Ever since I’ve started this Facebook group, I get one request most than anything else. Buying/Selling dollars. Everybody’s been like I need to buy Dollars. People come selling dollars (mostly just to avoid having to pay for Bank Transfer fee and stuff). Moreover, Payoneer Dollar Exchange has become kind of a business in itself. People who create new accounts are mostly the ones who make such requests. But one thing that they ignore (actually most of us do) is the Payoneer Terms and Conditions. Payoneer is one of the best solutions out there for freelancers and small businesses. But it’s not for everyone and in this article, I’ll try to explain the types of payments that you are not allowed to make via Payoneer MasterCard and they might even get your account blocked all-together.

Payoneer Dollar Exchange

Payoneer Dollar Exchange

This is one of the most common requests that I see across different platforms, Facebook groups and other places. People think of (or at least treat) Payoneer as a just an online account on a website. What it’s actually is a Digital Bank Account. And like most physical banks, it has some rules on how you can use the services provided by Payoneer.

Terms and Conditions are the one thing that gets ignored the most in the world. But if you do read Payoneer’s T&Cs, they clearly state that using your account for

Peer to peer payments for personal purposes that are not related to business purposes;

is not allowed. When you are buying/selling dollars, you are making a transaction from one account to another for the purposes that are not related to business specifically. This also means, sharing dollars from one of your own accounts to another of your accounts or a friend’s account will also get your account blocked.

The Payoneer-to-Payoneer service is intended to be used to pay freelancers/companies that collect payments via Payoneer. This results in lower rates and faster transactions as compared to some other methods available.

Self-funding and/or Self-compensation

I recently got a request in the Facebook group from a person who had just signed up for Payoneer. The guy was asking about how could he load money into his account and pay for his annual fee and also use it online! At first, it sounds like a nice idea to just load money into your account and pay for the annual fee rather than waiting around for your freelance payments to arrive into your account. But this, my friend, is categorized as Self-funding, which unfortunately is not allowed by Payoneer. The T&Cs (Terms and Conditions) clearly state that using Payoneer for:

Self-funding and/or Self-compensation (including by way of paying an entity controlled by you);

is prohibited. The purpose of Payoneer, frankly speaking, is for business and/or freelancers to receive payments from their customers. Most of the Freelancing websites support Payoneer as a form of withdrawing your money into your account. Payoneer Account itself is free and doesn’t charge you for just having an account. The Payoneer MasterCard, on the other hand, is not free. You have to pay an annual fee. So, if you do not have funds in your account in the beginning, rather than buying dollars and getting your account flagged/blocked, you can just wait for the money to arrive and then order a Payoneer MasterCard.

The above statement also means, that if you own a business and also a Payoneer account, you are not allowed to make any payment from your business account to your personal account or vice versa in any way. And tbh, this can also get you into tax trouble and stuff later on, so try to avoid this as much as possible!

If you have signed up for a Payoneer account and intend to use it for freelancing purposes, it is fine to wait for your payments to arrive via a proper channel (a freelancing website and/or one of your customers) even to pay for the annual credit card fee. It won’t matter even if it’s a month or two late, the annual fee would still be the same. Payoneer will automatically deduct $30 (annual fee) from the first payment above $30 that comes your way.

Digital currency

Payoneer Doesn't want you to buy crypto from your account
Payoneer Doesn’t want you to buy crypto from your account

With an increase in the population of digital currency/cryptocurrency, no doubt, it is the best way of investing some extra cash. Now, I am no expert in cryptocurrency exchange/dealings, but I have heard that BitCoin is great! Some of my friends are also trying to mine some coins and it all sounds really fascinating. But do remember that dealing in any kind of digital currency and/or cryptocurrency (they are the same, right?) via your Payoneer account is pretty illegal according to T&Cs.

Payoneer MasterCard can be used for online transactions, buying stuff online and making e-payments, but using it to buy digital currency can get your account blocked and may result in loss of money that you might have in your account.  

Forex and Binary Trading

Forex and Binary trading via Payoneer account is pretty illegal
Forex and Binary trading via Payoneer account is pretty illegal

Payoneer T&Cs clearly state that you are not allowed to use your account for Forex or Binary trading. But (if you are into Forex trading and stuff) you might have seen that there are platforms that work with Payoneer and allow payouts/withdrawals to Payoneer account directly. Then why do the T&Cs list it as illegal?

The answer to that question is rather simple. You can receive payments from Forex websites (only from those who partner with Payoneer). But you can not make payments on those websites using your Payoneer MasterCard. It’s exactly similar to the way you are not allowed to buy Digital Currency via your Payoneer Credit Card.

Although, in my opinion (mind you, I am no expert in forex trading either) if your broker is accepting payments via Credit/Debit card, there’s definitely something fishy going on. Mostly trusted brokers accept payments via direct bank transfers and pay their customers via direct bank transfers as well. So, if you see someone asking for your credit card for Forex, try to stay away from them!

Gambling or betting

You might hit a jackpot, but gambling using your Payoneer account is not allowed
You might hit a jackpot, but gambling using your Payoneer account is not allowed

This right here is the last point that I would explain and which is one of the most important ones. Internet gambling and sort are becoming rather popular these days. I’ve seen a certain amount of popularity of the concept in the local Pakistani community as well. But Payoneer T&Cs say it clearly that:

Gambling or betting, including lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, off-track betting, memberships on gambling-related internet sites and wagers at races;

is against their T&Cs. Which means, using your Payoneer MasterCard on websites that offer Gambling or betting services and/or are affiliated with platforms that offer such services, will get your account blocked and may result in loss of money. And this also includes using your account on one of the most popular services called Skrill.

And with that, the list continues. Most common folks, who ignore T&Cs, end up having their accounts blocked by making small mistakes like the mentioned above. And let me tell you one more thing if you get your account blocked due to violation of the T&Cs, there’s no way of getting it back. It’s gone. And the money in that too.

Some of the websites offering illegal services might say that they accept Payoneer payments, but that does not mean that Payoneer is okay with that. Rules, regulations, and terms vary country by country. Buying medication online might be allowed in one country and not so much in another. Payoneer, being a global service provider has to comply with all countries’ rules and regulations. You are strongly advised to read the T&Cs prior to making any kind of transactions and make sure what you are doing is not prohibited in T&Cs.

Be sure to check out the list of all kinds of prohibited transactions on Payoneer Terms and Conditions page here.

If you haven’t signed up for Payoneer, click this link to sign up and get $35 credit for free (that’s your one year MasterCard fee!). Click here to learn how to sign up for Payoneer step by step.

Make sure to share this article with your friends to make sure they are using Payoneer safely and their account + money is safe.

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4 years ago

Nice article, but I hope you also realized that a lot of their terms are violating international trading laws. For example trading, you cannot forbid trading and then allow only with affiliated companies. but their whole rules do not make sense for most real business sectors, because you need always be able to receive and to pay for business partner.