Best 7 ways to withdraw your money as a Nigerian Freelancer in 2022

Freelancing has been around for a while. It has saved lives and it continues to save lives, especially in our country where the unemployment rate keeps going up every day. According to Statista, it forecasted that the unemployment rate this year may reach 33%. This will continue to rise as more people troop into the labor market. Personally, freelancing has helped me over the years and as someone who hasn’t been lucky to get a job with his certificate, I know how amazing freelancing can be.

According to Payoneer, Africa has 10.1% freelancers and when compared to Europe 35%, Asia 21%, Latin America 21.1%, it shows we have a long way to go before we get to the peak of freelancing. Currently, Africa’s freelancer’s ratio is only better than North America’s 4.1% and the Middle East’s 1% in the standings.

Though there are many challenges associated with the low representation of African freelancers such as poor electricity supply, bad internet connection, discrimination, poor remuneration, and the likes, the inability of freelancers to withdraw their funds is a huge turnoff.

It is one thing to start earning as a freelancer, it is another to be able to have access to your hard-earned money when you need it. I remembered when I started freelancing, one of my challenges then was how to get my money out. When I made my first dollar online, I found it challenging withdrawing from Fiverr and at the end of the day, I had to use the money for another thing on the Fiverr platform apart from withdrawing.

Like me, there are thousands of freelancers out there in 2022 looking for ways to get their money from clients in freelance marketplaces, social media pages, job listings, and other avenues. If you are among these freelancers, this blog post is for you. This is a list of some hacks that I have worked for me over time and others that are working for others.

1. PayPal

PayPal is one of the ways you can withdraw your freelance earnings. However, as a Nigerian, it is difficult to operate a PayPal account that can receive funds. This is because Paypal doesn’t allow Nigerians to own an account officially but some people create accounts unofficially. So you may end up losing your funds to Paypal limitation if you are not able to verify your account with your original details.

There are several freelancers I know who have used Paypal to withdraw their funds, especially from Freelance marketplaces but most times, they cry at the end! I have used Paypal to withdraw my funds one or two times too through an intermediary but it’s not worth it in the end. It’s not worth it because apart from the high risk involved, the rate is very poor. Paypal exchangers buy PayPal funds as low as #400/$ and as high as #450. Any rate higher than this is probably a scam you should avoid.

Pros:

Easy to use

Cons:

Very risky as you can lose your funds to the platform

Full of scam as you can lose your fund to the exchangers

It is not a platform Nigerians can use.

2. Payoneer

Payoneer is probably the best way to withdraw your earnings as a Nigerian freelancer. Since I started using Payoneer to withdraw my funds, I haven’t looked for another option. It is easy to use and set up and they accept more than 200 countries on their platform including Nigeria. They also have one of the best customer representatives around.

There are different ways to withdraw your money with Payoneer and they are as follows:

Local Bank:

You can withdraw your earnings to your local bank account on Payoneer with no stress. All you have to do is set it up and you are ready. In this payment method, the rate is usually low because funds are exchanged according to the official exchange rate of the receiving country’s bank.

Exchanger:

There are people in Nigeria that buy your dollar and give you naira instead. You just need to send your funds to the Payoneer account they give to you. To be eligible to do this, you need to have withdrawn at least $1000 from any freelance marketplace to your Payoneer account. In this arrangement, you can sell one USD between #500-#580 which is a much better rate compared to other ways.

Dorm Account:

If you don’t want to use either the local bank or the exchanger option, you can make use of the Dorm account option to withdraw your freelance earnings. You need to open a dorm account with any bank of your choice but I strongly advise opening Access, GTB, or Heritage Bank Dorm accounts.

Opening a Payoneer account is seamless and you will be done within 30 minutes. You only need to have a valid ID which can be any International Passport, National ID Card, or driver’s license for your verification.

For Payoneer, the only con I see there is that you need to have sent at least $1000 to the account before you can activate the make a payment option which will enable you to send your funds to exchangers.

If you are just starting your freelance game, I highly encourage you to make use of Payoneer to withdraw your funds. Sign up for an account now and you will get $25 immediately!

3. Upwork Direct Contract

For freelancers who have clients off the marketplace, an easy way to get payment from your client is the fairly new Upwork Direct contract feature. The Upwork Direct Feature was originally designed for freelancers off their platform to get payment from clients off the platform for minimum charges. To be eligible to use this feature, you or your client must not have an account on the platform. You only need your client to give you an email not registered on the platform and you are good to go. I have used this feature consistently and I have gotten payment of close to $1000 from my clients most of whom I met through Twitter.

Don’t wait again. Start using the Direct contract feature to get payments from your clients.

4. Grey Fx

Grey FX is formerly Aboki Africa and it is easily one of the best ways to get your money out at a high rate. It is simple to set up and use for every freelancer. You only need to have a valid means of identification to verify your account to be certified to use the platform.

5. Flutterwave

Flutterwave is a payment platform that can be utilized by freelancers to get their payments from clients around the world. You only need to generate an invoice from your app and send it to your client and within moments you get your money.

The only stress in using this is that you need to pass the identity verification process. And for the experience you will get, I believe this is worth every stress.

6. Cryptocurrency

We are in the world of cryptocurrency globally even though some countries don’t want to agree with it. This doesn’t stop the fact that a lot of freelancers leverage this to get payment from their clients. You can get paid through popular coins like bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and others and then convert them to any form you want it. To use this option, you need to have basic knowledge about cryptocurrency and how to navigate the platforms.

7. Transferwise

If you don’t want to give exchangers anything out of your money, then Transferwise is the ideal option for you. This platform has an amazing rate and it is one of the best options for every Nigerian Freelancer. One of the greatest advantages of using Transferwise is that it will help you eliminate all charges you will probably get from using other platforms.

Presently, transferwise support more than 700 country’s currency and tend to at least 6 countries in Africa including Nigeria. If you are looking to get your money out easily as a freelancer, then you should consider using transferwise.

Conclusion

It is not enough to work as a freelancer. If you are not able to withdraw your funds, then the process is not complete. This post contains several options but the best is the Payoneer method which has different ways of withdrawal. You can also get the Payoneer Mastercard which can be used anywhere where the US dollar is spent.

Conclusively, if you are a Nigerian freelancer, you can try any of the methods outlined above. If you are having any issue with withdrawing your funds after working, you should speak up to your community. Also, you can always reach out to me here if you have any questions on this or freelancing in general. I will be glad to help.

PS:

I respond to email faster: talk2freelancerpeng@gmail.com

I wish you a fantastic and productive freelance journey.

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