PayPal is an awesome international payment method that can be used online effectively by freelancers and businesses to send/receive payments. It is the most widely used payment method. But unfortunately, PayPal do not support Pakistan and many other countries.
If you are from Pakistan or any other non supported country, you cannot send/receive payments through PayPal, the most unfortunate and frustrating thing is that you cannot even pay using credit card if merchant is only accepting PayPal. So you often cannot buy that useful piece of software, some great ebooks or you cannot get paid by many online programs.
I lost business of thousands of dollars online because of unavailability of PayPal. So I hate PayPal and on other hand also want it badly 😛
Leaving all the sour discussion why PayPal is not available in Pakistan either because of lame policies of State Bank of Pakistan or because of high fraud rate, whatever it is 🙁 I’m going to discuss few PayPal alternatives those can help you survive and in some cases thrive online.
I love Payoneer and its at top of my list for a PayPal alternative. I was first introduced to Payoneer by my parnter and mentor David Daniels in 2007. We selected Payoneer for our company as a payment method over Western Union to pay freelancers and employs.
Payoneer gives you a Master Debit Card. Funds can be withdrawn from ATMs, in Pakistan Payoneer card can be used at MNet ATMs (MCB, Standard Chartered and Citi Bank).Your clients can load money to your card using credit cards and US ACH. With Payoneer you can also accept ACH. Low monthly maintenance fee and fast availability of funds makes it an ideal choice.
However getting a card is a little tricky process for newbie freelancers, you cannot apply directly at Payoneer’s site for a Master Card, you can get a card if you are affiliated with one of their partners like Guru.com, 2CO and GetAFreelancer.com (etc).
2CO or 2Chekcout is a long standing and respectable payment solution. Lots of websites on the Internet use it including some Pakistani sites. You can accept PayPal payments using 2CO. 2CO has a handy feature of “customer invoicing”. You can send invoices to your clients by email. 2CO also offers Payoneer Master card, you can withdraw funds from 2CO using Payoneer Master Card or through check/wire transfer to your bank account.
The downside of 2CO is that you have to pay $50 sign up fee and its difficult (almost not possible) to implement one 2CO account on multiple sites. Also you cannot sell many products using 2CO including web hosting.
However for one site and for invoicing clients through email, 2CO works great.
MoneyBookers can be used for receiving and sending funds (person to person and person to business transfers). MoneyBookers can wire you internationally, you can receive funds in MCB and UBL in 3 – 4 days. However very small number of merchants accept MoneyBookers online, it means you cannot have access to good web hosting companies, big stores and other services if you use MoneyBookers. An other downside is that MoneyBookers do not accpet Maste Card, payments can only be made using VISA cards (I don’t understand why they are not solving this issue).
AlertPay can be used for receiving payments from clients. It is a Payment Processor that is mainly used by Paid To Click (PTC), Paid To Read (PTR) and High Yield Investment Program (HYIP) type sites…And more recently for multiple large business and financial transactions across Europe and Asia.
There are 3 types of account – Personal Starter, Personal Pro and Business. All are free to join. For a quick start you can get a personal account for free and you can withdraw money via Check, Bank Wire and Bank Transfer.. The downside with AlertPay is that you cannot load funds to your AlertPay account from Pakistan.
CCNow is a merchant account (credit card processor) that also accepts PayPal payments, same as 2CO. You can get start accepting payments with CCNow for only $10. You can withdraw money via Check, Bank Wire and Bank Transfer.
Plimus is an other payment processor same as 2CO. Plimus is free to join, you can implement it on multiple websites and take payment from PayPal. You can withdraw money via Check, Bank Wire and Bank Transfer after paying Plimus commission.
Payoneer, AlertPay, MoneyBookers and 2CO are very good for newbie freelancers and if you are an expert and have several sites where you want to sell your products then go for CCNow and plimus.
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