One issue you will have to grapple with, as a person keen on getting established as a freelancer, is that of receiving your earnings. Experience has shown that the most frequently asked question by people who are considering freelancing careers is the one as to how they are to get paid for their services. Luckily, advances in technology and the liberalization of the banking systems in most countries have made this less of a concern than it would have been several decades ago. Today, you shouldn’t have major difficulties receiving your earnings as a freelancer, unless you live in one of those countries with closed or tightly controlled banking systems. Even then, it should still be possible for you to somehow (and legally) receive your earnings.
Some of the options open to you, as a freelancer, in terms of how you can receive your earnings include:
- Through the respective freelancing sites’ (in-house) payment systems: Most of the freelancing sites that match freelancers with clients also tend to have payment systems that the freelancers can make use of. The good thing with these systems is that they are usually designed with escrows, which you can take advantage of to avoid being defrauded as a freelancer. Some of the freelancing sites are willing to subsequently wire the funds directly into the freelancers’ bank accounts. Others use intermediaries (like PayPal and Skrill/MoneyBookers) to eventually transfer the actual funds to the clients.
- Through PayPal: You can get into an agreement with your clients, to have them transfer the funds you earn directly into your PayPal account. You need to be aware of the fact that some freelancing sites have policies against these sorts of transfers, and you can be banished for engaging in them. But if the freelancing site you work on has nothing against the use of PayPal, you can make use of this money transfer system, and eventually withdraw the funds from an ATM, using a debit or a credit card.
- Through Skrill (MoneyBookers): The workings of this funds transfer system are not very different from those of PayPal, save for the fact that its fees are different and the fact that you can receive funds through Skrill/MoneyBookers in places/countries where use of PayPal would have been impossible.
- Through Payza: The workings of Payza are not substantially different from those of PayPal and MoneyBookers/Skrill. The fee structures and some of the terms and conditions may, however, be different. Having three almost similar funds transfer systems gives you freedom of choice.
- Through Western Union: you can negotiate with your clients, to have them send you funds through the Western Union system. This is not a mainstream arrangement, but some clients don’t mind it (especially if you are a truly good freelancer). The good thing with Western Union is that you don’t need a bank account or a credit/debit card to withdraw the funds sent to you through it. It is also possible to use it to transfer funds to countries where other payment systems would be impractical to use.
- Through MoneyGram: this is designed to operate along the same general lines the payment system we have just looked at (Western Union), but with differences in fees and some of the terms and conditions.