Our $1000 Payoneer Experiment
As fellow business owners servicing clients abroad, we’ve tried out every payment mode out there – Paypal, Skrill, Checks, you name it. There has always been one service that we’ve been really skeptic about using – Payoneer.
1. They do not have pricing information listed on their website. Surely they’re not a charity and as such they should be making money somewhere, why wouldn’t they care to tell us about their fees?
2. There was absolutely no clear information on ‘how’ I could receive payments from our clients abroad. All they had to say was that we can receive payments from ‘Payoneer Partners’ and that my clients can sign up to become one. But why would my client sign up to become a Payoneer Partner just so he could pay me? What was the process involved in becoming one? And how does one make the payment ‘after’ they become a partner?
So many questions for which I couldn’t find answers for their website or anywhere online. I decided to sign-up for the service and find out for myself.
I signed up as a freelancer to Payoneer last month and got verified in a few days. I raised an invoice for $1000 towards contract work to my US based company and sent it to my business partner’s email address.There was absolutely no information on the mode of payment on the invoice. All it said was to make use of the bank account information provided in the invoice. Tony then sent me a domestic wire using the bank account information provided, from our company’s Wells Fargo account on Monday the 7th of December, 2015 at 9 AM EST. The wire cost us $30.
The wire did go through successfully and I was eagerly waiting for a notification from Payoneer since domestic wires are usually credited in the beneficiary’s bank account within a few minutes.
I waited for 3 days but
– I did not receive any notification about the payment on Payoneer.
– I did not receive any refund to our Wells Fargo account.
I tried getting in touch with their customer support on Thursday the 10th of December, 2015 – a full 3 days after the wire was processed from our end. I had to wait for 25 minutes for one of their operators to respond to me on their Chat support. Here’s the full transcript of our conversation.
tl;dr – The agent informs me that they do not accept wires (both Domestic and International) with their Global Payment Service. She’s sorry that Payoneer never cared to put any information on the modes of payment accepted by them on their website or on the invoices sent to our clients.
We did learn something at the end of our $1000 (or rather $1030?) Payoneer experiment. We did finally come to know about the mode of payments accepted by Payoneer – they only accept ACH Transfers and Direct Deposits. If you’re a freelancer or a small business looking to receive payments from your clients abroad, you would have a hard time convincing them to pay you via Payoneer because
– Unlike domestic wires, not everyone can send out ACH payments from their bank accounts online – http://www.wikihow.com/Make-ACH-Payments
– Direct Deposit is a service that is made available specifically to make regular payments like rent, salary, etc. – https://www.wellsfargo.com/checking/quickstart/direct-deposits/
We attended the Payoneer Roadshow at Bangalore on Wednesday, the 16th of December 2015. We met with Keren, the COO of Payoneer and shared with her our concerns about using their application. We had to actually show her the above invoice to prove that there was in fact no information about the mode of payments accepted by Payoneer. Only then did we come to know from her that even Direct Deposits are not accepted by Payoneer (in contrary to the information provided by their customer support agent over Chat support). Even after meeting with the Chief Operating Officer of the company, we still have a hard time understanding their fee structure and modes of payment.
Keren had our wire fees of $30 refunded back to my Indian bank account, it was indeed so nice of her. However, the $30 wire fee was the least of our concerns. As of Monday, the 21st of December 2015, we’re yet to receive any information (or refund) about the $1000 from our Bank as well as Payoneer.
In her email to Tony, Keren mentioned that they are going to update the invoices sent to clients to reflect the fact that they only accept ACH transfers.We’re glad to have shown the pioneer (payoneer) how to serve their customers. Good luck to Payoneer users!
** We did finally receive the $1000 back to our US bank account on Wednesday, the 23rd of December 2015, after waiting for 15 days.**