How To Choose a Payment Gateway for Freelancers

How to choose a payment gateway for freelancers
(Last Updated On: June 6, 2021)

The gig economy is growing; more Indians are opting for both full-time and part-time roles, and some are making it big as freelancers. Since there is no steady paycheck coming in, it is important to collect payments from clients on time. For this, you need a payment gateway.

So, how does choose the ideal payment gateway for freelancers?

Freelancers and the gig economy

India is currently the largest freelancer market in the world.

There is a new work wave in the country. Over 15 million freelancers in India form part of this culture – the gig economy. What is it? When many people take on a variety of short-term jobs and projects, or gigs per se, they form part of this new and thriving economy.

In fact, 1 in every 4 gig worker, globally, is from India.

These are not casual numbers. Several reports testify to the new work wave that’s taking over the country. According to a recent report by Noble House Consulting Pte – a hiring marketplace – 81% of the Indian workforce has moved into the gig space in the last 5 years. About 38% of the gig entrepreneurs take up at least 3-5 projects a year.

According to an article by moneycontrol, most Indian freelancers earn an average of Rs 20 lakh P.A. This figure is over 3 times what a full-time fresher job could offer.

Read: What is a payment gateway? 

Choosing a payment gateway for freelancers –
How to make sure to get paid on time:

Freelancers, across the world – work with one main goal in mind – to get paid on time!

According to a survey carried out by Paypal on 500 freelancers in 2018, it was observed that over 61% of freelancers were not paid at least once through their careers.

Many freelancers also highlighted that they had received payments only after 2-4 weeks of invoicing, often creating a gap in cash flow.

Some freelancers are finding ways to tackle these challenges. For starters, skilled professional freelancers stated that they provide discounts for early payments and charge for late payments to tackle this problem.

Core challenges faced by freelancers /gig workers:

  • Negotiating project price and service fees
  • Contract and legal nuances
  • Payment collections and payment modes availability
  • Invoicing and taxes

Payments are the biggest challenge faced by freelancers.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind when choosing a payment gateway for freelancing:

I. Transaction fees:

Check how much your payment gateways charge for each transaction. Compare, analyse and make sure it does not have long term implications.

II. Safety and security:

How safe is your payment gateway? For this, read reviews online on external forums like Quora or Reddit to know what’s trustworthy.

III. Processing time:

Freelancers need to check how much time payment gateways take to process payments – the ideal time is T + 3 days.

IV. International payments:

When choosing a payment gateway for freelancers, make sure your preferred processor can facilitate international payments too. Freelancers work with many international clients, so it is important to choose the one that allows international currencies.

V. Payment method:

Does the online payment gateway support your preferred freelance payment methods? With UPI it is easier to collect payments online for freelancers. Make sure your digital payment gateway allows for debit/credit card payments, NEFT/RTGS bank transfers,  e-wallet and UPI.

VI. Transfer limit:

How much money can you receive at once from your payment gateway

It’s typically the buyer or the client sending the money who pays for the payment processor’s services and fees, and not the receiver. But, considering that the buyer or client will likely be looking for the most affordable option, make sure you do consider the transaction fees before suggesting a payment option (a more affordable solution will also increase your chances of getting paid properly).

How Instamojo helps freelancers with online payments:

You were looking for a payment gateway, so we thought we’d make it easier. Freelancers are looking for quick, DIY platforms where they have maximum control of their work, clients and payments.

Instamojo optimised on latest online payment trends that allow the freelance workforce to use it like any consumer product.

The core products of Instamojo that facilitate digital payments for freelancers include:

  • Creating payment links:

    The cost to a freelancer is only incurred when he/she makes a sale. There are no additional set-up fees, up-front costs and it doesn’t even require a whole lot of technological know-how.

  • Request Payments in bulk:

    Using Instamojo, freelancers can allow their clients to choose to pay with any mode – including Debit/Credit Cards, Wallets, Net Banking, UPI, and Bank Transfer via NEFT.

  • Faster payouts:

    In a hurry? For a little extra money, freelancers can use the Instant Payouts, Next Day Payouts or the Same Day payouts feature. You receive payments from clients on time and receive the money in your account in minutes.

  • Invoice Generation:

    Keep track of all your payments with the Instamojo invoice generator.

Besides these core features, freelancers use Instamojo by creating digital goods on the dashboard. Sign up with Instamojo and once you are in the dashboard:

  1. Click on Add product

payment gateway for freelancers - digital goods


2. Click on Digital Product and add in the details.

payment gateway for freelancers

3. The transaction fee for selling digital goods on Instamojo is 5% of the amount + ₹ 3, excluding GST.

You can read more about How to create a digital product

A payment gateway for freelancers should allow for clear communication channels for both the client and the freelancer.  Instamojo is the simple, DIY online system that facilitates easier, timely payments for you and your freelancing career. No middlemen work, no IT skills needed, no setup fee.


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