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Payoneer Review: Functionalities, Fees, Alternatives, and Monito's Recommendation

Byron Mühlberg, writer at Monito.com
Aug 11, 2022
Affiliate disclosure

Payoneer is a world-class digital payments system that offers an attractive business account option for SMEs and self-employed professionals relying on frequent cross-border payments and receipts. Especially well known for its free account management, attractive international payment fees, and countless other savvy features, Payoneer offers many unique advantages to SMEs, self-employed professionals, and freelancers alike.

Nowadays, it has become increasingly common for employers, employees, and independent contractors to work across borders. However, due to currency exchange, the cost of remuneration can be filled with onerous fees. These fees are particularly pricey for business payments, which are often significantly higher than personal payments.

However, while this doesn't tend to bother large corporations (which tend to have their own payment networks and thus secure more favourable rates), smaller companies and self-employed workers are hit especially hard by the high fees for international money transfers. This is where Payoneer comes into the picture. By offering a top-notch business account platform that brings together local bank details in different countries with cheap international payments, Payoneer can provide the ideal solution to meet the international payment needs of SMEs and self-employed professionals.

What We Like About Payoneer

  • A wide range of payment services and solutions;
  • Speedy processing of payments from anywhere in the world;
  • Currency exchange fees are reasonably priced.

What We Dislike About Payoneer

  • Many types of fees can stack up quickly;
  • Currency conversion is only intended for business transactions;
  • Strict terms of service;
  • Not ideal for making pure international payments (this function is best used through Payoneer accounts).
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Monito's Recommendation

Because of its card pay-out processing functionality, local bank accounts in nine countries, fully-functional Mastercard debit card, and inexpensive international transfers, Payoneer is an excellent business account option that we recommend without reservation for SMEs, self-employed professionals, online retailers, and cross-border business operations of all kinds.

How Does Payoneer Work?

In contrast to many banks and other money transfer providers, Payoneer's account offering is restricted to only one product: the Payoneer Account. Although this account offers slightly different functionalities for freelancers and self-employed workers than it does for SMEs and larger enterprises, the underlying service itself remains practically the same, enabling all Payoneer customers to access the same core functions without upgrading their account for a fee.

In essence, Payoneer is an international business account that offers the following key benefits:

  • Receipt of payments through local bank accounts;
  • Dispatch and processing of payment requests to customers;
  • Processing of card payments from customers;
  • Low-cost international payments using the Payoneer account;
  • Direct integration with online vendors (e.g. Amazon, Airbnb, etc.);
  • VAT payments in the EU and UK with no currency conversion or fees.

In addition, there are special functions for online sellers and large enterprises, which include capital advance at the push of a button or collective payments to employees. However, in this review, we'll not be focusing on these benefits and instead explore the core functions shared by all Payoneer users.

Payoneer's Bank Details

One major advantage of Payoneer is its extensive global bank account offering, which make it possible to send and receive local payments in other countries free of charge. This allows international payments to be processed without customers even realising that the owner of a Payoneer account could be based in a different country entirely, as payments to and from the bank account are domestic bank transfers that are processed free of charge for the customer, thereby avoiding the fees associated with international wire transfers.

Payoneer currently offers nine local bank account details. These are suitable for receiving normal domestic transfers (e.g. via SEPA in the EU or ACH in the US) in the local currency. In addition, SWIFT payments can be received via a separate bank account in US dollars. To get a better sense of how these local bank details work, take a look at the breakdown below:

Country or Region

EU

USA

UK

Japan

Australia

Canada

Mexico

Singapore

China

Supported Payments

SEPA

ACH, SWIFT

BACS or FPS

Zengin

BECS

EFT

SPEI or TEF

GIRO/ACH, FAST, or MEPS

Not specified

Last updated: 24/06/2021

An additional perk of Payoneer's global bank account offering is that you can transfer money received between individual accounts at any time. What's more, it's also possible to withdraw your credit to another business account, use it for outgoing transfers, or to spend it with the Payoneer Mastercard. However, these services do not come free of charge — a factor we'll explore later.

Payoneer's International Debit Card

Holders of an active Payoneer account (defined as having received more than US$100.00 over the last six months) are eligible to apply for a Payoneer Mastercard for any one of their accounts. This enables worldwide payments wherever Mastercard debit cards are accepted. The account currency of the card can be set in advance, and if a payment is made in another currency, it will be converted automatically.

What we like about Payoneer's debit card is that account holders have the option of applying for a separate Mastercard for each local account they open. A Payoneer account can theoretically be linked to up to nine debit cards. However, this can become a costly option, as the Payoneer Mastercard already costs €24.95 per year. For this reason, we would generally only recommend one Mastercard per Payoneer account.

What we found considerably less appealing about Payoneer's debit card were the high exchange rate margin fees associated with payments with the Mastercard. These are a flat rate of 3.50% of the payment amount and are calculated for all payments that do not correspond to the currency stored on the Mastercard (payments in which are generally free of charge.)

How Do I Apply For the Payoneer Mastercard?

Payoneer's debit Mastercard is widely available, including in the US and the EU/EEA, with the only requirement being that you have an active account, meaning you need to have received at least US$100.00 in payments over the last six months. As soon as this is the case, the “Order card” button should appear under “My account”.

Under “Settings” and “Card Management”, you'll also be able to order a new Payoneer Mastercard or deactivate an existing card. The delivery time is usually four to seven working days. The delivery time and the delivery costs vary depending on the destination country and the desired delivery option.

Accepting Card Payments With Payoneer

Another major advantage of Payoneer is that it is relatively easy to accept card payments from customers. This works via payment requests and costs a fee of 3.00% per payment. While the fee may seem expensive at first glance, according to our analysis, it is, in fact, quite reasonable for this type of service.

By contrast, Stripe charges a 1.40% commission plus €0.25 per payment for cards from Europe. For international card payments, Stripe charges a fee of 2.90% and €0.25, as well as a 2.00% exchange rate margin. The total fees for accepting payments in the EU from the US are as high as 4.90%and €0.25 with Stripe, while Payoneer only charges a considerably lower 3.00% for a similar service.

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Card payments with Payoneer can only be accepted at a minimum range of between €20.00 and €50.00 per payment. As a result, we recommend this option particularly for freelancers who'd like to offer their clients an alternative payment option, but not for online retailers whose customers may want to pay below the minimum threshold.

What are Payoneer's Fees?

There's no escaping that Payoneer's fees are relatively complicated and can understandably lead to some uncertainty among users. What we found to be particularly undesirable about the fee structure is that each transaction is subject to an individual set of fees.

Overall, however, while Payoneer's fees may appear relatively high initially, we think they are quite reasonable. This is largely because Payoneer is active in a market with comparatively little competition, and due to the reach of the Payoneer account, it is superior to many other similar business accounts. In our opinion, this a decisive advantage that justifies the fees. Take a look at the table below to get an idea of how Payoneer's fees work:

Is Payoneer Worth It for International Payments?

Currently, only transfers between Payoneer accounts are free of charge. However, if your payee doesn't have a Payoneer account, you can invite the recipient of a scheduled payment to open a free Payoneer account at any time and thereby also secure a referral bonus. If you want to make payments to other bank accounts, you'll incur a fee.

The fees themselves depend on the transfer. The basic fee for transferring in the same currency is 1.50 US dollar, Euros, or British pounds. This means you can pay your local supplier for just €1.50 (or equivalent) from your Payoneer business account, regardless of the total transaction amount. For international money transfers with currency conversions, Payoneer charges a flat rate of 2.00%. This is very reasonably priced compared to international payments with high-street banks in the EU, the US, and the UK.

However, the fees can stack up nonetheless. Every year, companies collect hundreds or even thousands of dollars in fees for issuing international payments. Therefore, we recommend that our readers only use Payoneer for occasional international money transfers, not for high-frequency payments. If you regularly send larger amounts abroad, you should consider an alternative such as Wise Business.

Payoneer Customer Reviews

On Trustpilot, Payoneer was rated excellently by its customers, with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars from almost 28 thousand reviews. Overall, 88% of all reviews have four or five stars ⁠, which speaks for the company's popularity.

Many customers praised the fact that customer service was speedy and reliable. The large scope of services is also often noted as a unique selling point. Negative reviews actually relate exclusively to the verification process and that customer service cannot be reached via the integrated chatbot.

Positive Payoneer Reviews

  • Excellent services for global freelancers;
  • Uncomplicated international transfers worldwide;
  • Very competent customer service;
  • Recognized worldwide and available almost everywhere;
  • Local payments in nine different countries.

Negative Payoneer Reviews

  • Customer service is not available via the chatbot;
  • Account verification can take a long time.

Is Payoneer Right for You of Your Business?

In our opinion, Payoneer is an excellent provider of global business accounts for international payment transactions. According to our analysis, the combination of the services offered is unique. We aren't aware of any other company that combines the acceptance of card payments with local bank accounts in nine different countries, a fully functional Mastercard debit card and inexpensive international money transfers. As such, we don't hesitate and recommend Payoneer as a business account for self-employed professionals, online retailers, and global SMEs of all kinds!

A notable alternative to Payoneer is Wise Business. Wise offers local account connections in up to ten countries (depending on the account holder's residence) and enables low-cost international money transfers and card payments. As the fees are lower at Wise, the service is a better option for those only interested in international bank payments at a low cost.

However, that being said, there is nothing wrong with combining both providers to take advantage of their respective strengths! Accordingly, you could use Payoneer for local payments in different currencies and make international payments with Wise. In this way, you can use the individual advantages of both providers and save money in the long term. Take a look at how the two services stack up:

Wise Business

Payoneer

Bank account(s)

10

9

Platform(s) Supported

Mobile app, website

Mobile app, website

Account Opening Fee

€0.00

0.00€

Cards Issuer

Mastercard

Mastercard

Card Fee (Per Annum)

€0.00

€24.95

Foreign Transfer Fees

Approx. 0.35% to 2.00%

2.00%

Fees for Payments Abroad

€0.00

3.50%

Payout to a Local Bank Account

Approx. € 0.28

€1.50

Accept Card Payments

Not available

3.00%

Requests for Payment

Not available

€0.00

Go To WiseGo To Payoneer

Last updated: 24/06/2021

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