Paying remote employees, contractors, and freelancers can get complicated, especially when your team spans multiple countries and continents. There’s a lot to navigate.

Navigating the nuances of international transactions, currency conversions, and fee structures can be challenging. Luckily, there are several platform options to make online payroll processing for remote businesses easier.

This comprehensive guide delves into the comparative analysis of four popular payment options for remote employees: PayPal vs. Wise vs. Payoneer vs. Bitwage. 

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Differences between PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, and Bitwage

PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, and Bitwage all have their benefits and drawbacks. 

Here’s a handy chart you can use to compare these four payment platforms:

Mass PaymentsUp to 15,000 payments at a time through the APIYes, you can make payments to up to 500 payees at onceBatch payments up to 1,000 at a timeYes
Supported Countries200200+80100+
Supported Currencies 2515050+12
FeesPayPal fees are 1.9% to 3.5% of each transaction, plus a fixed fee of 5 cents to 49 cents
Receiving payments is free
Sending payments is free
Receiving payments incur a $3 fixed fee
Varies by country and currency; less than 1% of the payment amountFree wire and ACH transfers. Payroll funding: 0.5% + $0.50 (ACH debit), 3.5% + $0.30 (credit card). No fee for incoming ACH credits, $10 for incoming wires.

Overview of each tool

Paypal: Payments are widely used and trusted by businesses and individuals and have a fixed fee of around 2% on payroll payments. According to reviews, it suffers from inconsistent customer support quality.

Payoneer: doesn’t charge companies for payroll transfers but charges recipients a fixed fee of $3. However, businesses need to make at least $30,000 in monthly transfers to be eligible to use Payoneer’s Mass Payout service.

Wise: allows you to send up to 1,000 payments at a time and has low transaction fees — under 1% in most cases. The downside is that it’s only available in 70 countries. You’re out of luck if you have employees in one or more unsupported countries.

Bitwage: enables businesses to pay their employees in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is preferred in some parts of the world where the local currency might be unstable. However, funding payroll through Bitwage can be very costly, depending on your funding option.



PayPal is by far the most popular online payment service. PayPal Payouts is a convenient way to pay employees, contractors, and freelancers.

It is easy to receive payments and make bank transfers with PayPal. PayPal supports 200 countries and 25 currencies. You can send payments using your PayPal balance, bank accounts, debit cards, and credit cards. 

To start using PayPal Payouts, register for a PayPal account and add your payment method. When sending payments to employees, enter their email address or mobile phone number and add an optional note.  

Paypal enables domestic and international payments. You can send payments in a currency different from the recipient’s main currency. In these cases, PayPal will perform the currency conversion automatically. However, individual payments can’t exceed $20,000 or the equivalent in your local currency.

You can track the status of each payment in your account. PayPal can also notify you when your payments are sent successfully. 

PayPal fees are 1.9% to 3.5% of each transaction, plus a fixed fee of 5 cents to 49 cents. 

Your account stores detailed payout records you can download and import into your accounting software.

PayPal Payouts is suitable for a wide variety of big and small businesses looking to streamline their payroll process.

While PayPal’s mass payout service has many advantages, the security features occasionally cause issues. Some reviews mention frozen funds due to overzealous security algorithms. Others see customer support issues dragged out for weeks.


  • Widely used
  • Easy setup
  • Very secure payment option


  • Inconsistent customer support
  • Risk of getting funds frozen

Who it’s for

  • Companies that don’t need to send individual payments larger than $20,000

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Payoneer is a cross-border payment platform that supports more than 200 countries and 150 currencies. Businesses can use it to pay their employees without spending money on fees.

Instead of charging companies for payouts, Payoneer charges recipients an average transfer fee of $3.

With Payoneer accounts, employees can withdraw payments to their local bank account. Alternatively, they can register a Payoneer account and apply for a debit card.

Before using Payoneer to send money to your employees, you must create a Payoneer Mass Payout account. The only condition is that you must make at least $30,000 in monthly transfers.

Once you register an account, you can set up mass payouts using Payoneer’s Mass Payout API or by uploading a spreadsheet with payment instructions.


  • Funds transfer within minutes
  • Multiple options for recipients to withdraw their earnings
  • 24/7 support


  • Businesses must make at least $30,000 in monthly transfers to be eligible to use Payoneer’s Mass Payout service.

Who it’s for

  • Companies that are spending at least $30,000 per month on paying employees, freelancers, or contractors


Wise (formerly TransferWise)

Wise (previously known as TransferWise) became a popular payment platform in recent years, primarily due to its small transfer fees.

It offers a batch payments tool that businesses can use to send up to 1,000 payments simultaneously. All you need to do is create a Wise account, upload a spreadsheet with payment details, and make a single transfer to cover all the payments. Wise takes care of the rest.

You can speed up the process using built-in or custom-made templates. There’s also the option to automate your payroll with Wise’s API.

Transfer fees depend on monthly volume and vary by currency but are usually less than 1% of the transfer amount.

The platform integrates with accounting tools such as QuickBooks and Xero. This integration allows you to add your payroll records to your accounting software automatically.

Wise is currently available in 80 countries and supports more than 50 currencies.


  • Low transfer fees
  • Detailed support documentation
  • 24/7 customer support


  • Available in only 70 countries
  • Limited availability of Wise debit cards

Who it’s for

  • Businesses that have employees in Wise’s supported countries and are looking for a way to pay them without having to cover exorbitant transfer fees



Bitwage is a payroll platform that supports cryptocurrency payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), and USD Coin (USDC).

The USD Coin option is the most interesting one, considering that USDC is a stable cryptocurrency linked to the price of the U.S. dollar.

This USD coin option means that the value of the money you send won’t fluctuate between sending a payment and receiving it.

In some global communities, this has become the preferred way of paying employees and freelancers. This method helps address the economic impacts of fluctuating national currency values against the U.S. dollar.

After setting up a company account, businesses can invite their employees to join the platform. The next step is to upload a payroll spreadsheet and fund payroll using one of these options:

  • Wire transfer
  • ACH credit or debit
  • SEPA
  • Credit card

Payroll funding is free for wire and ACH credit transfers. They charge ACH debit and all credit card funding as follows:

  • ACH debit – 0.5% + $0.5 per payroll
  • Credit card – 3.5% + $0.3 per payroll

Employees receive their payments within 48 hours. Bitwage charges them $10 for incoming wires and no fees for incoming ACH credit.


  • Free payroll funding options
  • Quick transfers


  • No support for fiat currency payments
  • Limited support documentation

Who it’s for

  • Companies that want to offer their employees the option to get paid with cryptocurrency

Process payments seamlessly with Hubstaff Time

Easily pay your team with Payoneer, Bitwage, Wise, and more — all directly from Hubstaff.

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Automate payroll with Hubstaff

Hubstaff lets you track your employees’ work hours, generate detailed timesheets, and pay your team for their time. Opt for fixed or hourly rates and set different rates for each team member.

Hubstaff dashboard

You can process payroll automatically through Hubstaff’s integrations with PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, and Bitwage. Thanks to integrations with popular accounting solutions, Hubstaff also makes sure your books stay in order.

Want more great tips to help you manage your remote team? Check out these top articles:

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Category: Workforce Management