There are many important aspects of your work as an Amazon seller including the sourcing of product, customer service and packaging and delivery. Although many Amazon sellers genuinely enjoy their work, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting paid. For Amazon sellers, there are two options for payment: Payoneer and Worldfirst – both respected money transfer organizations used to quickly and safely receive payments. Here, we examine the two methods of payment used by Amazon and list the pros and cons of each.

Why do Amazon sellers need to use Payoneer or Worldfirst to receive payments?

In the USA, it is possible to receive Amazon payments directly into a US bank account, however, this is not always straight-forward and, is not available to everybody in every country.
In order to receive payments straight into your bank, you need an account with a 9 digit ACH routing number plus a valid credit card (or major debit card) which Amazon will hold on file. Unless you expect to make a large amount of revenue, this avenue is rarely cost-effective. For most sellers, using a money transfer service is the cheapest and most efficient way of receiving funds as well as the Amazon recommended method.

A money transfer service, also known as a dedicated international money transfer provider, is a company which provides an account to its members into which payments can be made. As an Amazon seller, payments for your products are paid into your money transfer service account and, once cleared, you are able to either make payments from the account or withdraw funds into your own bank account.

There are a number of advantages of using a money transfer service including:

Security – these accounts limit the number of people with access to your personal or business bank account details. These services also offer security to Amazon with new sellers as they are established and well respected.
Conversion – your funds are automatically converted from the currency of the sending company into your receiving currency.
Exchange rates – with many money transfer services you can opt to hold the funds in a particular currency while you monitor the exchange rate. This allows you to choose when conversion takes place, thereby maximizing the amount received.
For example, say you’ve sold a product to a customer in London and they make payment to your transfer service in British pounds. If desired, you could then hold the funds in your account in pounds while you monitor local exchange rates and, then, exchange into US dollars when the time is right.

There are a number of different money transfer services available to Amazon sellers and it’s worth shopping around as many charge quite high fees on receipt of each payment, something that can quickly eat into your product.

As with many things, there are also a number of fake money transfer services out there just waiting to take your money. Before committing yourself to a money transfer company, there are a few things you can do to check that they are legitimate:

  1. Check that they have a physical address and telephone number
  2. Call the number to see if a professional sounding employee answers
  3. Check out forums and groups to see what others have to say – in most cases, a quick internet search will throw up red flags if the company is not real

How do you choose a money transfer service?

Depending on the volume and type of product you are selling, there are a few factors to consider including:

Does the company charge a percentage fee per payment received?
Does the company cover all of the countries I need it to?
Does the company have special rules on exchange rates?
Does the company offer reward or incentive schemes to members?

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Payoneer And Worldfirst – The comparison

Although some choose to sign up with more than one money transfer service in order to take advantage of different benefits, amongst Amazon sellers, Payoneer and Worldfirst are the two most recognized companies used to receive payments on Amazon and from the USA and UK.

The following is a guide to help you decide between these two money transfer giants.

Payoneer

Based in London’s square mile and New York City, Payoneer was launched in 2005 as a money transfer operation and soon gained popularity with Amazon sellers for the receipt of payments. Payoneer allows sellers to receive payment via ACH transfers and SEPA transfers straight into your Payoneer account from where you can draw funds into your own bank account (think a more sophisticated version of PayPal).

Registering with Payoneer is refreshingly straightforward but does take up to three weeks for approval so make sure you begin your registration with plenty of time before you intend to begin receiving payments. To register, you just need to use the online form on the Payoneer website and enter your details. The form will then ask you to upload your proof of identity and proof of address in order to verify your identity for processing. As mentioned, the process will generally take between two and three weeks, after which, if approved, you will receive a Payoneer MasterCard. You can then use the MasterCard to activate your Payoneer account online.

Once your Payoneer account is up and running, you can register the details including card number on Amazon in order to begin receiving payments. Like Paypal and other money management/transfer services, Payoneer is not free to use. There is a statutory annual fee of $29.95 for the service and, a percentage is charged on each payment received at the following rates:

● 1% of each payment received through Payoneer
● 1% of each payment made using the Payoneer Debit MasterCard
● 2.75% foreign currency exchange rate to transfers/withdrawal of funds to your local currency

Note: Payments received in CNY will be held in Payoneer accounts in CNH due to current Chinese regulations.

Pros
● Easy to register and use

● The MasterCard system is convenient for sellers who also wish to make payments as well as receive them

● Foreign transaction fees are minimized

Cons

● Some users report a high rate of unauthorized transactions being made from their Payoneer account
● In cases such as unauthorized access, Payoneer will charge $12.95 for a new MasterCard which will take up to three weeks to arrive – extremely inconvenient for a busy seller.
● Inefficient system prone to crashes and issues

Worldfirst

UK based money transfer firm, Worldfirst, who claim to make over a million money transfers every year, began trading in 2007. Heavily geared toward Amazon sellers, Worldfirst specializes in low-cost foreign currency transactions. Worldfirst has a number of offices globally and an account manager is assigned to each office to ensure personal and efficient customer service for big companies or individual Amazon sellers.

The Worldfirst website is clear to understand and easy to use. A simple online registration form offers three options including an online seller option. The system expertly guides newcomers through the process to get them up and running as quickly as possible. Once you’ve entered your details you’ll be asked to verify your identity by uploading documents to the site.
You also have the option to forward documents by post although this will, of course, take longer. On average, it takes less than two weeks for your Worldfirst account to be up and running.

As with Payoneer, Worldfirst charges fees, however, this is not for all transactions fees for use of the service range from just 1% of the payment received to 2.75% depending on the amount received and from where.

Pros

● Low rates for Amazon sellers
● Personal service from local Account Managers
● Efficient service with few system crashes and glitches

Cons
● No debit or credit card supplied with the account
● Worldfirst is currently only available in 8 countries worldwide

Although both well-respected transfer companies, there are a few notable differences between Payoneer and Worldfirst.

Which payment method is preferred to Amazon sellers?

For the budget-conscious seller, the fact that Payoneer takes a commission of 1% from all monies received can be problematic as opposed to Worldfirst whose fees are much lower and are on a more realistic scale dependent on the amount received and where it’s received from.

When paying for suppliers, the Payoneer debit card often needs to be linked to a Paypal account resulting in further charges.

Payoneer’s high level of system crashes and incidences of unauthorized access are a great worry to many account holders.

Although Worldfirst does not supply a debit card, payments to suppliers through Worldfirst are relatively straightforward as is drawing monies from the Worldfirst account to a bank account.

On the whole, in terms of customer service, efficiency and value for money, Worldfirst seems to come out on top for many users.

Having said that, because both companies do have their pros and cons, a number of Amazon sellers choose to hold accounts with both whereby they primarily receive funds into Worldfirst and then transfer small amounts to Payoneer in order to make use of the debit card facility.

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