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Payoneer vs. WorldFirst – Comparing Platforms for Global Money Transfers


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As cross-border business continues to grow, companies of every size need an efficient solution to send and receive money on a global scale. There are hundreds of brands to choose from, which means selecting the right one can become a complicated and frustrating task. Two of the best platforms for online and international transactions are Payoneer and WorldFirst.

In this article, we compare WorldFirst vs Payoneer, doing a deep dive into both programs, their top features, pricing, global capacity, and how they can meet your company’s needs right now.

What is Payoneer?

Payoneer serves all customer sizes, from small businesses to enterprise ventures. The company was established in 2005 and is located in New York, supporting over 200 countries with 150 local currencies. The financial services brand is an online platform for domestic and international money transfers, digital payments, and working capital. 

The Payoneer platform is also a worldwide member service provider of Mastercard. Unlike POS systems, the platform does not directly charge your customers. Instead, a business needs to request payment through Payoneer, and wait for the customer to initiate payment.

Over 5 million customers around the world use Payoneer every day to send and receive payments. Companies that use Payoneer include Airbnb, Google, Amazon, eBay, Rakuten, Adobe, Upwork, and Fiverr.

What Does Payoneer Do?

Payoneer allows a business to perform essential transactions in different currencies. Payments are made via ACH and global bank transfers to a Payoneer account, with a linked Mastercard debit card for spending or withdrawing funds. You can payout and receive funds domestically (local bank account) and internationally.

Users of this payment method can virtually track their account balance, payments, and full transaction history, including transaction fees and foreign currency amounts.

Payoneer connects companies with customers for e-commerce and online payments. You can send direct payment requests or invoices to customers, who then have the option to pay online via a credit card or bank account. Payoneer typically requires no minimum transfer amount as well.

Payoneer supports these currencies: 

USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, and CNH.

Pros of Payoneer

  • Multi-currency bank accounts to facilitate international payments in 35 different languages.
  • Website stocked with free resources, books, surveys, and a knowledge base.
  • A safe and secure payment platform with reasonable exchange rates.
  • Transfers are free between Payoneer account holders (4,000+ active users worldwide).
  • Simplified setup process requiring less user data than other platforms, to receive payment.

Cons of Payoneer

  • Not a typical merchant account because it’s not established with a bank and does not hold funds.
  • The mobile app can be improved with more actions like better analytics and adding bank accounts.
  • Does not provide a comprehensive international payment solution, although succeeds in the freelancer niche.

What is WorldFirst?

Since 2004, London-based WorldFirst has helped more than 240k businesses send more than £87bn globally. The international money transfer and payment service helps customers with paying, receiving, holding, and spending funds and is regulated by the FCA. They also assist with quick and painless currency conversion.

WorldFirst was acquired by Ant Financial Group in February 2019, and is 33% owned by the Chinese company, Alibaba. 

The fee structure for WorldFirst is based on annual transfer amounts, with customers paying suppliers in local currencies. WorldFirst is used by a variety of business types, like e-commerce merchants (including Amazon online sellers).

It’s the perfect mixture of functionality, an easy online sign-up process, superb customer service, and excellent rates

What Does WorldFirst Do?

WorldFirst users can open one or multiple (up to 10) local currency accounts for free, allowing you to make foreign exchange transactions easily and at speed. With an International Collections Account, you can pay suppliers in their own currency, and choose the best possible time to move funds.

It takes just 5 simple steps to sign up. Once accounts are established, a business can instantly start collecting funds from approved payment gateways/marketplaces like Amazon and Cdiscount. You can also access on-demand reporting, statements, and proof of account ownership.

The WorldFirst platform is available for the following currencies:

GBP, USD, CAD, AUD, CNH, EUR, HKD, JPY, NZD, and SGD

WorldFirst also offers the Money Transfer mobile app available for iOS and Android. The app is for making/tracking transfers, viewing live market rates/transfer fees, and paying by card.

Pros of WorldFirst

  • Award-winning customer support with positive reviews and ratings.
  • Open multiple local currency accounts online, for free.
  • Business account management team to help business owners manage global currency risk.
  • Simple setup. You can start using the account in just a few hours.
  • Highly attractive currency exchange rates, with free transfers between WorldFirst accounts.

Cons of WorldFirst

  • Residents of the USA cannot create a WorldFirst account.
  • Must provide sensitive data just to know which integrations you can use.
  • Cash pickup is not available. Neither are international bill payments.
PayoneerWorldFirst Tipalti
Receiving CostIt’s free from another Payoneer account or 1% via ACH and 3% via credit card.There is no incoming payment fee (£0).6 international payment methods – cost varies.
Sending CostIt’s free from another Payoneer account or 1% via ACH, 2% to another bank account, and 3% via credit card.£1.50-£15.
The fee depends on the payment type.
6 international payment methods – cost varies.
Speed1-2 daysSame-day (depending on cutoff time)0-2 days
Mobile AppYesYesNo
Currencies150180126
Debit CardMastercard ($29.95/yr)MastercardNo
International PaymentsPayoneer Local Currency Accounts in 200 countries.Up to 10 local currency accounts for free.Pays to 196 countries.
TaxesHas a tax agreement with the IRS.No tools for tax but plenty of resources.There is built-in tax and VAT compliance.
Mass PaymentsAutomated batch-pay up to 200 at a time.Send mass payments from a single transaction. Global mass payables automation solution.
Business CapitalMerchant cash advance through Amazon and Walmart, up to $750,000.Up to £3m of working capital to grow your e-commerce business.Not yet.

Power your entire partner payouts operations

98%

Customer Satisfaction

$50B+

Annual Transactions

4M+

Partners

4,000+

Customers

99%

Customer Retention

Payoneer vs WorldFirst Fees

One of the most important aspects when looking at money transfer services, is the cost. Here are a few of the key price points to consider when comparing WorldFirst vs Payoneer:

Admin Fees

Much like PayPal, a Payoneer account is free as long as you use it. After 12 months of inactivity, it costs $29.95 to keep an account. Additionally, all user-to-user transactions are free as long as they are drawn from the Payoneer account balance. 

The same goes for WorldFirst. All online sellers transferring funds to their domestic account, and private clients, are eligible to open a free account with not monthly fees, subscriptions, or holding fees.

Getting Paid

Payoneer users can send payment requests to clients with the option to pay via credit card and ACH. They can also pay via local bank transfer. The cost to receive funds through Payoneer is as follows:

  • 3% Credit Card (all currencies)
  • 1% ACH Bank Debits

Transfers are also free if you are using your bank account through Payoneer.

When using Worldbank, all incoming payments are free.

Paying Out

Paying customers from your Payoneer balance to their bank account costs up to 2% of the transaction with a bank transfer, and 3% for a credit card.

A fixed fee of $1.50 also applies when you use a USD, EUR, or GBP balance to make a payment to a bank account that is:

• In the same currency  

• In a country where the payment currency is the local currency

• In the same country as your profile

Payoneer customers can make batch payments for up to 200 bank accounts with a 2% fee. You will have to inquire about echecks.

On the other hand, WorldFirst offers free money transfers within the WorldFirst network. They also offer free overseas and local currency accounts. There is a general payment fee of £1.50-£15, which is determined by the payment type.

International Fees

Depending on the country, the Payoneer platform adds a currency conversion charge of 2% to 2.75% for cross-border transactions. Additionally, you are subject to Mastercard’s exchange rates, but only if you use it in a non-listed currency.

When it comes to international fees for WorldFirst, they charge these foreign exchange (FX) fees (based on the level of annual transfer amounts):

  • .5% for £0 – £500 thousand
  • .25% for £500 thousand to £5 million
  • .15% for over £5 million

Foreign exchange rates can reach as much as .75%. In some cases, the FX fee for non-major currencies and forward contracts may exceed .75% of the transaction.

Pre-paid Card

The Payoneer prepaid Mastercard can be used as a debit card for e-commerce, and many other types of transactions. Payments are sent to Payoneer Mastercard, rather than going into your online account. As long as you use the card every 12 months or less, it is free. Otherwise, you will be charged $29.99.

The Payoneer card can be used at any ATM in the world, but has a maximum daily limit of $2,500. The platform will also charge you 1% of the transaction in foreign exchange fees.

The WorldFirst prepaid Mastercard is free (no monthly management fee), with £10 deposit credited to the card. There is also a £5.00 for an extra card. Additional stipulations include:

  • Minimum load amount: £100.00
  • Maximum load amount: €6,250
  • Maximum card balance: €6,250

Conclusion

If you need to choose between Payoneer and WorldFirst, which would you select? 

It really depends on what type of money transfer service you need. WorldFirst has more comprehensive offerings, while Payoneer caters to a niche audience. There’s some overlap in the markets served, including e-commerce payments. Both platforms also provide prepaid debit cards for spending or withdrawals.

WorldFirst offers more free or lower-rate money transfers, but cannot serve a large portion of the market (Americans). That’s a huge bust for many international companies who do business with the United States.

Amazon sellers will also find themselves choosing between Payoneer vs WorldFirst. One may have a more favorable exchange rate than the other, depending on where you are located. WorldFirst lets its online sellers transfer funds back to domestic accounts (pay-ins) for free. 

Payoneer and WorldFirst both provide security, ease of use, and excellent customer service. Your specific business needs will naturally dictate the best payments software for your company. 

A small business may be more inclined to go with WorldFirst due to the lack of fees, but it won’t matter at all if they don’t do business with your country. Americans, thus, are left with Payoneer as the only choice.

Another option to consider is Tipalti. The smart, global transaction software automates the entire payables, approvals, and payments process to streamline workflows and save up to 80% of your time on manual tasks.

The payables automation solution effortlessly provides supplier onboarding, validation, tax compliance, fraud controls, and reduces human error. It’s the perfect alternative to both Payoneer and WorldFirst.

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