One of the most common questions from visitors to DigiNo is…
‘What is the best way for online teachers to get paid?'
Unfortunately for remote workers or those performing side hustles from home, arranging a payment set up that doesn't sting you with tons of conversion fees and withdrawal fees can be difficult.
In some ways, it seems that the world – or at least the banking industry – isn't quite prepared for the remote work revolution. With that being said, there are some ways that freelancers and those working at teaching jobs from home can save money by using services other than their local bank account to get paid.
PayPal is the most popular choice when it comes to receiving payments from overseas, but there is a reason why many companies are choosing to pay freelancers and online teachers through Payoneer instead.
Today, we'll look into Payoneer, a relatively new option for online banking, which could just be the answer to every online teacher's prayers.
What is Payoneer?
Payoneer is an online banking solution that allows customers to transfer money and make overseas transactions. It makes transferring money between countries or receiving money from overseas much easier than it would be if you did it with your local bank.
In some ways, Payoneer is very similar to PayPal, but with a few important differences. The biggest difference is that it places more emphasis on being able to transfer money overseas.
According to their website, their aim is to allow “freelancers to pay and get paid globally as easily as they do locally.” From an online teacher’s perspective, that all sounds pretty great – finding an efficient method of getting paid by a company way off in the far reaches of China isn't all that easy.
With that being said, let's take a closer look at how the Payoneer system works and how it could benefit teachers working online.
How Does Payoneer Work?
Payoneer is a pretty simple and useful service. Basically, you sign up for an online account that you can then use to receive or send payments internationally or locally. Payoneer also offers withdrawals to local banks as well as a credit card which can be used to withdraw funds and make purchases directly from the Payoneer account.
The system is quite easy to get your head around. In order to get started with Payoneer, you'll need to follow these steps:
Step One: Sign Up
The first thing you'll need to do is set up a Payoneer account. To do this, you'll need to go to the website through the button below and fill in some personal details:3
The signing up process is basically the same as it would be if you were creating an account on any other site.
How to Sign Up to Payoneer
Step Two: Start Receiving Payments
Once your account is set up, you can start receiving payments to your Payoneer account. Check with your company to see what details they need so that they can update your payment method.
Step Three: Apply for A Payoneer ATM Card
*Note – you don't have to get the card – you could just have your account for receiving payments and withdraw to your regular bank.
Once your account set-up is completed and verified, you'll be prompted to apply for the Payoneer Mastercard.
The card will allow you to withdraw cash and make purchases directly from your Payoneer account, as opposed to transferring it to your local account.
For people who live overseas whilst teaching, or use Paypal, the card could help you to save money on fees.
Step Four: Activate the Card
When you're card arrives at your home, you can go online and activate the card.
Receiving your first payment with Payoneer does trigger a yearly MasterCard fee. This is just one of the fees you should be aware of when using the service. Let's go ahead and take a look at the fees and charges you can expect when using Payoneer.
Payoneer Fees and Rates
As is the case with most online software or banking solutions, there are fees that you’ll need to pay in order to use the service.
In comparison to your local bank or using Paypal, you may find that Payoneer is a much more affordable option. Here's a breakdown of the fees you can expect:
Yearly Credit Card Fee: $29.95 – This will be charged when you receive your first payment and then once a year thereafter.
Receiving Payments from other Payoneer's: Free – This applies to other individuals sending money via from their account
Receiving payments from Receiving Accounts: Free – This is the fee that will apply to receive money from your company. To receive money in CNY, the currency that most online teaching companies pay in, there is no charge. To receive money in dollars the charge is 0%-1%
Withdrawal Fees: $1.50 – This is charge per withdraw to bank accounts in the same currency.
Currency Conversion – mid-market rate for conversion + 2% max
This fee applies if you choose to convert your funds to your local currency when you withdraw.
Phew, seems like a lot of fees right? However, when compared to other services of this style like PayPal, you actually could save yourself a lot of money. What really set's Payoneer apart from its competitors though is the Payoneer Mastercard, and this is where you can really save some money. Let's look into the features of the card in a little more depth.
The Payoneer Mastercard
Using the Payoneer Mastercard is probably what makes Payoneer such a worthwhile choice. The card allows you to make purchases for free which is awesome if you pay for a lot of things online.
You can pay on sites like Airbnb, Amazon and a number of other popular e-commerce sites without having to withdraw cash, or be stung for conversions and bank transfer fees.
For teachers who travel a lot or live out of Airbnb’s, this can be a really great feature.
However, it's worth noting that cash withdrawals are chargeable with Payoneer, as well as many other things such as card declines and replacement cards, so be sure to check out Payoneer fees page before going wild with your MasterCard.
Can Online English Teachers use Payoneer to Get Paid?
In simple terms, yes, but it depends on the company you work for. Here are are the list of companies that pay online teachers through Payoneer:
Here is actually a guide written on how to receive your DaDa pay through Payoneer. However, DaDa are no longer hiring, here are some alternative companies that are:
If you want to use Payoneer to receive payments, but you don't know if your company will allow it, it's well worth discussing it with them.
If you're interested in using it, it's highly likely that some of your fellow teachers will be too, so asking the company could prompt them to open up Payoneer as a possible payment method.
Here is some more information on the companies mentioned:
Online Teaching Companies That Pay Through Payoneer
Payoneer vs PayPal
This part of the article will look closely at Payoneer vs Paypal to attempt to figure out which one is better for online workers to receive payment. For the last ten years or so, many have been handling their online payments the same way.
It’s fast, it’s simple, and they’re generally pretty good at helping you get your money back whenever the company on the other end doesn’t want to play ball.
Why has PayPal always been so popular?
This could be a case of the early bird gets the worm. We may all remember first signing up for a PayPal account after selling trying to sell our unwanted items on Ebay. As they were an early innovator, its the service we have grown most accustomed to.
That's not to say that PayPal isn't a great service. It has always proved to be an effective way of receiving your online funds
However, the cost of the comforting familiarity of PayPal is they will opt to use their own exchange rate, which sometimes shortchanges you and they charge a fee of 4.4%, plus an additional fee of $0.30 per transaction.
What does that mean for my online teaching pay?
Imagine you’re teaching online and teach for 6 hours a week, you’ll be looking to make about $15 an hour. That’s a monthly earning of $360 and you have it paid through PayPal.
Now we get to the PayPal fee – let’s take the 4.4%. That’s $15.84.
As you find your feet a little more, you decide to up your workload.
Now you’re committing 5 days a week, averaging about 15 hours, at $15 an hour.
All of a sudden, we’re talking about $900 a month.
Now we take the 4.4%, and we’re looking at $39.60 in PayPal fees.
So PayPal is fine for working fewer hours, but what if you expand your freelance work and start earning more?
PayPal is fantastic for when you’re at the lower end of the scale; but as soon as you’re looking to make some serious cash then all of a sudden, your fees are through the proverbial roof.
It’s not the end of the world, but it’s something you’re going to want to keep in mind.
Especially as PayPal have dominated the market for as long as they have, and you’d be forgiven for not even knowing that there was an alternative in Payoneer. So a big step in deciding to switch to an alternative, is seeing others gaining benefits from using it…
Below is a testimonial from an online teacher who switch from PayPal to Payoneer to receive their pay:
Payoneer vs PayPal – Is Payoneer the Better Choice?
Remember those irritating conversion fees from PayPal? Sure you do, they took $30 right out of your back pocket, you’re not forgetting them in a rush…
And we’re not going to lie to you and tell you that Payoneer doesn’t have any fees. They do. Everywhere does. That’s something you’re just going to have to come to terms with.
But, are their fees more reasonable? And is that a leading question? The answer to both is ‘yes’.
Payoneer will often prove itself to be the more cost-effective of the two services. This is because Payoneer's business model isn't about monetizing from customer fees, therefore making it cheaper for the customer. As we already went over the Payoneer fees earlier in this article, let's use some examples to help compare PayPal vs Payoneer.
Payoneer Fees vs PayPal Fees
Let’s take a look at what you might expect to see cropping up on your bill:
Obviously you can expect to see a yearly credit card fee of $29.95 (but only if you wish to use the mastercard), which will be charged once upon activating your account and then again on that date annually. So far, no surprises, right? However this won't be included as it is optional.
You’ll also face a withdrawal fee of $1.50 when you withdraw to a bank account of the same currency as the money you’ve earned – so with no conversion of currency, this would be the price you should expect to pay.
If you’re converting currency, then you should expect a mid-market rate for conversion + 2% maximum.
But that’s it. So with this information let's compare with the PayPal example from earlier
PayPal fees from your $900 pay = $39.60
Payoneer fees from your $900 pay = $19.50
This figure comes from the $1.50 withdrawal and the 2% conversion, assuming conversion was necessary.
Literally every other feature offered by Payoneer is offered free of charge.
Alright, so features like what…?
Do you want to receive a payment from another Payoneer account?
Totally free of charge.
Do you want to send a payment to another Payoneer account?
Also totally free of charge.
So who wins in Payoneer vs PayPal?
PayPal is fine if you’re comfortable doing fewer hours for smaller pay. If you’re keeping the numbers relatively low then you’re not going to get stung with an ungodly conversion fee.
But if you’re looking to make enough money to establish teaching online or freelancing work as your primary source of income, then PayPal is going to be wanting a chunk of that.
So then we’re looking at moving over to Payoneer. They ask for significantly less of your overall income.
However, many companies are also reticent to allow payments through Payoneer, as they’re still getting used to a world without PayPal on top, just like we are.
Final Thoughts on Payoneer
After researching what Payoneer has to offer, it’s easy to see why it is becoming one of the most popular methods for receiving overseas payments.
Whilst it may not be drastically cheaper than PayPal or local banking, it definitely offers a viable alternative with a lot of useful perks.
As with anything though, check it out for yourself, read the small print and ensure that the service is right for you.
And remember, signing up for Payoneer is free, so if you want to find out more, check out their site below and sign up for an account as it’s probably the best way to learn more about what the service has to offer.
Payoneer $35 Bonus