How to Pay Freelancers Overseas

Last updated on August 30th, 2023 at 10:14 am

The freelancer world has exploded in recent years, with freelancers now representing approximately 35% of the global workforce. That equates to around 1.1 billion people out of an estimated 3.5 billion global workers.

If you want to start freelancing, or want to hire a freelancer, you can work on jobs around the world. But if you’re not in the same country as your client or contractor, payments can be confusing. Just how do payments work for freelancers overseas, and what are the options? As money transfer experts, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn all about how to pay freelancers who live in other countries.

Two Main Choices to Pay Freelancers Overseas

First, freelance marketplaces are common. These sites act as a middleman for both parties. They’ll take care of payments, but they take a percentage to do so.

You may find it more affordable to work directly with an individual freelancer. With digital payments and international money transfer services, it’s easy to pay freelancers at home or abroad. In this article, we’ll focus on how to pay freelancers overseas.

How to Pay Freelancers in Other Countries

Here is an overview of the process when you’re working with freelancers who live in another country.

Establish the terms upfront.

Clear communication is important for any partnership or collaboration—especially when it comes to a relationship with a freelancer.

Before you begin a project, make sure you know your freelancer’s preferences and consider their local currency. For instance, USD 100 is quite different than R$100 (Brazilian Real), which would only be around USD 20 as of June 2021.

Also, be clear about rates and timing. Are they charging by hour, by word, or per project? Do they prefer to be paid in milestones for large projects? What is the timeline to complete the project?

You and the freelancer should discuss these terms before any work is completed. A contract or service agreement should also exist once all payment and timing terms are established.

Set up the payment.

If you’re working through a marketplace, the payment is already determined. You pay the third party, and they will handle paying the freelancer directly.

If you choose to work with a freelancer directly, you can pay them using a money transfer service. There are plenty of apps to choose from—you don’t have to go to a bank or money counter to pay. These include domestic and international options.

Research shows that globally, over half of freelancers are under 30, and only 6% are over 50. The younger generations gravitating to freelancing are likely to be familiar with, and even prefer, digital payments.

Digital payments can be sent to a mobile money account, a bank account, or for cash pickup, depending on your freelancer’s preference.

If you’re sending money to a bank account, you’ll need the banking info from your freelancer. Required banking information can vary depending on the country. Some examples:

Related: Learn more about how to make a fast bank transfer.

Lastly, before you select a method of payment, be sure to research:

  • Exchange rates
  • Variety of services
  • Fees
  • Promotions and rewards

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