How To Get Paid As a Freelancer

Olga Shirimova
March 19, 2020
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These days, freelancing grows in popularity. More and more people want to work from the comfort of their homes. Or even from a beach house or quiet town with a better balance of life quality and prices. in this article, we will compare several ways how a freelancer can get paid.

How To Get Paid As a Freelancer

As we mentioned, today freelancers often work from abroad. So, they are always looking for the best way to receive payments from their clients. These clients may be scattered around the world, too — a self-employed person normally does not rely on a single business for his or her earnings.
Most platforms matching freelancers with clients, deal with USD. What would be the best way (and the cheapest) way to receive these payments and convert them into your currency?

Here are some options.

For sending and receiving funds via PayPal, the sender and recipient must have PayPal accounts. 


This payment system is one of the favorites: many freelancing websites promote PayPal as the best and most reliable way to get paid. Let’s have a closer look at what this pal offers.

PayPal: Overview

On its website, the company promises ‘freelance without boundaries and worries’. Indeed, the biggest marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, 99designs accept this type of payment. PayPal is welcome almost everywhere, with over 230,000,000 users worldwide.

For those not using any platforms and preferring to get money right to their accounts, PayPal has developed special services. They meet the most urgent freelancer’s needs. For instance, you can create and schedule invoices.

A PayPal transfer is rather fast and happens within minutes. On average, the cost of a typical transfer (under £1,500) is 3.4% (commission) + transaction fee. You can reduce the costs if you open a special PayPal merchant account. For it, you must have no less than £3,000 a month. If you don’t make so much, this option is not available.

Note that if the service doubts your transaction is authentic, it may take the money from your account. This problem may also occur if you reverse your transfer. It sounds unfair, but you subscribe to it yourself when you accept their terms and conditions. These terms allow PayPay to act on their discretion. Solving such a problem may be rather stressful and take much time.

PayPal: Pros

Thus, the main advantages of PayPal payments for a freelancer would be:

  • It’s a reliable and popular service, with a big network of clients;
  • It’s rather convenient both for senders and recipients;
  • Funds reach your account in a matter of minutes;
  • The service protects customers from common types of fraud.

PayPal: Cons

The main cons of PayPal, from a freelancer’s point of view, are:

  • It charges a considerable commission + fee;
  • It could be a risky option: if the service finds your transaction ‘suspicious’ it locks your funds.
Payoneer is another popular and convenient service if you wonder how to get paid as a freelancer.


Another popular option allowing to withdraw your payment from a freelancing marketplace. Many platforms offer this method, though the fees they charge may be different.

Payoneer: Overview

The slogan of the company is ‘Pay and Get Paid’. As a freelancer, you are more interested in the second promise.

As we said, Payoneer payment option integrates into many freelancing websites. If you prefer to receive money directly to your account, without paying any fees to the platform, you can use Payoneer, too.

You can get an account in EURO, USD, CAD, AUD, JPY, CNY, MXN. Having such an account means your client from the USA, Canada, Australia, China or Mexico can send you money directly. No international transaction costs will be applied in this case. By making things easier and cheaper for your clients, you encourage them to work with you.

As for transaction fees, Payoneer charges around $3 for a local bank transfer. For transfers in dollars and euros, it will take $4 or 1% of the total transfer amount (though the fee cannot be bigger than $10).

Transfers from one of the popular platforms through Payoneer normally take a couple of days. With an additional fee of $2.5, you will receive money almost instantly.

Payoneer: Pros

Okay, here are some things we love this service for:

  • Payoneer is a popular payment option available on many platforms;
  • You can get a foreign currency account, for easier and cheaper local transfers;
  • You can make things faster, for an additional fee;
  • They offer 24/7 customer support in many languages.

Payoneer: Cons

Speaking of cons, they are:

  • Transfers (and other procedures) are rather slow unless you pay extra to facilitate them;
  • The availability of some features and fees depends on the country;
  • The service holds the right to place restrictions to your account.

Skrill is a less popular service, though it still has millions of users worldwide.


If you send or receive money from around the world, Skrill may be very helpful. With it, you will be able to receive money to your bank account, your mobile wallet, or your Skrill wallet.

Skrill: Overview

if you choose to create a free bank account online, you can receive payments in foreign currency directly to your Skrill account in that currency. Then, you can withdraw these funds to your bank account.

The service collaborates with big mobile wallet providers. It means funds may go right there. All the sender needs to know is your phone number. 

Finally, you can open a free Skrill wallet. To receive money to it, provide the sender with your email address. The funds sent to your Skrill wallet become instantly available.

Note, that while Skrill charges you no fee for receiving money, you will have to pay around $4 if you convert it into another currency. They apply the mid-market exchange rate.

The speed of the transfer depends on the method you use. For instance, when you send money from your debit/credit card to the recipient’s Skrill account, it will be credited the same day. Sending money by bank transfer will take from 2 to 5 days.

The service may apply restrictions, so read the Terms & Conditions accurately. The customer support is not very responsive, according to what users say.

Skrill: Pros

The main benefits Skrill offers are:

  • Convenience of use (you just give the sender your email or phone number);
  • Availability of different sending and receiving options, including Skrill wallet;
  • Skrill wallet users can receive funds very quickly;
  • Receiving money is free.

Skrill: Cons

Speaking of cons, they are:

  • You have to pay a fee if you want to convert one currency into another;
  • The number of countries from where you can send funds (and where you can send them to) is limited;
  • The customer support is far from perfect. If the service locks your funds for some reason, it’s difficult to solve the problem.
Banks are comfortable to use for most people, but they charge relatively high commissions and apply unfavorable exchange rates for international transfers.
Image source: Japan let’s go

Your bank

Why should you mess up with all these innovative services when you can use your bank? If you love it in an old-fashioned way, this option is still available. All you have to do is provide the client with your banking details and wait for the payment to arrive to your account.

Your bank: Overview

Banks are familiar to most people, so you don’t have to learn anything new here. But this convenience is not free, especially if we talk about cross-border transfers. Don’t forget that some banks charge you for receiving (and not only sending) money in this case. Thus, the amount you get may be smaller than expected. Also, several different banks are likely to take part in the procedure — and each will have a healthy bite. Naturally, the sender will pay a commission, too. Probably, he will deduct this amount from your paycheck.

When any currency exchange is involved, you will lose money on it. To earn more on international transfers, banks tend to apply exchange rates that differ from normal ones.

And how long will you wait for your reduced amount? Well, if everything ok, you will see your money in 2-5 business days.

Your Bank: Pros

Despite of all we said above, using your bank for international transfers have some big pros:

  • You are dealing with a familiar and well-established system;
  • You probably enjoy some additional benefits, available for old clients;
  • If you are a client of a major bank, they have a 24/7 customer support to solve your problems;
  • You banks may offer special products for expats and travelers — check if they are available to you.

You Bank: Cons

And what are the cons?

  • All the banks that participate in a cross-border transfer charge their fees;
  • You lose money on exchange if you deal with 2 or more currencies ;
  • A transfer takes up to several business days, under normal conditions.

Channels app is a perfect match of an end-to-end encryption messenger and mobile wallet that supports many popular digital and conventional currencies.

Channels Mobile App

It is a decentralized payment app by Exscudo. Channels is a mobile wallet that supports a wide range of popular crypto and fiat currencies, including BTC, ETH, XRP, USD, EURO, RUB.

In fact, Channels stands apart in our list as it’s a blockchain-based payment solution. How it translates into real-life?

Channels Mobile App: Overview

First, It means you don’t have to deal with centralized institutions like banks or payment systems. You send and receive money in a peer-to-peer manner, so neither you nor your client pays a commission to an intermediary. Or to multiple intermediaries, as it often happens in the case of international transfers. You only pay a tiny operational fee, which does not depend on the amount you send/receive. 

Second, Channels usually processes your transaction within 3 – 6 minutes, if both of you use this app. Speed a very big advantage for those who need money urgently (or just hates waiting). The distance between you and your client does not matter. 

Third, Channels comes with an in-app encrypted chat. It’s a two-fold advantage: the messenger makes it possible to discuss sensitive financial issues and move money without leaving the conversation. If there are any misunderstandings or questions, you can clarify and settle them right here.

Finally, ‘decentralized’ equals secure. Once validated and added to the blockchain, your transaction cannot be tampered with or canceled. As your financial data isn’t stored in one place, it is out of reach of hackers. And there’s no central body to lock your funds, just in case. 

Channels: Pros

The main benefits of Channels for a freelancer are:

  • High speed (a transaction is processed within minutes);
  • Security of your funds and info;
  • Transaction fees are close to zero;
  • Encrypted chat that allows to send and receive money and private information;
  • Fair exchange rate (it reflects the current market rate set by exchanges).

Channels: Cons

Among the cons, we should mention:

  • Both of you should be Channels app users, to enjoy the full package of benefits. (Though, if you use Channels and your client prefers another service, it’s still cheaper than most payment scenarios).
  • A decentralized system means you’re responsible for the safety of your funds and should take the recommended security measures to protect them.
  • The Exscudo community is rather young and not very numerous. It’s likely that your client does not use the app yet, and you will have to convince him to do it.

Hopefully, this information will make your freelancing more profitable and less stressful!

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