How to receive payments: 10 tools for freelancers

Working as a freelancer undoubtedly has wonderful perks and advantages – like being able to take on a job in the convenience of your own home and having more free time for yourself.
However, there’s always the worry of not receiving payment, particularly when working with clients who are thousands of miles away.
In case you’re wondering about the best ways freelancers can receive funds, here’s a roundup of the top 10 tools for receiving payments–as recommended by freelancers around the world.

1. PayPal

PayPal is considered one of the fastest, easiest and most popular options to receive online payments.
Once a payment is processed, funds are instantly credited to your account.
PayPal charges a nominal fee for every transaction, and they have very strict policies, so it’s a good idea to avoid any fraudulent or suspicious transactions.

2. Escrow

This is considered by many as the most secure method for buyers and freelancers to process payments online.
A freelancer only begins work after the client has deposited the money into an Escrow account (handled by an independent, trusted third party) for a certain fee.
The money gets released once the job is completed. Escrow is a recommended option when working on a big job with an unknown client.

3. Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

In this payment system, funds can be sent from one bank account to another and there’s no intermediary party involved.
Essentially, you just need to provide certain banking information to your client and the funds will be wired to your selected account.

4. Google Checkout (Now Google Wallet)

Google Checkout is an integrated payment gateway that monitors your account information with its fraud protection program.
You’re allowed to accept free money transfers and integrate your Google account with other payment systems.
A good thing about Google Checkout is the low fees charged.

5. Moneybookers

Similar to PayPal, Moneybookers allows you to send and receive funds via bank account, debit card and credit card.
It processes payments instantly, without geographical limitations (unlike PayPal which has set limitations on certain countries like India).
However, a major drawback with this payment option is that you can’t use it for online shopping.

6. Western Union

Western Union money transfers are quick and convenient, albeit the fees are comparatively higher.
Having more than 300,000 locations worldwide, you can receive payment from clients on the other side of the globe.
To send funds, your client has to go to any nearby Western Union branch and deposit the payment which you can collect from the pre-selected location.

7. Cash Wire Transfer

Cash wire transfer is a safe payment method but it usually takes a few days to complete.
Your client goes to the bank to order the transfer and a code is sent to your bank to request fund disbursement.
Both the recipient and sender are charged with a fee for the service.

8. AlertPay

This is another fast and convenient payment option that functions like PayPal, although it’s not popularly used by many online businesses as of yet.

9. MoneyGram

MoneyGram is quite similar to Western Union except that it has fewer branches worldwide, approximately 100,000.
Also, there are transaction limits so it’s not an advisable option when transferring large sums of money.

10. Xoom

Xoom works like Western Union but it allows transfer of funds only and it’s restricted to online transactions. Your client can choose payment options like credit card, bank account or PayPal, and send the funds directly to your preferred account.
How do you receive payments?
There are many other money transfer methods available online. Just keep in mind to choose the right payment option that will safely and surely let you receive the payment for your hard work.
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