5 great Payoneer alternatives for international transfers

Panna Kemenes

With its focus on business transactions, Payoneer is a distinctive company when it comes to international money transfers. It not only offers foreign payments but also provides various business services such as multi-currency virtual accounts. But it’s not the only option out there.

Each of the following alternatives to Payoneer is set up in a different way, and each has its own set of fees and costs. When you’re dealing with international transfers, the exchange rate is one number that it really pays to keep your eye on.

When banks and remittance companies operate among themselves, they’re able to use the mid-market exchange rate - but when they charge their customers, they often set a less favorable exchange rate and pocket the difference.

Here’s a look at a few of the leading alternatives to Payoneer. Take a look, and see which Payoneer competitor is right for your business.

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Best Payoneer alternative: Quick overview

ProviderGreat for
Wise BusinessSending money across borders while avoiding hefty bank fees.
PayPalBusinesses who can make the most of features that come with PayPal business packages.
SkrillBusinesses who also use Skrill online payment solutions.
NetellerBusinesses looking to integrate another online payment system.
World FirstHigh-value transfers over 500 USD.

Best alternatives to Payoneer

1. Wise Business

Wise Business is a great option for anyone looking to send money across borders while avoiding hefty bank fees.

The concept behind Wise is simple: by using a system of local bank accounts in countries all around the world, it doesn’t have to rely on costly and slow international bank transfers to pay people in different countries. You can just pay into a local bank account in one country, and receive the money from a local account in another country, with no intermediary banks getting involved.

Wise uses the mid-market rate on all its transfers and it doesn’t make any money out of the exchange rate. The only cost when transferring money is a simple upfront fee based on the amount you’re sending.

All of that is available to businesses, which means paying unnecessary fees for every single international payment can be a thing of the past. With the Wise Business account, you can hold your money in dozens of different currencies and transfer to currencies around the world with ease.

The Wise Business account offers virtual account details in ten major currencies, while Payoneer only offers nine. You can receive payments with ease in US and Australian dollars, euros, pound sterling, and more - without having to pay cross-border fees.

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2. PayPal

PayPal is a well-known finance company that also offers ways for businesses to make international payments. As having a PayPal account is so widespread around the world, this can be a convenient option. But do make sure to check the PayPal fees.

PayPal’s business offerings differ slightly from country to country, and they offer many different services, from payment solutions to invoicing.²

But when it comes to international transfers, it’s important to check the details. The costs with a business account can be different from paying privately. According to an independent analysis, an international business transfer could cost up to 19x as much via PayPal than via Wise.

While there’s no fee to open up the account, that doesn’t mean it won’t cost. That cost could be made up of a variety of things, from currency conversion charges to recipient fees.³

Still, the range of different features that come with some PayPal business packages, as well as the simple name recognition of the company, means that there are nonetheless reasons to consider a PayPal business account. Just make sure you know what it’ll cost you and your business.

🔍 You can check the article on PayPal vs Payoneer for a detailed comparison.

3. Skrill

A little bit like PayPal, Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers) offers a way for online retailers to process online payments, as well as letting people pay each other online without needing bank details - just an email address is enough if both are signed up.⁴ And yes, they offer international payments too.

Skrill has a system of ‘wallets’ for transfers: you send money from one wallet to another. If your recipient doesn’t have a wallet, you can also send money straight to their bank account.⁴

What about the fees? There are a variety of potential ones - you could be charged for withdrawing funds, sending money, and having funds converted into a new currency.⁵

And, of course, there’s also - as always - the exchange rate to factor in. The exchange rate used is set by Skrill, and there is also a foreign exchange fee of up to 3.99%. ⁵

Skrill’s main business offering concerns its online payment solutions. If you also use Skrill for that, it could be worth considering for international transfers too.

4. Neteller

Neteller offers a similar suite of products, processing payments online as well as handling international transfers. With a virtual Neteller account, you can pay anyone with an email address, even without bank details.⁶

As a business, you might be particularly interested if you’re also looking to integrate another online payment system.

Neteller has a complex system of ‘VIP’ membership, from ‘bronze’ up to ‘diamond’, and the rate they charge varies depending on what level you have.⁷ A number of other fees also vary according to your level. Your level itself is dependent on how much money your company handles per calendar year - the bigger the number, the lower the rates.⁷

Fees with Neteller also vary considerably depending on how you upload money into your account. It costs 2.5% to deposit money via Visa, for instance, and 0-5% via Paysafecard.⁸

Costs also vary depending on how you withdraw the money from your Neteller account. In all of these cases, the charge is generally a percentage cut of the amount you’re depositing or withdrawing.⁸

The fee structure is somewhat complex and might be hard to predict if you need to use a mixture of different payment and withdrawal methods. Benefits to Neteller include their ‘virtual prepaid MasterCard’, as well as their online payment facility.⁹

5. World First

Based in London, World First has a focus on higher-value transfers. Although there is no minimum transaction limit, there is a charge for withdrawals under $500.¹⁰ So it isn’t ideal if you ever need to make smaller payments. That point aside, it offers a range of useful business services including bulk payments and ‘forward contracts’ - transfers booked in advance.

When it comes to personal transfers, World First charge 1.50 - 15GBP depending on the payment type. There is also an FX transaction fee of up to 0.75% for major currencies. Non-major currencies may be higher.¹¹

You’ll need to talk to their customer support to find out further details on the exact fees.

Things to keep in mind before signing up with Payoneer alternatives

All the above options offer a different combination of services for businesses, some with more of a focus on international transfers and others with the focus more on online payments in general, or in managing budgets. As you’d expect from an area of the market that’s changing so rapidly, there are many different approaches to pricing, especially for the business packages.

Therefore, there are a few different points to bear in mind before you sign up.

Check how many different potential costs there are: does it cost to deposit money in a virtual account, for instance, or to withdraw money at the end? Are there different costs depending on how you deposit or withdraw? Is there a ‘dormancy fee’ that you end up having to pay each month if you stop using the service?

If you’re using the service to pay suppliers or freelancers, what exactly is going to be expected of them at their end once you’ve paid them: are they going to have to sign up for a service they don’t want to use, and then have to pay a fee to access their money?

If you’re looking at these options because international payments are a particular concern for you and your business, there’s another key question to bear in mind: what does it cost to convert money into foreign currencies? This simple question is at the heart of a service like Payoneer, and a lot of the alternative services discussed above - but the answer isn’t always what you might hope it was.

    💡 Whenever you consider paying money in a foreign currency, it’s vital to think carefully about the exchange rate you’re being offered and to compare it to the mid-market rate, because often you’ll find that through charging a worse rate, you’re really paying an extra, hidden fee.
    The best thing to do is to use an online currency converter close to you at all times so that you can quickly see how much your business’s money is really worth in a foreign currency.



  1. How to set up a PayPal business account: fees & requirements
  2. PayPal, the smart choice for business
  3. Fees | Merchant and Business | PayPal US
  4. Skrill
  5. Our Fees & Charges | Skrill
  6. How To Transfer Money Online - Neteller
  7. Neteller VIP
  8. Transfer Fees - Neteller
  9. Neteller card
  10. Foreign Exchange Frequently Asked Questions | WorldFirst.
  11. Our pricing and fees | WorldFirst

All sources checked December 14, 2022

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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