Monday, December 9, 2013

Experience with Payoneer Mastercard from Nepal

Hi guys,
As a Nepali, I always wanted to create paypal account or do online transactions, but there was always problem for verifying the paypal account. Last week I got my paypal verified and I can now send payments and receive payments online globally. The story began when I started to do online job with US company. They used to send money through moneybookers(Skrill), but later on they changed the payment from skrill to payoneer and I had to create account with payoneer.
Here is photo of my Mastercard as I got it.

First I verified my bank account with payoneer and decided to receive payments through global bank transfer, as soon as I got my bank account verified, I found that their fees were surprisingly higher than moneybookers. Where moneybookers charged no more than 2.5USD per withdrawal, they used to charge 15USD per withdrawal. So I had to choose option for payoneer mastercard.
Here is screenshot of charges of payoneer for bank transfer as of today's date.

I signed up for mastercard with normal link, later I found that there was referral link, and if you signup through referral link, both referrer and person who signups through that link will get 25$ as bonus.
So here is my referral link if you want to signup for mastercard.

I applied for mastercard and it took me about 10 days or more to get verified for process and they approved and shipped my mastercard on 14th  November, 2013. I took almost 20 days to reach that card to my home (Rupandehi), and I got that on 4th Dec, 2013. However expected date was on 16th Dec.

I activated my card instantly. They deducted maintenance and activation fees on same day. I also verified my paypal from same card.

After few days, I decided to withdraw my earnings, I went to ATM of Siddhartha bank as it had logo of Mastercard. Almost all banks of Nepal has not metioned the actual withdrawal charges on their website.
So I inserted card on ATM of Siddhartha bank and it refused my card, it showed screen to enter PIN numbers, I tired two times and it failed both times. So I went to another ATM of Nepal investment, it accepted my PIN numbers and gave me options to check balance, fast cash and cash withdrawal. I pressed cash withdrawal button, but I don't know whether that button was disabled or not working, I could not use that option. I had to select Cash Withdrawal option and selected highest option of Nrs. 10,000. It showed me a confirmation screen and displayed NRS 400 will be deducted per withdrawal. I simply accepted the option and got my cash of Nrs. 10,000.
Now you may be wondering what was exchange rate on that day and what rate did I get.
The exchange rate on that day according to NRB website was buying Rs.97.96 and selling Rs.98.56 per Dollar.
Payoneer deducted 113.35USD, that includes ATM charge of bank and withdrawal charges of Payoneer.
Here are amounts payoneer deducted for withdrawing.
10,000 NPR - 135.35 USD (12/08/2013)
33,000 NPR - 348.57 USD (12/15/2013)
40,000 NPR - 421.61 USD ((01/05/2014)
From above you can calculate how much the payoneer charges, ATM charges and what exchange rate I got while withdrawing.
So in conclusion, its not good idea to use mastercard for frequent withdrawal, you should withdraw as much amount as possible in one time.

Update: My friend also applied for mastercard and waited for more than 40 days. It did not arrive due to negligence of Nepal Post Office. He had to Re-Order again by DHL and it arrived shortly.

Update Feb 2015: Though Payoneer have stopped sending its mastercard to India you can withdraw on Indian ATM banks. I was able to withdraw successfully on SBI ATM.

Here are common questions I want to clear about payoneer card.

1. Can I use payoneer right after I receive it for transferring funds?
No, You can't. After you get payoneer you have to activate card on website. You will be asked to enter pin code for ATM. YOU ALSO HAVE TO GET YOUR FIRST PAYMENT FROM US COMPANIES LIKE ELANCE, FREELANCER, FIVER and then you can transfer funds from and to your card.

2. After I get card can I transfer funds from other payoneer cardholders to my card ?
No, You can't. After you get the card first you have to get paid from US companies like freelancer, elance, fiver and other payoneer partners. After you have sufficient balance to pay activation fees you can transfer funds from other payoneer card holders.

3. Can I use payoneer card to activate my paypal account?
Yes, only after once you receive first payment from US companies on payoneer card.

4. Can I use card to ATM of Nepal?
Yes, only if card is activated and you have funds.

5. On which ATM can I use payoneer card and which is best one?
You can use any ATM that has logo of mastercard. Himalayan Bank is Best for withdrawing because it allows to withdraw NRS 40,000 at once for charge NRS 400. If you use other banks, you may have to withdraw twice for same NRS 40,000.