Paying remote employees, contractors and freelancers can get complicated, especially when your team spans multiple countries and continents. There’s a lot to navigate.\nLuckily, there are several platform options to make online payroll processing for remote businesses easier.\nThis guide looks at four popular virtual payment platforms (PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, and Bitwage) and discusses their pros, cons, and recommended use cases.\nDifferences between PayPal, Payoneer, Wise, and Bitwage (fees and comparison chart)\nPayPal, Payoneer, Wise, and Bitwage all have their pros and cons. Depending on your business, one might be a better or worse option for you.\nPayPal is widely used and trusted by both businesses and individuals and has a fixed fee of 2% on payroll payments. According to reviews, it does suffer from inconsistent quality of customer support.\nOn the other hand, Payoneer doesn’t charge companies for payroll transfers but rather charges recipients a fixed fee of $3. However, businesses need to be making at least $30,000 in transfers every month to be eligible to use Payoneer’s Mass Payout service.\nWise 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. If you have employees in one or more unsupported countries, you’re out of luck.\nFinally, Bitwage enables businesses to pay their employees in cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a preferred option in some parts of the world where the local currency might be unstable. However, funding payroll through Bitwage can be very costly, depending on which funding option you use.\nHere’s a handy chart you can use to compare these four payment platforms:\n\nPayPal\n\nPayPal is by far the most popular online payment service. PayPal Payouts is a convenient way to pay employees, contractors, and freelancers.\nIt supports 180 countries and 24 currencies.\nTo start using PayPal Payouts, register for a business account. When sending payments to employees, enter their email address or mobile phone number and add an optional note.\nYou 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.\nYou can track the status of each payment in your account. PayPal can also notify you when your payments are sent successfully.\nWith PayPal Payouts, businesses pay a 2% fee for each payment they make. Recipients don’t pay any fees.\nYour account stores detailed payout records that you can download and import into your accounting software.\nPayPal Payouts is suitable for a wide variety of big and small businesses looking for a way to streamline their payroll process.\nWhile PayPal’s mass payout service has plenty of 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.\nPros\n\nWidely used\nEasy setup\nVery secure payment option\n\nCons\n\nInconsistent customer support\nRisk of getting funds frozen\n\nWho it’s for\n\nCompanies that don’t need to send individual payments larger than $20,000\n\nIntegrate PayPal and Hubstaff for easy automatic paymentsFree for 14 Days\nPayoneer\n\nPayoneer is a cross-border payment platform that supports more than 200 countries and 150 currencies. Businesses can use it to pay their employees without having to spend money on fees.\nInstead of charging companies for payouts, Payoneer charges recipients an average transfer fee of $3.\nEmployees can withdraw payments to their local bank account. Alternatively, they can register a Payoneer account and apply for a debit card.\nBefore you can start using Payoneer to pay your employees, you must create a Payoneer Mass Payout account. The only condition is that you need to make at least $30,000 in transfers every month.\nOnce you register an account, you’ll be able to set up mass payouts using Payoneer’s Mass Payout API or by uploading a spreadsheet with payment instructions.\nPros\n\nFunds transfer within minutes\nMultiple options for recipients to withdraw their earnings\n24\/7 support\n\nCons\n\nBusinesses need to be making at least $30,000 in transfers every month to be eligible to use Payoneer’s Mass Payout service.\n\nWho it’s for\n\nCompanies that are spending at least $30,000 per month on paying employees, freelancers, or contractors\n\nWise\n\nWise (previously known as TransferWise) became a popular payment platform in recent years, primarily due to its small transfer fees.\nIt offers a batch payments tool businesses can use to send up to 1,000 payments at a time. All you need to do is upload a spreadsheet with payment details and make a single transfer to cover all the payments. Wise takes care of the rest.\nYou 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.\nTransfer fees depend on monthly volume and vary by currency but are in most cases less than 1% of the transfer amount.\nThe platform integrates with accounting tools such as QuickBooks and Xero. This integration allows you to add your payroll records to your accounting software automatically.\nWise is currently available in 70 countries and supports more than 40 currencies.\nPros\n\nLow transfer fees\nDetailed support documentation\n24\/7 customer support\n\nCons\n\nAvailable in only 70 countries\nLimited availability of Wise debit cards\n\nWho it’s for\n\nBusinesses that have employees in Wise’s supported countries and are looking for a way to pay them without having to cover exorbitant transfer fees\n\nBitwage\n\nBitwage is a payroll platform that supports cryptocurrency payments in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), and USD Coin (USDC).\nThe USD Coin option is the most interesting one, considering that USDC is a stable cryptocurrency linked to the price of the U.S. dollar.\nThis USD coin option means that the value of the money you send won’t fluctuate between sending a payment and receiving it.\nIn 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.\nAfter 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:\n\nWire transfer\nACH credit or debit\nSEPA\nCredit card\n\nPayroll funding is free for wire and ACH credit transfers. They charge ACH debit and all credit card funding as follows:\n\nACH debit – 0.5% + $0.5 per payroll\nCredit card – 3.5% + $0.3 per payroll\n\nEmployees receive their payments within 48 hours. Bitwage charges them $10 for incoming wires and no fees for incoming ACH credit.\nPros\n\nFree payroll funding options\nQuick transfers\n\nCons\n\nNo support for fiat currency payments\nLimited support documentation\n\nWho it’s for\n\nCompanies that want to offer their employees the option to get paid with cryptocurrency\n\nIntegrate Payoneer, Bitwage, or TransferWise and Hubstaff for seamless paymentsFree for 14 Days\nAutomate payroll with Hubstaff\nHubstaff enables you to 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.\n\nYou 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.\nWant more great tips to help you manage your remote team? Check out these top articles:\n\nThe 15 Best Remote Work Software Tools\nEasy Freelancer Payment Methods\nEverything You Need to Know About Remote Communication\n\nThis post was originally published in November 2015. It was updated in March 2020 and May 2021.