Localizing payments via Payoneer

When one thinks of running a successful language service provider (LSP), one’s mind goes to thoughts of quality, service, marketing, locations and so on. Behind all of these stands a much-overlooked issue of training and maintaining your freelance translators, who truly perform the most important aspect of your work. While today many mistakenly perceive translation as a commodity, those in the know understand the true value of maintaining a trusted cadre of professional translators. Creating loyalty among these translators is challenging and indeed requires an engaged vendor management program that considers the needs of the translator, which go beyond a per-word price. One important need is ensuring timely and efficient payment at a manageable cost that will benefit both the translator and the LSP.

Our company, Net-Translators, was founded in 2001 to help software developers, medical device manufacturers and hardware companies to prepare their products and services for worldwide deployment by providing high-quality translation, localization and multilingual testing services. Several years ago, our company realized we faced an increasingly competitive landscape. So we looked for ways to maintain relationships with our translators and ensure continued quality and profitability, while still reducing costs. As we provide services to hundreds of companies on six continents, in more than 60 languages and with close to 2,000 translators worldwide, a large component of Net-Translators’ success depends on our ability to remit timely and complete payments internationally.

When looking for a cross-border payment solution, we wanted to ensure that we could accurately pay all resources in a timely manner, simplify management and reduce fees while keeping the focus on our core business. Previously we used traditional payment methods such as bank transfers, Moneybookers and PayPal, each of which has its own unique challenges and limitations. For example, bank transfers had to be processed individually and were tremendously labor-intensive, resulting in high costs for both us and our translators. Specifically, language service providers are often charged between $17 and $20 per transaction, while translators faced fees between $15 and $40 per transaction. In addition, PayPal did not fully address our payout needs, as many of our translators opt not to have PayPal accounts due to the high fees associated with receiving large payments (2.5% per transaction).

The process of hiring expert translation talent can be extremely complex, and once a business hires its translators it will want to keep them on board and build long-term relationships. Expert translators, however, are very sensitive to payout fees, making affordable cross-border payment solutions a top priority for both parties.

Additionally, when dealing with cross-border payments, one inevitably encounters regulatory issues such as compliance and a need for effective risk management. Companies now transfer funds in more ways than ever before, and the volume of cross-border commerce is continuing to rise and shows no signs of slowing down. The controls on payments, especially across international borders, have become more complicated, meaning businesses need solutions to help them stay compliant with regulators and financial institutions as they grow. Payment platforms must have a solid compliance foundation to support continued international growth and customer acquisition without facing regulatory roadblocks.

As we are a multinational company supporting more than 60 languages, meeting the needs of our various language providers (or in other words, our translators) no matter where they are across the globe, is a huge challenge. We need to support our language providers worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, often in their local languages.

To overcome the challenges faced by traditional payment methods, we selected Payoneer, a cross-border payment platform that facilitates seamless payments for millions of businesses and professionals in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Founded in 2005 and based in New York, Payoneer is venture-backed, profitable and ranked in the top 100 of Inc. 5000’s financial services companies. In today’s borderless digital world, Payoneer enables millions of businesses and professionals from more than 200 countries and territories. Thousands of leading corporations including Airbnb, Elance-oDesk, Getty Images and Google rely on Payoneer’s mass payout services. Payoneer provides a one-stop payment solution for translators, offering easy access to their funds in more than 90 currencies through its multicurrency prepaid MasterCard cards and Global Bank Transfer service.

Payoneer’s multicurrency MasterCard card provides translators with immediate access to cash at a cost that is much lower than other solutions we investigated. The Global Bank Transfer service enables translators to receive earnings directly to their bank accounts in their local currencies, at a significantly lower cost compared to traditional wire transfers.

Traditional bank transfers often go through several intermediary banks with different processing and transfer times as well as unnecessary additional fees. Payoneer’s administrator platform enables us to easily send and track payments, reducing processing time and manual work. With the help of Payoneer, we can send and receive funds inexpensively, conveniently, and with direct control and a full view of the funds being transferred.

One of the key factors differentiating Payoneer from the competition is its promise of cutting-edge compliance. Payoneer is currently compliant with regulations in the United States and Europe, and continues to expand its compliance to other countries. In addition, Payoneer offers advanced risk management technology that gave us more control and less risk by allowing us to withhold funds in cases of suspicious activity, control spending limits to reduce losses, collect incriminating information on frauds, identify risky spending behavior and receive information regarding possible fraud from other companies.

Via its risk management technology, Payoneer monitors suspicious transactions on our behalf and red flags activities such as unusual purchase transactions, card load activity, potential identity theft, suspicious new account openings and so on. Advanced compliance and risk management assures that Net-Translators and our language providers have a safe cross-border payment platform.

Working with Payoneer enables Net-Translators to close the gap between what our translators want and what traditional payment methods can provide. Recently, Payoneer surveyed global freelancers and published their findings in a brief entitled “The Voice of the Global Citizen.” This survey measured the payment preferences among language professionals around the world. The results of this survey indicate that for LSPs to improve relationships with in-country language resources, they must implement an efficient cross-border payment platform that can provide world-class customer service.

While providing our translators with a payment solution that meets their needs and saves on costs for both sides, it was important also to provide an outlet for customer service within the payment platform. With Payoneer’s customer service we can reduce the amount of handling required for inquiries regarding payments and follow-up, which provides us with further savings and enables us to focus more on our core business.

Other features include a Payoneer forum where users can ask questions and get answers both from the Payoneer community and from customer services representatives alike. By providing this range of services and different access methods to the user, Payoneer has met our needs for a payment solution for most of our in-country providers. In our work with Payoneer, we have transitioned far beyond a customer relationship to a partnership. Using one centralized, international payment platform to distribute thousands of multicurrency payments, we have significantly reduced our overall cost and processing time. We currently use Payoneer to process 70 percent of all Euro payouts and 50 percent of US dollar payouts. Working with Payoneer enables Net-Translators and our translators to save thousands of dollars in bank transfer fees and reduce total bank fees by 30 percent. More importantly, by handling payments more efficiently and at a lower cost, we can build more trust with our language resources and focus on our customers.