Jamaicans who use PayPal as an income stream have only one option to transfer this money to Jamaica – by requesting a cheque from PayPal and depositing it at a local bank. This process is long and tedious and, quite frankly, ridiculous in this modern age. It’s super easy to get and comes at a very low-cost, compared to the benefits.
The 81 Day Wait (The Old Way)Yes, 81 days. That’s how long it usually takes to get access to your money earned on PayPal when using commercial banks in Jamaica. After requesting a cheque at a cost of US$5.00 , which is usually approved within 4-6 business days, it takes a maximum of 45 days for them to mail the cheque to you. It then takes the bank 31 days to cash an international cheque, which must be deposited into an account. If you don’t have a bank account, no luck. Along with the long wait comes with our unreliable postal system and that PayPal charges an extra US$15 and 7 business days to cancel a cheque and put the money back into your account if it doesn’t arrive. NICE!
How would you like to bring that 81 day wait time down to 3 days? This is where Payoneer comes in.
Payoneer is an Internet-based financial services business that allows users to transfer money and receive payments through re-loadable prepaid MasterCard debit cards. (Source: Wikipedia)
Payoneer enables non-US residents to receive money from US companies. Their cards allow you to receive direct payments from clients, receive money earned through affiliate companies and transfer money between cards. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be focusing on their US Payment Service and how it fits in with PayPal.
The US Payment Service provides you with a US account and routing number to receive payments from US companies with which you work. Payments received to your US Payment Service account are loaded to your Payoneer card.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PAYONEER
How To Set It Up – 5 Easy Steps
Step 1 – Sign up for your Payoneer account CLICK HERE (That’s an affiliate link that gives us both $25 when you load your first $100 to your card). They will then review the information provided. Once they approve your application, Payoneer will mail you a MasterCard prepaid debit card. They will also give an estimated date of arrival (about a month’s time). This date is usually right – I got mine on the exact date it they told me it would arrive.
Step 2 – You will get an email requesting confirmation of your identity using a scan/photograph of your passport, driver’s license or national ID. Go ahead and fill those in. You will not be able to use the US Payment Service otherwise.
Step 3 – Once you get the card, activate it by logging into your account and inputting the card information and PIN.
Step 4 – Log into PayPal (I’m assuming you already have an account, if not, set one up), click on ‘Profile’, select ‘Add/Edit Bank Account’. Input the information from the US Payment Profile page of your Payoneer account (bank name, account number, routing number and account type). PayPal has indicated that they sometimes have some issues here, so if it doesn’t go through, don’t panic, just call PayPal and a customer service agent will help you.
Step 5 – Initiate a transfer from PayPal to Payoneer. You will get a notification from PayPal once the transfer is complete, typically after 2-3 days. That’s it! Your money is now on your card, which you can use at any ATM or point-of-sale location which accepts MasterCard worldwide.
FeesSetup is free. There are no costs to apply or receive your card.
There is an annual fee of US$29.95 deducted from the available balance each year. You should expect the first deduction to be made from your first transfer.
Payoneer charges a fee of 1% of the payment amount for each transfer from PayPal. You will not have to pay the above-mentioned US$5.00 to PayPal since bank account transfers are free, unlike cheque requests.
ATM withdrawals cost US$3.15 per transaction, along with the relevant local ATM fees and currency conversion fees. You will have to check with each bank individually for these. (While you’re at it, check out Gordon Swaby’s post on debit card charges for Jamaican banks.)
UPDATE: NCB ATMs don’t charge anything to withdraw cash but Scotia ATMs charge ~JMD$250. The card doesn’t seem to work with other bank ATMs.
Point-of-sale transactions (swiping your card) are free, however currency conversion charges up to 3% may apply. (MasterCard determines this but I’m not sure how, if anyone can help, please comment below with details.)
Fee chart available here.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PAYONEER
What You Need to KnowYou don’t need a local or international bank account to use Payoneer.
You can use your Jamaican address for registration and billing and for your PayPal account. No masking necessary.
The card is not a credit card! If you try to use it at an ATM without money on it, the machine may eat your card. There are also charges for checking balances and declined transactions at ATMs.
You can use your Payoneer card to buy things online just like you would use a credit card. Payoneer advises against using it for free trials, however, because if the trial period lapses and a company charges your card, you are liable for that payment.
There are no extra fees or charges for your card being inactive so I suggest you get it before you need it!
Get more Payoneer FAQs here.
Tips for Minimizing CostUse the card directly (point-of-sale) as much as possible, and avoid withdrawing cash. Although currency conversion charges are deducted in both instances, you will be eliminating withdrawal fees.
Select your ATM carefully since charges vary by bank.
UPDATE: Use NCB ATMs – they don’t charge any extra fees to withdraw Jamaican dollars and you get a better exchange rate than most cambios.
Withdraw the maximum amount you can when you use an ATM since the charge is a flat fee. This amount will be determined by the amount of money on your card, the ATM limit, or your card limit, whichever is lower.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR PAYONEER
If you have any experiences with using Payoneer, please share in the comments! Let’s work together to break the mould of extravagant charges and long wait times to get OUR money!
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