The World Bank data shows 1.4 billion people were unbanked worldwide in 2022. This data is interesting because some unbanked individuals make money online as freelancers, digital nomads, selling products, or completing online surveys.
But how do they get paid online without a bank account? These alternatives include:
- Money orders
- Gift cards
- Digital wallets
- Online payment services
- Prepaid debit cards
While many online payment platforms require a bank account to receive your money, this article discusses alternative ways to get paid for the unbanked. Let’s dive deeper to explore how you can receive payment through them.
You might also enjoy reading: How to Create a Business Emergency Fund for a Rainy Day? (Here’s how!)
6 Ways to Receive Easy Money Online Without a Bank Account
In today’s digital age, making money online without the traditional banking system is possible. Here are some options.
1- Money Orders
You can get paid with a bank account through money orders since they are safer than mail. Your client can purchase money orders in the amount they want to send you, sign them, and mail them directly to you.
Most financial institutions or certain participating post offices sell money orders within the limits of $1,000 and a small fee below $5.
Pros of Getting Paid via Money Orders:
- Increased privacy and security since no bank account is shared
- They are safer than sending cash through the mail.
- Only the recipient can collect the money.
Cons Of Using Money Orders:
- It is a relatively slow method, especially for overseas recipients without bank accounts.
- Not all merchants and service providers accept money orders, making it challenging to use them to pay for certain goods and services.
- Potential fraud as criminals may attempt to create fake money orders.
2- Gift Cards
You can also get paid online without a bank account via gift cards. However, its usage is limited to specific purposes. Unbanked online sellers or those unwilling to share their bank accounts may prefer this method.
Here is how you get paid online using gift cards:
1. Find a Website or App that Offers Gift Card Payments: Several websites and apps, such as Swagbucks, MyPoints, and InstaGC, offer gift card payments for completing tasks, such as taking surveys or testing products.
2. Sign Up for an Account: This typically involves providing your email address, creating a password, and filling out some basic personal information.
3. Complete Tasks to Earn Gift Cards: The tasks may involve taking surveys, watching videos, downloading apps, or participating in other online activities. Each task offers specific points you can redeem for gift cards.
4. Choose Your Gift Card: Most gift card websites and apps offer various options, including popular retailers, restaurants, and online marketplaces. You can choose the gift card and redeem the points for the corresponding value.
Some websites and apps may also mail the gift card to you.
Pros of Gift Cards:
- No Need for a Bank Account
- They are flexible, allowing you to purchase various goods and services, including clothing, electronics, home goods, and entertainment.
- They come with clear instructions on redeeming points, making them easy for online and in-store purchases.
Cons of Gift Cards:
- Limited Acceptance
- Some gift cards may have fees, such as activation or maintenance fees, which can reduce their value.
- If a gift card is lost or stolen, recovering the funds may be difficult or impossible.
- Less Secure than Other Payment Methods.
3- Digital Wallets
Clients can send you money without a bank account via digital wallets (e-wallets). They are similar to payment apps and don’t charge fees for most of their services.
Common digital wallets include:
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Samsung Pay
How do you create a digital wallet?
- Download and install the app on your smartphone, smartwatch, or computer.
- Sign up and create an account with your basic personal information, such as your name, email address, and phone number.
- Link your digital wallet to your preferred payment method (credit or debit card)
- Verify your identity
- Get paid and start using the money in your e-wallet.
Pros of Digital Wallets:
- Mobile wallets are encrypted, making them secure.
- It is a cost-effective way of transferring and receiving money.
- You receive your money immediately.
Cons of Digital Wallets:
- Not all merchants or vendors accept digital wallet payments.
- Digital wallets are subject to technical glitches, such as slow processing times, server downtime, and other malfunctions.
- Digital wallets require users to have access to a smartphone and a reliable internet connection, thus limiting users to areas with poor connectivity.
- Digital wallets may collect and store users’ personal and financial data, which causes potential privacy concerns.
4- Online Payment Services
The most popular online payment services include:
- PayPal: You don’t need a bank account to get paid via PayPal. Money is sent to your email address, and you can link the PayPal account to your credit or debit card. You can withdraw this money or use it to make online purchases.
- Payoneer: This payment platform allows you to receive payments in multiple currencies without a bank account. Once you accept Payoneer payments, you can withdraw the money via a prepaid debit card.
- Skrill: You can sign up for a Skrill account and receive payments directly to your Skrill wallet, which you can then withdraw to your debit or credit card.
Pros of Online Payment Services:
- Online payment services are convenient, allowing you to make or receive payments from anywhere, anytime, provided you have an internet connection.
- They are generally considered safe and secure.
- You can receive funds instantly, faster than traditional payment methods like checks or wire transfers.
- Accessible to everyone with an email address.
- They are more cost effective than traditional payment methods.
Cons of Online Payment Services:
- Some online payment services charge fees for particular transactions, such as withdrawing funds to a bank account.
- Not all merchants or individuals accept them, which can limit your ability to use them for certain transactions.
- Many online payment services have transaction limits, thus restricting the amount of money you can receive.
- Some online payment services may hold your funds until they become available in your account.
5- Prepaid Debit Cards
A 2019 FDC study showed that 27.7% of households without bank accounts use prepaid debit cards. Debit cards work like regular debit cards and are often found at grocery stores and financial institutions.
Your client can load your prepaid debit card with funds through direct deposit or by adding cash at certain retailers. You can then make purchases or withdraw money from ATMs.
While they come with lower fees than traditional bank accounts, reading the fine print and understanding any costs associated with the card is essential. Some prepaid cards may charge fees for things like sign-ups, reloading the card, ATM withdrawals, or inactivity.
Pros of Prepaid Debit Cards:
- No credit check is required, thus suitable for people with a poor credit history.
- They are easy to obtain, and you can choose from various providers.
- It is a valuable budgeting tool since you can only spend the funds on the card.
- They are safe and secure.
Cons of Prepaid Cards:
- They come with fees for sign-ups, card reloading, ATM withdrawals, or inactivity.
- Prepaid debit cards may not offer complete fraud protection.
- They do not help users build credit.
Since cryptocurrency operates independently of the traditional banking system, making them ideal for individuals without bank accounts.
Your client can pay you with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other digital currency. However, you will first sign up for a digital wallet, a software program that allows you to store and send cryptocurrencies.
Once you have a digital wallet, you can receive cryptocurrency payments and convert them to your local currency using a cryptocurrency exchange.
Pros of Getting Paid With Cryptocurrency:
- You don’t need intermediaries like banks to transact.
- Transactions are generally anonymous, thus providing an additional layer of privacy.
- Cryptocurrencies use advanced cryptography to secure transactions
- Some crypto has seen significant price increases, meaning getting paid with cryptocurrency can increase earnings.
Cons of Getting Paid With Cryptocurrency:
- They are notoriously volatile, meaning you can lose your money quickly.
- They are not widely accepted by merchants across the globe.
- They are unregulated, meaning users have little legal recourse if something goes wrong with a transaction.
- Cryptocurrencies are complex and challenging to understand for most people.
Can You Receive Money Online Without a Bank Account?
Yes, you can receive money online through PayPal, money orders, digital wallets, cryptocurrencies, prepaid debit cards, or Skrill without a bank account.
Which Online Payment App Can I Use Without a Bank?
You can use PayPal, Venmo, Skrill, Cash App, and Neteller without a bank account. Some options like Skrill and Neteller allow your client to add funds to your accounts using prepaid cards or other payment methods.
Can I Receive Money on Google Pay Without a Bank Account?
While Google Pay often requires a bank account to receive and send money through their platform, you can link it to some prepaid debit cards. This allows you to use a prepaid card as an alternative to a bank account if it’s compatible with the platform.
Do Mobile Wallets Have to be Linked to an Account?
In general, linking a mobile wallet to an account is necessary to use it. But they can function independently of bank accounts. Digital wallets are online bank accounts in themselves, allowing you to transfer payments, make purchases, and check balances on your smart devices.
What to read next:
- 7 Exciting Ways to Save Money From Salary.
- How Much Money Do You Need To Get Started In eCommerce?
- Best Start-Up Loans For Small Business.
- 8 Practical Ways to Finance Your Start-Up (A must-know guide!)
How Much Does It Cost to Send Money Without a Bank Account?
The cost of sending money without a bank account varies depending on several factors, such as
- The destination country,
- The payment method
- The transfer amount
- The service provider
- The currency exchange rate.