Wise and Payoneer may seem quite similar at a glance.
After all, they both let their customers hold, manage, and convert between multiple currencies.
But we found some big differences that will affect which is better for you.
For example, their fees can work out quite differently. Which is best for you, depends on how you use them. Also there are few things that one or the other can’t do.
The good news is – they can be game changers for you or your business.
In the next five minutes, you’ll learn everything about the two services, including who they serve specifically and fees they charge for each service so you can choose the right service for your needs.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and savings on transfers if you use some of the links! For more information, see my disclosures here.
Quick Comparison: The Lowdown on Differences
Wise is known for their transparent fees and multi-currency account for both individuals and businesses.
Payoneer is known for their wide coverage and multi-currency account for freelancers, small businesses, and online sellers.
- Multi-currency account available for both personal and business
- Receive money like a local in 10 currencies (including GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD, SGD, RON, CAD, HUF and TRY)
- Spend in local currency with one card (and low fees to exchange currencies)
- Hold manage and convert between 50+ currencies
- Dedicated business tools like bulk payments and integration with accounting software
- Excellent customer service
- Fewer e-commerce marketplaces supported
- Not ideal for holding or transferring large amounts
- Multi-currency account available for freelancers, online sellers, and small businesses
- Receive, manage and convert between 7 currencies including USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY and CNH. In addition, conversion to CZK, PLN, RUB and VND is available for tax payment purposes (subject to availability)
- Supports multiple marketplaces for freelancers and e-commerce sellers (including Amazon, Ebay, Rakuten, etc.)
- Manage multiple store payments from a single dashboard
- Free and instant Payoneer to Payoneer payments
- Available in 150+ countries
- Not available for personal use
- Not ideal for holding or transferring large amounts
1. Real Fees & Hidden Costs
A fee is applicable for paying others or for converting between different currencies in your multi-currency account. The fee depends on the currency pair.
- from EUR to USD 0.41%
- from USD to GBP 0.45%
- from USD to EUR 0.45%
- from AUD to USD 0.47%
If you use the card and money is being exchanged from one currency to the another, the fee is usually exactly the same as currency conversion fees (above) The range is 0.33%-3.56% but for common currencies it is at the low end.
Likewise sending money direct to someones bank account usually attracts the same (very low) conversion fee.
Getting paid via Wise is generally free because they have local bank accounts in all the areas they service.
The exception: If you are receiving USD for both domestic and international SWIFT and wire transfers. there is a $7.50 USD fee. However ACH transfers are free, so even this can potentially can be avoided depending on who the senders use. (See ACH Vs Wire Transfers)
A small, location-specific fixed fee is applicable for withdrawing money from your Wise account to a bank account.
Holding money up to a limit is free in 50+ currencies.
Some examples of how much you can hold (higher for business accounts):
AUD — $23,000
EUR — €15,000
GBP — £13,000
USD — $18,000
Over that amount, you’ll pay a small annual percentage fee (location specific).
There are limits on how much and how frequently you can withdraw money from ATMs. And this depends on where your card was issued.
You can withdraw money free twice a month up to 200 GBP/EUR for cards issued in the UK and Eurozone. Fees are applicable over this limit.
For US-issued cards, fees are applicable if you withdraw more than twice or withdraw more than $100 USD in a month
Fixed fees apply per transaction over that limit.
Sometimes a small card fee is applied to issue cards.
This list is not comprehensive – check out the latest fees for your country here.
Converting between currencies you hold or for outgoing payments in a different currency will attract a currency conversion fee of 0.5% of the amount. Here is a direct link to the fee page.
Paying other Payoneer customers is free (but there may be currency conversion fees involved).
If you’re sending money to a service provider’s bank account, Payoneer gives you the option to pay the transfer fees (up to 2% of the transaction amount) or pass it on to the recipient (in EEA countries this is automatically passed on to the recipient).
If using the same currency or country a fixed fee of $1.50/£1.50/€1.50 applies
Fees for different payment options:
- eCHECK: 1%
- Credit card: 3%
- Local bank transfer: 1%
Getting paid by another Payoneer customer and accepting money into your local accounts in USD, GBP, EUR, JPY, etc. are free.
Fees are applicable for payments by e-checks (1%) and credit cards (3%)
You pay a fee to withdraw currency in either case: to a local bank account in the same currency or to a bank account in another currency.
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.
Annual account fee
$29.95 USD per year if your account is inactive for over 12 months.
This list is not comprehensive – 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%).
Both offer impressive savings on traditional services like banks and PayPal but Wise offers a simpler fee structure. The Wise card fees are significantly lower.
The good news is both Wise and Payoneer are transparent about their fees and break down exactly what you’ll pay for each transaction (see links above)
2. Which is Safer? – Both are Equally Safe
- Wise is regulated by, authorities such as Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA), the UK Financial Conduct Authority (UK), National Bank of Belgium (Europe) as an Authorised Payment Institution, the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (Australia), Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (Canada) and Financial Customs and Excise Department (Hong Kong). It is also regulated in India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UAE.
- They keep their customers’ money safe by holding them separately from their operating funds. Customer funds are held in trusted banks like JP Morgan or Barclays, depending on your location.
- Two-factor authentication on their app and other encryption technology like SSL certificates on their website keep your money and data safe.
- Regular notifications about account changes and transfers
- 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’re regularly audited and your transactions are protected by sophisticated technology to prevent theft, fraud, or hacking.
- Clean bill of health on a recent audit by Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (USA)
- Keeps you updated about transactions and account activity via email and text
Both Wise and Payoneer are licensed financial services providers in multiple countries and have the right security protocols and infrastructure to keep their customers’ money and personal/business data safe.
3. Ease of Use – Both are Easy to Use
- Available for both personal and business (digital nomad freelancers and small businesses)
- Share account details with friends or employers to receive money into local receiving accounts
- Senders may have to sign up for Wise to transfer money to you
- Easily invoice your international clients from Wise’s dashboard
- Set up bulk business payments to overseas contractors to save time
- Integrate with accounting software like Xero to keep track of transactions
- Available for businesses like freelancers, SMBs, and e-commerce sellers.
- Easily send payment requests and custom invoices
- Manage multiple marketplace accounts from a single dashboard
- Senders don’t have to sign up to pay you (options to pay by card or bank transfer)
They’re both tied in this category for a number of reasons.
Wise has some really cool features like bulk payments, integrations, and local bank accounts to receive money without high fees in multiple currencies.
Payoneer on the other hand makes receiving payments easier with multiple payment methods, local receiving accounts for SMBs and online sellers, and a bird’s eye view of all marketplace receivables on a single dashboard.
Essentially, both have great features that make paying others and getting paid easy and streamlined.
So it ultimately comes down to your needs and preferences.
4. Reviews (inc. Negative Ones) — What Others Are Saying
Wise is rated 4.6/5 on Trustpilot with over 130,000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent.”
- Excellent multi-currency account for frequent travellers
- Fast payments
- Helpful features for growing global businesses
- More affordable than banks
- Great customer service
“I’ve now got 3 accounts with Wise (US dollars, Thai baht and Pound Sterling) and use them to pay for different online purchases and for holidays. So easy to set up and use. Great to use to save for holiday spending if you grab some currency every time rate looks good (you can set a rate target alert as well). Can’t imagine going back to old style bank transfer and the associated various high charges or using my regular credit card abroad, then taking pot luck with the rate and ‘extra’ charges that appear on your next statement. Very good customer service as well with speedy helpful replies. Certainly makes my life easier and saves money as well. A breath of fresh air in the world of money transfer and exchange.”– Paul on Trustpilot
“This is an excellent service for small enterprises. You can receive, send and convert money at very modest pricing. It is not a bank actually but even better service. I suggest everyone who needs flexible, local, easy to open accounts of financial services.”– Remzi on Trustpilot
“Wise is a fantastic service. We work with a lot of freelancers from all over the world. We actually use Wise as our primary account where service funds are deposited, and then all payments to contractors are made out of the account and then only profits moved to our actual business account. It has made paying a global workforce so much easier.”– Pirate and Fox LLX on Trustpilot
- Unexpected account hold ups and closures
Although a small number of total reviews, some freelancers and small business owners expressed dissatisfaction with Wise’s sudden decision to freeze their account.
As a regulated financial institution, Wise conducts regular checks to comply with local regulations.
The good news is, Wise’s customer team is available to answer all your questions during the process and you can be sure they will do their best to resolve any issues.
Payoneer is rated 4.4/5 on Trustpilot with over 35,000 reviews, which is considered “Good.”
- Robust service for freelancers and small businesses
- Helpful customer service team
“I’m new to this online online payments thing but my experience overall with Payoneer is good. The application process is easy and the verification is done within a few hours. The customer service is good too. Thank you.”– Olivia Paul on Trustpilot
“I have been using payoneer for almost a year now and it’s excellent. The support team are quick to respond, polite and professional. I highly recommend.”– Dennis Kimathi on Trustpilot
- Complicated sign up process
Some users were dissatisfied with the long and complex sign up process. According to the reviews on Trustpilot, they were particularly annoyed with how long it took to get their accounts verified – this too was our own experience at Transumo.
As a licensed financial services provider with a PCI 1 Level data protection certificate, Payoneer needs to be mindful about following local regulations for every area they service (they’re available in 150+ countries).
The reassuring part is the users were happy with the customer support they received during this time to guide them through the paperwork, account detail changes, etc.
Both Wise and Payoneer are customer-focused multi-currency payment services with positive reviews.
We love Wise for making their multi-currency account available for both individuals and businesses. Their services are not only unique, they also have a handle on the efficiency and user experience side of the things.
Payoneer is also a solid choice, with their wide coverage and all-inclusive services for freelancers, SMBs, and online sellers.
5. Payment Speeds – Equally Fast in Most Cases
- Sending and receiving payments can be almost instant because they have multiple ways to fund a transfer.
- If you already hold money in a certain currency (say USD), you can send money to a USD bank account within a day.
- If you don’t hold a specific currency, Wise offers card payments which can speed up the transfer (but can be more expensive).
- Typically, bank payments through Wise for popular currencies take 2-3 days.
- For more exotic currencies, you can expect the money to arrive in 2-4 days
- Payoneer to Payoneer payments are instant.
- But bank transfers from your Payoneer account can take longer (2-5 days). This also depends on the currency pair.
- Bank transfers in the US are completed in 2-3 days.
Wise is known for their efficient and fast service. Most importantly, they have an edge over purely cross-border payment services like Payoneer because Wise also competes with money transfer companies for small amounts (like CurrencyFair, WorldRemit, Remitly, etc.) where fast transfer speed is a priority.
6. Customer Service and Support – Both Are Excellent
- Customer service can be reached via live chat, phone and email
- Extensive FAQs section
- Customer support can be easily reached and is known for being responsive and proactive
- Customer service can be reached via live chat, email, and phone
- Activity community forum
- Excellent troubleshooting, but can be slow to respond at times
Payoneer’s customer service can be reached in multiple ways and they’re helpful for guiding their users through the sign up process as well as troubleshooting for payments.
Wise’s customer support is both responsive and helpful. Besides, their FAQs section gives you detailed information so you can make informed decisions at every step.
7. Awesome Extras
- MasterCard debit card for both individuals and business
- Frequent travellers and digital nomads can use the card for ATM withdrawals in the home country and abroad
- The card can also be used to be for goods and services in 200+ countries
- Volume discount for large transfers (helpful for growing businesses)
- Payoneer MasterCard for streamlined business payments
- Pay VAT through their platform (EU and the UK)
- Get FIRC to submit to the government (India)
- Manage multiple marketplaces on the same dashboard
- On-demand consulting, marketing, shipping and legal assistance, etc in partnership with leading firms on the Payoneer platform (untested)
Wise offers services for both personal and business users and Payoneer is available for businesses.
And in the business category, they serve slightly different markets. Other than freelancers and SMBs, Payoneer offers excellent support for e-commerce sellers.
On the other hand, Wise focuses on digital nomads who freelance or run online businesses as well as SMBs.
Which means, while there’s an overlap in the services they offer, there are some big differences.
And the awesome extras offered by each service enhance their customer experience.
With two wins for Wise and 5 ties, it can be difficult to determine whether one is better than the other.
We recommend Wise for frequent travellers, freelancers, and SMBs from the US, UK, Australia, and EEA who want to manage their international currency effortlessly. Some smaller online businesses may also do well with Wise and the Wise debit card (review) is excellent at keeping fees low.
Payoneer is our recommended suggestion for SMBs and larger online sellers worldwide who want an all-inclusive service.
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%).
They’re both safe, legally compliant, and have excellent customer service.
So which one is best for you ultimately comes down to your location and specific preferences.