Payoneer vs Wise 2023: Side by Side Comparison

By | August 26, 2023

Sending and receiving payments internationally is vital for any freelancer, online seller, or business competing in the global digital economy today. However, traditional banks and financial institutions often charge exorbitant fees and offer poor exchange rates for cross-border transactions.

This is where digital payment services like Payoneer and Wise (formerly TransferWise) aim to provide relief. Both platforms strive to enable fast, low-cost international money transfers coupled with multi-currency account services tailored to the needs of individuals and businesses alike.

But how exactly does Payoneer compare against Wise when it comes to supported currencies, transfer fees and limits, exchange rates, account features, and overall value proposition? This comprehensive side-by-side comparison for 2023 analyzes the key similarities and differences between Payoneer and Wise to help you determine the better platform for your specific requirements.

Payoneer vs Wise

A Brief Background on Payoneer and Wise

Let’s first provide a quick overview of both Payoneer and Wise before diving into the detailed feature comparison:


Founded in 2005 and headquartered in New York, Payoneer is a financial services company that specializes in digital payments. Some key aspects of Payoneer include:

  • Global payments network – Send and receive funds to over 200 countries and territories via bank transfer, debit/credit cards etc.
  • Local currency accounts – Get unique receiving bank account details to easily accept payments in major currencies like USD, EUR, GBP etc.
  • Marketplace partnerships – Integrated with and trusted by Amazon, Airbnb, Fiverr, Upwork among others to send payouts.
  • Withdraw funds globally – Withdraw received funds seamlessly to local bank account or via the Payoneer Mastercard at ATMs worldwide.
  • Freelancer focused – Platform tailored mainly for freelancers, contractors, consultants and online sellers/businesses.
  • 24×7 customer support – Assistance available round the clock via phone, live chat, email and social media.

With its mission to empower global commerce, Payoneer aims to provide a streamlined platform for international money transfers designed for the needs of digital professionals and organizations. It enables users worldwide to send and receive cross-border payments as easily as local funds transfers.


Founded in 2010 and headquartered in London, Wise (previously known as TransferWise) is a fintech company that offers online international money transfer services coupled with multi-currency account capabilities. Some key highlights of Wise:

  • Low-cost transfers – Send money abroad with minimal fees starting from just 0.4% via precise transparent pricing.
  • Multi-currency account – Hold, manage, convert, and transact with 50+ currencies seamlessly on one borderless account.
  • Local accounts – Get banking details to easily receive payments from overseas in 10 major currencies.
  • Business friendly tools – Features like batch payments, multi-user access, accounting integrations etc tailored for business users.
  • Real mid-market rates – No hidden markups or opaque fees when converting between currencies.
  • Individuals and businesses – Caters to both individuals as well as business customers.
  • Advanced security – Funds protected via bank-level encryption, 2-factor authentication, and other robust protocols.

With its relentless focus on transparency, simplicity, and technology, Wise aims to provide the fairest, most affordable, and efficient way to transfer money globally for personal and business needs.

Now that we’ve covered a brief background of both platforms, let’s explore how Payoneer and Wise compare across various factors in detail:

Payoneer vs Wise: Supported Currencies

One of the most important aspects of any international money transfer platform is the breadth of supported currencies. The wider the range of currencies handled, the more flexibility users have when receiving or sending cross-border payments.

When it comes to supported currencies, there is a clear distinction between Payoneer and Wise:

  • Payoneer enables users to hold balances and send and receive funds in around 11 major currencies including USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, HKD, JPY, CHF, SEK, NOK, and DKK.
  • Wise empowers users to seamlessly hold, convert, send, and receive 50+ currencies on their single borderless account including exotic currencies like CZK, AED, ZAR, MAD, KWD, HRK, and RON among many others.

So it is evident that Wise supports a significantly broader range of global currencies compared to Payoneer. This can be highly beneficial for users who deal with multiple currencies for business or receive payments from clients worldwide in exotic currencies. The wider currency support provides more financial flexibility.

Therefore, when it comes to the number and diversity of supported currencies, Wise is the clear winner over Payoneer.

Payoneer vs Wise: Local Currency Accounts

Both Payoneer and Wise provide users the ability to obtain local bank account details in key currencies to conveniently receive cross-border payments from overseas clients and businesses.

But how do the two platforms compare when it comes to the currencies supported for their local accounts? Let’s examine:

  • Payoneer offers users the ability to get local receiving bank account details in 9 major currencies – USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, HKD, JPY, SGD, and MXN.
  • Wise enables users to receive payments from overseas directly into local accounts in 10 currencies – USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, NZD, SGD, PLN, HUF, and CZK.

So in terms of the diversity of local accounts available, Wise once again has a slight competitive edge by supporting local accounts in 10 currencies compared to 9 with Payoneer.

Both platforms provide local account details across popular currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, and AUD that are most commonly used. But Wise goes beyond to also include some less widely-used currencies like PLN, HUF, and CZK.

This wider range of local account currencies allows Wise users to cater to a more global clientele compared to Payoneer users. Businesses can boost their overseas outreach potential.

Hence, when assessed purely in terms of local currency accounts offered, Wise scores over Payoneer. But both cover the major currencies used worldwide.

Payoneer vs Wise: Transfer Speed

For most businesses and individuals dealing with international payments, fast money transfer speeds are a crucial requirement. Delayed fund transfers can hamper cash flows and disrupt operations.

How do Payoneer and Wise stack up when it comes to the speed of cross-border money transfers? Let’s analyze:

  • For Payoneer, the typical time for international bank transfers to be completed ranges from 2 to 5 business days. Transfers between two Payoneer account holders are usually faster.
  • With Wise, money transfers reach their destination bank accounts within an average span of 1 to 3 business days. Wise also offers more expedited transfer options that are near instant or within hours.

Based on the above transfer speed comparison, Wise has a clear edge when it comes to faster international money movement. On average, Wise transfers reach their destination almost 1 to 2 days quicker compared to Payoneer transfers.

Wise also provides more instantaneous transfer options like ‘Real-time Payments’ to select countries, enabling funds to be sent and received within seconds. Such expedited transfer capabilities give Wise customers more flexibility.

So whether it is typical transfer speeds or expedited payments, Wise outperforms Payoneer when it comes to faster cross-border money transfers.

Payoneer vs Wise: Costs and Fees

One of the most vital considerations for any business or customer when selecting an international money transfer platform are the costs and fees involved.

Lower transfer fees and minimal currency conversion charges can result in major cost savings, especially for frequent cross-border transactions. Let’s see how the fees levied by Payoneer and Wise compare:

Payoneer Fees

  • Receiving funds – No fees for receiving most currencies directly to balance. Around 1% for incoming USD transfers.
  • Sending funds – Up to 2% of the transfer amount charged as fees for outgoing transfers.
  • Currency conversion – Markup of up to 3% over mid-market exchange rate applied for currency exchanges.
  • Debit card use – Foreign transaction fee of up to 3.5% levied when spending internationally with the Payoneer Mastercard.
  • Account fees – $29.95 charged as an annual fee if the account remains inactive for 12 months.

Wise Fees

  • Receiving funds – Free for receiving most currencies. Minor fees may apply in the case of exotic currencies.
  • Sending funds – Low transparent transfer fees starting from just 0.4% of the amount based on currency route.
  • Currency conversion – Uses mid-market exchange rate with no opaque markups.
  • Debit card use – Lower foreign transaction fee of around 1.49% above mid-market rate when spending overseas.
  • Account fees – No annual, maintenance, or inactivity fees. The only fees are transparent transfer fees.

Based on the above fee structure comparison, Wise clearly provides more affordable fees compared to Payoneer for cross-border money transfers and currency conversions.

Wise fee rates for sending money abroad start at just 0.4% compared to Payoneer’s high 2% transfer fees. Similarly, Payoneer’s 3% currency conversion markups are steep compared to Wise’s use of mid-market rates.

So if your priority is minimizing international transaction costs, Wise is the more economical choice over Payoneer in 2023. The savings from lower fees can be substantial for frequent cross-border money movers.

Payoneer vs Wise: Exchange Rates

Along with fees, currency exchange rates comprise a major cost factor when sending or receiving international payments that involve conversions between currencies. Opaque markups and poor exchange rates can erode value for the end user.

Let’s examine how Payoneer and Wise compare specifically when it comes to their currency conversion exchange rates offered:

  • When converting currencies, Payoneer uses wholesale exchange rates that can have opaque markups up to 3% above the mid-market rate.
  • Wise uses simple, transparent pricing and hence applies the real-time mid-market exchange rate without any opaque markups whatsoever.

Clearly, in terms of currency exchange rates provided, Wise is the winner with its use of mid-market rates ensuring users get the true wholesale rate free of any padded markups. This prevents loss of value due to poor exchange rates.

Payoneer’s high currency conversion markups of up to 3% and lack of transparency with exchange rates make Wise the better choice for accurate currency conversion value.


Payoneer vs Wise: Transfer Limits

When moving money internationally, the maximum transfer limits allowed by the provider must accommodate your transaction needs. Let’s see how Payoneer and Wise compare in their transfer limits:

  • The maximum amount per cross-border transfer with Payoneer is a $10,000 limit when sending funds via Payoneer’s Global Wire Transfers to recipient bank accounts abroad. However, transfers to other Payoneer account holders have higher limits.
  • For Wise, users can make international transfers up to limits as high as $1 million per transfer depending on their account age, verification status, and the specific currency route. Wise limits get higher as you use their services more.

Based on the above comparison, it is evident that Wise permits significantly higher limits for international money transfers compared to Payoneer.

But it’s worth noting that Payoneer’s $10,000 wire transfer limit will likely be sufficient for most freelancers, contractors, and smaller businesses. Larger corporates would benefit more from Wise’s higher caps.

Overall, Wise is the platform of choice if you need to ability to transfer larger sums of money internationally. But Payoneer transfer limits are also decent enough for most individuals and SMBs.

Payoneer vs Wise: Debit Cards

The ability to seamlessly spend funds held in your account internationally is vital for any digital payment platform. Both Payoneer and Wise provide branded debit cards linked to accounts. How do they compare?

  • Payoneer issues users a Mastercard branded debit card that can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs or make purchases globally offline and online.
  • Wise offers account holders a multi-currency Mastercard debit card that automatically uses optimal currency balances when making transactions or withdrawals in foreign currency.

The key distinction is that Wise provides a card optimized for international usage across currencies, while Payoneer’s debit card behaves more like a standard prepaid card without special optimizations for overseas spending.

For users who travel extensively or have significant overseas expenditures, Wise’s multi-currency debit card provides better value with minimal conversion fees. But Payoneer’s card also enables convenient global usage, just without currency optimization abilities.

So Wise has the competitive edge for its debit card product tailored for cross-border transactions. But both platforms offer capable globally usable cards overall.

Payoneer vs Wise: Payment Receiving Methods

An important aspect for sellers, businesses, and exporters is the ability to conveniently receive international payments from their overseas customers and partners.

Payoneer and Wise offer different ways in which users can receive money from abroad:

  • Payoneer allows users to receive international funds via:
    • Direct bank wire transfers
    • Debit and credit card payments
    • Integrated online marketplaces and networks
  • Wise enables users to receive cross-border payments via:
    • International bank transfers
    • Debit and credit card payments
    • Apple Pay and Google Pay
    • More extensive local bank details

Both platforms enable payment receipt directly from banks globally either as wire transfers or local payments using currency accounts. This allows seamless collection of funds from clients worldwide.

Wise offers more local accounts tailored to receive payments from more exotic countries. Payoneer conversely is directly integrated with major marketplaces allowing users to conveniently accumulate marketplace earnings.

So choice would depend on whether marketplace integrations or extensive bank details are more important for your receipt of international funds.

Payoneer vs Wise: Payment Sending Methods

When it comes to initiating outbound international money transfers, here are the main payment methods supported by Payoneer and Wise:

  • Using Payoneer, you can send cross-border payments via:
    • International wire transfers to bank accounts
    • Direct transfers to recipients with a Payoneer account
  • Wise enables international payments funded via:
    • Bank transfers
    • Debit card
    • Credit card
    • Apple Pay
    • Google Pay
    • Transfers to Wise account holders

Therefore, Wise generally provides more payment options and flexibility when funding cross-border money transfers. However, a key advantage of Payoneer is that transfers to other Payoneer users are absolutely free.

So assess whether direct bank transfers meet your payment needs or if you would benefit from the variety of funding methods offered by Wise.

Payoneer vs Wise: Security Features

For any financial services platform handling money movement, security is of paramount importance. Let’s examine how Payoneer and Wise stack up when it comes to safety mechanisms in place:

  • Payoneer uses encryption, continuous fraud monitoring, and two-factor authentication to secure user accounts and transaction information.
  • Wise leverages bank-level encryption2FA, segregated encrypted logs, and other protocols to protect transactions and user data. Wise also stores customer funds at regulated custodian banks for added assurance.

Based on the security capabilities comparison above, both Payoneer and Wise utilize robust security technologies and protocols to safeguard user funds and data.

Wise offers the additional protection of maintaining client funds at regulated third-party custodian banks for further reliability. But Payoneer’s security is also adequate for most client needs.

So both platforms are evenly matched when it comes to security mechanisms for user protection.

Payoneer vs Wise: Business vs Personal Accounts

Payoneer and Wise differ in their target customer base for accounts as outlined below:

  • Payoneer specifically provides business accounts tailored for freelancers, contractors, consultants, and eCommerce sellers/organizations. Personal accounts are unavailable.
  • Wise offers user-friendly accounts for both individuals as well as business users. So whether you are a personal customer or an enterprise brand, Wise can service your needs.

This is a key distinction between the two platforms. Payoneer exclusively services business users only, while Wise caters to both consumer and commercial clients.

So if you are an individual seeking personal international money transfer services, Wise would be the platform of choice over Payoneer.

Payoneer vs Wise: User Experience

The overall user experience is crucial for customer satisfaction with any financial services provider. How do Payoneer and Wise compare when it comes to UX simplicity?

  • Account signup – Both platforms offer quick and easy account creation completely online. Payoneer may need more documents from business users.
  • Transfers – Payoneer and Wise money transfers can be seamlessly initiated via the web dashboard or mobile apps.
  • Support – 24×7 multi-channel customer support available via phone, email, and live chat for both Payoneer and Wise.
  • Mobile apps – User-friendly native mobile apps provided for iOS and Android devices by both platforms.

Based on UX comparison across account opening, transfers, support access, and mobile apps, Payoneer and Wise both provide smooth and straightforward user experiences.

So businesses and end-customers should face minimal issues or complexity when using either platform for their international payment needs thanks to well-designed processes.

Payoneer vs Wise: Business Account Features

While both platforms aim to facilitate easy business payments, Payoneer and Wise offer some unique features tailored specifically for business users:

Payoneer Business Features

  • Direct integrations with Amazon, Airbnb, Walmart, and many other major eCommerce marketplaces for simplified earnings payouts.
  • Ability to create and send professional invoices to clients worldwide and accept payment directly into Payoneer balance.
  • Mass payout facility to easily pay contractors, freelancers, affiliates etc in bulk with ease.
  • Dedicated account managers provide personalized support and guidance for high volume customers.
  • Customizable payment workflows to match your business needs.
  • Securely store payment information of multiple customers for fast repeat transactions.

Wise Business Features

  • Multi-user business accounts providing permission controls and activity insights.
  • Batch payments feature enables making high volume disbursals seamlessly in just a few clicks.
  • Integrations with popular accounting platforms like Xero, QuickBooks etc.
  • Real-time rate alerts and detailed transaction analytics for financial planning.
  • Virtual Wise business expense cards for employees to simplify overseas spending.
  • Advanced liquidity management tools to optimize cash flow.

In summary, Payoneer provides more payment-oriented features tailored for eCommerce sellers and enterprises needing to pay contractors or affiliates globally.

Wise conversely offers more financial management capabilities like accounting integrations, analytics, and liquidity tools benefiting businesses.

Payoneer vs Wise: Pros and Cons Summarized

Based on this comprehensive side by side comparison, we can summarize the main pros and cons of using Payoneer vs Wise:

Payoneer Pros

  • Seamless withdrawals globally via the Payoneer Mastercard provided to users.
  • Direct integrations with major eCommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Upwork, Fiverr etc to easily receive earnings.
  • Local currency bank accounts provided in 9 currencies to conveniently receive cross-border payments.
  • Transfers to other Payoneer account holders are completely free of charge.

Payoneer Cons

  • Higher fees for sending international wire transfers compared to Wise.
  • Typically slower transfer speeds for cross-border transactions.
  • Support for only 11 major currencies – lower flexibility compared to Wise.
  • Annual fee of $29.95 is charged if the account remains inactive for 12 months.

Wise Pros

  • Low transparent fees starting from just 0.4% for international transfers.
  • Uses real mid-market exchange rates with no opaque markups or hidden costs.
  • Faster international transfer speeds on average compared to Payoneer.
  • Ability to hold, send and receive 50+ currencies on a single Wise account.

Wise Cons

  • Lacks direct integrations with major eCommerce marketplaces.
  • Wise debit card has higher 2% foreign transaction fee compared to Payoneer’s 1% fee.
  • Cross-border transfer limits can be low initially for new users.
  • Account services tailored for businesses only, no personal accounts.

Payoneer vs Wise: Final Verdict

So which platform is better suited for your needs – Payoneer or Wise? Here are some key recommendations based on customer type:

  • For freelancers – Wise offers cheaper and faster international transfers and payments, making it ideal for freelancer receipt and disbursal of global client funds.
  • For online sellers – Payoneer, with direct integrations with eCommerce sites, optimizes receiving and withdrawing marketplace earnings.
  • For small businesses – Wise provides affordable multi-currency accounts, batch payment capabilities, and accounting integrations, making it suited for SMBs.
  • For large enterprises – Payoneer offers scope to negotiate custom pricing and dedicated support for high volume transactions, which can benefit bigger brands.

The ideal choice depends significantly on your specific use case – whether you are an individual freelancer, digital entrepreneur, small business, or large multinational corporation.

Both Payoneer and Wise aim to make cross-border transactions affordable, convenient, and quick for personal and business users alike. Assess your unique needs to determine whether Payoneer or Wise is the right international money transfer platform for you.

This exhaustive Payoneer vs Wise comparison for 2023 covers all the key parameters and features across both platforms. Evaluate the pros and cons to decide which provider best fulfills your global payment requirements as a business or consumer.

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