• Advice, Finance

Payment tips for the international freelancer

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

As the gig and freelance economy grows, the new breed of un-collared, cross-border workforce has many payout options, but most still opt for e-wallets and wire transfers for payments from overseas employers.

These transactions are riddled with hidden fees and inexcusable time delays that can consume significant portions of earnings.

Here’s what to watch for on international payment platforms:

Seek an extensive payout network - why it’s important:

No matter where you are on the planet, your platform’s payment network must reach you.

So, whether you’re in Dhaka or Dakkar, a cross-border payout platform must be able to deliver funds to you, all with the assurance that payments will be received promptly, with no hidden fees.

This key aspect requires a payout network to have robust relationships with all the financial entities, enabling the cross-border transfer to an international bank account (or cash pickup location) as this helps them pinpoint fees (even lower them!) and delivery - creating a transparent system for tracking your funds.

Ask yourself: If you don’t have a bank account or are not a heavy user of the banking system, does the payment provider provide cash pickup? And what is its coverage?

In summary: Look for a Direct-to-Bank network with global coverage of bank partners and payment providers, cash pick options and transparency in fees and delivery.

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Who is working behind the scenes?:

Vet your payment provider to ensure that a third party isn’t behind the process of sending your money around the world.

The real untold story of cross-border payments is that many payment companies don’t have their own bank networks. They “ride the rails” of other companies.

When you sign up with a payout provider, do you see a clear product with claims that are backed up by networks, not unreliable third-party offerings? Does your payment provide operate an in-house treasury?

This additional feature cuts out the middleman and enables freelancers to get better foreign exchange rates.

In summary: Ask if your payout platform is using third party networks or its own system.

Fraud protection - What Matters to Freelancers:

Freelancers typically have a few concerns, one of which is fraud protection.

This is serious business, as payments support the families of freelancers and keep their professional abilities thriving.

A reliable payouts provider will offer bank-level security to ward off hackers on a daily basis. So look for and seek a superior system to ensure your security and privacy.

In summary: Verify fraud protection and privacy features

Current technology and payment networks built from the ground up are revolutionizing cross-border, mass payments. Understanding all the key criteria will keep freelancers like you to maximize their earnings.

Laura Tiebert is Director of PR and Content for Transpay, a cross-border payments platform that enables freelancers globally to receive quick, hassle-free payments without hidden fees, through direct-to-bank transfers or cash pickups. She writes about the sharing economy, payments innovations, and the new digital work economy.