Get paid for your work for international clients, while in Nepal

If you are in Nepal, until recently, it was an impossibility to get paid for your work online. Because of this difficulty in getting paid, a lot of theme shops, freelance designers and programmers, and others with talent who could easily tap into the international market for their talent were not able to make full use of their potential.

Nepal’s banking system does not support international payments until now, and talented young people have had to get around this limitation through a variety of ways.

Most people have gotten around this obstacle by getting their trusted relatives and friends abroad to set up a PayPal account for them, and then transfer the money to a Nepali bank via a money transfer service such as Western Union, a remittance service, or other bank transfer services. However, not everyone has a trusted network of close friends or relatives in the USA, and this system was leaving a lot of people out of the benefits of the globalized market.

However, now that global marketplaces such as AirBnb and eLance  have started, Payoneer has been offering mass payout services for them.

Payoneer’s mass payout services is now available in more than 200 countries and in over 150 currencies. Initially introduced as a way to enable companies with a globally distributed workforce to pay their workers, it is now available to you, even if you are an individual.

The good news is, the service is available in Nepal.

The global collection service from Payoneer sets you up with bank account numbers in the US, EU and UK, which enable you to receive bank transfers from companies in these countries directly to your Payoneer account.

What this means for us in Nepal is that you can easily get paid from online marketplaces, or even set up your own account.
If you have an existing relationship with a mass payout service such as AirBnb or eLance, you can use that card and account to receive payments from your other sources abroad. Annual fees are waived for such accounts, and the cost of receiving the money turns out to be relatively reasonable.

So how do you go about it, and what are the costs?

Get a Payoneer Card

Sign up for a Payoneer Card. If you are already using an international marketplace such as AirBnb or eLance, you can apply for a Payoneer card through these services.

If you are not affiliated with these services, you have to apply for a Payoneer card individually. The individual Payoneer Mastercard has an additional annual maintenance fee of $29.95.

All cards are subject to these ATM fees:

  • ATM Withdrawal or Cash Disbursements (via bank teller or in-store) $3.15 per transaction (plus any surcharges applied by your ATM/POS service provider)
  • ATM Decline Fee $1.00 per transaction (plus any surcharges applied by your ATM service provider)
  • ATM Balance Inquiry Fee $1.00 per transaction (plus any surcharges applied by your ATM service provider)
  • If you lose your card, there is also a Card Replacement $12.95

Payoneer also has an option for just the Global Payment Service, which will help you create bank account in the US, UK or other places, and receive payments directly to your bank account. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, this is not available in Nepal.

The biggest hurdle you will have to face at the time of signing up for your Payoneer card is putting in the correct address. Since the card will be shipped to the address, please ensure that you include a post box number. You can include that in the street address, or another section. Just putting in the street address will, of course, ensure you will never receive your card.