How is the Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard® different than other card options?

Nissim Alkobi
Nissim Alkobi
November 16, 2014

With all the “plastic” payment options out there, I often see questions about what the differences are between them.  When referring to credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, and ATM cards, just to name a few, it’s only natural to wonder exactly what one option offers that another doesn’t.

Well, the good news is that, other than the pure ATM only card, there isn’t really much difference in availability for each option.  Let’s just do a quick recap on what the basic differences between the options are.

Credit cards

We’ve all grown to love (and hate) them.  The most basic explanation of what a credit card is can pretty much be taken directly from the name; it’s a card that makes payments drawn from credit.  The company who issues your card provides you with a line of credit, normally a monthly limit, and you can make purchases totaling up to that limit.  Balances are then paid off on a monthly basis, with interest rates charging you for any balances left unpaid.  With the huge increase in online and mobile payments in the past few years, credit cards offer a major convenience when it comes to shopping and making payments, allowing you to make electronic purchases with virtually every modern day merchant.

Debit Cards

The way in which you use a debit card (backed by an issuer such as Mastercard®, Visa®, etc…) is virtually the same as a credit card, but payments are instead drawn from available balances in a bank account linked to the card.  It’s definitely the financially responsible way to go if you have trouble watching your spending (I know I do ;)) as you don’t risk falling into negative credit.  You either have the funds available in your bank account or you don’t.

ATM Cards

The ATM only card is pretty simple; it’s a card allowing you to make cash withdrawals from any ATM supported by your bank, linked directly to the available balance in your bank account.

Prepaid Cards

At Payoneer, we do our best to offer a variety of payment to our global network. The Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard® card is essentially a combination between a credit card and a debit card.  The card can be used online, in-store and at ATMs worldwide just like a credit card; however,  the card must be preloaded with funds before it can be used, which means that much like a debit card, you must have funds available to utilize the card.  Whether via partner/affiliate payments, private loads, card to card transfers, or any other load method, once funds have been added to the card it can be used to make purchases both online and offline, at any location worldwide accepting debit Mastercard® cards.

As the card is prepaid, it is not linked to any line of credit or bank account, and therefore any purchase attempts exceeding the available card balance will simply be declined (which is an excellent way to budget your funds and stuck to that budget).  Additionally, the card is not linked to your personal banking details and is therefore is far more secure (and reduces the risks of fraud).


Tips for using the Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard

  • There are ZERO fees associated with using your card at retail locations (POS) If you are looking to reduce your payment fees, this is the way to go!
  • Currently, Payoneer offers cards in USD, EUR and GBP (availability depends on location).  Conversions are done automatically to your local currency.
  • Specific merchants who offer services prior to payment, such as a gas station, ATM or restaurant, have the ability to “force post” a charge.  This means that the card is charged before checking if funds are available.  In this scenario, you card can in fact go “into the negative” if it exceeds the available card balance.  Payoneer does not charge any fee when this occurs, nor do we penalize your account in any way.  The funds are simply worked in to the overall balance once you receive additional payments.
  • When using the Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard at an automated gas dispenser (paying “at the pump”), any station that issues a “pre-authorization” charge of less than $75.00 will be unable to charge your card.  To avoid this situation, simply pay the cashier directly.  (The pre-authorization amount is normally listed or displayed on the pump).
  • Mastercard® restricts the maximum balance that can be available on the prepaid card to $10,000.00.  Your Payoneer account, however, has no balance limit, and any available funds exceeding $10,000.00 will simply be held in your Payoneer account balance and automatically transferred to the prepaid card as you spend (both balances can be viewed at any time by logging in to Payoneer desktop or via the Payoneer mobile application.



*Where available.


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Attention mobile developers: new Payoneer goodies for you!

Yaniv Chechik
Yaniv Chechik
December 8, 2011

You may have read our post several weeks ago about the SDK Payoneer is developing for Android and iOS. There are a few projects we are toying around with, and we’d love your opinions and feedback.

You can read about Payoneer’s new in-app SDK and then pop over to the Payoneer mobile developer forums to let us know what you think and if you’d like to be part of our pilot program.

We’d like to hear what your challenges are, what your hopes are, and what your ideal program would be. What can Payoneer do to help you?  Help us create a product that would be most beneficial.

We hope to hear from you soon!

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Money transfer services: what you need to know

Nissim Alkobi
Nissim Alkobi
October 3, 2011

Today’s world is more connected than ever, providing employees with new opportunities to work with employers overseas and enter international markets.  If you’re looking for work that better suits your skill set and preferences, taking advantage of these opportunities can be exactly what you need to help you in achieving your goals.  However, at the end of the day, no job is good enough if you can’t get paid.

Being familiar with the money transfer services available on the market today, and how they apply to you, can be crucial in minimizing your costs and payment processing times.  Knowledge is power, and in this case power is money; if you’re looking for information on what money transfer services are available today and the costs involved, you’ve come to the right place.


Paper Cheques

One of the oldest money transfer services available today, the paper cheque is a very basic and inflexible method of sending and receiving money.  The process is simple; the cheque is made out to a specific party, for a specific amount.  The recipient then has the option of depositing that cheque into a bank account, or cashing it via a bank teller or cheque cashing service.  The downside is that the cheque has to be physically sent and received, and as many employees today work online and internationally, this means sending them through the postal service, creating extremely long processing times and insecurity (lost or stolen mail).  In addition, there is a very high cost for depositing and cashing cheques, and international banking regulations can often times make it difficult and even impossible to deposit an international cheque.

Summary:  High costs, long processing times and insecurity make the paper cheque an unfeasible option for sending or receiving funds in today’s market, especially in international markets.  In fact, many countries are taking action to phase out and retire the paper check from their payment systems entirely.


Cash Transfer Services

The basic idea behind this method is for the sending party to make a payment to the operator of the service in one location, and the receiving party can then pick up those funds at any location supported by the service.  This can be a comfortable payment solution for anyone not sending or receiving funds on a regular basis, as it requires no pre-registration and is very easy to use.  However, for anyone regularly sending and receiving funds, the inflexibility of the system and lack of adaptability to your needs and preferences makes it very inefficient and costly.  In addition, if the service is not available in your area, you will be unable to send or receive funds.

Summary: This is more of a general consumer option, intended for anyone who does not regularly send or receive funds.  On a regular basis, it is very costly, time consuming, and inefficient.


Bank Transfers

Main advantages of bank transfers are that they can be automated and do not require the physical transfer of cash or paper cheques.  However, not everybody has or prefers to use a bank account, and additionally many people simply prefer not to easily give out their personal banking information.  While this may be something you are OK with keeping on file with your main employer, you will likely not be confortable handing it out during one-time transactions.  In addition, differences in international banking procedures and regulations can make it very difficult, timely and costly to send and receive bank transfers.

Summary: While this may be a good option for national and trusted employers, this is not a feasible money transfer service in the international market and for one-time transactions.


Online Money Agents

These companies act as a 3rd Party between the sender and recipient.  Both parties pre-register an account with the service, and load funds using bank transfers, cash deposits or credit card loads.  Once the funds are available, you simply send them from one account to the other.  While the actual action of sending the funds within the service is quick and easy, depositing and withdrawing the funds can be somewhat of a hassle.  In essence, the entire service is composed of the money transfer services listed above, with an added step within the service.  So while it is now easier to send funds from one account to the other, you face the same obstacles in depositing and withdrawing as you do with bank transfers and cash transfer services.  Additionally, international restrictions can prohibit this service from use in many countries.

Summary: The main benefit of the service is to provide security between the two parties, however difficulties and obstacles in dealing with the service often times outweigh the benefits.


Prepaid Debit Card Services

If you are receiving payments from one or many employers on a regular basis, it is simply inefficient to repeat a complex and costly payment method every time.  Prepaid debit card services provide a solution to this problem.  Employees are provided with prepaid debit Mastercard® cards, which are pre-registered and linked with to their employee accounts.  These accounts can be accessed and managed by the employers, through use of an electronic managerial interface provided by the service.   By entering this interface, employers can easily make payments to multiple employees with the click of a button, after which the service’s automated systems load the funds to the prepaid debit card that has been provided.

This method is reusable, adaptable, global and cost effective.  Additionally, it can be integrated with a company’s payment system, allowing the employees themselves to enter the system and request a payment once they have accumulated funds, reducing the processing time for the employee and allowing you to get access to your money faster.

Summary: By providing adaptability, integration, international compatibility and security, prepaid debit card services are the most efficient and cost effective money transfer service available on the market today for anyone sending or receiving payments on a regular basis.


Getting paid is a major aspect of every job, and if you are working in international or overseas markets, it’s important that you are familiar with all of your options.  Selecting the method that works best for you will allow you to reduce the costs and processing times of receiving your payments, and overall will put more money in your pocket.

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