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Getting Paid as an Independent Contractor - A Guide Through Payment Methods

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July 28, 2020
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If you are working remotely, you are within 18% of the global workforce, who is enjoying all the perks this working style brings. Although you get to be the master of your schedule, remote work doesn't come without challenges. One of the most prominent ones is getting paid. Clients don't always know how to pay you, which leaves you waiting days, sometimes weeks to get paid. Not to mention the costs of money transfers.

There is no one-fits-all solution, but depending on your case, there might be a good solution that makes getting paid smooth and easy. We are breaking down the most popular payment methods in this article.

Payoneer

Countries supported: 200+

Currencies supported: 150

Fees: check here

Payoneer seems to be one of the favorite options to get paid, because of its availability and easy options to transfer funds to your bank account.


PayPal

Countries supported: 200+

Currencies supported: 25

Fees: 2.9% + $0.30 (typically, but varies on the country)

Even though PayPal is widely spread and supports many currencies, you cannot use it everywhere as it's not available in all the countries.


TransferWise

Countries supported: 60


Currencies supported: 23


Fees: See calculator, or use this link for fee-free transfer

TransferWise sends money form their UK headquarters and optimizes for a local payout. That means they have a network of local partners that enables you to send money in various currencies with favorable rates. You can receive the money in your own local currency.


Revolut

Countries supported: 31


Currencies supported: 31


Fees: $0 unless you make a cross-currency transfer, which is 0.5% on any amount exceeding the free foreign exchange allowance. Your client needs to have Reolut to pay you. If you get paid through Deel, there is no fee.

In order to get paid with Revolut, your client needs a Revolut Business account. They can open one if they are registered and have a physical presence within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.


Bank transfer

Countries supported: all


Currencies supported: all (exchange rates apply)


Fee: for payments going through SWIFT, fees can be anywhere from $20-75$

When you are unable to get paid with the methods above, international wire transfer is often the only option. Processing money in that case often goes through SWIFT. In this case, the banks take a fee for providing this service.

Wiring money internationally is not a very cost-effective method of payment, because both the sending and receiving banks charge high fees. Banks also have different exchange rates, and a receiving contractor can lose money in the exchange rate.


Optimize for local payout and local currencies

There are some payment methods that support local payouts, such as TransferWise and Revolut. Although local payout partners exist, it's not always easy to find the best pay way and make it happen. On top of that, if you want to pay a contractor in local currencies (especially in Latin America), you need to partner up with payment providers which is not possible as an individual company.


Mix and match payment methods with Deel

Deel helps contractors and their clients manage payments with ease. With Deel, you and your client can choose how you want to process payments. That means the two of you can have different payment methods. For example, your client can pay with a wire transfer and as soon as you have available balance, you can choose how you want to withdraw. Moreover, you can choose how much you want to withdraw, in which currency and method (bank transfer, PayPal, Payoneer). Deel always tries to optimize for a local payout which minimizes the fees and offers more choices when it comes to withdrawing in local currencies. It makes the whole process favorable for both parties. On top of that, Deel takes care of the documents, such as invoices, receipts, and even some US tax forms which helps you navigate through compliance.

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