Working remotely for a US company is a popular option among professionals looking for more profitable opportunities—even more considering US companies can hire remote workers living abroad without requiring documents like a visa or green card.
As a result, remote jobs in Latin America are increasingly popular both as remote contractors and employees. However, it's more common for US employers to choose to work with remote contractors rather than company employees. This type of work agreement can be just as beneficial for employers as it is for professionals. For example, working remotely from Mexico for a US company allows workers to receive American dollars, while full-time employees are obligated by Mexican law to receive payments in local currency.
One way or the other, there are plenty of payment options with their pros and cons for receiving payment from the US. The aspects to look after in payments methods are:
These can be international transfers to bank accounts that remote workers have in their countries or the US.
The problem with international wire transfers is the awful exchange rate and the commissions paid to intermediary banks. Also, receiving funds this way can take days.
Wire transfers between accounts in the US are cheaper than internationals, yet workers will still require an additional transfer to move their money to their countries.
Payment platforms are the most dynamic solution. These accept multiple currencies and come with tools for freelancers such as invoice customization. Unlike banks, most —but not all— are free of maintenance fees. Some of the most popular platforms are:
The main issue with these platforms is that workers still have to withdraw their funds and convert them to local currency. For doing so, some offer wire transfers to local banks and even their own cards for using funds. Moreover, there are also the options of exchanger sites like Airtm, P2P platforms that allow currency exchanging. Most of the time, they offer a better exchange rate.
Another downside of using payment platforms in working remotely for a US company is that these are not banks. At the end of the day, payment platforms are not meant for storing money.
Cryptos are an established alternative to payment platforms. Like them, cryptos can be exchanged for different currencies in P2P platforms like Binance. Also, stable coins offer a cutting-edge alternative to banking for storing funds.
Perhaps a downside of crypto is that employers may not be familiar with these transactions. Still, many US companies use payroll platforms to pay their full-time international contractors. Platforms like Deel allow companies to pay with a traditional payment method (such as credit card or bank transfer) and contractors to withdraw their earnings in crypto.
Want to know what other methods Latin American professionals are using to receive their payments? Join the Near slack community. We have a separate channel only to talk about money and payments!