Pakistan is the fourth in the number of countries with the most freelancers. And this is growing very quickly due to the shift toward the culture of remote work. The IT market grew very soon after COVID-19 and is still growing.
Freelancers in Pakistan have been facing many problems continuously from the beginning. They are generally related to payments as Pakistan’s financial security system is still very weak and vulnerable. This is the reason that PayPal is still not available in our country.
Payoneer has been a trendy alternative to PayPal for Pakistani freelancers. Payoneer is a digital wallet with 3 different currencies. Both Fiverr and Upwork support Payoneer as a payment method for freelancers. And from Payoneer, it is very easy to transfer your hard-earned money to your Pakistani Bank Account.
Payoneer and JazzCash have also collaborated to facilitate Pakistani Freelancers. JazzCash provides excellent conversion rates from Dollar to PKR.
But overall Payoneer deducts a lot of charges. Also, there is a minimum amount limit Payoneer has imposed for transferring to Pakistani Banks. So clearly as an experienced freelancer I can say that Payoneer is not the best option to withdraw your freelance income.
TransferWise or Wise
Similar to Payoneer, Wise is also a digital wallet offering far more currencies than Payoneer. Wise was previously known as TransferWise and recently launched operations in Pakistan. They also offer a debit card that can be used worldwide for shopping. The card facility is not yet available in Pakistan.
If you are working on Upwork you have a few options for payment withdrawal like direct to the local bank (PKR), Payoneer, and ACH Bank Transfer. The ACH Bank Transfer might also be referred to as direct to US Bank Account. For all these options Upwork deducts some fees on withdrawals except for the ACH Bank Transfer.
ACH Bank Transfer is free on Upwork which means if you withdraw your earnings to a US Bank Account it will be free of charge. Wise provides you with US Bank Account details with your name. These can serve the ACH Bank Transfer.
And then from Wise, the amount can be transferred to your local Pakistani Account with the IBAN. SadaPay which is the newest fintech company in Pakistan also supports Wise, which means you can withdraw to your SadaPay account from your Wise digital wallet. The transfer normally takes a few seconds to complete which is amazing.
Wise provides the best conversion rates and is generally synced with the real-time rates as seen on Google. However, they charge a small transfer fee which is nominal. And the best thing is that there is no minimum limit like Payoneer. You can even withdraw as low as $5 easily.
It seems like the best method to withdraw your income from Upwork is through Wise due to its very low rates and ease. Wise can also be good to save your money in dollars as you can keep them as long as you want to without any problems. For more topics related to freelancing, you can visit the freelancing section of my blog.