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The 3 Main Freelancer Payment Options – pros and cons


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2014-02-21 08:30:34 - Every freelancer wants to be paid for the services they offer and deliver. Due to many different kinds of payment systems, picking the right one can be challenging. Find here the best and most trustworthy ones.

All over the world, freelancers have the universal goal to get paid. As such, they have to take their picks from various payment systems. There are many aspects to consider when making this decision for your business. Do you go for online or offline payment services? Which platform do you trust more? And last but not last, what fees are you willing to pay? To help you answer those questions for yourself, we’ve composed a list with some of the most popular ways to get paid as a freelancer, discussing their advantages and disadvantages along the way.

1. PayPal, Skrill and Google Wallet

You probably saw this one coming miles away. PayPal - one of the fastest and easiest methods to receive

payments, not to mention the most popular. Per transaction, a seller is charged a nominal fee of 2.9% plus $0.30, which can be gotten lower with a PayPal merchant account. The biggest advantage of the platform probably is the level of popularity it’s enjoying. Everybody has heard of this payment platform and customers are much less likely to hesitate using it, in contrast to less well-known ones. Other PayPal perks include allowing customers to make purchases directly through your website and accept credit card payments by phone, fax, or mail, as long as you have a Pro merchant account for an additional $35 a month.

One of the issues with PayPal is its notoriously bad customer service that can sometimes take a lot of time to process requests. Other than that, it has to be noted that PayPal has the right to lock your account if they notice any “suspicious” activity, freezing your transfers or even withdrawing your funds for a while. This is an issue you will possible face and dealing with that will be a tedious endeavor.

Other services that are worth mentioning are Skrill, formerly know as Moneybookers and Google Wallet. As far as fees go, they are both pretty similar to PayPal. Skrill focuses on worldwide transfers in different currencies, so if you’re working with international clients a lot, it might be worth looking into. Google Wallet is strictly for merchants and it boasts a high level of security as well. Both of the services are not as popular as PayPal, but they are still viable competitors.

2. Escrow

When it comes down to secure online payments, Escrow is probably the best way to go. It works in a pretty unique way in order to guarantee that both parties will get what they want out of the deal. After agreeing on the service and how much it costs, your client deposits the payment before you begin working on a project. The seller, in this case you, then gets a confirmation and has the reassurance that the funding is secured. After the client confirms getting the service he paid for, you receive your payment. There is a transaction fee of 3.25%, but you can actually negotiate on who pays it, either splitting it or, ideally, having your client pay it all.

3. Wire transfer, EFT and Checks

Last but not least, you should consider some offline ways to receive payments as well. Not all of your clients might be willing to use an online service to pay for your services. While it is rather uncommon, it could occur and it is good to be prepared for the possibility. Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) are one way to do it. They are essentially a way to transfer funds from one account to another with none or low transfer fees. Wire transfer is a type of EFT, but it is faster and more expensive. Getting paid by check is the traditional way of doing things and there’s nothing wrong with it if you trust your client and can afford to wait for the check to actually come and get approved.





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