There are many benefits to working with freelancers; they often offer competitive rates that do not require overhead and office perks, they can be hired per project basis, they can work flexible hours when something is needed urgently, and they can provide unique expertise on an as-needed basis.
Despite this, many companies still shy away from using freelancers on a routine basis. This is because processing payment requests from freelancers – especially when those freelancers are located abroad – is difficult, time consuming and seems like a hassle that is just not worth the effort for many companies.
To understand the impact working with a freelancer will have on a company, it is first necessary to understand what freelance payment options are available.
Check payments require no setup costs and do not require operation of complex systems, making them seem like an appealing payment method when dealing with international freelancers.
Companies that manage an international workforce know that this is not the case. When relying on snail mail, everything becomes more complicated, and checks are no different. Checks can be easily stolen or lost in transit, requiring accounting personnel to perform certain processes multiple times, making the entire process not worthwhile.
Furthermore, traditional paper checks are least desirable for international freelancers due to the many issues they may face when they get the check. For example, a French freelancer may expect to get their payment in Euro, however if a U.S based company is cutting the check, they may send it in USD causing them to request a new check to be issued. Furthermore, by the time it takes for the check to arrive, currency fluctuations could play a significant part, leaving one of the two parties unhappy over the transaction.
Another payment option that businesses have when paying an international workforce is credit cards. Credit cards are easy to use and are, for the most part, secure for all parties involved.
As payment volume grows however, the advantages of credit cards begin to decline. Since many credit card companies add a processing fee of 3-4% from the value of the transaction, using this as a long term solution for freelancer payments is ineffective.
One of the most common payment methods companies use to pay freelancers is wire transfer. Wire transfer payments can be processed digitally with ease, and exact payment amount can be controlled. However, the charges cannot be reversed in the event of a dispute, making them extremely problematic for companies that pay freelancers prior to receiving the completed service.
Wire transfers are also complex to execute if dealing with international banks. This is because many international banks require payment be made on their platform, wasting a great deal of time for accounting personnel and delaying the time it takes for the freelancer to receive their payment.
PAYING FREELANCERS THE WAY THEY WANT TO BE PAID
While each payment option has advantages and disadvantages, the most difficult thing to do is not select the payment method, but rather match the payment method with the freelancer.
It may be more cost effective to pay a German freelancer using ACH transfer and a Japanese freelancer through wire transfer or vice versa, but then accounting personnel needs to examine each individual transaction through each payment method, wasting a tremendous amount of time and energy.
That is when using an online payment platform such as Payoneer becomes the best alternative. Single solution payment platforms provide companies with a secure and seamless way to make global payments to freelancers using a variety of methods through a single platform. When using an online payment platform, companies can pay multiple international freelancers at once while enjoy reduced processing costs due to increased volumes.
This also saves time and energy since all transactions can be managed, monitored and executed from a single place, making it the optimal solution for companies looking to pay international freelancers in the most effective way possible.