Payoneer is an online service that enables freelancers and eMarketers in collecting their revenue from a number of countries. Particularly for Pakistani online marketers, Payoneer is a great service as PayPal isn’t available in our country yet. But in my opinion, Payoneer is more robust than PayPal in receiving online payments. If you are willing to work as a freelancer at Upwork or if you are going to sell your services at Fiverr, then Payoneer is your friend. Both Upwork and Fiverr, in addition to hundreds of others, are the official partners of Payoneer and you can avail the services of Payoneer in getting paid quickly and easily from your clients on these services.
In addition, if you are working with direct clients, still Payoneer allows you to receive payments from them by sending a payment request. Later in this article, we will learn that if needed, you can top-up your Payoneer balance yourself as well using this payment request feature.
How Does Payoneer Work
When you sign up for an account at Payoneer, you are given a virtual bank account in a US bank, Bank of America in my case. Along with this (and some more bank accounts in other accounts), a MasterCard is shipped to you. Now you can use this virtual bank account to receive payments from Payoneer partners or from your direct clients and then you can use the provided MasterCard to withdraw your money in supported ATMs in Pakistan. In addition, you can use their bank withdrawal service to withdraw the money to your local (Pakistani) bank account directly and I have found the bank withdrawal service provided by Payoneer to be the fastest among all others I’ve used so far.
Signing Up for Payoneer
Signing up for an account with Payoneer is free. You can either create an account directly on their website or you can sign up through any of their partners like I mentioned Upwork and Fiverr above. If you have already started working with any of Payoneer’s partners, then you should signup through the partner as the signup process would be more easy and straightforward with them.
If you haven’t started working with any of Payoneer’s partners yet, then you can visit this URL to create an account. You will have to provide your local bank account details in order to create the Payoneer account. IBAN is required. If you don’t know what it is, please contact your bank (here in Pakistan) to get the IBAN for your bank account.
Completing the Signup Process
During the signup or after your signup is completed, you will be asked to provide your identity proofs. You can provide the scans of your CNIC, driver license or any other government-verified document where your name and address is visible. When I had an interaction with the signup process for the last time, Payoneer was requiring you to provide the document scans in English. If your documents are in Urdu, then you will have to get them translated into English through some way or Payoneer might reject your documents.
In addition, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire as well. The questionnaire will contain some simple questions asking you to provide information about your income source and so on. You can fill in the information according to your online work’s nature (i.e. blogging, freelancing, affiliate marketing etc.) and submit the form. Payoneer might hold your money unless you complete and submit the questionnaire form.
Important Things to Consider
While creating an account at Payoneer, you need to keep some important things in your mind. Here is the list of the things to be considered in order to get easy approval and to ensure that Payoneer’s MasterCard is successfully delivered at your doorstep:
- You need a local bank account. If you don’t have it, open an account with a local bank first
- Provide your correct (full) name that matches your all academic/government documents
- Provide your complete address. Double check the ZIP code of your area. If you don’t provide a complete address, you may not receive Payoneer’s MasterCard
How to Get Paid via Payoneer
The partner networks provide an easy option of money withdrawal in their user account area. For example, if you are working at Upwork, then you can find Payoneer as a payout option in your earnings section. Remember that you will either have to link your Payoneer account with Upwork or any other partner service from where you are going to withdraw your money.
If you are going to receive money from any of your direct clients or customers, then you can create a payment request in your Payoneer account area. Under ‘Receive‘ menu, you will find a link labeled as ‘Request a Payment‘ that will lead you to a simple form where you can fill in the details of your client. Once you will complete and submit the form, an email will be sent to your client as well as you will get a direct link to share with your client where they can make a payment using their credit/debit card, eCheck as well as using some other options.
Payments requested from clients mostly take some days and it may take up to a week or two if your client chooses eCheck. After the verification and approval mechanism, money will be deposited into your account. For Upwork and several other services, your money can be loaded instantly. The instant load takes a few minutes and Payoneer charges an additional fee of under $5 in order to make the funds available instantly on your account.
Withdrawing Money in Pakistan
Payoneer provides two ways to withdraw your money in Pakistan – the bank wire transfer and through its MasterCard prepaid card. Both of these services are super-solid and I’d recommend the bank transfer method if you aren’t in a rush in order to get your money.If you use the bank withdrawal option in working days (Monday to Friday), then you can receive the payment in your local bank account within 4 to 5 hours. For other standard international bank transfers, sometimes it even takes weeks but with Payoneer, the process is very fast as well as the conversion rate of USD into PKR is reasonable as well.
If you use the bank withdrawal option in working days (Monday to Friday), then you can receive the payment in your local bank account within 4 to 5 hours. For other standard international bank transfers, sometimes it even takes weeks but with Payoneer, the process is very fast as well as the conversion rate of USD into PKR is reasonable as well.
The prepaid MasterCard of Payoneer is supported at some selected banks in Pakistan. I have been using the ATM of MCB (Muslim Commercial Bank) here in my town and never had any issues. I haven’t tried any other bank personally but users have been reporting that ATMs at SCB (Standard Chartered Bank), Citi Bank and Faysal Bank are also supported. MCB charges you Rs. 200 per withdrawal and it allows Rs. 20,000 per transaction. A maximum of 20 transactions totaling Rs. 200,000 was allowed to me but this information should not be taken as an accurate one as the transaction charges and the maximum allowed amount would change from bank to bank.
Topping Up Your Account
Although this would be a different topic and I’ll write an entire post on it but I’m going to briefly explain the process of depositing money to your Payoneer account from Pakistan. As I talked above that Payoneer allows you to send a payment request to anyone in the world and they can pay your requested money using their debit or credit card as well as any other payment option supported in their country. Now to top up your account, you can make use of this feature like this:
- Send a payment request to yourself (use any other email than your Payoneer account’s email)
- Call your local bank and ask to activate the eCommerce session on your credit/debit card
- Once the eCommerce session is activated, open the payment page’s link (that was created for the payment request) and use your debit/credit card to make the payment
Once you will complete the payment, it will take a day or two (or longer in some cases) before the money will become available in your Payoneer account.
The alternate method of topping up your Payoneer account is to buy Payoneer funds from any other fellow Pakistani. A lot of users are there who sell Payoneer $ in exchange of PKR. Find a trusted person on Facebook or on any other platform and make a deal. They will guide you further and you will be able to get Payoneer $ in exchange of Pakistani rupees.
I feel that the information I disclosed above is enough to explain what Payoneer is and how can you make use of it. I’ll be writing more posts that will explain sub-topics in detail. Meanwhile, if you have any questions or if you have any updated information about Payoneer to share with others, please leave a comment below.