3 Ways for Freelancers to Accept Payments in India

If you’re working from home, or a freelancer or a blogger… what are the ways by which you can get paid? Is it enough to just have a bank account or are there easier to use services?

Let’s look at some of the best options.

So, there are two types of payments based on where you are and where your employer is. Say, you are in India and your employer is also in India, then things are very easy. But if you are in India and your employer is in USA or Singapore or any other country in the world, then things get tricky.

Let’s look at solutions for both cases.

First, if you and your employer both, are in India.

Payment options are pretty straight forward. The very first one is online bank transfer. For this, you’ll have to share your bank account number, IFSC code and address. Although this looks pretty straight forward, there could be privacy issues involved. Say, you don’t want to give away your location or tell which bank you deal with etc. Then you have to look at other options.

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The good thing about bank transfer is that, there are no fees involved. And you get instant fund transfer via online banking. Things are pretty smooth.

Now, the other way to get paid are through mobile payment options like PayTM, Google Pay, Phone Pe, etc. In all these methods, you should have already set up your payment methods with the app and have your accounts verified, and linked to your bank account. In these cases, you don’t have to reveal anything such as your bank address or location, etc. In some cases, you might have to reveal your phone number though. That’s about it.

And you are very well versed in using mobile payment options I believe. They’ve become so easy these days, isn’t it? One-click and you get paid. So, I’d recommend them if you are getting paid in small or medium amounts like say around a hundred dollars or so.

Now, let’s look at the second scenario, where your employer is overseas, say USA or Singapore. And you’ve worked for them either directly or through freelancing platforms. Like Fivver. What do you do? How do you get paid? What is the best way to get paid?

So the number one option is PayPal.

PayPal is a free option where you can get paid just with an email address. All you have to do is register on, and verify your bank with PayPal. For this the first time, PayPal will deposit a small amount in to your bank account, and you have to mention that amount in the verification option. That’s how they verify. Once your bank account is verified, you might have to also share your KYC documents like passport or Aadhaar card etc. You can start accepting payments even without those documents but to withdraw it into your bank accounts, verification is required.

The problem with PayPal is that even though it’s super easy to use, it has fees for every transaction and I don’t like it. That is if your employer is paying you $100, then PayPal would take it’s cut of 2.5% + 3 Rs fixed fee. So in effect you’d get only some 96-95 dollars. Also, their exchange rate is not that great. So in effect, you might lose money with each transaction.

But some people insist on paying via PayPal, like they’ll ask you whether you have PayPal or not, because it’s so popular, so keep it ready anyways. And use it when you have absolutely no other choice.

Okay, on to the second tool.

By the way, if you’re running a business and looking for ways to accept payments online, here’s a great article that lists out all the top tools.

The second best option to get paid in India is via Payoneer

Payoneer has been around as a payment platform for a while now but only in the west. It recently launched in India and is a strong contender for PayPal. PayPal obviously is very popular and that’s why they have that nasty 2.5% fees. Nobody asks them why. But Payoneer also works exactly the same as PayPal, but…their fees are lesser than PayPal as instead of the 2.5% of every transaction it’s a flat $3 fee for every transaction. Having said that, Payoneer is not very well known for its customer service and you can see that many people are complaining about them online. Their currency exchange rate is also on the higher side. Not very impressive.

I’d recommend you use it if you have higher amounts of payment coming in and you want to hold on to that amount instead of converting it to Indian Rupees immediately. Like $1000 and above and you want to hold it in USD itself. Then Payoneer might be a good choice.

Just look up the reviews on Payoneer on Google and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

So number 3 is Transferwise. Nice name isn’t it?

Let me explain it this way. If you’re making good money from overseas and is looking for the most effective way to convert those dollars to Indian Rupees, then I can confidently say that you won’t find a better service than Transferwise. PayPal, Payoneer type services focus on making it easy to pay but once you get paid, converting and withdrawing that money to India, is where you’ll get stuck or where you’ll get the short end of the stick.

This is where a service like Transferwise solves your problem. Transferwise does not have any hidden fees or anything. So let’s say you have 1000 dollars to be accepted. If you use PayPal then you lose 2.5% right away + the 3 Rupees flat service fee. Payoneer will give you a 3 dollar flat fee and a high exchange rate. If you check Google how much is 1 dollar converted to Indian rupees, they will show the current day exchange price. So, today 1 dollar is equal to some 76 Rupees.

But Payoneer and PayPal will never give you those rates. They have their own rates and it is always less than the published rate. But Transferwise will give you a very close rate to the rate shown publicly on Google. So you get more value for your money.

The only problem is that starting an account takes some time, there is a lot of verification and all that. And it’s not as popular as PayPal or Payoneer. It’s known more as a money transfer service, and that’s why the name.

So guys, these are the top three ways by which you can get paid doing freelance or work from home jobs in India.

If you’re a work from home professional, blogger or freelancer, sign up for the above-mentioned services and compare them yourself. Each one is good for a particular use case. 

For example, PayPal is great to get started and get paid if you don’t have frequent payments. Payoneer is great for getting paid for small and big amounts and holding your money for some time before withdrawing. And Transferwise is great if you have large amounts coming in and you want the best currency exchange rate. So, you might even want to use all three for different cases however it works for you

If you have any questions or recommendations, the comment box below is always open and I’m watching it like a hawk for new comments.

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Mani Karthik

In my pursuit of happiness, I share everything I've learned, on this blog. From productivity to spirituality and everything in between. I quit my cozy job in the USA to pursue my passion - blogging. Today, I make five times what my US job paid. More than the money, I love the freedom it gives me to make my own choices. Come join me. Start blogging! :) WhatsApp : +0014084894785

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