Freelancing from Algeria: How One Freelancer Made it Big!

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We are happy to share our latest interview with Aboubakr Seddik Ouahabi, from Algeria. Enjoy:

 

How did you come into contact with Payoneer?

Being in a country such as Algeria means that you can do almost nothing to get  paid online, or even to send or pay someone or pay for a service. In other words, there is no PayPal, Moneybookers, Skrill, 2CheckOut or any other similar solutions that offer support in Algeria because it is deemed “high risk.”

I should mention that there are also no ATMs that accept Visa/ MasterCard in my local area.  The closest one is located 1200Km away. This is a huge challenge to guys like me who want to build a business online targeting European and American clients.  Regardless of how skilled you are, your skills will remain useless until you find a way to break through these bureaucratic nightmares and find a solution of your own, which is not dependent on anything local.

 

 

How did you cross the hurdles of freelancing from Algeria?

First, I opened a 2Checkout account.  It may seem silly to some with much higher income, but I had to pay an entire year worth of setup fees because I am working from Algeria, which was such a burden for me, but it is the bittersweet truth of how things are here.  2Checkout account and Payoneer work together to allow freelancers like me to accept payment (2Checkout) and withdraw payment to a card (Payoneer).

Eventually, I linked Payoneer to my Paypal, which allowed me to verify my account and to start buying some Web-Apps’ Licenses, Hosting Packages, hardware components for my Laptop (upgrade for my RAM from 8GB to a 16GB Corsair Memory) which  gave me the power to run Adobe products at full power as well as run my Linux virtualization lab, which is something else I do as a System Administrator.

I was now able to purchase necessary items that were impossible to source locally.  Heck, it’s almost impossible to source it internationally as well because of my address but I was able to do similar things that helped me to improve the quality of the services I provide, eased my workflow greatly, and got me on top of the competition.

 

What other solutions did you find?

Although purchasing online was finally much simpler, I still had problems withdrawing cash because, as I mentioned, the closest ATM is several hours away. I searched for another solution and came across Skrill.  I logged in, added my Payoneer card and the signup process went flawlessly. You are probably asking yourself what Skrill has to do with this, aren’t you? I’ll explain…

 

I got a UK Phone number from Skype, with a subscription to call any land-line number in the UK for free, and that took my business again to another level. I was finally able to interact and communicate with my clients, and they had more confidence and assurance that they could call me on a local number. Unfortunately, Skype didn’t accept credit cards (which meant no Payoneer), but they did allow the use of Skrill as a payment method for Algerian accounts.  I was able to fund my Skrill account through my Payoneer card, and things had been moving steadily.  All praise and thanks are due to Almighty God, and a great thanks to the service of Payoneer.

 

Do you utilize only the Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard card?

Unfortunately, I had some clients who only wanted to pay via PayPal; however,PayPal doestn’t allow Algerian accounts to accept payments, unless they are linked either to a US Bank Account, or an Algerian Bank issued Visa Card.  Both of these options were not an option for me. 

A few months after joining Payoneer I read about the USD Payment Service and immediately applied.  It didn’t take long until my application was approved and I was issued a “receiving account” which allowed me to receive payment from US companies directly to Payoneer. I added the receiving account to PayPal, went through the verification process in which they sent 2 small sums to my Payoneer account, which I received in under 3 days. I confirmed my account, and was up and rolling, allowing me to accept my first PayPal payment in the first or maybe the 2nd week of linking the account to PayPal, and it was coming from an ex-client who asked for some fixes and new features on her website.

The USD Payment Service is now linked to my Skrill account as well, allowing me to fund my Payoneer card directly via Skrill, whenever I want to pay for my online Bills, or pay for Payoneer monthly fees, and more.

 

What are your plans for the future?

After my recent experience with Payoneer, I’m moving my business to a new website, which is under heavy development right now, and I’m developing a whole new range of products using both Open Source solutions, and modules I’ve made myself so that I can provide services and products alike. The new website is still waiting for a new theme, which is on the way to be finished, and the launch will be delayed just a little bit until I’ve finished my new PrestaShop Modules, and 2 Major products to be presented, which are expected to hit the release cycle by the mid of the Q2 of 2013.

The story is just at its beginning, and I pray we’ll be granted full success to advance even more. Thank you very much to the Payoneer team :).

 

 

To share your own testimonial you can email community [at] payoneer [dot] com

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Community Manager at Payoneer. Melisa joined Payoneer in 2011, and worked in the company's Customer Support Department for a year and a half before taking on her current post. She holds a BA in Teaching. She loves connecting with the world through communities online and she enjoys art in all their forms, especially painting. You can contact her at melisasu[@]payoneer.com.
Melisa
  • Mohammad

    ThumbUP dud Masha’ ALLAH Tabaraka ALLAH , Keep up the good work :)

  • http://www.heberclass.com Mohamed

    That’s indeed something that happens in other countries other than Algeria like Morocco. We have been blessed that we found Payoneer and avoided brokers who earn their livings from charging very high commissions somewhere from $30 to $40 to help you pay a $50 invoice.
    Those brokers won’t let you know the existence of Payoneer, and if it happens in any means, they will try to fool you by none-sense non-logic justifications and appeals.
    I wish Payoneer will continue even more.
    To Payoneer: We want to manage our accounts from our phones (iPhone/Android). Thank you Payoneer and everyone reading this message.

  • c

    we want to manage payoneer from our brains thrugh electroencephalography. lol :)

  • http://www.k1ngdom.net Steven King

    i agree with Mohamed. We badly need a mobile site.

  • http://www.payoneer.com/ Nissim

    We’re in the final stages of development on the Payoneer mobile app, which is planned to be released for iOS and Android.

    It will allow you to access your Payoneer account and view information such as transaction history, load history, and more.

    You can read more about it here: http://community.payoneer.com/index.php?/topic/2-payoneer-mobile-app/

  • http://zera3h.com ahmed muslim

    ما شاء الله تبارك الله
    مبروك والى الامام وشكرا بايونير

  • khallil zoheir

    Thank payonner team on this unique service and, God willing, more successes and especially in my country, Algeria
    I also hope you my brother more successes to serve your country, and we hope the Algerian officials planning for the success of e-commerce.

  • http://www.shababdz.com SAMIR

    Thank payonneer team
    Good luck everyone

  • El Deen

    Payoneer is excellent, really! They are doing their best to provide their service no matter where do you live, Bosnia like me or Mars.. like Marsians .. 😛 Great service.

    • http://www.payoneer.com/ David

      Thanks for the wonderful feedback, I loved your comment about Mars!

      If you are interested in writing a testimonial as well you can email me at davidst@payoneer.com

  • KHALID ABES

    I’m KHALID ABES from Algeria
    24 Years Old , Master Degree in Digital Communication .

    i’m Proud of your elegant testimonial Mr Aboubakr , I want to add some praise
    Because , Me too payoneer changed my life to the best .

    This is My Experience

    Before i requested a payoneer card from partner . Unfortunately , i have not received any money from this partner so after 6 month of inactivity my account Blocked .

    I opened account in Paypal but he still inactive , despite of my balance is 200$
    the bad news that paypal not accept to withdraw the money to Mastercard ,

    he accept only Visa Card or US Bank .
    wow ! Wonderful , here The Bad/Best News

    * The Bad to Open Account in USA for No Citizen , i must spent A lot of money for opening and monthly fee , Operation Fee …

    * The Best News , Oh Thanks My God
    Payoneer , Yes Payoneer is My dream that became real , i got my US Payment Service with low Fee , 1% Only and No Monthly Fee .

    I will not find this in my Country , is amazing Solution .

    Now i can Pay and Purchasse anything from Net using my cards , Hosting Package , gifts .

    i Plan to Start my project wich will a portal for Freelance Jobs, also a great Mall Market , and sure that payoneer will help me to pay for designer and SEO .

    Special Thanks Payoneer, Best Regards for All Team .

    ———-KHALID ABES——————-

    • http://www.payoneer.com/ Nissim

      I’m happy to hear that our services have improved your life, and thank you for sharing that with us!

  • sofia

    hello i just ordered my payoneer card and it was accepted , i was,wondering if there is any fees that we must pay while receiving the card by regular mail . and even how can we pay the annual fee , thanks

    • http://www.payoneer.com/ David

      Congratulations on the card! You do not need to pay anything for receiving the card via standard mail.

      The annual fee associated with your card is taken once you have earned sufficient funds on the card to cover the cost of the fee.

  • http://www.wisdombulksms.com James Abumujor

    Dear David, I’ve read abut you which made me belive you must be a great guy though. Pls I need ur usual selfless help; I want to sign up with payoneer as a new account user but I couldn’t locate the MarketPlace link which would have linked me to the Payment Method page’ I need to begin with my new account signing up registration. pls help forward me with that link to my above e-mail or othe alternatives. thx. Prince James.

    • http://www.payoneer.com/ Nissim

      Hi James. Are you looking to sign up and receive payments from our official partners, or via the US Payment Service. If from one of our partners, you can simply sign in to your online account with that partner and select Payoneer as your payment method.

      If you want to receive payments using our US Payment Service, you can sign up using this link: http://bit.ly/JNraAg

  • http://www.payoneer.com/ David

    Thank you for your question.

    Please note that the US Payment Service can only help people who are able to have a verified paypal account which can withdraw to a US bank.

    If paypal is not support in your country, allow me to suggest contacting them and request to add your country.

  • Harry

    Hi,

    I use payoneer Card so far with US payment service enabled. So far I was able to have some earnings from CCNow transferred to the Card. However, I live in Philippines and should transfer on a monthly basis:

    a) to my own account in Philippines
    b) to my supplier in Philippines

    My question is:

    Can I transfer to both bank accounts on an irregular basis? Meaning, my supplier in Philippines does not need to get paid every month and the amount which I owe him differs from time to time.

    2) Can I switch currencies, meaning one time I pay to a Philippine Peso account and another time in to a Dollar account.

    3) Can I transfer money also to an account in Europe in Euros using Local Payment Service?

    Thanks

    Harry

    • http://www.payoneer.com/ David

      Thank you for your questions.

      At this time, we do not support transferring funds from your Payoneer card to a local bank account. So you would not be able to transfer from the card to any bank account without taking money from the ATM first.

      Money on your Payoneer card is held in US dollars.

  • enock

    does payoneer refer friend program works? i ask this because its more that 3 months now since my referrals signed for the payoneer cards and they told me that their cards have been approved and you said i have to be paid $25 dollars for each referral but my account still $0.00 tell me if does not work so that i don’t waste time to announce it?

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  • Tarek Hamad

    Congratulation bro, im from Algeria as well,i liked your story and it is so amazing, you are really lucky because you have some skills to earn through Internet, i hope i ;ll get any skill such as developer or something else, any way as you said in your post: All Praise And Thanks Are Due To Almighty God! :) Good luck in your Business & i wish i’ll be like you some day. Peace.
    Kind regards,
    iTarek

  • http://www.easyfreeways.blogspot.com Uttom Kumar Roy

    Sir,
    I want to buy some us dollar for active my payonee card.
    please help me for my business.
    Thanks.

  • Valerie

    I am a little confused i just started with payoneer and i am awaiting my card, but i have this set of questions to ask,

    1. Can i receive payments from any bank accounts in america, i.e like a bank to bank transfer or can someone go to a bank and make a direct deposit if i provide them with my payoneer bank account number, Name and routing number? say i have an uncle who wants to send some money to me for upkeep. or buisness partner who doesnt have a payoneer account wants to send money for a project i need to get done for him/her.

    2.will the money be available in my card for withdrawal?

    3. Is there any limit to the amount i can receive on my card.

    4. How long would it take for the money to be available in my card for withdrawal.

    5.can i use my card to send western union payments and will it be done immediately.

    please i would love to get an answer to these questions as i am in dire need of a way to do all that i have mentioned above.

    thanks.
    Valerie

    • http://www.payoneer.com Romi

      Hi Valerie.

      1. We offer the US Payment Service, which allows you to receive payments on your Payoneer card, from approved companies in the US (Amazon, PayPal, Ebay and more). This service is only for payroll purposes, you cannot use the bank details we give you to receive personal money from a family member. A business partner must be on our white list which you can find here: http://www.payoneer.com/USPService.aspx

      2. Any funds you receive on your card which are approved are there for you to use either by purchasing with the card (online and in stores) or withdrawing from ATMs – they must accept debit MasterCards.

      3. There are certain limits for every card and they are individual based on the partner program, type of payments, amount of payments etc.

      4. It depends on the type of payment you’re receiving. Payments from partners are processed faster than others (usually in 1-2) business days. USPS payments from PayPal take a few more days for regular transfer but there are options to get immediate loads (for a certain fee).

      5. If Western Union accepts prepaid debit MasterCard then yes, you should be able to pay with the card (just make sure you have sufficient funds). Payment processing takes 1-2 business days.

      Hope this helps.

  • sekelli

    Congratulation bro, im from Algeria as well,i liked your story and it is so amazing – See more at: http://blog.payoneer.com/how-payoneer-changed-my-life/#comments