In recent years, there have been significant changes to how we work. For instance, rapid technological advancements have made it possible for us to work from anywhere in the world. In addition, the rise of the gig economy platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have shown that it is possible for people to work flexibly and still continue to earn a decent income. Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed towards mass acceptance of the flexible work culture.
A combination of these factors resulted in the rapid growth of the freelance community in India and across the world. In 2020, India was home to 15 million freelancers, a number that has grown exponentially. Also, India was the second fastest growing freelance community in the world. In the same year, the freelance community in the US contributed a whopping $1.2 trillion to the economy. Put simply, freelancing is very much here to stay.
One of the reasons behind the rapid rise of freelancing from India is that Indian freelancers are not just in demand domestically, they are also sought after internationally. India is a great place for foreign companies to find high quality and affordable talent. That said, while foreign clients might offer attractive pay, collecting payments from foreign clients has been a constant struggle for Indian freelancers.
To help simplify the foreign payment collection process for Indian freelancers, we have come up with a list of four options to choose from.
Vested Money allows you to open a digital and zero-cost US Dollar Account from India. You can use this account to easily receive USD from anywhere in the world. Just provide your account number and routing number to the client and they can transfer the funds as though it were a local transaction.
Once the funds are in your account, you can either invest them in the US markets, spend them using a virtual or physical card, or convert them into INR at attractive forex rates.
Join our waitlist to get early access to the product.
PayPal is a leading payments processing company based in the US. Clients can transfer money to your PayPal account using just your email. However, PayPal charges high fees for payment collections and conversion to local currency. The firm charges around 3% or more for payment collections, and another 2%-3% for FX conversions. The fund transfer also takes many days to process.
Payoneer is an international payment collection that allows you to open virtual accounts online. Clients can transfer funds in these accounts as though they were making local payments. The downside of these accounts is that you cannot use the funds for multiple purposes such as investing or spending. Also, similar to Paypal, you would pay significant transaction fees. Clients who are not on Payoneer may also need to fork out 1%-3% to make payments to you. Conversion to INR and withdrawals to India could cost another 2%-3%.
Direct SWIFT wire to Indian bank
You have the option to receive payments directly to your Indian bank account via SWIFT transfers. This is the most inefficient process. Firstly, you will need to provide additional documentation to the banks to get the funds cleared. In addition, the client will have to pay a wire fee which ranges from $20 to $50 and you will pay a 2%-3% forex conversion fee to the Indian bank.
Ok, so that was a summary of the different options you have as a freelancer to collect funds from international clients. Thanks for reading!