Receiving Payments Online through Freelancing

Receiving Payments Online


Working online means that you get to make money online from a variety of local and international sources. You will have to be set up to receive payments. Here's how it works:

Local Payments

Receiving payments from South Africa into your South African bank account is easy enough. All you need is a bank account with one of the major banks. You will need to give your banking details to the company or person who needs to pay you.

To receive payments online, you will need a credit card merchant account. In the old days you needed to apply for a machine from your bank, and you had to maintain a certain monthly turn-over and pay huge monthly fees.

However, these days internet portals provide simple and cost-effective options. Companies provide you with code to add to your website's sales pages.

When people use the service to check-out, the payment portal will take a certain fee, and then transfer the money to your account. The process usually takes a few days.

Local merchant companies:


International Payments

Just a few years ago, it was very difficult and very expensive to get money from abroad into South Africa. Thankfully, today, it's a breeze.

There are several options that range in cost and convenience. Here are the basics of the suggested options:

1.  Paypal

The cheapest and most convenient way that is most widely used, is Paypal. The company has been around for many years, and actually started by an ex-South African, but the service only became available to us in around 2009 when local banks started adding it to their systems.

Use this handy guide to find out how you can withdraw money from Paypal to any bank account:

Important Notes on Paypal:

  • You will have to give your Paypal username (not your password!) to parties who need to pay you.
  • You will receive an email from Paypal once monies have been paid into the account.
  • You will follow your bank's instructions to withdraw the money.
  • Money will take up to 6 business days to reflect in your account.

2.  Payoneer

Payoneer is a convenient system, but not as widely used as Paypal. It is also harder to obtain a Payoneer account, as you need to belong to one of their affiliate companies. The costs are also higher.

The good news is that you can obtain a Payoneer card from oDesk.

The Payoneer card is a prepaid credit card, or what we call a debit card in South Africa. It is not a credit line and you can't transact unless there is money in the account.

Upon successful application, a card will be mailed to you, and this could take a couple of weeks. You will need to follow directions in the accompanying letter to verify the account before you can transact.

Visit for more information and for a list of the affiliates that offer Payoneer cards.

Important Notes on Payoneer:

  • You will have to give a client / affiliate company your Payoneer username or card number to pay money to you.
  • Money (less fees) will be reflected in your account in 48 hours, and you can spend it at all Mastercard merchants around the world.

3. Western Union

The oldest international form of money transfer, Western Union is not as widely used in making money online as Paypal and Payoneer. However, if you want to consider it as an option. 







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