Pay your contractors and remote employees in Ukraine
Ukraine is one of the world’s most popular hubs for outsourcing talent, especially if you’re looking for software engineers and developers. It has a number of highly rated universities, and much of the population is well-educated and speaks English well. It’s been a top outsourcing choice for start-ups looking to keep down their costs, as well as big corporations like Apple, Uber, Amazon, and Microsoft who looked for the best talent anywhere in the world.
The country is 7 hours ahead of the US east coast and 10 hours ahead of Silicon Valley and the west coast, two hours ahead of the UK, and just one hour ahead of western Europe. That means the workday in Ukraine overlaps with working hours in the rest of Europe, and it’s well placed to help companies in the Americas provide round the clock support.
Although much of eastern Ukraine has been harmed by the Russian invasion, many Ukrainian contractors and remote employees are still committed to their work in Kyiv, western Ukraine, and neighboring countries like Poland, Hungary, and Moldova.
But to succeed in working smoothly with Ukrainian contractors or remote employees, you need to keep your cross-border payments organized to pay them on time and send payments in a way that allows them to easily access their funds. You also want to keep down the fees that you have to pay in payment charges and poor currency conversion rates.
Here are some of the ways that businesses prefer to pay their employees and contractors in Ukraine.
Preferred payment options for contractors and employees in Ukraine
Ukraine’s banks generally try to make it easy for Ukrainians to receive overseas payments. They are all connected to the SWIFT international payments network, but SWIFT payments are notorious for being difficult to track. If your payment gets lost, which does happen, you’ll have no way to find out where it ended up or what went wrong. They can also take many days to clear.
Many banks in Ukraine have temporarily lifted fees on receiving and withdrawing money from SWIFT transfers, and many banks outside Ukraine have also lowered or removed charges for international payments to people in the country, but usually, SWIFT payments come with high fees. It costs around $45—$50 to send a SWIFT payment from the US, and the recipient will also have to pay a fee to receive it, generally around 0.5%.
If you send money through a bank transfer, you’ll also either have to pay the bank’s conversion rates into UAH, which are usually poor, or the recipient will have to pay high bank fees to convert funds from your currency into their local currency. Some of the leading banks offer multi-currency accounts in USD and EUR as well as in UAH, which makes it easier if that’s your local currency.
PrivatBank, Ukraine’s biggest bank, offers Ukrainians a range of ways to make and receive international payments through its internet banking platform Privat24. Privat24 supports transfer services like Western Union, MoneyGram, and Sigue, plus Privat24 cardholders can receive money directly from any credit card holder anywhere in the world, except for Belarus, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, and South Sudan. It’s free for them to receive a payment, and payments can clear instantly, but the fees to send it depend on your card company, and they could be very high.
Monobank, Ukraine’s first mobile-only bank, lets account holders accept funds in USD and EUR as well as in UAH. The recipient can withdraw funds in UAH at Universal Bank ATMs in Ukraine; spend it using their Monobank card; or keep money in their account to use for online purchases and payments.
PayPal has been partially operating in Ukraine for years, but it only began allowing people to send payments to Ukraine when Russia invaded. Until then, Ukrainians could send money out of the country, but you couldn’t use PayPal to send money in.
To use PayPal to send payments to Ukraine, you’ll need to connect a credit or debit card or a bank account, and pre-fund money from it to your PayPal account. If you happen to have a balance in the account already, you can use that too. There’s no way to use PayPal for SWIFT payments.
Ukrainian PayPal users receive funds in their PayPal wallet, and can use them for online purchases or transfer them to their linked credit or debit card to withdraw to their bank account. Your payees can withdraw up to $25,000 to their bank account, or up to $5,000 to their credit/debit card, as long as they’ve verified their account.
PayPal’s fees are quite high — 4% per transaction, plus the exchange rate between say USD and Ukrainian hryvnia (UAH) is often unfavorable. However, because of the war in Ukraine, PayPal has temporarily waived all fees for sending payments there until September 30, 2022, although it warns that exchange rates and card issuer fees may still apply. The limit on sending payments is $60,000 per payment if your account is verified, otherwise there’s a cap of $4,000.
PayPal also offers recurring payments and batch payment tools for business users.
You can use Revolut for payments using your credit or debit card, ACH bank transfers, or local bank transfers, as well as using the balance that’s already in your Revolut account. Revolut also supports SWIFT international bank payments.
To pay a contractor or remote employee in Ukraine, they’ll have to connect their local bank account and provide details of their IBAN number and SWIFT/BIC code. One problem is that Revolut doesn’t support UAH, which can be awkward for your Ukrainian recipients. It does support 25+ currencies in the EEA, UK, and North America, but you’ll need to check that the payee’s bank account accepts whichever currency you send the payment in.
Revolut gives account holders a virtual or physical Revolut card. Your recipients can use that to withdraw up to €500 per day at an ATM anywhere in the EEA or Ukraine, to make payments online, or to convert funds into other currencies. ATM withdrawals are free for up to €200, and currency conversion fees are waived for up to €1,000 per month.
Revolut also offers recurring payments and batch payment tools for business users.
Payoneer: A better way to pay partners in Ukraine
Another option for paying Ukrainian contractors and remote employees is to use Payoneer. If your worker is already a Payoneer user, they can send you a Payment Request with multiple payment options, or send their US, UK, or EUR bank details so you can pay by local bank transfer and skip high bank payments fees.
If they don’t have Payoneer, you can still initiate a payment to send funds using your credit or debit card, through ACH bank payment straight from your US bank account, or using local bank transfer from multiple regions including the UK. Once they open a Payoneer account, which takes just a few minutes, they’ll be able to receive your money.
Then they can decide whether to keep it in their Payoneer account to pay other Payoneer users; use their Payoneer Commercial MasterCard to pay online expenses in multiple currencies; or withdraw it to their local bank account, like PrivatBank or Monobank, in local currency at great exchange rates.
Payoneer lets you send payments from 190+ countries and in over 150 currencies, with funds clearing instantly for Payoneer to Payoneer payments and in 1 working day if you’re paying directly into a local bank account. You can link your account with your US account, or your credit card anywhere in the world, so funds are withdrawn and sent automatically.
Payoneer also helps you keep all your payments to Ukraine organized and streamlined. Batch payments let you pay all your Ukrainian contractors and remote employees with a single click, or use recurring payments to automate payday each month and take it off your to-do list. Finally, you can track every payment, reassuring you and your recipients that the money reached its destination.
The benefits of using Payoneer to pay your partners and workers in Ukraine
Using Payoneer to pay contractors, freelancers, and remote employees in Ukraine gives you peace of mind about your cross-border payments. When you link your US or Canadian bank account, or worldwide credit/debit card, you’ll never have to worry about whether you have enough balance in your Payoneer account. You can use batch payments and recurring payments to simplify admin tasks and make sure you’re never late paying people, and track the payment every step of the way to be sure it always arrives at the right person and the right account.
It’s just as important that Payoneer helps you save money on international payments. With Payoneer, it’s free to send money in most currencies, and you’ll pay only 1% for payments in USD. In contrast, PayPal usually charges 4% (although fees are waived for the moment because of the war), Revolut charges $20-30, and you’ll pay $40—$70 if you make a payment through the banks. Banks charge 4-6% in conversion fees, but with Payoneer you’ll pay just 2% in conversion fees for contractors, including withdrawal fees.
Payoneer brings benefits for your contractors and remote employees in Ukraine too. When you send payments through Payoneer, you give them more flexibility to use their money. They can use their Payoneer card to withdraw it from any ATM in Ukraine or in 190+ other countries worldwide at competitive conversion rates, so they can access funds even if they are a long way from their bank. If they prefer, they can keep the money in their Payoneer account and use it to pay online expenses fee-free, or to make free payments to other Payoneer accounts.
A better way to send payments to Ukraine
Using Payoneer makes it easy to send secure, fast payments to contractors, remote employees, freelancers, or suppliers in Ukraine. Payoneer helps Ukrainian contractors enjoy better cash flow and the reassurance of knowing they can always access their money, no matter what happens, while also helping you keep fees to the minimum, support your Ukrainian employees, and save time to focus on scaling your business.