As popular international global transfer networks, Wise and Payoneer often get matched up against each other. However, once you start using them, it becomes obvious that both are incomparable in their functionalities.
Although you can send and receive payments with both, the commonalities end there. Each is unique in terms of its concept and core services. To give you a better explanation of what we’re referring to, let’s explore the key features each platform offers and how they can serve your global payment needs.
Let’s start by discussing the main concept of each global payment provider.
Wise, former known as TransferWise, is an online banking system that allows you to send, receive and spend money internationally. Launched in 2011, its primary focus was to lower the commission rates on small global transactions like cards for travellers and digital nomads.
The main attraction of Wise is that you can set up local bank accounts in 10 currencies, including EUR, GBP, AUD and USD. As such, you get to send and receive money to your respective bank accounts and make payments too.
Here is an overview of the features offered by the platform:
- Individual and business accounts
- Hold and convert money in 56 currencies
- Send money to over 70 countries
- Set up recurring direct debits in GBP and EUR
- Nominal transaction fees
- Wise debit card available
As the platform advertises, Wise can be of immense help if you are relocating or travelling. You can share your account details with your employer or pay for purchases online using your card. Altogether, it avoids the hassle of going through a traditional bank.
Established in 2005, Payoneer started with a model aimed to make global money transfers easier. Over time, it has built a long-standing reputation in the field as the go to for business, freelancer & seller payments and has bagged some high-profile customers, including Airbnb and Amazon.
Below is a glance at Payoneer’s main features:
- Set up receiving accounts in six different currencies
- Send payment requests to individuals and customers
- Free transfers from Payoneer to Payoneer accounts
- Support for over 150 currencies
- Payoneer Mastercard available for payments
In comparison, Payoneer is more geared towards business, freelancer & seller payments. Over the years, it has integrated several other features, such as direct transfer to bank accounts, to increase accessibility to individual clients.
If you want to send money to another individual’s bank account, you will have to provide more details about your business and the purpose of the transaction. In other words, Payoneer transactions are convenient only when they are business related.
On the other hand, Wise was initially aimed towards individuals, although it later introduced business accounts. Peer-to-peer transfers are relatively more straightforward on Wise. Most importantly, you can top-up your Wise balance using your bank account and then transfer the money to others.
Business Accounts – Payoneer wins for global businesses
Both platforms offer comprehensive solutions for you to set up a business account with ease and convenience.
Here are the features offered on each.
Wise Business Account
- A direct competitor to MoneyGram and Western Union
- 16 GBP registration fee
- Provides a travel card that can be used globally with automatic currency exchange
- Set up person to person payments in over 70 countries
- Move money between 55+ countries within seconds
- Set up direct debits for recurring payments
Payoneer Business Account
- Global business payment platform with different payment options for 200 countries
- No registration fee
- 14 offices globally, multi-lingual support options
- Simple payment initiation, administration and reconciliation
- Ideal for SMEs and freelancers who need to receive and make payments globally
- Pay taxes directly from Payoneer
- Scaleable, allowing mass payments and ERP integration
- Full automation options, allowing payment initiation, administration and reconciliation
- Send money to bank accounts, Mastercards, and electronic wallets.
Compared to Wise, Payoneer indeed has a more global reach. It has established offices in 14 different locations across the globe and has partnered with several well-respected marketplaces, such as Amazon, eBay and Airbnb.
Wise Freelancer, eCommerce & Business Payments
Wise allows invoice payment to be made in over 70 countries worldwide in a variety of different currencies with low transaction fees. Secure transactions can be made with suppliers and staff with up to 1000 individual payments in a single batch. Multi-currency banking attracts a $31 set up charge and debit cards are not available in the US.
Payoneer Freelancer, eCommerce & Business Payments
When you look at Payoneer’s freelancer and business payment offerings, you can really see that the company’s entire focus was originally commercial.
As well as being able to use a variety of methods to pay locally in over 150 countries, Payoneer also offers customers local support with payment issues. The platform allows direct payment of local taxes, like VAT, and automated processing of W-forms. Continuing the commercial focus, Payoneer has built-in KYC and AML checks for payees and businesses.
Overall, the Payoneer offering feels like the more professional choice for business, freelancer and seller Payments.
Payoneer vs Wise Fee Comparison
Both businesses use different fee calculations for their payments.
- 16 GBP registration fee
- A nominal percentage of the fee transferred is charged for both transactions and withdrawals
- Among the best exchange rates currently available in the market
- No additional fee for making deposits or maintenance of accounts
- No fee for receiving payments.
- No fee on Payoneer to Payoneer transactions
- No registration fee with Payoneer (Wise charges 16 GBP)
- Up to 3% fee to receive payments made through credit cards, and 1% when done through bank accounts
- Apart from Mastercard charges, Payoneer also applies an additional 3.5% currency conversion fee
- Getting paid to receive accounts is free in EUR and GBP and costs 1% when in USD
The main area where Payoneer charges more is when it comes to exchange rates. Wise boasts some of the best exchange rates in the market. This is most useful if you are receiving money in one currency and want to withdraw it to another currency-denominated bank account.
In terms of safety, both platforms have made it a priority to employ high end-to-end encryption alongside other advanced protection.
- Wise is regulated in Australia, EEA, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE, US, and the UK.
- It also keeps your money stored in well-established financial institutions, such as Barclays and JP Morgan Chase, depending on your account address.
- Payoneer is licensed and regulated in the EU, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, and India.
- It also holds 51 territory/state licenses in the US
- Your funds are segregated and stored at top-tier banks, such as Barclays, Bank of America, and the Deutsche Bank.
- The company also goes through regular audits and is backed by top investors.
In essence, there is no need to be overly concerned about the safety of your funds with either of these companies, as both have great reputations and operate legally in their jurisdictions.
Which is the right Debit Card for Business or Travel?
Both Wise and Payoneer offer free Mastercards to all their customers.
- Two free ATM withdrawals up to 200 GBP (or equivalent) per month
- Withdrawal limits and other fees vary based on location
- Ideal for personal travel and one-person businesses
- Less competitive for volume transactions
- ATM charges and currency conversions applicable
- Annual card maintenance fee charged
- Withdrawals and spending limits vary between countries
- New Payoneer digital purchasing Mastercard giving immediate access to funds earned, access to multiple cards and virtual card access
Opening an account is easy and smooth on both these platforms. You will have to go through a KYC verification process on each and provide relevant documents in case you are opening a business account. But the entire process is automated and if verified, you can start using your account within a few business days.
One thing you will notice is that, when it comes to the mobile application, Wise comes out slightly ahead. You can access all functionalities and make transfers, without having to leave the app.
Although Payoneer has a very user-friendly mobile interface, to complete some actions, such as adding a recipient, you might be redirected to the website. As you will be using a smartphone anyway, this will in no way affect the ease or convenience of using the platform.
Both Wise and Payoneer offer excellent customer support in multiple languages. There are also extensive articles available regarding core features, and you can also reach out to the team by sending a direct message.
Wise vs. Payoneer Review – The Verdict?
As you can see, both platforms come across as easy solutions to handle your online money transfers. They both have distinct features and are beneficial for different situations.
There are several commonalities between the two services, and as such, the best solution for you depends on your individual needs.
For instance, if you are a freelancer who already has networks set up in marketplaces such as Amazon, Airbnb, or Upwork, it might be easier for you to use Payoneer, due to its established partnerships with these marketplaces.
By the same token, a small business that needs to be able to take payments, as well as pay suppliers and staff globally, will find the enhanced reporting and automated services that Payoneer offers very valuable.
Payoneer also looks like a much more scalable solution with a secure API and enterprise-class reporting.
Overall, for businesses worldwide that need a professional and global online payments platform, Payoneer fits the bill. Wise, on the other hand, is geographically limited and appeals to be more a personal banking alternative for travellers. Unlike Payoneer, it also charges a 16 GBP fee just for opening a business account, as opposed to a personal account, which is free.
On the other hand, if you are simply seeking a platform to quickly send money to family or friends, Wise could be the better choice.