Cheap PayPal alternatives in India - International Payment Solutions for Indian freelancers

Cheap PayPal alternatives in India - International Payment Solutions for Indian freelancers


The charm of a 9-5 job is fading. Freelance is emerging as the latest preferred work culture on Indian soil. Hard to believe, right?

There was a time when generation X heavily relied upon white-collar corporate jobs claiming that they are stable, have fixed pay, enhanced lifestyle, etc. But, with time passing by and technology phasing out the need for offline availability of labor, freelance is emerging in India and worldwide with positive encouragement. 

Moreover, COVID19 disrupting the status quo in 2020 resulted in total lockdown, pushed the mundane office to our homes, and millions were left on the road of unemployment, etc. It was the time when India saw massive growth in the freelance market.

Fact: Industry research shows that over 30% - 40% of students consider freelance as a career option by following new trends.

Such a dramatic shift happening on Indian turf indicates the change of mindset and shifting needs in millennials compared to generation X. While the mid-1960s born want stability, fixed income, and passive growth, millennials demand a better lifestyle, stress-free work, and break in the monotony. The rising youth job seekers are risk-takers.

Growth of Gig Economy in India

According to a report by Payoneer, Freelancing in 2020: An Abundance of Opportunities, India is the host for the second-fastest-growing freelance market. India’s gig economy currently consists of over 15 million freelancers, followed by the US, the highest gig reaping economy.

As the gig economy is booming in India, it means foreign remittance is also facing an increase. But, for foreign currency to arrive in India, you need a proper international payment solution that is secure, fast, transparent, credible, and levies low foreign exchange.

With the technological advancements in telecommunication and fintech, India is witnessing a boom in the fi tech market. The payment landscape of India is changing as digital payments are increasing with changing needs. The Indian fintech market is predicted to see a whopping growth of CAGR 12% between 2020-2025.

Read more:

Best websites for freelancing

PayPal - The established International Payment Solution in India and worldwide

PayPal is more than a decade old and has gained the trust of more than a million users across the globe, and one such religious cult of PayPal is freelancers.

PayPal has 227 million active users, services across more than 200 markets, and supports 25 currencies to serve a global webbed market.

Paypal logo


PayPal has come up with innovative features curated like '' that allows the freelancers to receive payment in a faster manner via a unique link, PayPal freelancers can now apply for Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate/Advice (FIRC) at the payment website itself making the process a bit easier than the tedious offline hassle. Furthermore, PayPal has brought in relaxation for the invoice challenge by introducing Invoicing Solutions.

As years went by, PayPal started having tie-ups with its competitors to strike balance, and turn into an international payment mogul in the fintech world. PayPal might charge a bit higher as transaction and forex fee, but it’s the trust in the freelancers and clients that make them use this medium.

Though PayPal is recognized and used by many; it is not the only self-sufficient option for every freelancer worldwide as PayPal is limited to 25 currency types.

Apart from being limited to certain currency types, PayPal levies heavy charges for Indian freelancers (4%-5%).

Growing demand induces high production, and many payment solutions are popping up in the market. But is all of it a boon or mere beneficial deals curated to hamper your savings? Let’s look at a few of the best international payment alternatives.

  1. Payoneer

Payoneer logo

Again, this is a globally recognized international payment solution that supports more than 150 currency types in over 200 countries. Payoneer supports sending money to countries such as Ghana, Pakistan, etc, which PayPal doesn't support.

PayPal charges you more for payments above $50, and it fluctuates based on the country. It means, higher the denomination, the higher the transaction fee (monetary loss). But, Payoneer keeps a minimal transaction fee in most cases.

Payoneer charges you with monthly fees and has certain limits on withdrawal of money. The limitation of sending money depends on currency to currency - for instance, Payoneer will not support monthly payments beyond $1,00,000.

  1. PingPong

Pingpong logo

Though PingPong isn't renowned, this rising financial aid is one of the worthy contenders in the fintech market. For freelancers, PingPong might be a jackpot in disguise because they offer multiple services under the umbrella of international payments processing at a highly competitive market rate(Upto 1%).

Helps in receiving the payments in USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, JPY, and AUD. And, later you can withdraw the funds in INR, EUR, USF, CAD, AUD, and JPY. It is a secure platform because it is sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India (a trusted financial institution/watchdog for India).

Like other platforms, PingPong also offers a conversion calculator that helps in understanding the conversion charge levied on the foreign remittance (this also helps you in converting the foreign currency into your local currency at the best market rate). It features an interactive dashboard as well, not as good as stripe’s but yes! It can do things.

International payments calculator by pingpong India

PingPong helps you to create a virtual bank account via PingPong in whichever country you are operating. It also provides the customer with a free digital Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC) on the PingPong dashboard.

  1. Skrill

Skrill logo

This UK-based international payment solution is a secure haven that facilitates transactions in more than 120 countries in 40 currency types. Though digital transactions are rising, the urge for cryptocurrency is also blooming.

Following the trend in the fintech industry, the digital wallet company has introduced 20 different types of cryptocurrencies. Apart from moving ahead with the trend, Skrill helps in easing the payment process at a feasible market rate (if you are in the US), but if you are operating from India then Skrill would levy a fee upto 4.99% on the foreign remittance.

Skrill international money transfer fees

Skrill allows you to link multiple cards and bank accounts, it makes the process easy and convenient as per your requirement, as you have a pool of options.

  1. Wise

Wise logo

Wise helps in solving the conversion dilemma as it supports transactions in the recipient's currency type. It operates in 50 kinds of currencies and charges only for conversion. It is easily accessible via mobile as it is available as apps for both android and iOs.

Wise mobile app

Wise also gives you the leverage to get a virtual Visa debit card and Mastercard, which would help you in lavish spending with zero transaction and low conversion cost.

Wise also provides other friendly features for freelancers to look after their savings and growth in one place.

  1. 2checkout

This international payment solution might also sound new to you, but it is also one of the best PayPal alternatives that just got submerged under renowned payment brands. It could be a better alternative for freelancers and bloggers especially.

Now 2checkout is known as Verifone

2checkout new logo, now verifone

2checkout also helps you in linking your credit/debit cards and bank accounts to accept payments. They also support recurring payment options, no more redundancy.

  1. Paytm

Paytm logo

This payment solution is known and used by many in the Indian market. Be it, daily users, shoppers, or retail merchants, Paytm has created a niche layer of the audience for itself. Paytm helps in bank transfer, but as the world is moving and people demand hassle-free payment mode; they prefer a single channel that is quick and easy to use.

Paytm could be a beneficial international payment tool for the freelancers in certain ways such as: asking for payment from the client via payment link (new provision by Paytm), after the client receives the link, he/she can opt for the type of payment – UPI, credit/debit card, net banking, wallet, etc.

This free sign-up international payment solution allows freelancers in India to check the transactions and download a detailed report. Moreover, it also helps in keeping checks and balances by analyzing the fundings and their month-on-month growth.

When you accept payment via Paytm, you can earn over 20,000 via payment links for free (no charges levied), but looking at the freelance industry, it pays more which means you will be liable to additional charges.


stripe logo

Stripe is an efficient and frequently used international payment solution that operates worldwide in more than 135 currency types.

Stripe charges a standard of 2.9% as the transaction fee with an additional $0.30 per transaction fee.

The best part of Stripe is their super interactive dashboard for different use cases:

Just like 2checkout, if you are having recurring payments, then Stripe is worth a shot.

Stripe dashboard

Moreover, Stripe has additional provisions for freelancers that not every platform provides, such as - digital invoices, e-signing, and drafting contracts.

These are a few international payment alternatives compared to PayPal. If it doesn't hurt you to pay less than 4% - 5% as forex, what is the harm in giving a try to the worthy pocket-friendly options?

Read mode: How to choose a good payment gateway