12 Nov Payoneer – My Experience with the Payout Alternative
Payoneer burst into the microstock scene when they announced their partnership with iStockphoto in October 2007. By the end of the year they were up and running, providing iStockphoto contributors with an alternative payout method. But as you’re about to find out, they’re not stopping there.
What Can Payoneer Do For Me?
Payoneer gives microstockers the choice of receiving their earnings via payment onto a Debit MasterCard. Naturally they work with a variety of web-based businesses who need to pay their members, not just microstock agencies.
From the microstock contributor perspective, Payoneer offers choice. In addition to receiving your earnings via PayPal, Moneybookers or check, you can have them sent directly to your Payoneer DebitCard. The card is a prepaid Debit MasterCard, so you can use it just like a credit card and make cash withdrawals at most ATMs worldwide.
If you reside in a country which doesn’t accept PayPal or Moneybookers, or cashing US dollar checks is prohibitively expensive, the debit card can be an ideal solution.
More Agencies Coming
Following on from their successful partnership with iStockphoto, Payoneer is in various stages of the process enabling its service as a payout alternative at other top microstock agencies. You can expect to hear announcements of more agencies coming online with Payoneer in the coming months.
Conveniently for us, we’ll be able to charge earnings from each participating microstock agency onto the one Payoneer card!
It was actually when I heard that Payoneer were working with other microstock agencies to enable their service that I became excited about the potential convenience and signed up to try the card for myself.
I signed up for my Payoneer card in May this year (2008) and have used it extensively since. I withdraw all or part of my earnings onto the card each month and use it for both online and offline purchases or ATM withdrawals. The card itself and the loading process have always worked smoothly.
I make many online payments to companies in the US including Internet services and purchases of camera equipment. The card is free to use in these circumstances. Plus I get to avoid the long transfer process of: iStockphoto balance to PayPal, PayPal to bank account, bank account to my regular credit card.
As my regular credit card is in Australia dollars, I also avoid the cost of exchanging the currency from US dollars to Australian dollars when I make the PayPal withdrawal and then back to US dollars if I make an online credit card purchase in the US. I simply use the Payoneer card for US based purchases and my regular card for Australian purchases.
I also find it convenient that I can still choose to use PayPal if my Payoneer debit card has a healthy balance and I prefer to withdraw money to my bank account via PayPal. Some months I withdraw half to Payoneer and half to PayPal.
Payoneer provides full online account keeping which is great for monitoring your funds and balancing the accounts at the end of the month.
While in town for PhotoPlus Expo last month I met with Payoneer staff and had the opportunity to tour their new office and understand more about their service. They offer some other features with the card including the ability to load funds from other credit cards, direct deposit to a US bank account or through Western Union. They’re also developing a business account which will let you transfer funds to other Payoneer cardholders – great if you use assistants to help with your microstock workflow!
How Much Does it Cost?
The costs will vary with how you use the card, but iStockphoto have detailed pricing information available here. The way I use the card it only costs me a few dollars per month which is more than accounted for by the cost savings and extra convenience.
Is Payoneer for You?
In my circumstances the Payoneer payout alternative provides convenience and cost savings, but for other microstockers they may offer different advantages. And for others it’s no more advantageous than the existing methods – Payoneer happily acknowledges that their service isn’t for everyone.
It’s clearly working for the people who are already using the card and it will become even more appealing as other microstock agencies become Payoneer enabled.
If the Payoneer payout method works for you and you don’t yet have a card, you can sign up with one of Payoneer’s partners, which they have listed on their website.
For those of you who already have a Payoneer card, what is it that you find convenient about the service? Are there any features you’d like to see added to the facility?
Update 2008-11-13 – Added the image of the Dreamstime Payoneer Debit Card provided by Dreamstime. I guess that makes it their announcement!
Update 2009-08-01 – Veer Marketplace are also now Payoneer enabled.