Despite the change in the nature of work, international payments are still a major problem for many people in Africa. PayPal, for example, is one of the largest financial technology companies in the world, facilitating millions of dollars in transactions every day. However, PayPal is significantly restricted in several African countries such as Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
This is not good for African entrepreneurs who seek money from their clients and customers. Even in countries like South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya etc. where PayPal is fully supported, it is still important for entrepreneurs to have different payment systems for different purposes.
In this article, Business Insider Africa has compiled a list of 4 different ways African entrepreneurs can receive payments internationally.
With a total market cap of over $2 billion, it’s safe to say that Payoneer is one of the largest payment solution providers in the world. Payoneer was founded by Yuval Tal in 2005 and is headquartered in New York, USA. Payoneer offers several different currency accounts for receiving payments worldwide.
Among other things, you will need to create an account with the company and complete your KYC verification. You will then be given a bank account in USD and GBP. Remote workers can share these account details with their customers/clients who pay for their services through the platform. As your account matures and your business grows, you will be more likely to gain access to accounts in even more currencies, such as: B. the Canadian dollar and many others.
Formerly known as TransferWise, this company was founded in 2010. Since then, it has won the trust and patronage of over 13 million people around the world. It is an excellent solution to receive payments for African entrepreneurs. The account creation process is incredibly simple and straightforward.
However, it should be noted that there may be some limitations. For example, in Nigeria, you cannot receive money from Wise and automatically convert it to local currency in your Naira bank account. In South Africa, you probably can’t send your Rands at will either, and receiving them is much easier.
However, an excellent feature of this platform is the transparency of exchange rates. Even without opening an account, you can see the conversion rates right on the landing page and get an idea of how much you’ll get in your local currency with a real-time calculator and converter.
Unlike the first two companies mentioned on this list, Gray is relatively new and young in more ways than one. It was founded in 2020 by two Nigerians, Idorenyin Obong and Femi Aghedo. The startup is supported by Y Combinator and has increased $2 million in investments for expansion.
Their payment facilitation strategy is identical to Payoneer’s. They create overseas accounts for their users and said users could share those account details with their customers and get paid whenever they want.
In the last two years they have accumulated over 100,000 users. Many users love Gray for its favorable exchange rates when converting to local currencies. Currently, their services are guaranteed in Kenya and Nigeria. In due course, the company plans to expand to Uganda and Tanzania, among others.
Many freelancers who provide digital services to clients around the world are familiar with Upwork. The platform has existed since 2013 and is supported in over 180 countries.
Through Upwork it is possible to find clients and bill them for your services. Payment methods are also straightforward, with some countries being able to receive foreign currency directly into their local bank account in their home country’s currency.
In the past, Upwork has not supported running your projects outside of their platform. But with the relatively new direct contract feature, you can get your customer to create a contract on Upwork, send it to them, and have them pay you through Upwork. Essentially, you enjoy all of the payment benefits of using Upwork. You also have complete control over the terms of the agreement, payment, etc.
The main condition is that the customer must not have an existing Upwork account. Otherwise, you cannot send them a contract and get paid.
Many African companies are working on the payment challenge faced by several African entrepreneurs. The list above includes just a few of them. Before proceeding, it is advisable to do some personal research to ensure the platform is right for you.