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getting paid

Get Paid Without Paypal: Alternative Payment Options for International Writers

Due to being a non-native English freelance writer, my blog is being read by tens of thousands of other non-native English writers and it’s understandable that you’ll want a convenient way to get paid after writing for clients.

I’m in a country not supported by Paypal, how do I get my clients to pay me without Paypal?

“I’m from Nigeria/Zambia/some-other-developing-country-that-paypal-does-not-allow-to-receive-payments, how do I get clients to pay me?

I get variations of these questions a lot. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT; in fact, I’ve gotten hundreds of these questions this year alone (no exaggeration!).

As I was planning to write an article addressing this payment issue today, I looked into my inbox and there it is again: “how do I get paid when Paypal does not support my country?”.

This article addresses the issue of getting paid for your work once and for all, and if you’re in a developing country not supported by Paypal, or if you can’t or don’t want to use Paypal for one reason or the other, I’ll be sharing alternative methods you can use to get paid for your work.

Alternative Payment Methods to Paypal for Getting Paid

First, as a Nigerian freelance writer I must say that I am strongly disappointed in and frustrated by Paypal’s decision not to allow Nigerians to receive payment using their services.

In a country of over 180 million people and more than 60 million internet users, with a $3 billion e-commerce industry experiencing a massive annual growth grate of 27%, I’m not sure this is a wise business decision.

I also empathize with freelance writers and online business owners in other nations that can’t fully use Paypal’s services.

That said, I think I should strongly clarify that I believe in a business’s freedom to make whatever decision they want to make regarding what direction their business will take; it’s Paypal’s right to allow a certain country/individual to send/receive payments using their platform, and they are simply exercising that right.

However, I wish something can be done about this ASAP; I’ll be putting it lightly if I say that Paypal’s unavailability for receiving payments here in Nigeria has cost me tens of thousands of dollars!

So, what methods do I use to receive payments from my clients since I can’t use Paypal?

I’ll be sharing the exact methods I use to get paid by clients below, including those clients who will only pay via Paypal:

1. Using 2Checkout.com

get paid with 2checkout

2checkout (also known as 2co) is one of my favorite services online, because they embraced developing nations, especially in Africa, long before the world started paying attention to Africa.

Personal biases aside, 2checkout is simply a stellar service!

A key reason why I use them is because clients can pay via BOTH Paypal and Credit/Debit Card; in other words, those clients who insist on only paying via Paypal and nothing else, you can get them to pay via 2checkout.

To get your clients to pay you via 2checkout, you will need to open a 2checkout account (for free).

2checkout charges a 3.5% processing fee + $.45 per transaction. There’s an additional 1.5% fee if the transaction is from outside your country of registration; that will make it a total of 5% processing fee + $.45 per transaction.

2checkout also holds a portion of your fee for a period of time, to protect themselves against chargebacks, refunds, etc.

You’ll usually get almost instant access to about 90% of your funds, though, and they’ll be available for withdrawal usually within a week of payment being made. Payments are usually processed on Thursdays.

2checkout pays their users via Wire/Bank Transfer (you need to have a minimum of $300 in your account), or via a Payoneer Mastercard (you need to have a minimum of $30 in your account).

Getting Your Clients to Pay You Via 2checkout

To get your clients to pay you via 2checkout, you can take the following steps:

Step 1: Create a 2checkout account and get approved to receive payments

Step 2: Create a “product” that costs the amount you want to charge clients; e.g. if you want a client to pay you $500 for a few articles, you can create a product that costs $500.

You can create a product by going to Products >> Add New Product and then entering the necessary information.

Here’s a screenshot for what the “create a product” page looks like; I filled it with sample information. The “Approved URL” field could be left as default.

Creating a product in 2checkout

Since you’re a freelance writer, you’re not creating products. Instead, you’re creating a service.

So, you’ll just head to their “Products” section to create a product section and name the “product” as your service e.g. “2 Articles for Client XYZ”.

The price of the product should be the total amount you want to collect from your client.

You’ll have to create new products or modify existing products every time you want to charge clients.

Step 3: Create an invoice and send it to your clients

In their sales section, there’s an option to create an invoice; you can access it by going to Sales >> Request Invoice and entering the necessary information.

Once you’re on the “Request Invoice” page, you should see something similar to what is in the screenshot below:

2checkout request invoice

You can go ahead and fill in the requested information and select the “product” you just created from  drop-down list asking you to select a product and create an invoice for it.

You can then include your client’s email address so that the invoice will sent to them; after this, you should notify your clients that you’ve sent them an invoice, and that they can pay you via Paypal or Credit Card.

2checkout will allow your clients to pay you via Paypal, even if you don’t have a Paypal account.

There you have it; with the above 3-step process you’re on track to start receiving payments from your clients through 2checkout. You can configure your 2checkout account with your bank account (local or domiciliary) or Payoneer (more about that below) and you are set to start receiving payments from your clients.

2. Using Payoneer

Get paid via Payoneer

Another preferred method for receiving payments is by using Payoneer.com.

I love using Payoneer for the following reasons:

  • They will give you a Mastercard that you can use to withdraw your funds via ATMs worldwide, and that can be used to make payments online.
  • They have a wide reach and are used by major platforms online; if your client is big, they just might be using Payoneer.
  • They have an extra option, that you’ll have to request that they enable, that allows your clients to pay you via ACH transfer; basically, this is a popular bank transfer service from the US. Most US clients can use this to transfer funds, but it only works for people in the US and, I think, a limited number of countries. Payoneer will give you an account number to give to your clients, and their ACH payments will be deposited right into your Payoneer account. You can also receive payments from Amazon and other major services online that pay via ACH using this method.

Using Payoneer is simple and straight forward:

Step 1: Head over to Payoneer.com and register for free.

Step 2: Check if your client is a Payoneer partner and link up your card with them.

Step 3: Get your clients to send your funds via Payoneer and you’re good to go!

Additional Facts About Payoneer

  • For some clients, there’s an option to send funds directly to your local bank account via Payoneer’s service for a nominal fee; this doesn’t seem to be available across the board, but you can check to see if it’s an option for your client.
  • You can link up your Payoneer account with oDesk, Elance and other major freelance bidding sites to withdraw funds you have with them.

3. Elance, Upwork, etc.

First, I’ll be very clear; I have a strong stance against using freelance bidding sites due to the fact that they foster an environment that actively devalues freelancers and creatives. If you’re familiar with Writers in Charge’s mission, you’ll know that I’m totally against that.

However, there are benefits to using these sites for receiving payments.

A few years back two of my major clients wanted to work with me but wouldn’t pay via other means except oDesk, because they couldn’t pay me via Paypal, so I went ahead and opened an account with them.

These sites work in a similar way to 2checkout, and you can create an invoice for your clients that they can pay; the freelance bidding sites will remove around 10% of the funds your clients send and allow you to withdraw the balance to your bank account, Payoneer, etc.

So, they’re not a good option for getting client work but they can be a good option for receiving payments if you don’t have an alternative.

4. Bank/Wire Transfer

When a client is paying me big bucks, I’m talking anything in excess of $4,000 at once, or sometimes upwards of $2,000, I try to work on having them pay me via Bank Transfer.

The reason I prefer bank transfers for huge amounts is due to the charges; I can’t imagine paying $500 to any of the other services just to receive $5,000 or $1,000 just to receive $10,000.

Most people are worried that bank transfer only works with domiciliary accounts, but that’s not the case. I’ve received a good portion of the bank transfers I’ve had clients send me directly to my savings and current account here in Nigeria.

You’ll need to provide clients with your bank name, address, account number, phone number, swift/sort code and that’s it. With that information, they’ll usually be able to do a bank/wire transfer to you irrespective of where you are in the world.

A Special Note to People Writing in Because of My Lists of Websites that Pay

I’ve gotten hundreds of emails from people who have read my lists of websites that pay and want to be paid through other means besides Paypal; this is because majority of the websites featured on these lists usually pay via Paypal.

My response is this, and will always be: Tell them about your unique challenges with Paypal, and encourage them to pay via other means. You can even send them a link to this article, or tell them about any of the options on this list.

It might look insignificant, but I can tell you this as someone who runs a popular website myself: if 50 – 100 people suddenly start to email you to add a feature, or include something, to your site that isn’t otherwise there, you’ll often have no choice but to do it. It’s the very reason I’m writing this article in the first place!

There You Have It

The above are my favorite options for accepting payments from clients without Paypal’s support, and that I feel is practical for most other people in nations that Paypal does not fully support.

I’ll be going against the rule here at Writers in Charge, and I’ll be leaving the comments open on this article; feel free to comment and let me know what you think!