Payment Methods for Freelancers in Africa

June 2nd, 2022 by Felix Cheruiyot

payment methods for freelancers in Africa

This article provides a guide on payment methods for freelancers in Africa, what to look for when choosing a provider, and most importantly, our recommendations. Freelancing has become extremely common with skilled workers finding work online and being in contact with clients directly. Financially, it makes sense as well. When you work a 9 to 5 job, your earnings are limited, growth is slow and learning becomes stagnant. Given the choice between both options, freelancing seems a lot more lucrative.

Working with clients directly can give you learning opportunities, it doesn’t put a cap on your financial earnings, and best of all, you’ll be working to realize your goals. On the contrary, when you’re working a 9 to 5 job, you’re working to realize someone else’s goal. The economy these days is also referred to as a gig economy – indicating just how important freelancing is.

Whether you’re working a job, freelance, or both, you need secure payment. Getting paid on time, with fewer service charges and fewer complications is probably our biggest concern when it comes to earning money online.

International payment methods are important for freelancers since they rely on these to securely receive the payment for their hard work. Several platforms allow skilled workers to find employment online such as Upwork, freelancer, and Fiverr. These platforms have boosted freelancing all over the world.

In Africa, much like the rest of the world, the race to get traditional jobs have halted for the better. Research in 2018 showed that Africa has a little over 10% of the entire world’s freelancers – this must be higher in 2022.

In this article, we’ll compare different options that African freelancers have, and we’ll recommend the best payment method for freelancers

Let’s get started!

Important Considerations

Before we begin with our list of international payment methods, let’s look at some important considerations that affect the payment method choices.

Transaction Fees

Every time you receive a payment from the payee, you are charged with some sort of transaction fee. This fee can vary based on the different platforms you use. It is important to compare the transaction fee for every platform we compare to find the ones that charge less money on transactions.

When you’re working with individual clients, transfer charges are usually covered by the client; however, that’s not always the case. If you’re stuck with paying hefty transaction charges, you’ll lose a lot of money before the amount reaches you.

Big platforms usually charge outrageous fees which can be attributed to their brand value as well. However, we’ll give a fair comparison for you to decide which platform works the best for your needs.

Further, when using Upwork, for instance, you’re required to pay 10% to 20% service charges along with a fixed $0.99 withdrawal charge as well. This cuts down the amount of money you can earn. Here, choosing the best payment method for freelancers which is affordable, secure, and quick is the best way to go.

Country Availability

In this article, we’re solely focusing on the payment methods that are available in Africa therefore, checking availability is important. All of the compared payment methods are working in Africa and you can use these to receive your international payments.

Processing Time

Ideally, you want your money to arrive as soon as possible. Having many hurdles in the process can delay the whole transaction. Due to many third parties involved in the process, foreign payments go through many phases and policies that are pertaining to the sender’s country and receiver’s country. Short processing time is one of the most important considerations in this comparison.


User experience is important in almost every service we can think of. Similarly, payment platforms should have an easy-to-use interface and quick navigation. We will consider everything from creating your account to receiving your payments. Having a simple process can help save the recipient’s and payee’s time.

With that out of the way, let’s begin.

International Payment Methods for Freelancers in Africa


PayPal, established in 1998, is the oldest online payments platform. It now serves over 200 countries and freelancers all over the world have used this platform to receive payments to their respective countries. Currently, PayPal is being used by many websites, freelancers, e-commerce stores, organizations, and individuals to send and receive money online. Since the money transfers are electronic, they are processed instantly. Upwork, Fiverr, and provide the option for money withdrawal through PayPal as well which shows its global reach. However, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of PayPal when it comes to the African market.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of choosing PayPal.




Payoneer is another big name that specializes in international transactions. Payoneer has partnered up with Upwork to provide digital payment services to freelancers on the platform. In Africa, Payoneer can be easily accessed and used to send or receive money, making it a viable option for receiving payments from international clients. PayPal and Payoneer are similar in terms of digital services ordered. With both of these platforms, you can send and receive funds, store payments and receive debit MasterCard that can be reloaded.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of choosing Payoneer.




Skrill started digital payment services back in 2001 when it was called Moneybookers. Since then Skrill has quickly become a platform used by many to send and receive payments. Currently, Skrill is among the best payment method for freelancers. It supports 40 currencies and has a presence in 200 countries just like PayPal and Payoneer.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Skrill.



Wire Transfers

Wire Transfer is among the most common international payment methods. Wire transfers move the funds from the sender’s bank directly to the receiver’s bank. Wire transfer has to be the last resort for most freelancers due to slow transactions, uncertainty, and lack of security. Despite being discouraged by most freelancers, wire transfers get the job done.

Let’s check what wire transfers offer and their drawbacks.



Now, let’s see our recommended digital payment service provider.

Our Recommendation - IntaSend

IntaSend is a payment gateway for businesses and developers. You can use IntaSend to get paid from anywhere in the world and securely send money everywhere. In Africa, despite having many options, freelancers still face problems when it comes to receiving their freelance payments.

IntaSend can help you if you’re a business. The payment API that IntaSend follows allows businesses and e-commerce shops to integrate the best payment gateway to their website or platform. This way, customers receive the best payment options for them to choose from.

Freelancers in Africa can use it to receive payment securely without any hassle. Since this platform is developed for Africa, it is effectively better in terms of being cheaper and quicker. compared to other international payment methods, IntaSend only has a 2-3 days payout period for international payments while domestic payments are withdrawn within 2 days.

Here are some benefits you can expect:

Wrapping Up

Freelance is here to stay. In Africa, the number of freelancers will continue to grow as people shift from typical office jobs to freelance careers. The most important thing for any freelancer is the ability to get paid on time, quicker process, and cheaper service/transaction fee.

Please let us know if you need any further clarifications or assistance in getting started.

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