Being too reliant on only one payment option has proven to have serious consequences.  And if you are working in Upwork, you know exactly what I mean. I've seen the forum filled with dismayed people, frustrated providers and helpless freelancers who couldn't do anything about their payouts because they only use Paypal for payment transactions. Let's face it, technology is not foolproof. Paypal, Stripe, Payoneer or whichever payment channel you are using, gives you no guarantee that they will be up all the time. But you can safeguard yourself from delays and bill payment rush when a sudden service interruption occurs.

I'm quite certain that many have actually hopped on getting a second or third option next to Paypal because of the Paypal-oDesk incidence. And honestly, I just came to an epiphany that there are deeper reasons why you or every online freelancer must have a backup payment option.

Exchange Rate

If you are from a country other than the US and receives the final payout in a different currency other than US dollar, getting an alternative financial institution can give you a favorable advantage to withdraw your funds with the higher exchange rates and lower fees. The current rate that Paypal charges ($1 per withdrawal)is considered minimal, but what I've noticed is an unusually big difference in the exchange rate that Paypal imposes compared to prevailing currency exchange. At some point, I was getting $1 to Php43 but it's actually $1 to Php44.5 Well of course I know that Paypal wants to earn as well, but a peso per dollar would have been more reasonable. I'm not sure if how much I've earned since I first used Paypal or  Upwork but I'm certain that if I have been more vigilant and got me more option to withdraw my funds, I could have saved a few hundred if not thousands of pesos.


Since I started accepting projects outside of Elance and oDesk, I've had a couple of clients who actually gave me the option  to elect my preferred payment option. This is primarily beneficial for me since I can choose an institution like Xoom or Swiftcash so I can quickly receive payments at no extra cost or just a fraction of it if my client would require me to share in the overall transfer fee.


Maintenance, hacking, internet downtime, these are just some of the many other reasons that may cause an institution to be unavailable when you need their service. I understand that most of the financial institutions are committing to get their system a 100% uptime but it's just too difficult to neglect the reality that what ever technology they have, however sophisticated they may be, it's still not foolproof and invincible to even the simplest glitch that could cripple their operation. Thus, getting an alternate payment option can ensure that you get paid on time when your primary option is unavailable.


Let's face it, not all of us have the patience to wait 3 days or even 2 days just to verify an account. And not many will be agreeable to getting their payouts late because many are depending on this source of income to pay bills and other obligations. If this fits you, then you should create a plan B to minimize if not eradicate delays and late fees.

In my experience, the quickest way to receive payment have been through Xoom money transfer. With Paypal, it takes 2-4 business days to withdraw to my bank account, and even longer if your client's pay by echeck. And if you have a team where you subcontract your other projects, I'm sure they will be as frustrated as you are.  Getting alternatives can help you keep up with emergencies and time sensitive financial obligations like mortgage payments, house rents, internet bill payments, etc.

Simplicity & Convenience

Instant money transfers provides a lot of convenience to both parties. The procedures are a lot simpler, easier and requires lesser effort to make. No need to have a credit or debit card, verify it, and unnecessary lost of funds is avoided (just like what happens when you set up for a moneybookers account)


Whenever I encounter accounts that has a pin or password, it almost always tells me that I need to take extra care. Because those same passwords and pins or security words are actually what makes my accounts vulnerable. As compared to instant transfers, the moment it's released, the funds can be easily withdrawn, and does not compromise your whole nest egg but just a single instance. One of the steps that I've taken is to ensure that I don't leave substantial funds overnight on my Paypal account. I just feel that security is not too strong. I've read forums where people's Paypal accounts where infiltrated and it simply made me a bit paranoid and ultra conscious that I withdraw funds to my bank as soon as it reaches my Paypal account. I guess the more unpredictable your next step is, the safer you are. So the more options you have to withdraw your funds, the bigger your chances of eluding your would be attacker.