Home Comparison Wise vs Payoneer

Wise vs Payoneer

The evolution of the internet has made it simpler and more cost-effective to send money across borders. Due to the ever-evolving digital remittance industry, customers are often intimidated by the prospect of sifting through a number of money transfer companies to find the right one for their specific transfer needs. We will be weighing up two money transfer giants, Wise (formerly Wise) vs Payoneer, as we investigate each provider’s unique selling points to help our readers make an informed decision.

Updated: 05/01/2022
Read time: 10 minutes
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Payoneer is a New York based financial services company that provides online funds transfer and e-wallet services to all account holders. Founded in 2005, Payoneer has more than 2,000 employees based across 21 global offices, serving a customer base of over 4 million people. The biggest selling point of Payoneer money transfers is the company’s worldwide network of over 200 countries and the company’s pledge to provide 24/7 customer support.

The far-reaching presence of Payoneer across all continents and territories, coupled with its support for businesses and online marketplaces, makes it a go-to company for online retailers and freelancers. That being said, Payoneer has a rather complex fee structure with lots of different charges instead of a harmonised billing system.

Wise is a London based global online money transfer service founded in 2011. Currently, the provider supports more than 11 million customers, thanks to their team of 3,000 professionals working in 21 offices across 19 countries. Headquartered in London’s Shoreditch High Street, Wise was founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarman, who both moved to the UK from Estonia.  One of the leading money transfers companies in the industry, Wise stands out for its totally transparent approach to exchange rates and transfer fees, varied payment options and matching the mid-market rate.

In addition to these innovative aspects, the company charges low transfers fees compared to many providers in the market. One notable area of improvement for the company is its pay-out options. Currently, Wise permits transfers to bank accounts only with no cash pickup option available. However, as of November 2019, Wise began partnerships with Asian-based mobile wallet providers.

We will compare each company, side-by-side, to identify which brand offers the more competitive transfer fees, exchange rates, global coverage, mobile applications and much more.

Which brand has lower fees?

Wise

Wise implements a transparent approach to transfer fees and will keep customers informed throughout the remittance process. Wise does not charge a mark-up for currency exchanges, instead, they match the mid-market rate as closely as possible. For this reason, the company relies on fees to make a profit, however, the fees are small and remain competitive.

Fees are calculated based on the amount of money that is sent and tend to be less than 1% of the transfer amount. Wise balance transfers are free which is a great perk for those sending money to other Wise accounts

Payoneer

Payoneer’s fee structure depends on the type of transaction. According to the provider’s website, the following services are billable:

  • Using Payoneer’s Billing Service to request payments from other customers will cost between 1 and 3%
  • Receiving money in USD incurs a fee of 1%
  • Receiving money from online marketplaces such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Airbnb attracts fees set by the individual marketplaces
  • Withdrawing money to a bank account denominated in the same currency (USD, EUR & GBP) will cost $1.50, €1.50, & £1.50, respectively
  • Paying suppliers will cost between 1 – 3% depending on the chosen payment method
  • Balance transfers to other Payoneer account holders are free
  • ACH bank debit and local bank transfer incur a charge of 1%
  • Credit card payments will cost around 3%

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

Both international money transfer services do not charge a fee for balance transfers, which is handy for customers that are looking to save money when sending money domestically to other account holders. However, bank and card transfers are more expensive with Payoneer than Wise, making the latter the cheaper option for transfer fees. 

Which brand offers better exchange rates?

Wise

Wise matches the mid-market rate as closely as possible when converting foreign currencies for international transactions. Wise will share the currency conversion rate during the 1st step of a money transfer so users can compare the rate before continuing. This guaranteed transparency has helped establish Wise as an industry leader for exchange rates with minimal-to-no mark-up percentages. 

Payoneer

When sending money overseas with Payoneer transfers will incur a 2% mark-up on top of the mid-market rate. This is a cost that should be considered in addition to the transfer fee. Payoneer also provides a currency conversion service within an account. The mark-up percentage for this is 0.5%, so it makes sense to convert a currency before sending. 

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

Wise is the clear winner of this category: they do not apply margins to their foreign currency transfers for customers sending money internationally, instead providing the true value. In contrast, Payoneer will charge a 2% mark-up, so money can be saved when opting for Wise. 

Which brand covers more locations?

Wise

Wise disbursing network coverage currently stands at 61 countries. On its site, the provider has given its customers the opportunity to recommend destinations they would want to be added to further extend its global reach.

Payoneer

Currently, Payoneer supports 200+ countries and territories including areas as remote as the Mayotte archipelago, a region under France.

✅ Verdict: Payoneer wins

Wise has many strengths but the company’s worldwide disbursing network is simply not as vast as Payoneer, which is nearly impossible beat, due to its impressive global reach of 200+ countries. For this reason, customers have more international destinations at their disposal when sending money with Payoneer.

Which is faster?

Wise

Wise transfer speeds depend on what method you choose to send money. Balance transfers, SEPA transfers and debit or credit card payments offer instant transfers. Also, Wise does a great job of sharing if a money transfer has reached the recipient or if it’s delayed. Bank transfers are slower at 2-5 working days. Note that some transfer speed upgrades come at an extra cost, but you can always opt for balance transfers which charge a very small fee.

Payoneer

Most transfers from Payoneer to a bank account take 2-3 business days although the provider has given an allowance of 2-5 days. For example, a transfer from Payoneer to Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) takes at most 24 hours. However, during holidays (local and international) transfers may be delayed by a day or two. Transfers from online marketplaces to Payoneer are instant.

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

Although Payoneer has impressive delivery times for certain specific routes, compared directly with Wise, the latter wins due to its Instant Transfer options. If speed is a high priority, use our simple guide to find the fastest way to send money internationally.

Which brand offers more transfer & payment options?

The choice of transfer payment and payout options is a significant decision that can easily tilt the scales in favour of one provider.

Wise

Wise offers a wide variety of payment and transfer options giving you excellent flexibility. The options include bank transfers, balance transfers, debit card, credit card, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Also, Wise does an excellent job of presenting the options when executing transfers. You can compare the transfer speed and fees to make a choice that is best for your requirements. This transparency allows customers to trust Wise and make payment decisions quicker.

Payoneer

Sending money with Payoneer is limited to bank accounts and balance transfers. Therefore, you are limited in terms of what transfer types you can execute. You may want to send money using a credit or debit card, but those are not available, which will restrict many customers or force them to switch from a preferred method. 

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

In conclusion, Wise wins this category because they provide more transfer and payment methods. The greater flexibility means Wise is a viable platform to more customers that are looking for specific transfer types. It also gives customers more options when choosing a method with the right transfer speed and cost. 

What do users have to say about each brand?

Users online, either on social media or on review sites such as Trustpilot, have shared their personal experiences. Below are some of their sentiments.

Wise

Wise has 79,500 Trustpilot reviews out of which 94% are categorized as either ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’. Some of the positive customer experiences highlighted the following areas.

  • Faster transfers
  • Easy to use platform
  • Affordable transfer service
  • Excellent rates
  • Highly secured platform with a 2-step verification system

Customers who weren’t satisfied with the provider left reviews citing the following areas of concern.

  • Accounts being closed without sufficient explanations
  • The Wise app doesn’t allow sending money from countries such as the Philippines
  • Transfers on non-traditional routes take longer to be delivered
Payoneer

Payoneer has 13,959 reviews on Trustpilot 80% of which are rated as ‘Excellent’ and 10% as ‘Great’. The positive comments centred on the following areas.

  • Responsive 24/7 customer service
  • Easy to navigate platform
  • Faster transfers

The 6% of customers who rated the company’s service as ‘Poor’ or ‘Bad’ had the following to say

  • Account blocking without notice or sufficient explanations
  • In most countries, card shipments are made to a physical address and not postal addresses. Others are delivered to old addresses causing card losses

✅ Verdict: Wise wins

In Wise vs Payoneer comparison, Wise wins not just by the sheer number of Trustpilot reviews but also by the quality of the reviews.

What brand offers the best ease of use, accessibility & security?

Wise

Wise has a solid customer support platform accessible through live chat, email and phone. The website supports up to 12 languages which currently are English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Italian, Hungarian, French, and Turkish.

The provider also has an app that makes transfers on the go convenient. You can also check exchange rates and view historical transactions right from the mobile app. To secure customer transfers, Wise has 2-factor authentication system in place that sends a code to verify transactions before proceeding.

Payoneer

Payoneer has 320 customer service representatives who are offering support to its clients in 70 languages through live chat, email and telephone. Transfers on The company can be done in 150+ currencies from different parts of the world. In addition to English, the website can be translated into 8 other languages.

Payoneer is available through an app which allows you to manage currencies, request payments, withdraw and make payments to bank accounts and Payoneer accounts. The provider is soon introducing 3D Secure to its prepaid cards to ensure that only authorised users can transact on the platform. This security improvement feature is a welcome measure against cyber crime.

✅ Verdict: Payoneer wins

Payoneer’s support platform is much more dynamic with more languages to accommodate their multicultural customer base.

Additional features

Apart from money transfer services, both Payoneer and Wise have added features that enhance customer experience and utility.

Wise

Wise has the following:

  • Borderless Account-This account support 50+ currencies, with bank accounts in GBP, EUR, ESD and AUD, that allow you to receive money like a local in those countries
  • Mastercard branded debit card- This prepaid card is easy to use for shopping both online and offline. You can also use it to withdraw money directly from an ATM
Payoneer

Payoneer also has a number of features designed for different customer requirements:

  • Local Currency Accounts -You can signup for local currency accounts in Canada, Europe, UK, Mexico, Australia, and Japan which allow you to get paid like a local
  • Clients Billing- You can send your clients an invoice from the Payoneer platform and have them pay you directly into your Payoneer account
  • Marketplaces and Networks- You can receive payment from online marketplaces such as Upwork, Airbnb, iStock and others into your Payoneer account
  • Pay Your VAT- From Payoneer, you can pay your UK and EU VAT hassle-free
  • Mass Payout Service-Payoneer allows companies, corporations and marketplaces to make payments to suppliers, contractors, employees and other beneficiaries en masse directly from their Payoneer accounts

✅ Verdict: Payoneer wins

Payoneer has more features targeting businesses and individual users compared to Wise.

Bottom line – who is better?

Payoneer has redefined itself as a payment gateway for businesses and individuals mostly freelancers.  On the other hand, Wise has positioned itself as a peer to peer payment solution serving both individuals and businesses looking to receive and make payments. Overall, Wise enjoys more preference and popularity than Payoneer.

  • Domestic Payments: Wise supports domestic payments in EUR and USD; Payoneer also supports domestic payments but with a minimum transfer of $50
  • Overseas Payments: Wise offers competitive pricing on its international payments; Payoneer allows for payment to overseas individuals but it is more inclined to businesses.
Wise
  • Smaller Transactions-Wise is much more suited for smaller payments. Payoneer has a $50 threshold below which you cannot transfer.
  • Large Transactions-Wise is best for large transactions of up to USD 1 million, GBP 1 million and EUR 1.2 million in addition to other currencies. Payoneer has a card spending limit of $5000 and a Payoneer to bank transfer limit of $10,000
Payoneer
  • Business Payments– Payoneer has more features for business payments compared to Wise
  • Disbursing Network Coverage- Payoneer serves 200+countries and territories compared to Wise which has listed 59 supported countries on its official page

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