Which Digital Payment Method Should Freelancers Use?

The freelance nature of work today means that you could effectively live anywhere – from a beach in Majorca to the hills of rural Argentina to the Mount Everest base camp – and still get your work done and get paid for it. The very flexibility of work has meant that payment options have needed to gain some of the same flexibility. That’s why we’ve seen an increase across the board in digital payment methods – from Paypal to Neteller and Skrill.

These digital payments have enabled freelancers to be paid overseas at little to no extra cost than being paid in a standard format. This has opened up the employee pool and widened the work/life balance of those who choose to live somewhere more exotic when working as a freelancer.

PayPal vs Skrill vs Neteller

Established in 1998, Paypal is arguably the most well-known of the digital payment services and has gained significant trustworthiness from the public, especially by being linked to ecommerce sites such as eBay and Amazon. Established in 2001 and 2003 respectively, Skrill and Neteller have also gained traction as a modern alternative to Paypal that aim to allow for easier transfer of money overseas with their e-wallets. All three have grown significantly with the increase in demand for the service to replace standard international and overseas money transfers. Freelance work site Freelancer accepts Skrill and PayPal as payment options for the work produced, showing the prevalence in the freelance circuit. Betway Casino also offers deposit and withdrawal options using all three e-wallets, which helps ensure the security and safety of playing online.

Games site Steam offers payment options with PayPal, while streaming service Twitch also offers PayPal payments. Domain site GoDaddy accept payment via Skrill, while JustForex accept Neteller, which fits into the modern and digital services offered in the trading of Forex. The major benefit of a digital payment method is that money can be moved overseas in a safe way. The fact that so many companies and services are opting for digital payment methods will likely help proliferate their use. If more employers trust the use of digital methods, they are more likely to consider freelancers who can do the work yet live overseas.

What do the Digital Payment Services Charge?

When it comes to charging for withdrawal, Skrill charges 4.9% while PayPal cuts 3.4% (plus 20 pence). When it comes to charging for transferring between two or more accounts, Skrill charges 5%, while PayPal doesn’t charge anything. Neteller charges 12.75 USD, meaning you need a minimum amount in your account to cover this fee. PayPal has options for 24 currencies across 172 countries, Skrill has options for 163 countries and 35 currencies, while Neteller offers 27 currencies across 149 countries.

Personal transfer fees for PayPal are between 4% and 12%, while Skrill offers 1.45%. PayPal’s currency exchange fee ranges from 2.5% to 4%, while Skrill sits at 3.99%. PayPal’s withdrawal and receiving fees are between nothing and 2.5%, while Skrill has between 7.5% to 11%. The total fee for PayPal is between 6.5% and 18.5%, while Skrill comes in at between 13% and 16.5%. PayPal has a transfer limit of $60,000, while Skrill only allows $10,000. The digital payment methods mean that money can be accepted in one currency and transferred automatically into another currency, which would work well for a freelancer working overseas in a country that uses a different currency. If done in larger quantities, this could work well for most freelancers.

Digital payment methods allow for greater flexibility, safety, security and often ease when it comes to freelancers working overseas. Being a freelancer isn’t always easy and there are many challenges, but these challenges don’t have to come from the way in which freelancers get paid. The security gives peace of mind to both the freelancer and the employer hiring them and works as an effective insurance policy for making overseas payments.

While PayPal might be the most prolific of the three and certainly the most trusted, Neteller and Skrill both have their own benefits and depending on one’s proficiency with digital methods, they may find that one of the alternative digital payment methods suit their freelancing lifestyle more.

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