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Freelancer payment methods in india for overseas clientele

India's freelance economy includes at least 15 million people. Reports show that the income of freelancers went up by 28% in just two months, from May to June of 2020. Experts think the industry could grow to about $20 billion to $30 billion by the end of 2025.

Today, it's common for freelancers to have clients from places like South America, Europe, and other parts of the world. Since India is known for having great talent at affordable prices, many Indian freelancers are working with clients and companies from other countries.

So what then are the freelancer payment methods in india for overseas clientele?

What is the TDS or TCS for inward remittances in such cases? 

Let’s find out! 

Understanding freelance economy in India with overseas clients

In general how does it work? 

India's freelance workforce is substantial, with about 15 million people involved, making it one of the largest freelance markets globally. This extensive network plays a crucial role in bringing foreign earnings into the country, contributing significantly to inward remittance.

In 2020, revenue for Indian freelancers surged by 28% in just two months, from May to June. This growth period underscored the sector's resilience and the increasing importance of international clients, which, in turn, boosted the remittances flowing into India.

Projections indicate that India's freelance economy could reach between $20 billion and $30 billion by 2025. Much of this growth is expected to stem from international clients, further enhancing the inward remittance that strengthens India's economy.

Indian freelancers are highly sought after in various fields, including IT and software development, content creation, digital marketing, graphic design, and customer support. These sectors attract significant payments from overseas clients, leading to considerable foreign currency inflows into India.

A significant portion of the work done by Indian freelancers comes from clients in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, and South America. The steady stream of projects from these regions results in substantial inward remittance, benefiting the Indian economy.

The affordability and high quality of services provided by Indian freelancers make them particularly appealing to clients in developed countries. This advantage leads to increased contracts and a higher volume of remittances sent back to India.

Indian freelancers often use global platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr to connect with international clients. These platforms facilitate smooth transactions, ensuring freelancers can efficiently remit their earnings back to India.

To stay competitive, Indian freelancers regularly enhance their skills through online courses, certifications, and bootcamps in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced programming languages. This continuous skill development makes them more attractive to overseas clients, further boosting remittance flows.

The rise in freelance work has led to job creation and economic diversification in India. Earnings from international clients contribute significantly to the country's inward remittance, highlighting the freelance sector's importance to the national economy.

The Indian government supports freelancers and the gig economy through initiatives like the Digital India campaign and Startup India. These programs aim to improve digital infrastructure and entrepreneurial opportunities, enabling freelancers to attract more international clients and remit their earnings back to India.

How to Receive International Payments in India as a Freelancer

  1. PayPal:
    • Description: PayPal is an online payment platform facilitating international transactions for freelancers.
    • Advantages: It offers convenience, multicurrency support, and global acceptance.
    • Disadvantages: However, PayPal fees can be relatively high, and there may be delays in transferring funds to your Indian bank account.
  2. Wise (formerly TransferWise):
    • Description: Wise provides cost-effective international money transfers with transparent fees.
    • Advantages: It offers competitive rates, swift transactions, and lower fees compared to traditional banking channels.
    • Disadvantages: However, Wise's services may not be as widely accepted as PayPal, and there could be limitations on the availability of certain currencies.
  3. Payoneer:
    • Description: Payoneer offers a global payment solution tailored for freelancers, facilitating transactions from international clients and platforms.
    • Advantages: Access to a Payoneer MasterCard, integration with major freelancing platforms, and efficient fund transfers.
    • Disadvantages: Payoneer may charge withdrawal fees, and currency conversion rates may not always be favorable, resulting in potential losses during transactions.
  4. Freelance Platforms:
    • Description: Platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr manage payments for freelancers, ensuring secure transactions.
    • Advantages: Built-in payment protection, milestone payments, and dispute resolution services.
    • Disadvantages: However, these platforms typically charge service fees or commissions on transactions, reducing the freelancer's earnings. Additionally, withdrawal options may have associated fees or longer processing times.

Wire Transfers: 

Another payment method that is cheap and reliable and also quick are wire transfers, which is exactly what freelancers in India should consider seriously for all their inward remittance transactions. 

Here we breakdown the advantages and disadvantages of Inward Remittance via Wire Transfers in India


  1. Reliability: Wire transfers offer a secure and dependable way to receive international payments, ensuring that funds reach the recipient's Indian bank account safely.
  2. Direct Access: Upon arrival, funds from wire transfers become immediately accessible in the recipient's Indian bank account, providing quick access for personal or business inward remittance needs.
  3. Global Acceptance: Wire transfers are universally accepted, making them a preferred option for international transactions and ensuring compatibility with various banking systems worldwide.
  4. Suitable for Large Transactions: Wire transfers are capable of handling significant transaction amounts, making them ideal for freelancers or businesses receiving substantial payments from overseas clients.
  5. Transparent Tracking: Many banks provide tracking services for wire transfers, enabling both senders and recipients to monitor the progress of the transaction and ensuring transparency throughout the transfer process.


  1. High Fees: Wire transfers often come with considerable fees, both for the sender and the recipient. These fees may vary depending on factors such as the banks involved, currency conversion rates, and the transfer amount.
  2. Exchange Rate Variability: Exchange rates for wire transfers are subject to fluctuations, leading to potential variations in the amount received by the recipient and impacting the overall value of the remittance.
  3. Processing Delays: Wire transfers may take several business days to complete, particularly for international transactions, resulting in delays in accessing the transferred funds compared to other remittance methods.
  4. Additional Charges: In addition to standard wire transfer fees, banks may impose extra charges for services such as currency conversion, intermediary bank fees, or correspondent bank fees, reducing the final amount received by the recipient.
  5. Documentation Requirements: Wire transfers often necessitate extensive documentation, including details such as the sender's and recipient's bank account information, purpose of the transfer, and source of funds. This can be time-consuming and burdensome for both parties involved in the transaction.

The Karbon Way

Karbon has partnered with JP Morgan in the US, making it super quick to create virtual accounts. These virtual accounts speed up transactions, making sure your money lands in any Indian bank account you need it to.

Why Choose Karbon Forex?

  1. Simple and Easy: Say goodbye to bank trips! Karbon Forex has an easy-to-use online platform. You can handle all your transactions right from your home or office.
  2. Great Rates: Enjoy competitive rates with Karbon Forex, and you can even lock in your exchange rates in advance for flexibility.
  3. Minimal Paperwork: Karbon Forex simplifies the paperwork with online KYC. No more hassles with piles of documents.
  4. US to India Transfers: Transfer money from any US bank to any Indian bank account, no matter if it's a big national bank or a local one.
  5. Recurring Transfers: Set up automatic transfers without repetitive documentation. Just give your approval once, and we'll handle the rest.

How It Works:

  1. Sign Up: Create and verify your Karbon Account.
  2. Document Submission: Provide the necessary documents like 15CA, 15CB, NoPE, 10F form, etc.
  3. US Contact Setup: Set up a contact for the US business that's paying you.
  4. Currency Conversion: Karbon uses the real exchange rate to convert USD to INR.
  5. Send Payment: Your payment will be available in one business day or less.

What We Need:

  • SWIFT Code: To identify the bank.
  • IFSC Code: To identify the recipient's Indian bank.
  • Bank Name: To ensure proper routing.
  • Bank Account Number: To avoid any mistakes.
  • Receiver's Account Name: Your name or your business's name.
  • Reason for Transfer: For compliance purposes, mention the reason for the payment.

That’s it! Karbon takes care of everything to ensure your money reaches you safely.

Sign up now for hassle-free inward remittance!

The views expressed in the blogs on this page are solely the opinions of the authors and do not constitute expert advice. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. We disclaim any liability for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

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