Payoneer VS Wise: Everything You Need to Know

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Are banks giving you a headache with their long waiting times, paperwork, and poor rates?

Payoneer and Wise (formerly known as Transferwise) are online money transfer services for freelancers that facilitate cross-border payments. Both are reliable ways to send and receive money abroad, but there are differences in fees, exchange rates, and so forth.

So which option is right for you?

Two leading online money transfer services to compare here are Wise VS Payoneer. I have used Payoneer and Wise, and I prefer Wise as my go-to online banking system for receiving and holding currency. Nevertheless, Payoneer is also a great option I have used, which we will discuss in this post.

What Makes Wise and Payoneer Similar?

What are the similarities between the services and what can they provide?


1. Purpose

Payoneer and Wise are used to send and receive money from abroad. They are a borderless transfer service solution, similar to Paypal. They connect millions of people and businesses across countries and currencies.

The accounts allow you to hold and manage money so you can wait until the exchange rates are more favorable and prepare for future transfers. The currencies come with their own bank details, so anyone can pay you just like they normally would when making a purchase.

Their rates are always based on the current mid-market rates, which you can find on Google or their site.

2. Lower Fees than Banks

While bank transfers can be free or cost very little, there is a catch; they are often accompanied by an unfavorable exchange rate. The banks are often accompanied by paperwork and regulations that could make transfers even more hassle. This is why a borderless online transfer solution is a more suitable option.

3. Free Account

Wise and Payoneer are free to join. You can set up your own account and wait until it’s approved. Small fees are incurred if you send or receive money.

Get Started on Payoneer and Transferwise

4. On-Boarding

They both have an onboarding process, which can be time-consuming.

Payoneer and Wise need to know who’s using their services so they can combat money laundering and keep money safe.

Specify if you are an individual or business. Input your personal details. You may have to submit other documents, such as a utility bill, to verify your details. You will also have to submit your banking details.


5. Mastercard

You can order your own MasterCard with both Wise and Payoneer, which enables you to make payments in stores, online, or anywhere a MasterCard is accepted. You can withdraw from the ATM, and fees are applied to each transaction.

Funds are transferred to your card automatically or manually, depending on the settings you choose online. You can also set limits on how much you can spend with your card. You can order the MasterCard whether you are a company or an individual.

One thing to note is that your card may not work in all countries. You will have to check if the card is available in certain countries. For example, Wise MasterCard can not be used in certain countries, such as Iraq, Cambodia, and Syria.

6. Popularity

Both Wise and Payoneer are very popular online transfer services. Wise and Payoneer have positive online reviews even if their services suit different needs.

What Makes Wise and Payoneer Different?

What makes online transfer services different? Let’s compare!

1. Purpose

Wise is geared towards individuals and private clients. They also accept businesses.

Payoneer is suitable for small businesses that hire freelancers and individuals who want to receive payments from abroad. Rates are cheaper as the amount of money sent is higher. Payoneer partners with sites like Airbnb and Fiverr to receive money online.

2. Availability

Wise is for those with bank accounts in the UK, USA, Europe or Australia. You can send and receive money in multiple currencies; check our review for further details.

Payoneer is more widely available to individuals across the globe.

Withdrawal fees

3. Mastercard Fees

Payoneer: You are entitled to receive a MasterCard from Payoneer when you’ve received a minimum of $100 in payments.

  • Payoneer allows you to have a free account that you can use to withdraw money to your local bank account.
  • An annual fee of $29.95 is charged for having a MasterCard
  • While making purchases online and in-store are free, ATM withdrawals or cash reimbursements (via bank teller or in-store) cost 2.50 EUR or $3.15 USD or 1.95 GBP.
  • Payoneer also charges a currency conversion fee if you don’t have the specific currency in your account. Conversion rates can be estimated using Mastercard’s official conversion tool.
  • Payoneer charges an additional charge on top of Mastercard’s conversion rates. This currency conversion charge is up to 3.5%.

Wise: They might ask you to add money to your balances or pay a small fee to get the card.

  • 0.24 – 3.69% conversion fee if you don’t have the currency in your account. This will depend on the country and currency; further details of the exact rates can be found on their website.
  • Free withdrawal up to 250 USD or the equivalent in your own currency per month. After that, there will be a 2% withdrawal fee.
  • Note: sometimes, the sellers try to charge their own conversion fee, even if you have the other currency in your account. To avoid this, ask the seller to charge you in the currency you want.

4. Popularity

Wise has a better overall rating than Payoneer on Trustpilot, but that’s not to say one service is better than the other. The service that’s right for you will depend on the reasons why you are using your account.

Wise has a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot, with over 95,000 reviews.

Payoneer has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating on Trustpilot, with over 25,500 reviews to date.

5. Fees

Payoneer generally has higher fees than Wise when sending and receiving cash. Take a look at the rates below.

6. Onboarding

Payoneer is known to take longer, maybe even a few days, to approve accounts.


Wise and Payoneer: Fees

The nitty gritty you need to know before deciding whether to use Wise or Payoneer.

Making Payments

Payoneer charges 1-3% when making payments to non-Payoneer accounts. Alternatively, a fixed fee of 1.50 EUR/ USD/ GBP is charged if the account holder is in the same currency that is being paid.

It is free to make payments from one Payoneer account to another Payoneer account.

Wise has a small fee when making payments to somebody else’s account. This usually consists of a fixed fee (approximately $1, depending on the currency) and a variable fee. You can check out the transparent fees here on the Wise Fee Calculator. Wise charges approximately 0.5% – 0.9% of the transfer’s volume.

Accepting Payments

Payoneer charges 1-3% on all incoming fees. If you are being paid by another Payoneer customer, it is free of charge.

Wise allows you to receive money in EUR, USD, GBP, AUD & NZD for free.

Withdrawing Funds

Payoneer charges a 2% withdrawal fee to your bank account. Alternatively, if your bank account is the same currency, it will cost 1.50 USD/ EUR/ GBP.

Wise charges a fixed fee when withdrawing funds to your bank account (approximately $1, but it depends on your currency)

Fees Breakdown

Here is a table comparing the current fees when using Wise and Payoneer. Wise is generally the cheaper option in most cases.

Make PaymentsAccept PaymentsWithdraw Funds
Payoneer1-3% charge or 1.50 for non-Payoneer accounts1.3% charge2% charge or 1.50 to bank account
Free from one Payoneer account to anotherFree from one Payoneer account to another2.50 EUR or $3.15 USD or 1.95 GBP for ATM withdrawals
WiseSmall Fee (variable and fixed fee), usually 0.5-0.9% of transfer volumeReceive money in EUR, USD, GBP, AUD, NZD, SGD, PLNFixed fee (approximately $1; depends on your currency) to bank account
Free from one Wise account to anotherNo fees to receive paymentsFree ATM withdrawal up to 250 USD or equivalent in your currency; 2% fee thereafter
Transferwise Sign up

Wise VS Payoneer: The Winner is Wise

By using either Payoneer or Wise, you will save a lot when compared to using your local bank. When sending money through your bank, the conversion rates are usually quite poor by comparison.

Wise allows you to save money and comes with cheaper fees than most financial institutions. It will save you considerable time when transferring money online, whether making or accepting payments or withdrawing funds.

You can also download the Wise app and use it on the go; check out our full Wise review here if you haven’t already.

Wise is the best option when moving money abroad for under $5000. If you are making larger transactions or you are using a freelance platform such as Fiverr or Airbnb, Payoneer might be a more suitable option.

The Benefits of Using Wise:

  • Sign up for Free
  • No fees for holding an account
  • Great savings and low cost
  • Helpful support team
  • No hidden fees
  • Great ratings and reviews
  • Speedy transfers within 1-2 working days
Payoneer VS Transferwise


Wise and Payoneer are two options when dealing with online payments. If you want to know about other services, you can check out this article I wrote about how you can get paid online. These include other options for the online English teacher to consider.

Useful Links

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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