Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Payment Methods: How Nigerians Cash Out on Upwork

Last Updated on October 28, 2023


Freelancing has become a popular way for Nigerians to earn income outside traditional employment.

Upwork is one of the leading platforms that connect freelancers with clients worldwide.

Brief explanation of freelancing and Upwork

Freelancing refers to working independently on a project basis for multiple clients, rather than having a permanent job.

Upwork is an online marketplace that brings freelancers and clients together.

Importance of payment methods in freelancing

Payment methods are crucial in freelancing as they determine how freelancers receive their hard-earned money.

Different payment methods have pros and cons, including security, speed, and cost.

For Nigerians using Upwork, cashing out is a significant concern due to limitations in available payment options.

Traditional methods like checks or wire transfers often have high fees and long processing times.

However, Nigerians have found alternative payment methods to overcome these challenges.

Online payment platforms like Payoneer and PayPal have gained popularity among freelancers.

Payoneer allows freelancers to receive payments directly to their local bank accounts, reducing fees and processing times.

PayPal provides a secure way to receive and send payments globally, making it a preferred option for many freelancers.

Additionally, cryptocurrency has emerged as a viable alternative for freelancers, bypassing traditional banking systems.

Digital currencies like Bitcoin allow freelancers to receive payments quickly and securely.

In essence, freelancing on platforms like Upwork offers Nigerians flexible work opportunities.

Choosing the right payment method is essential for seamless cashing out, and alternative options like Payoneer, PayPal, and cryptocurrency have become popular among Nigerian freelancers.

Popular payment methods in Nigeria

In Nigeria, there are several payment methods available for freelancers to cash out their earnings on Upwork.

This blog section will discuss the popular payment methods in Nigeria, including PayPal, Payoneer, and bank transfer.

We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of each method and provide step-by-step instructions for setting up accounts and receiving payments.


PayPal is a widely used payment method in Nigeria, offering convenience and security for freelancers. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to consider.


  • Global acceptance: PayPal is accepted worldwide, making it easy to receive payments from clients on Upwork.

  • Fast transactions: Payments through PayPal are usually processed quickly, allowing freelancers to access their earnings promptly.

  • Buyer and seller protection: PayPal offers dispute resolution services, ensuring a secure transaction experience for freelancers.


  • Limited withdrawal options: Nigerian PayPal accounts can only make payments and cannot receive funds directly into the account.

  • High transaction fees: PayPal charges a fee for each transaction, which can be relatively high for larger payments.

  • Currency conversion: When converting funds from PayPal to Naira, a currency conversion fee may apply.

Steps to set up a PayPal account

  1. Visit the PayPal website and click on “Sign Up”.

  2. Select the type of account (Personal or Business) and provide the requested details.

  3. Link a credit/debit card or bank account to your PayPal account for verification purposes.

  4. Confirm your email address and complete the account setup process.


Payoneer is another popular payment method among Nigerian freelancers, offering unique advantages and disadvantages.


  • Ease of use: Payoneer provides a user-friendly platform for receiving and managing payments.

  • Global payment options: Freelancers can receive payments in multiple currencies, allowing for easy international transfers.

  • Prepaid Mastercard: Payoneer offers a prepaid Mastercard, enabling freelancers to easily access their funds at any ATM.


  • Activation fee: Payoneer charges an activation fee for new accounts, which may be a deterrent for freelancers starting out.

  • Currency conversion fees: When withdrawing funds in a different currency, Payoneer applies a conversion fee.

  • Limited customer support: Some freelancers have reported difficulties in reaching Payoneer’s customer support.

Steps to set up a Payoneer account

  1. Go to the Payoneer website and click on “Sign Up”.

  2. Provide your personal details, including your address and phone number.

  3. Verify your identity by uploading required documents such as a valid ID and proof of address.

  4. Wait for your account to be approved, and once approved, you will receive a Payoneer Mastercard.

Bank Transfer

Bank transfer is a traditional yet widely used method for cashing out earnings on Upwork in Nigeria. Let’s explore its advantages and disadvantages.


  • Direct access to funds: Bank transfer allows freelancers to receive payments directly into their bank account.

  • Familiarity: Many Nigerian freelancers prefer bank transfers as it is a familiar and trusted method.

  • Lower transaction fees: Compared to platforms like PayPal or Payoneer, bank transfers often have lower transaction fees.


  • Slower processing times: Bank transfers may take longer to process, delaying access to earnings.

  • Potential bank charges: Some banks may charge fees for receiving international transfers, reducing the overall amount received.

  • Limited international reach: Bank transfers may not be an ideal option for freelancers with international clients.

Steps to receive payments through bank transfer

  1. Provide your banking details, including your account number and SWIFT code, to your client on Upwork.

  2. Instruct your client to initiate a bank transfer using the provided details.

  3. Monitor your bank account for incoming funds, and once received, you can access your earnings.

Nigerian freelancers have various payment methods available to cash out their earnings on Upwork.

PayPal, Payoneer, and bank transfer each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Carefully choosing the right payment method based on individual needs and preferences will ensure a seamless and efficient cash-out process on Upwork.

Read: Boosting Your Freelance Profile: Tips for Nigerians

Challenges faced by Nigerian freelancers regarding payment methods

Common challenges

Nigerian freelancers encounter numerous difficulties when it comes to payment methods.

These challenges include limited withdrawal options, high transaction fees, and currency conversion issues.

  • Limited withdrawal options: Nigerian freelancers often face a lack of available withdrawal options for their earnings.

    Many popular payment platforms such as PayPal are not fully functional in Nigeria, leaving freelancers with limited choices.

  • High transaction fees: Another challenge is the high fees associated with withdrawing funds.

    When freelancers finally find a suitable withdrawal option, they are often confronted with exorbitant transaction fees that eat into their earnings.

  • Currency conversion issues: As most freelancers work with international clients, they face the additional hurdle of currency conversion.

    Converting foreign currency to the local Nigerian Naira can be a complicated and expensive process, resulting in further loss of earnings.

Innovative solutions and workarounds

Despite these challenges, Nigerian freelancers have found innovative solutions and workarounds to cash out on Upwork:

  • Using alternative payment platforms: When faced with limited withdrawal options, freelancers explore alternative payment platforms that are available in Nigeria.

    Platforms like Payoneer and TransferWise offer more accessible methods for cashing out from Upwork.

  • Collaborating with local freelance communities: Nigerian freelancers often collaborate and share information with other freelancers in local communities.

    They exchange insights, recommendations, and strategies for overcoming payment challenges, helping each other find viable solutions.

  • Negotiating transaction fees with clients: Freelancers can negotiate transaction fees with their clients to reduce the burden of high charges.

    By discussing and mutually agreeing on payment methods, freelancers can find ways to avoid incurring significant transaction fees.

  • Utilizing cryptocurrency: Some freelancers have begun exploring cryptocurrency as an alternative payment method.

    Crypto payments eliminate the need for traditional banking systems, allowing freelancers to receive payments directly without worrying about conversion fees.

  • Seeking assistance from payment service providers: Payment service providers specializing in facilitating international transactions can assist Nigerian freelancers in navigating payment challenges.

    These providers offer flexible withdrawal options and competitive exchange rates, making it easier for freelancers to cash out their earnings.

In short, Nigerian freelancers face various challenges when it comes to payment methods.

However, through innovation, collaboration, and leveraging alternative solutions, they can overcome these obstacles and successfully cash out on platforms like Upwork.

Read: Tax and Freelancing: A Guide for Nigerian Digital Workers

Payment Methods: How Nigerians Cash Out on Upwork

Tips to overcome payment challenges on Upwork

Upwork is a popular platform for freelancers in Nigeria to find clients and earn money.

However, cashing out on Upwork can sometimes pose challenges when it comes to payment.

Here are some tips to overcome these challenges and ensure a smooth payment process:

Understand the withdrawal options available

Upwork offers several withdrawal options for Nigerian freelancers.

Direct bank transfers are a popular choice, allowing you to transfer your earnings directly to your local Nigerian bank account.

PayPal is another option, although it might have higher withdrawal fees. Payoneer and Skrill are also widely used by freelancers worldwide.

Optimize your payment method for lower fees

Each payment method has its own associated fees. For bank transfers, check if there are any transaction or conversion fees imposed by your bank.

With PayPal and other online payment processors, compare the fees charged for withdrawing funds to your local currency.

Choosing the most cost-effective option can help you retain a larger portion of your earnings.

Plan your withdrawal strategy to minimize currency conversion losses:

When you withdraw funds from Upwork, they are typically converted from US dollars to Nigerian Naira.

However, the exchange rates offered by payment processors might not be favorable.

To minimize currency conversion losses, consider withdrawing larger sums of money less frequently.

This way, you can avoid multiple conversions and potentially get better rates.

In general, Nigerian freelancers using Upwork can overcome payment challenges by understanding the available withdrawal options, optimizing their payment methods for lower fees, and planning their withdrawal strategy to minimize currency conversion losses.

By implementing these tips, you can ensure a smoother and more cost-effective cashing out process on Upwork.

Read: Scaling Your Freelance Career: A Guide for Nigerians Online

Success stories of Nigerian freelancers on Upwork

Profiles of freelancers who have successfully cashed out on Upwork

  1. Adeola is a talented graphic designer with five years of experience. She specializes in logo design and brand identity.

  2. Chris is a skilled content writer with a background in journalism. He can write engaging articles on various topics.

  3. Chidinma is a professional web developer with expertise in front-end and back-end development.

  4. Folake is a detail-oriented virtual assistant with excellent organizational and communication skills.

Strategies they used to overcome payment challenges

  1. Creating an impressive profile with a strong portfolio and positive client reviews.

  2. Bidding competitively to win projects and deliver high-quality work on time.

  3. Communicating effectively with clients to ensure clear expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

  4. Utilizing Upwork’s Secure Payment system to ensure timely and secure payments.

Lessons learned from their experiences

  1. Building a strong reputation takes time and consistent effort.

  2. Networking and building relationships with clients can lead to long-term contracts.

  3. Constantly upgrading skills and keeping up with industry trends increases marketability.

  4. Being proactive in resolving payment issues is crucial for a successful freelancing career.

Nigerian freelancers on Upwork have proven that success is achievable through dedication, skills, and the right strategies.

By learning from their experiences and implementing effective payment methods, freelancers can cash out and thrive in the online gig economy.

Read: Guide to Joining Freelance Platforms in Nigeria


Nigerians have a wide range of payment methods to cash out on Upwork.

From direct bank transfer to mobile money platforms like Paga or Flutterwave, freelancers have several options to choose from.

It is important for freelancers to carefully evaluate and select the right payment method that suits their preferences and needs.

Choosing the right payment method on Upwork is crucial as it affects several aspects of freelancers’ experience.

It can impact their earning potential, convenience, speed of transactions, and even the security of their funds.

By selecting a reliable and efficient payment method, freelancers can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience on the platform.

While there may be challenges and limitations associated with certain payment methods, Nigerian freelancers should not be discouraged.

Upwork offers a wealth of opportunities for talented individuals in various fields.

It is important for Nigerian freelancers to explore these opportunities and take advantage of the global market accessible through the platform.

By expanding their client base beyond local borders, Nigerian freelancers can tap into international clients and projects, thereby increasing their earning potential and exposure.

With a reliable payment method in place, freelancers can confidently take on projects and receive timely payments for their hard work.

Nigerian freelancers should embrace the opportunities that Upwork provides and leverage the available payment methods to cash out successfully.

It is crucial to choose the right payment method, be proactive, and continuously improve their skills to thrive in the competitive freelance market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *