12 Nov 2008 Payoneer – My Experience with the Payout Alternative

Payoneer logoPayoneer 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

Dreamstime Payoneer Debit CardFollowing 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.

My Experience

Payoneer iStockphoto credit card exampleI 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.

  • pdtnc
    Posted at 13:45h, 14 November

    I actually like having a paypal balance, it makes buying things simple online so you don’t have get the card out and type in all the numbers. I’m never in a rush for my paypal money so it works pretty well.
    Nice of you to announce the card for DT 😉

  • Westbury
    Posted at 17:52h, 16 November

    Unfortunately a non chip and pin credit card might not be accepted in some places. This is how it is in Ireland anyway and most of Europe I would think. Payoneer need to catch up in this respect.

  • febe
    Posted at 20:21h, 18 November

    I have a payoneer card. I got it so I could get paid for freelance work from a website. It took three weeks for me to receive the card in the mail. So far it seems you encounter fees at every turn. I deposited $132.00 USD onto my card. It took 15 days to transfer from my web account. Then I received an email stating that I could finally have the funds available Instantly for a fee of $5 USD or in 2 business days for $2 USD. Once i elected to pay the 5 dollars the money finally showed in my account balance. After fees for activation, monthly charges and my transfer fee I had $104.00 USD in my account. I am going to try and withdraw the money from an ATM later tonight, so i will find out how much that will cost me. The payoneer site says it is $2.49 USD plus approx 3% of the withdrawl amount. And then there is the exchange rate to worry about since I am located in Canada. Payoneer says they give a fair exchange rate…close to something that paypal would offer. We will see. And then of course the ATM itself will take a cut…probably around $1.50 to $2.50. So with all that said, I think it is silly to say that there are few fees associated with this card. There are fees at every corner. I wouldn’t even mind paying the fees if the transfers where instant, because to me, that would be the advantage. But they aren’t. I could have got a check in the mail far sooner and for the full amount that i earned. So if you don’t mind paying approx 27% of your pay in fees and waiting a month and a half for your money, then I would recommend this card for you.

  • Matt Antonino
    Posted at 04:01h, 20 November

    Well then – there’s certainly a range of disagreement about this. I’m going to be interested to see how Payoneer changes as they get bigger and how well they adapt to being a large company rather than a startup. That’s always the test for me – can you grow, do you have a plan? Or just a big dream? 🙂

    Anyhoo – thanks for the write up. I’ve seen this before but hadn’t looked into it.

  • Keith Tuomi
    Posted at 17:56h, 04 December

    Payoneer has been launched today as a payout option on Zymmetrical. We are extremely impressed with their team and service level, and look forward to making everyones lives a bit easier and cheaper, and welcome all the new Artists from countries where there previously hasn’t been a practical option for payouts. 🙂

  • shane
    Posted at 05:06h, 10 January


    Great post about payoneer. I am also from australia and just received my payoneer card. I was wondering if you could give any tips about withdrawing funds in australia such as best bank atm to use or do you use any bank?


    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 10:55h, 10 January

      Hi Shane,

      I just use any ATM at any bank. In my experience Australian ATMs don’t charge a fee like they do in some other countries, so you just pay the Payoneer fees for your withdrawal.


  • Shane
    Posted at 23:45h, 11 January

    Great! Thanks Lee.

  • Dave
    Posted at 14:25h, 03 February

    how can one order for the card.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 14:32h, 03 February

      When you cash-out on the agency you’ll see the Payoneer options which will enable you to sign-up if you haven’t already.


  • nikita
    Posted at 03:49h, 26 February

    for my freelancing work, I am asked to go for this option because it is hassle free. I stay in India, I want to know is it really hassle free since PayPal stopped functioning in India. I prefer moneybookers but don’t have swift bank account.

  • George
    Posted at 15:00h, 23 March

    Which are other sites pay through Payoneer? Apart from reviewme, odesk, istockphoto, elance.

    • Lee Torrens
      Posted at 04:14h, 24 March

      Other ‘microstock’ sites that currently use Payoneer are Dreamstime and Veer Marketplace, as well as iStockphoto which you mentioned.