How I Lost Some Money Using Payoneer (Be warned)

Using Payoneer

How would you feel if you lost your hard-earned money because of a faulty system?

I believe you’ll freak out, won’t you?

Losing some money online feels like you’re being duped. It’s quite disheartening. When you’re expecting to get the right amount to deliver to your local bank account, but what you received is different. Way lower than your expectations.

And the worst thing, the company simply refuses to accept responsibility and point the mistake to others. Unbelievable.

I’ve been receiving money online from my clients to the middle man (payment gateway) and transfer it to my bank many many times. My bank never fails to amaze me with their service no matter what payment gateways I use.

Except for the culprit of my problem lately—Payoneer. I lost some money with them.

Now, who is Payoneer?

According to Wikipedia, it’s a financial services company that provides online money transfer, digital payment services and provides customers with working capital.

In simple terms, it’s an online payment gateway that functions as a receiver or middle man when someone sends money internationally (or locally). Payoneer is a competitor of Payal—the most prominent online payment service.

I did not plan to use Payoneer anymore but…

My client messed up one time her PayPal account and told me if she can use Payoneer this time while she’s still fixing her account. I opened up a Payoneer account right away as if the queen of England bade the request.

All things work for the first and second time using Payoneer, besides occasionally, I almost ran out of patience when the money took too long to arrive in my bank account.

Being a family man, I have too many bills to catch up on. Late payment is like a bad omen.

You can’t tell the electric company, the water company, the internet company, and credit card companies, “hey wait, Payoneer is too slow. Give me some leeway. It’s not my fault. I really want to pay.”

No, you can’t tell them that. And I can’t tell them too.

Because deadlines are deadlines. And they will haunt you down to pay or else they’ll cut your lights, your internet, and your water till you settle your obligations to them.

Which I must avoid at all costs the worst-case scenario: for my family’s sake.

Payoneer is too slow. Especially when you’re used to receiving a payment from your clients fast, using other money transfer services. For example, PayPal and Remitly.

For Payoneer, you will inevitably complain and swear and grumble because you still have not gotten your money.

Whoo Payoneer. Their royal service. Tsk. Tsk. Never change.

The process of Payoneer 

1. You create a payment request – This is where you create a simple invoice, send the exact amount to your client, and once she receives it, she’ll use that link to pay you.
2. You receive the payment – Once the client pays you, Payoneer will notify via email that the client paid the amount. TAKE NOTE: The money is still pending or floating in the air. It means, it’s not yet in your account; they say, you have to wait as they need to validate your client’s money, which for me a bloated process. Unnecessary. I find it absurd. 
This is not the same as other payment gateways like Remitly and Payoneer. Once they notify you the invoice has been paid, that money is indeed in your account, and you’re ready to move it out and transfer to your bank account.
3. Wait for the money to arrive – As I mentioned, the money is still floating. You have to wait until the money appears in your Payoneer account. This requires 1 to 2 days again of waiting. This is the kind of process that should have been skipped, as other payment gateways are not implementing it. Are you there Payoneer? You should cut, remove, repel, smash this step.
4. The money arrives – At last the money is in. Probably 1 to 3 days waiting since the day you were notified an invoice has been paid.
5. Transfer the money to your local bank account to enjoy it – Your next move is to transfer it immediately to your local bank account. You get excited this time to treat your family to a nice restaurant. Or perhaps you watch movies together in a cinema, and especially to pay your non-negotiable bills.

Sadly, you have to wait again for more days. Like 2 to 5 business days. As Payoneer said so.

6. Voila! The money is IN your bank account – Now, you are happy. You can withdraw the money and use it.

Total days waiting? 5 to 10 days. They said they implemented a change. Have your account verified and make the process faster. What? I’m still not verified even I provided all my sensitive information when I opened a Pioneer account? But because I wanted a faster service, I went in and verified my account. Again.

But no effect. Lies. I received my money still on Jan 2nd, 2020.

Even there were four business days at that time in between Christmas and New Year.

How I lost some money?

It’s the most unexpected, hurtful and cruel, unkind and distressing when I lost my money intended for savings or use it for the Christmas holidays. No matter how small, it still hurt.

My client sent me a $200 Christmas bonus on December 24th. It should’ve been in my account right away. But no, I still have to wait even I have a verified account. It’s still pending.

Payoneer account

On Dec 26th, the money emerged. Then, I transferred it immediately to my bank account.

There’s a Payoneer charge of $12. I only received $188. Another charge $4.12 for local bank transfer (I thought they’re cheaper. The total charge is the same charge I got with PayPal and Remitly if we based it on $200 threshold money transfer).

My US agency who sent the money does not usually shoulder the cost for the online transfer, as agreed in our contract.

It’s my fault to use Payoneer when my client asked me which payment gateway to use this time to send my bonus.

I said, “Payoneer because it has lesser fees as PayPal is charging high as usual.”

Lesser fees convinced me to try Payoneer again. Even they’re slow to send the funds. I thought they will behaved like the way they were before. They claimed also to use market standard conversion rates.

It’s their wow marketing. It hooked me more.

Now, here’s the sad part.

Do you know how much I got after I transported the money to my bank? It’s only P6,772.41. And do you know how much did Payoneer customer service rep say should I receive then when I called? It’s P9,300. I lost some money around $50. Another, the bank charged me as well for P526.90 ($10.54), which I never ever experience with other payment gateways.

If there is, normally the transfer fees are only P50($1). Overall, there are more charges going on.

Does Payoneer have a good relationship with my bank why it charges too high?

bank account

So I lost P2527.59 (At least $50) in Philippine money. Is it big or not?

For some of you, this is not big money to loathe for. I know. But a majority who work online and plan to use this money on Christmas season for their families, they would feel the same way I believe.

Imagine this: what if I transferred $800 (usual income) and lost 20% or 50% or worst 100%? And Payoneer customer support all can say is “call your bank” How would you feel again?

Let’s say, you already contacted them several times, and all they do is blaming your bank again and again and again. They play ping-pong with you. And you can’t win because they are the better cheater. I mean, the better player.

It’s disgusting, right?

I firmly believe the bank has nothing to do with this.

For over two years, I have been transferring money from other payment gateways. And I have no issues at all. Do you think the bank is at fault here?

I don’t think so.

The bank will only receive whatever the specific amount sent to them. That’s the truth. It’s automatic. System generated.

Let’s go back to the Payoneer process to know where the bad magic occurred

In step #5, transferring money to your local bank account, this is where the bad magic happens. Remember that amount still in dollars in your Payoneer account, right?

Once you transfer the amount, you don’t know how much the exact amount in Philippine money will be transferred to your bank. Why? Because it won’t tell you in local currency. You only guess and estimate and your calculator will become useless.

It’s where their system can do some magic tricks.

Their reason: “Hey! we use up-to-date standard conversion rates and you know, the rates are fluctuating every day, every hour, every second.”

Fine. Hands up. If that’s the case, we obey. 

What do you think we can do this time? Pray and hope that bad magic will not prevail.

Pray the amount you receive is higher. Pray the expected amount should be there soon without delay. Pray that everything will be alright in 3-5 days business days waiting.

Wohh. Breathe. Meditate. Pray.

If there are holidays like Christmas and New Year, you’re out of luck. You have to wait for more days and wait till next year. Just like what happened to me.

It’s different when you use other payment gateways like PayPal or Remitly

You would know exactly the amount you’re expecting to have, as they have standard conversion rates in Philippine money. Though lower, but it’s better when it’s guaranteed. Crystal clear amount. No hidden fees. No surprises.

And once you click transfer to your local bank, it’s easy to discover the discrepancy (if there is) and to analyze who’s at fault when something goes wrong.

Unlike Payoneer, you have to call them why the amount you receive is lower or too low and need to ask them how much is it in their system.

They’ll tell you the amount is higher compared to your genius computations. Shucks.

It added more fire to your burning issue.

But why, oh why, the amount they said did not match with what you received in your bank account?

Their answer: “I’ll create a ticket for you, sir/ma’am,” and wait for 2 to 3 days for their response. A few days later, they replied in the email, “Yada.yada.yada.yada.yada.yada.” If I could sum it all up in six simple words (not counting the apostrophe), it says like this, “Call you bank they’re at guilty”!”

Too bad! They wash hands!

And when you call your bank a hundred times, the same explanation goes; they only receive the amount any third party sent.

Now, who’s stealing your money? Who’s telling the truth? Who messed up your money?

The bank or Payoneer?

You’d use your bank before many times, and they never disappoint you. Except when you use Payoneer this time. Frustration. Frustration. Frustration. And LIES.

Obviously, I lost my trust in using Payoneer. Enough!

Payoneer never resolved my issue. I called and chatted and emailed their customer support many times I could no longer remember and all they say, “call your bank”. Sometimes, they lie to you that they will call your bank on your behalf just to pacify you.

But they never did. This is double jeopardy.

They messed up your money, and they lie to you. It’s like they put alcohol (lie) directly to your bleeding wounds (issue). And it’s more painful to feel.

I’m not in any way insinuating that Payoneer is a complete idiot to all their customers. To use Payoneer or not, I leave it all to you. This is just a warning that you might lose some money too when you use their service. 

Others are still using Payoneer today. They’re okay with the delay (long wait before the money arrives), and they’re lucky Payoneer has never been an idiot to them. Like messing up their hard-earned money.

It’s not only me

Yes, it’s not only me who lost some money. When I checked online and see if others experience the same thing, lo and behold, we sing the same chorus (and future victims will sing our chorus too).

I thought my case was just an exception. An exception that it was unresolved. An exception that I was too dumb to be fooled by them. An exception of getting their sucky service as I am a lowly poor fellow. Not a big Payoneer customer.

Again, it’s all up to you now.

It’s a risk you take. I have to go back now to the company I’ve used to. Though their fees a bit bigger compared with Payoneer or Remitly, at least it’s faster (one business day), transparent, and undeniably reliable.

They are more online payment gateways. But I haven’t tried them yet (research first before you use their services).

But what happened to me, it’s still all my fault. I risk using Payoneer and shit happened to me. In order to avoid this shitty situation again, I deleted Payoneer in my life. As in, control+alt+delte, just to make sure. Kidding aside.

It’s the same thing as your bf/gf who cheated on you, never apologize, and accept responsibility for his/her actions. What are you going to do with him/her? Start over again? No way! Of course, you will dump and condemn and lambaste him/her.

And the next best thing to do is to tell others that your bf/gf is a jerk, right? It’s what I’m doing today.

Yes, BE WARNED. Payoneer might be a jerk or even an idiot to you too.

I know you don’t want to repeat my shit. But if you’re still hard-headed and want to go with them as you don’t have any other options, be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

I hope you’re doing okay with them. That’s all.

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Marleo Enobio

Marleo is a work-at-home father. He blogs about his journey towards learning how to code and some online opportunities and tech news. When he's not working or doing anything online, he spends time with his family and serve a Christian community. He lives in General Santos City, Philippines.

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