Payoneer Services Blocked in India–Freelancers Furious

Payoneer is an international service that allows employers to pay their employees (subcontractors or freelancers) online. Though this payment option is quite similar to PayPal, the crux of the matter is that Payoneer sends a MasterCard to the employee through which they can directly withdraw money via an ATM or swipe it at a store. With the recent bout of problems that contractors in India had with PayPal, many switched over to their existing Payoneer cards (or made new accounts) for their pay.


Sadly, the RBI is at it once again and has blocked the Payoneer MasterCard POS (swipe payment) throughout India, and will soon be blocking ATM withdrawals as well. However, the folks at Payoneer maintain that it is a temporary block and it will be reversed in the future by the Indian authorities. In other words, if you have money in your Payoneer account, there is no fear of losing it in the future.

If you are in need of the money in your Payoneer MasterCard, you can try these steps to retrieve it.

ATM Withdrawal: The ATM withdrawals have apparently not been blocked yet, so you might want to try out the nearest ATM and withdraw all the money. Since Payoneer does not charge any money for the upkeep of the card if the balance is empty, you can flush out your entire savings at one go. Important caveat: since the ATM services might also be blocked, do not use an ATM that takes your card in (or eatsit). You might not get your card back!

Payment Reversal: You can contact Payoneer and reverse your transactions back at the originating site (such as oDesk or Elance or iStockPhoto). From there you can use the many types of different withdrawal methods to get your money back.

That being said, it is extremely sad that the RBI is creating problems after problems against Indian freelancers. For some people freelancing is their main source of livelihood and blocking the payment gateways hurts them all.

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  • It disappoints me why RBI doing that …

  • Ravi

    First payoneer,second paypal then I think skype what you think ..they will also block skype because it allows free calls and our politicians will make a rule that they need to pay taxes ..India Really sucks!!! They don’t care about trillions of money that is transferred through hawala in foreign banks..RBI never looked that ..

  • any updates with this now ?

  • Ninad

    No update chandan.

    Do you use Payoneer for getting payments from your clients?

  • Damn!This is not at all fare,they do lot of scams and have a lot of black money and they dont allow people to get some money . Screw them.

  • Indian Freelancer

    You bloody damn RBI officials , you dont care about the corrupted politicians who have huge cash reserve in swiss , but you are here to block payment gateways used by poor Indian freelancer . Fuc*k you ass holes, fuc*king politicians

  • ws

    Banks even refuse to open a current account to new entrepreneur ! but they will run after established businesses !
    I wonder how Narayana Murthy opened his first CA ? or did he just used his personal saving account ?
    All this talk of helping SMEs is rubbish.
    They will not allow to open current account, so this rule is not unexpected

  • why the hell RBI has got such problems with freelancers?

  • Sealion

    How do Indian govt authorities and RBI expect the indian masses to step up if they constantly keep clipping our wings. Appalling stuff by RBI. Ashamed to live in a country that wants complete control of its citizens but cant give the level of control to International Policy keepers. Complete and utter hypocrisy from RBI. But there’s nothing new in that. Pathetic.


    its almost two years, and the problem still exists, shame on RBI officials.