Last editedFeb 20233 min read
Getting paid as a freelancer has never been easier and you no longer need to rely on inconvenient and time-consuming bank transfers or cheques. Here we will highlight six of the best freelance payment methods, though which one is the outright best will depend on each individual and their circumstances.
The best payment options for freelancers described below include:
Top freelance payment portals
The following freelance payment portals all offer something different, but making it easy to accept payments remains their core offering. Depending on your exact circumstance, a particular service may be more suitable for you than another, for example:
if you need to keep transaction fees down
if you need to accept payment internationally
if you need additional features beyond the ability to accept payments
Keep reading to find your best payment method for freelancers:
PayPal is a payment gateway that always comes up in the conversation about the best payment method for freelancers as it is a quick and easy way for clients to make payments. It is well known all around the world and thus very likely to be an acceptable form of payment for freelance work. A fee is paid per payment into your PayPal account, though it is free to transfer money from your PayPal account to your bank account.
If paying fees for transactions isn’t viable for you, then Google Pay might be the answer. Created by the unification of Android Pay and Google Wallet in 2018, Google Pay is potentially one of the most convenient payment options for freelancers. However, it has limited online payment partners so some clients may prefer another payment method.
Some freelancers may find that simple bank transfers work best. The upsides to use bank transfers are that they're free, and they can be initiated straight from the paying bank account, so you don't need to get set up with any software. The downside lies in how manual they are - you are reliant on the client triggering the payment. If they're busy or behind on their payments admin, you could be waiting a while.
GoCardless offers a bank payment service that always gets you paid on time and is more affordable and more secure than accepting card payments. You can easily accept one-off and recurring payments, and both can be done very easily from your client's point of view, by sending them a payment request link via email, text, or hosting it on your website. Using our Instant Bank Pay feature, you receive instant confirmation when your client authorises the payment through an easy-to-use flow on their device, then the funds arrive in your account shortly afterwards.
Additional features include the online merchant dashboard, which makes it easy to set payments up in just a few clicks, invoice creation, and the ability to save time on payment admin by automating payment collection and reconciliation via over 200 software integrations, including QuickBooks, Xero, and Zuora.
FreshBooks is a popular invoicing software solution that allows for quick and easy invoice creation and can send out automatic payment reminder emails to clients.
Escrow is perhaps the best freelance payment portal for any freelancers who are concerned about actually getting paid for their work, such as those constantly working with new or unknown clients. This is because Escrow requires the client to make the payment before the freelancer starts work, and then deposits it in the freelancer’s account when the work is complete. Also note that Escrow’s transaction fee is relatively high compared to other payment options for freelancers.
Stripe is an interesting freelance payment method as it is less well known than PayPal and Google Pay, but it is easy to use for both the client and freelancer. Their fees are high as you can only make card payments, though you do get decent convenience for the cost, and they are a secure online payment option for freelance workers.
Another freelance payment portal that is not as widely used as others on this list but is still worth considering if the clients are willing is Skrill. Previously known as Moneybookers, Skrill is ideal for freelancers regularly working with international clients as its main focus is on making worldwide transfers via different currencies.
Paymo offers a little bit more than just a freelance payment portal, as it has a project tracking feature and lets you schedule payments and compile reports. It also has an invoicing feature which can be very useful for freelancers who don’t have that option elsewhere.
Looking for an easy, secure & affordable way to collect freelance payments online?
Read how GoCardless saves you time, money & stress with low transaction fees and automated payment collection that gets you paid on time every time!
Freelance payment portal considerations
There are a number of considerations that freelancers should bear in mind when choosing their preferred payment option.
First of all, always look at the fees involved and how this will affect the amount of money you receive for your work. There may also be a fee structure where the fees get higher for transactions of a certain amount.
Ease of use
The next consideration should be convenience, both to yourself and to your client. If you have a freelance payment method that is awkward, time-consuming, or unknown to a client, they may be reluctant to use it.
Security is also very important, so make sure any freelance payment portal you use is a secure and established payment channel.
You can also check what kind of customer service and support each payment portal offers. See if they have a live chat or another quick way to communicate, as this will make solving any issues much easier.
We can help freelancers get paid
GoCardless offers an affordable, reliable and secure payment collection service that can help you collect:
Case study: freelance personal trainer
Frankie is a self-employed personal trainer who runs every aspect of her business. This means that time is at a premium and the ability to affordably collect payments on time with the minimum of fuss is paramount.
With GoCardless, Frankie has been able to: