Payoneer vs Paypal in India: Which one is best in 2022?

Aman Saxena

Freelancing and gig economy is taking the world by storm, and even more so in India. And when you have clients from all over the world, payments should be the last thing that stops you.

Payoneer and PayPal are both online payment services that can help make international billing easier. Read on to learn more about each and see which can be the right service for your freelancing work.

And if you want a smart and cost-effective alternative to get paid in India, even if you are just starting out, consider Wise 🚀

Payoneer PayPal Wise
Fees For 0-3% for payment and 2% for withdrawal 4.40% + fixed fee depending on the currency One transfer fee
Exchange Rate Set by Payoneer, includes conversion fee Set by PayPal, includes markup Real mid-market exchange rate
Speed 2-5 business days Up to 5 days Within minutes for most popular routes
Currencies available 7 25+ 60+
Convenience Web/iOS/Android app Web/iOS/Android app Web/Android/ iOS app

PayPal for freelancers: An overview

PayPal has been the original online global payment service provider and wallet. With the PayPal wallet, you can receive payments, make payments and transfer between other PayPal wallets.

PayPal also has a payment gateway for website payments and a marketplace for all sides of a market transaction. For freelancers, PayPal can be a smooth and easy way to get payments if you have a registered business.

You can not use PayPal if you don’t have a registered business. You will also get payouts into your Indian business bank account daily. But it does come with fees.

✅ Pros
  • Free wallet to wallet transfers
  • Popular option globally
  • Clients can pay through multiple options
❌ Cons
  • Receiving payments only for registered businesses
  • Exchange rate fee on every currency converted to INR
  • Fees for receiving payments
🔖 Read more: How to open a PayPal account in India

PayPal fees

There are two main fees- a fee of 4.40% of the transaction, plus a fixed fee depending on the client’s, or sender’s, location. On top of that is the exchange rate fee.

But first, here are a few of the fixed fees by currency:

Currency Fixed Fee
US dollar $0.30 USD
Euro €0.35 Euro
Australian dollar $0.30 AUD
British Pound £0.20 GBP

So for example, if you have an American client that you have charged $100 for a job:

Amount billed $100
Fixed fee (4.40%) $4.40
Fixed Currency fee $0.30
US Dollar amount after fees $95.30

You would then be given PayPal’s exchange rate to convert the $95.30 into Indian Rupee when deposited into your bank account.

PayPal sets its own exchange rate so that it is weaker than the real mid-market exchange rate that you see on Google. That way, PayPal sneaks in a hidden fee on every dollar or currency converted into Indian Rupees.

While it can feel like a small fee, it can add up quite quickly. Here is how it looks versus the real mid-market exchange rate for that same $95.30:

Transaction PayPal Mid-market exchange rate
$1 USD to INR ₹71.17 ​​74.2100
For $95.30 ₹6,782.50 ₹7,072.21

Just that small 3 paisa difference in the exchange rate ends up being a ₹300 difference in what you get in your account.

🔔Get free exchange rate alerts for transfers to India, or anywhere

Time taken to receive money with PayPal

PayPal clears your account daily and automatically, so you will never have to manually withdraw the funds. But, it can take up to 5 days for the funds to appear in your Indian bank account.

Payoneer for freelancers: An overview

Payoneer is an online payment service that lets freelancers, including those in India, get paid for work done outside of India. Online marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork use Payoneer and it is their preferred payment method for those in India to get paid.

Payoneer has the handy Receiving Accounts where clients overseas can pay locally in USD, GBP, EUR, CAD and more. It makes it easier for clients so they don’t need to convert or send money overseas. Payoneer also lets you send Payment Requests to qualifying clients.

✅ Pros
  • Free to sign up
  • Get receiving account details in USD, GBP and Euros
  • Daily withdrawals to India local bank accounts
  • There are fees for payments and withdrawals
  • There is a conversion fee
  • You can not get paid by individuals or non-commercial purpose


There are 3 main buckets of fees with Payoneer - for payment, for withdrawal and other miscellaneous fees. Let's look at each.

When you are getting paid with Payoneer, the fee will depend on how and where the payment is made. Some options are free while others come with a cost:

Transaction Fee
From a marketplace like Fiverr, Upwork, Airbnb, and others Fee set by marketplace
By USD, EUR or GBP Receiving Account Free
Payments from clients from a payment request - credit card 3%
Payments from clients from a payment request - ACH Bank debit (US) 1%
Payments from another Payoneer customer Free

Now the withdrawals for Payoneer in India are done daily so you will receive a fee everyday on the amount paid to you:

Transaction Fee
From US Dollar, Euro or different currency to Indian Rupee Up to 2% of the transaction + currency conversion fee in the exchange rate

Payoneer, similar to PayPal, sets their own exchange rate which includes a currency conversion fee. While they don’t share their exchange rate, it is said their rate is 2-2.5% above the real mid-market exchange rate.

You may also run into other fees with Payoneer:

Transaction Fee
Paying to another Payoneer account Free
Paying to a local bank account outside of Payoneer 2% of transaction charge + any currency conversion fees if applicable
Moving currencies between your own Payoneer balance .5% of the amount to transfer + currency conversion fee
If your account is open but unused for 12 months $29.95 USD

If you are a high earning freelancer, you may be given a break on certain fees. Also, there is a chance that your local Indian bank may also charge a fee.

Time taken to receive money with Payoneer

Payoneer pays out to Indian bank accounts automatically every 24 hours.

A simple, fast, and cheap alternative: Wise

With running your own business, you have enough on your plate. Receive international payments easily with Wise Business Account. Wise offers business in India with account details in 8 currencies that lets your international clients pay you using a local transfer. This makes your business stand out as one that is easy to work with, plus you benefit with a mid-market exchange rate — which is same as the one you see on Google. Wise charges a transfer fee that is shown upfront, and no other hidden markups.

Get Start with Wise Business 🚀

Wise is used by over 10 million people around the globe, regulated by FCA, and using the real exchange rate on every transfer, your beneficiary is able to get more than they would with most providers.

The bottom line

Both Payoneer and PayPal are similar. And if you are using one of the online marketplaces or services like Airbnb or Fiverr, you may not have a choice of the payment option for you in India.

That being said, Payoneer can sometimes be found to be cheaper and offers receiving account details to make the payment process simpler for customers.

But if you want to receive international payments in your Indian bank account directly, look no further than Wise Business. With just one low fee and the real exchange rate, you can get more in your wallet with Wise.

Sources used for this article:

  1. PayPal
  2. PayPal fees
  3. PayPal settlement time
  4. Payoneer
  5. Payoneer Fees
  6. Payoneer settlement time

All sources checked as of 18 November, 2021

*Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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