also applicable for receiving payments: 1% by ACH and e-check and 3% for credit cards
- Withdrawal fees applicable for all currencies: For example, USD to USD withdrawal costs $1.50 USD, while GBP to USD will attract a currency conversion fee of 2% above the mid-market rate.
- Marketplaces like Amazon, Fiverr, Upwork, Ebay etc. may apply additional withdrawal fees
- $29.95 annual charge applicable if account is inactive for 12 months
- Their MasterCard debit card also costs $29.95 per year
- No sending fee if funding payments from PayPal balance or linked bank account
- Currency conversion fees (2-4%) and service fees applicable for international payments
- Fees applicable when funding your payment with a card: 2.90% of the amount + fixed fee
- Free standard withdrawals to a bank account (takes 2-3 days)
- You’ll pay a 1.5% fee for instant withdrawals
- Fees also applicable if amount is withdrawn to a card (1.5%)
- In-store PayPal POS transactions and QR code transactions: 2.7% of the amount
- Receiving international payments: 1.5% of the amount
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative that passes on a lot of savings to the user, we recommend Wise’s multi-currency account (link to review) instead. Wise is not fee-free, but they have a transparent fee structure and their multi-currency accounts are one of the best for growing global businesses.
Also see: Wise vs Payoneer
- Payoneer is regulated by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA), the Central Bank of Ireland (EEA), Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department (Hong Kong), Kanto Finance Bureau (Japan), Australia Securities and Investments Commission (Australia), Reserve Bank of India (India).
- They’re certified at a PCI Level 1 Data Security Standard which means they regularly open themselves up to be audited by tech and financial institutions to protect both businesses and customers
- Keeps users updated about account activity with regular emails and texts
- They’re licensed to do business in all 50 US states as well as regulated by Financial Conduct Authority (UK), Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Australia), Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (Europe), etc.
- PayPal uses 128-bit SSL technology and two-factor authentication on their website and app
- They regularly perform server checks to make sure customers are using an approved browser (supporting SSL 3.0 or higher) for online payments – great for preventing phishing and identity theft
- Offers robust payment protection policies
3. Ease of Use?
- Online focused only
- Multi-currency account for businesses of all stages
- Request payment with custom invoices
- Senders don’t need to sign up for Payoneer (simply pay by card)
- Supports a number of marketplaces for freelancers and online sellers
- Manage multiple marketplace accounts from a single dashboard
- Send bulk payments to 200 accounts
- Accept payments like a local in USD, GBP, and JPY
- Mobile app (Android and iOS)
- Both off and offline focused
- Senders don’t need a PayPal account
- Can integrate into e-commerce store as a payment gateway
- Request payments with custom invoices
- Bulk payment to 10,000+ accounts
- POS devices for brick and mortar stores
- Mobile app (Android and iOS)
4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones)
Payoneer is rated 4.4/5 on Trustpilot with over 35,000 reviews, which is considered “Good.”
- Helpful payment options for freelancers and global businesses
- Good customer service
“Good financial management services for freelancer and worldwide business.”– Khattareeya C on Trustpilot
“Professional and helpful customer service. I’d recommend them to anyone doing business internationally.”– Elizabeth A. K on Trustpilot
- Long verification window
Payoneer’s long document verification window was a cause for dissatisfaction for many users. They can freeze accounts if they feel their standards aren’t met.
However, as a licensed financial services provider with a PCI 1 Level data protection certificate, Payoneer needs to follow local regulations for every area they service (they’re available in 150+ countries). Sometimes this can unnecessarily complicate the process.
But the good news is that their customer service team was available to respond to their users questions at all times.
PayPal is rated 1.6/5 on Trustpilot with 200+ reviews.
- Professional and quick service
- Safe and secure payments
“PP is extremely convenient for international payments”– Andrew A on Trustpilot
“PayPal is awesome
They provide a very efficient and safe way for our business to pay some of our vendors.
They have also never held any of our funds as we ship very quickly and our products are very high quality. A quick tip is to use an app like ProveWay to upload your tracking automatically once fulfilled.
PayPal has also helped us get back a lot of money when we paid vendors who did not deliver the goods. I would highly recommend PayPal.”– Brian on Trustpilot
- Customer service
PayPal’s customer service can be difficult to get hold of, which was distressing to some of their users. Currently, PayPal relies on pre-made resources like FAQs and blog posts for troubleshooting.
5. Payment Speeds
- Instant Payoneer to Payoneer Payments
- Payments funded by bank transfers take 2-5 days
- Withdrawal to bank account are usually completed in 2-3 days in most countries
- PayPal to PayPal payments are available instantly in the PayPal online wallet
- Payments funded by a bank account take 1-2 days
- Withdrawal to bank accounts take 2-3 days in most countries
- Instant withdrawals are also available (chargeable at 1.5%)
6. Customer Service and Support
- Multilingual customer service can be reached 24×7 via live chat, email, and phone
- Activity online community for troubleshooting
- Very helpful customer service team, but can be slow to respond
- Phone support
- Community support
- Extensive FAQs
- Text support
7. MasterCard Debit card – Which is Better?
- Chargeable at $29.95 annually
- Can be used to withdraw money from your Payoneer account (limits applicable)
- Can also be used for online shopping or POS transactions
- Connect the card to mobile wallets
- However – only available to select users
- Free to use
- Functions more like pre-paid card where you add money to the card for spending
- Can be used to pay online or in-store
- Supports contactless payments
- Issues up to 4 cards per account
- Withdraw money from PayPal balance at ATMs (Mastercard®, Maestro®, or Cirrus® ATMs only)
With 2 ties, 3 wins for Payoneer, and 2 wins for PayPal, it can be safe to say that both can be great payment options for international business.
PayPal shines when you need a more comprehensive solution including things like payment gateway (for e-commerce) or point-of-sale (for physical locations).
Payoneer, on the other hand, is ideal for freelancers and growing businesses in both developed and developing countries who need to send, receive, or hold multiple currencies. Payoneer also integrates well with many marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, etc., which makes it a good choice for many online sellers.
Sign up here with Payoneer.
So which service is right for you depends on your needs.