How To Get Paid As A Freelancer In Africa

The number of the gig economy workers has sporadically increased since the arrival of the global pandemic. However, while working as a freelancer or entrepreneur in Africa isn’t a problem, receiving payments from clients in foreign countries seems to pose as one.

Working as a freelancer or an entrepreneur has increased the chances of using online payment gateways. Interestingly, numerous websites allow you to receive and send payments in African countries.

How to get paid without a website

As an African freelancer or entrepreneur, If you are looking for ways to get paid by international clients without a website, you can consider any of these options. 

Flutterwave is an online payment gateway that allows you to process credit card payments, including mobile money, across Africa.

Flutterwave is available in over 40 African countries and accepts payments in 150 foreign currencies, including US dollars, EUR, GBP. It’s very easy to set up a Merchant account, and to send payment links invoices to clients. Flutterwave transaction charges vary according to the country. They charge 2.9%-3.8% for international transactions.

TransferWise is another great online payment platform that allows you to make online transfers at the real exchange rate. It supports over 750 currencies, including GBP, USD, CAD, etc., and it also provides the option to own multi-currency accounts. 

TransferWise enables African entrepreneurs and freelancers to receive money directly into their local bank account without paying any extra currency conversion charges. Also, to reduce charges for currency conversion, it’s possible to transfer PayPal funds to TransferWise borderless account. TransferWise doesn’t create payment links and can be time-consuming for clients who want to process small payments.

Paystack is an online payment gateway that allows freelancers, entrepreneurs, and business owners to accept payments globally from credit cards, debit cards, mobile money, USSD, etc.

Freelancers in Nigeria or Ghana can easily create a merchant account and set up professional invoices or payment links for international clients. It also allows Nigerian merchants to withdraw USD into their local account. Paystack operates in two countries in Africa, which are Nigeria and Ghana.

Paystack charges 3.9%+NGN100 for international transactions, NGN45, and NGN150 for bank and mobile money payouts. For Ghana, Paystack charges 1.95%+GHS0 for international transactions and mobile money. However, Paystack does not offer USD withdrawals for Ghana merchants. 

Payoneer is another excellent online payment gateway that allows business owners, freelancers, and professional entrepreneurs to set up virtual USD bank accounts and receive money globally from international clients. Payoneer operates in many countries in Africa, and also offers payment processing in 150 currencies. 

Payoneer is easy to set up and to use. Payoneer also issues a debit card to the users on the platform, that can be used to withdraw funds anywhere. Although, there is a $29.95 annual charge for the debit card.

Payoneer charges 1% for a credit card, 3% for direct payments made by clients to Payoneer accounts. There are various fees for withdrawals; Additional conversion fees up to 2% for withdrawals to bank accounts in different currencies. 3.5% conversion fees for Payoneer MasterCard withdrawals. ATM withdrawal fees for USD cards are $3.15 per transaction. Withdrawal fees from websites like Fiverr or Upwork range from $2-$5.

Skrill is a fast online payment gateway that allows instant withdrawals to local bank accounts. Skrill is available in over 200 countries, including Nigeria, and processes over 40 currencies and cryptocurrency. 

Skrill is widely used because of its low-cost charge for small payments, but it can be more expensive for higher payments. A fee of EUR 5.00 will be removed per month for not making any transaction in one year.

Skrill charges 2% + 3.99% for currency conversion; and for cryptocurrency transactions non-euro accounts, Skrill charges a foreign exchange fee of $1.5.

PayPal is one of the commonest channels of receiving online payments in the world. It is globally preferred by clients because of its easy features, and it also offers buyer protection. It also allows freelancers, business owners, and entrepreneurs to send professional invoices, create payment links, and even receive instant payment.

PayPal is available in 50 African countries except for Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, etc. PayPal allows entrepreneurs in certain regions to receive payments through a business account and not a personal account. It can become expensive due to currency conversion fees. PayPal charges vary according to the country but range from 2.9% and above.

2Checkout is another medium of receiving online payment as an African freelancer or entrepreneur. It accepts PayPal payments, credit card payments, etc., although charges may vary depending on the country. 2checkout charges 3.5% to 6.0% + 0.50% EUR for transactions. Other charges, such as regional payment fees, currency conversion fees, may also apply.

How to get paid with a website

African freelancers and entrepreneurs can also embed payment links on their websites to receive online payments automatically. To get paid with a website, here are some payment options to consider. 

Flutterwave, PayStack, and 2Checkout

Flutterwave, Paystack, and 2Checkout are payment methods that can easily be integrated into websites, online shopping carts, and blogs. Each payment gateway has a native integration on Shopify, which can be very useful for entrepreneurs selling physical and digital products online.

Other Payment methods

WorldRemit is another medium to transfer money online. It is another great option for African freelancers, business owners, and entrepreneurs in Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, and other countries to accept payments quickly. Entrepreneurs can also accept payments through Western Union or MoneyGram. Worldremit is available in 56 countries and offers payment processing for up to 90 currencies. It takes between 2-5 business days to receive the money. It is time-consuming, and clients might not be willing to pay the extra charges.

Worldremit charges from $3.99-$24.99 depending on the currency, country, and amount of money transferred.

Invoice is an invoicing software that also allows Nigerian freelancers and entrepreneurs to receive payments in their local bank accounts. Invoice charges a transaction fee of 3.5%, and there are monthly fees for businesses sending more than five invoices per month.

Another payment gateway to receive payments in Nigeria is SendCashAfrica. It offers the best rates for receiving payments; it also allows you to receive payment by linking a local bank account to a bitcoin wallet. International clients can offer payment by buying bitcoin from Cash App or Coin base.

There are also options to receive cryptocurrency payments. Entrepreneurs processing frequent international payments could also decide to set up a US LLC or C-Corporation and open a US bank account as you would have access to other payment options like Stripe.

As a freelancer, there are plenty of other payment options you could opt for. You can try any of these to choose the one that works best for you. 


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