Why Freelancers Should Avoid Payments through PayPal and Swift

Are you a freelancer with international clients? Here's why you should consider alternative payment methods than PayPal/Swift.


The working landscape is constantly changing, and the global economy has introduced an active work trend that is nearly unidentifiable from where it was 50 years back. Freelancing is a growing trend that is resting pretty comfortably with the current generation.

Freelancing provides flexibility and control. The freedom to choose the working time, shifts, working from anywhere, avoiding frantic office schedules, and working at your own pace is what makes freelancing so attractive around the world. The growing gig economy has seen more and more people doing freelance jobs full-time or part-time, all intending to get paid.

The constantly changing working landscape has impacted all industries: retail, manufacturing, white-collar industries, blue-collar industries, and a full range of creative professional sectors. None is resistant to these changes. Most of the freelancers worldwide are young people under the age of 30, and only 6% are above the age of 50. With the more youthful generation opting for freelancing in millions, it's only probable to reckon it will be the course of the future.

Things to consider before choosing a freelance payment method

Getting paid on time is not always the case for freelancers after all their hard work. However, to receive payments as a freelance worker can be enormously productive or disheartening, depending on your situation. The easiest way to get paid at the right time is to use the convenient freelance methods of payment that are available. But before settling on a payment method, there are crucial factors to consider.

Keep in mind the processing speed

As a freelance worker, you want to choose a timely payment method. The time taken to process a transaction differs between different payment service providers. While settlement time matters, some methods might take too long to process payments.


Online money transactions are always vulnerable to cyber attackers. You always want to make sure you, as well as your client, carry out online transactions safely and securely. You must select a payment method that is PCI DSS compliant and follows all security protocols.

Multi payment options

Different clients prefer different payment methods. As a freelancer, chances are you are working for more than one client or company. Clients have different payment preferences, and you need to have multiple options to choose from depending on your client's convenience.


Integration of payment methods varies between different providers. As a freelance worker, you have a lot of work to concentrate on, and you don't want payment integration to be one of them. Please select a payment method that can integrate seamlessly and it is easy to maintain.

Transaction limit

Payment gateway providers have specified transaction limits. If the client pays an amount that is above this limit, the transaction will fail. Depending on the amount you intend to receive, you have to choose a payment gateway with the correct transaction limit.

International payments

Freelance workers can work from anywhere around the world. Thanks to the internet, freelancers are not limited to work for clients in their country. The challenge comes when both freelancers and the client work with different currencies. However, this is a common problem that all industries face, and luckily, there are payment gateways that offer international payments with multiple currency support.

At the end of the day, freelancers want to choose an online payment method that is easy to operate, and integration should be flawless and straightforward. Freelancers prefer a payment gateway that offers freedom similar to their work. To avoid all the knotty payment transaction processes, you need to avoid certain payment methods.

Why freelancers should avoid getting paid using PayPal/Swift

PayPal is currently the most prominent third-party payment gateway in the world. The platform allows its users to receive email money transfers for freelance work, friends, family, or shoppers buying goods online. Although PayPal is popular among many freelancers, it has some drawbacks that you need to consider before choosing it.

Transfer time

When you receive a payment through your PayPal account, the amount does not directly reflect in your bank account. Transferring funds from your PayPal account might take between five to seven business days. This means that PayPal is not convenient for emergencies. Every freelancer wants to access their money at their convenience, and PayPal is not the perfect option for that. Wire transfers can also take more than 5 days to reflect in your bank account.

High transaction fee

If you choose to receive payment using PayPal, you will be charged 2.9% (as well as $0.30) of the amount you are receiving. This is a considerable disadvantage when receiving small amounts, and making bank transfers. In the long run, every freelancer wants to make profits and to do this you need to choose a payment option that does not charge high transaction fees to receive money.

PayPal often freezes accounts

Many PayPal users have complained about freezing of their PayPal accounts without prior warning. The platform's systems are constantly tracking transactions to check unusual behavior, and sometimes it might end up freezing your account for something as harmless as transferring or receiving a larger-than-usual sum. When an account is frozen, it is impossible to access your funds or transfer them to your bank account. This makes it difficult to rely on its services.

FX charges are too high

Receiving cash in different international currencies means that you have to convert the funds to your domestic currency. Currency conversion to your domestic currency is where most freelancers lose money. This is because platforms like PayPal and SWIFT incorporate a healthy profit for themselves and charge high exchange rates.

Closing thoughts

As a freelancer, choosing the right payment option comes down to several factors. For instance, you will need a supported platform in your country and one that offers you the business convenience you want. International bank transfer may not suit your freelance business needs if it relies on immediate payments. Maybe you are edgy regarding the conversion fees, which means you have to find a platform with an acceptable exchange rate. However, ultimately you will need a payment gateway that is convenient for your client to send money, and for you to receive money.

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