The main difference between PayPal and Payoneer is that PayPal charges an exchange rate margin between 3.5 – 4% on most currency conversions while Payoneer will typically charge a margin of 2% on top of the mid-market rate.
When you’re looking to send money internationally, it can be difficult to decide exactly what money transfer service is best for your individual transfer needs.
In this side-by-side comparison, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at PayPal vs Payoneer to help you decide which service is best for you.
PayPal describes itself as being a “simpler, smarter way to send and receive money online”. The company was first founded by a group of well-known entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, in 1998 in California, and saw astronomical growth in 2002 when it was acquired by eBay as their primary way of processing payments.
PayPal later became independent again in 2015, providing a convenient way for friends and family to send money to one another with just an email address, while also providing a popular payment method for online goods and services.
Payoneer was first founded in 2005 and is a New York-based company providing online transfer services and cross-border B2B payment services. Now, Payoneer serves over 4 million customers worldwide, supporting transfers to over 200 countries.
Payoneer is perhaps slightly different from many other online transfer services in that it largely targets businesses, online retailers, and freelancers.
Overall, it’s difficult to make a direct call between the two companies because of how specialist Payoneer’s services are. Payoneer is excellent for businesses, online merchants, and freelancers, but PayPal may be the better choice for sending money to friends and family. Read below to see how we compared Paypal vs Payoneer.
PayPal refers to its fees as a “cross-border personal transaction fee”, and these will change depending on where you are transferring to and the amount you are sending. For the US, Canada, and Europe, PayPal will charge £0.99 for transactions under £49.99, £1.99 for transactions between £50 or over. For the rest of the world, the fees are £0.99 for anything £49.99 and under, £1.99 for transactions between £50 – £99.99, and £3.99 for transactions £100 or more.
Payoneer’s fees depend on the type of transaction you are processing. For example, using Payoneer’s Billing Service to request payments or paying suppliers will incur a fee between 1 – 3%, while receiving money from online marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr etc will also incur fees set by each individual marketplace. Withdrawing money to your account in the same currency (USD, EUR or GBP only), will incur a fee of 1.50 in whatever currency you are working with.
Both providers have too many variables attached to their fees to draw a direct comparison of Paypal vs Payoneer, as the amount you are charged can change depending on how much you are sending, the transaction type, and the currency you are converting to.
PayPal charges an exchange rate margin between 3.5 – 4% on most currency conversions, although the exact percentage added is not clearly shown when you are initiating a transfer. As an example, sending from GDP to AUD would give you a markup of 4% on the mid-market rate.
Payoneer will typically charge a margin of 2% on top of the mid-market rate, although this can go up to 3.5% if you are paying for your transfer by credit card.
Typically, you will find that Payoneer’s exchange rate is better than what is offered by PayPal. However, Payoneer does have it’s own restrictions in terms of its target audience, so this is something worth bearing in mind when comparing Payoneer vs Paypal.
PayPal is available in more than 200 countries, but they only support transfers between 25 currencies at the moment.
Currently, Payoneer supports 200+ countries and territories including areas as remote as the Mayotte archipelago, a region under France, but it only supports 7 currencies, and an additional 4 for tax payment purposes.
While both operators support a wide range of countries, if we compare Paypal vs Payoneer, PayPal supports more currencies to transfer between.
PayPal’s transfer time can take anywhere from minutes to up to 5 working days. If your recipient already has a PayPal account and you already have the funds in your own PayPal account, your transfer will be processed much quicker. On the other hand, withdrawing from your bank account before converting into another currency will take closer to 3 – 5 working days.
Transfers from Payoneer to a bank account will typically take between 2 – 3 business days, although Payoneer does say this can take up to 5 working days. In some cases, your transfer can be processed within 24 hours, such as transfers from online marketplaces, but variables such as international or local holidays can affect these timings.
Depending on the circumstances of your transfer, both companies are capable of either sending your transfer in minutes, or processing your transfer within several working days.
PayPal’s payment options include paying by bank transfer, credit card, debit card, or transferring via your PayPal account. You can select for your recipient to receive the funds either by bank transfer or by PayPal account transfer – transferring to and from PayPal accounts will be much faster. While PayPal is easy and reliable payment solution but it is not the most cost effective option for transferring funds
Payoneer’s payment options include paying by credit card, eCheck, or bank transfer. However, Payoneer differs slightly from a conventional money transfer service. You can use Payoneer’s platform to withdraw money from your Payoneer account to your bank account or to pay funds directly to a supplier’s bank account. You can also load money onto your Payoneer prepaid Mastercard to then withdraw at local ATMs, physical stores, or when shopping online.
If you are sending money internationally to a freelancer or as a business, Payoneer may provide more transfer and payment options suitable to you. However, if you are sending money purely to friends and family, PayPal may suit you better.
PayPal has over 13,000 reviews on Trustpilot with an overall ‘Bad’ rating of 1.3 out of 5. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that these reviews are not just aimed towards PayPal’s services as an international transfer provider, but directed towards PayPal’s service as a whole.
Amongst the negative reviews, users frequently refer to unfair charges, funds being paused or lost, and poor customer service.
Payoneer has 13,959 reviews on Trustpilot with an overall ‘Excellent’ rating of 4.5 out of 5. The positive comments centred on Payoneer’s responsive 24/7 customer service, easy-to-navigate platform, and faster transfers.
The 6% of customers who rated the company’s service as ‘Poor’ or ‘Bad’ were critical of their account being blocked without notice, and card shipments being made to a physical address and not postal addresses.
Payoneer stands out as a trusted, reputable transfer provider when we compare Payoneer vs Paypal user reviews, with overall excellent reviews from repeat customers. However, it’s necessary to keep in mind that PayPal offers a number of services beyond purely international money transfers, and the reviews don’t accurately reflect public opinion on these services only.
PayPal is accessible to a wide range of countries, supporting 17 different languages. The app is available on both iOS and Android, allowing you to view your balance, add and withdraw money, and send money. The app receives good reviews for its convenience and ease of use.
To keep accounts secure, PayPal uses advanced encryption technology in order to protect every transaction it processes. It also has security questions in place that you can use if you forget or lose your password, although you can also contact customer service to regain access to your account.
Payoneer has over 300 customer service representatives able to offer support to clients in over 70 languages through live chat, email, and telephone. In addition, the website can be translated into 8 other languages to make sending money more accessible. The Payoneer app has generally positive reviews, giving users the ability to manage currencies, request payments, and withdraw payments to bank accounts.
For security, Payoneer is a registered US Money Service Business (MSB) and is certified at a PCI Level 1 Data Security Standard. Payoneer also uses 2-step verification to help ensure that no malicious actors are able to break into your account.
While Payoneer supports more languages for customer support, both companies ensure a high level of security when processing your transactions.
In addition to payments for friends and family, PayPal’s main territory is in e-commerce and PayPal mass payment is also a good option to pay. It is most widely used as a method to pay merchants for goods online – to do this, you can authorize a seller to use your PayPal account, or designate a monthly payment for a subscription service.
Payoneer is designed specifically to provide a more convenient way for business professionals to connect and grow through cross-border payments. This is unique to most other online transfer services, whose main function is to provide online transfers to anyone who seeks to send money abroad, whether that’s to a family member, to pay for foreign purchases or something else entirely.
In this case study, we’ll take a look at the exchange rate margins, fees, and transfer times of each provider when sending various amounts.
To send $200 USD to SGD with PayPal, you would incur a fixed fee of $0.50, a cross-border fee of 2% of the amount you are sending, plus a 4% markup on the base exchange rate. Your recipient would typically expect to see this amount within 1 – 3 working days in their account.
Sending this amount with PayPal would have the same fee structure as listed above – because you are sending a larger amount, you would therefore be charged a higher cross-border fee and a 4% markup on the mid-market rate.
This transfer with PayPal would take between 1 – 5 working days and would have the same fee structure listed above. Of course, a 2% cross-border fee adds up to much more expensive fees with a sum this large.
To avoid the excessive costs charged by PayPal you can go for PayPal alternatives.
Sending $200 USD with Payoneer would have no transfer fee when sending to Singapore, and an exchange rate markup between 2 – 3%. The transfer would typically take around 1-5 days to be received. Your recipient would receive a total of $265.90 SGD.
You would get the same fees, exchange rate, and transfer time as above when sending this sum with Payoneer. Your recipient would get $1,329.50 (at the time of writing).
Sending $5,000 UDD with Payoneer would leave your recipient with $6,647.50 at the time of writing, with the transfer likely to take closer to 3 – 5 working days. Again, there would be no fees attached to this transfer if you were using your Payoneer account.
From this case study, we can see that Payoneer’s exchange rates and fees are more favourable than PayPal’s. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Payoneer is not your typical money transfer company. Payoneer is best suited for businesses and freelancers, rather than for transfers meant for friends and family.
Overall, when comparing Paypal vs Payoneer, these two companies are best suited to different kinds of transfers. You can access Paypal and Payoneer account quickly through their money transfer apps. PayPal may be more suitable than Payoneer for simple transfers to friends and family, while Payoneer provides an excellent service for business transactions.
If you’re not looking for a transfer provider for sending money commercially, however, you will probably find more favourable rates with a different online money transfer provider than PayPal. You can use our comparison tool at the top of the page to find the best providers for your transfer.
Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. Having over 5 years’ experience writing across a range of industries including finance, insurance, and travel, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers and everything they encompass accessible to all.