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PayPal versus oDesk Local Funds Transfer: Which is a better withdrawal method for Pinoy Odesk Contractors?

Before, I prefer to transfer my earnings from oDesk to PayPal and withdraw it to my BPI account. But after hopping from different methods of withdrawing my earnings, I have finally decided to stick with oDesk Local Funds Transfer (LFT). Why? Here's a proof of comparison.

Here are some observations when I processed a withdrawal of my oDesk earnings last April 27 via LFT to my BPI account.

Odesk LFT Exchange rate

oDesk (LFT) = P 42.27
PayPal = P 42.08

I made the withdrawal around 10am (GMT+8) and oDesk shows 42.29 exchange rate from dollar to peso. I decided to wait for the confirmation email from oDesk to get the exact conversion rate (since the actual exchange rate is to be set the next business day) and I have received the notification around 10pm (GMT+8) showing 42.27.
PayPal Versus oDesk Local Funds Transfer
email notification sent by odesk
I opened my PayPal account and used their currency converter to check Paypal's conversion rate that time and it shows P 42.08.
PayPal Versus oDesk Local Funds Transfer
PayPal conversion rate
So Odesk's conversion rate is 0.19 higher than PayPal. It's a few cents higher, not bad after all.

Odesk LFT Charges

(LFT) oDesk to BPI = $0.99 = P 41.84
oDesk to PayPal to BPI = $1 or (42.27) + P150 = P 192.27

Odesk LFT charges $0.99 for withdrawal to any Philippine bank account. Possible incoming remittance fees collected by Philippine banks. For BPI account holders, the remittance fee is waived. So no remittance fee for me! No withdrawal limit.

oDesk charges $1 for every withdrawal for an instant transfer to PayPal. BPI charges P150 for a remittance fee from PayPal. And an additional P50 if you withdraw less than P7000 from PayPal.

Odesk LFT Waiting Time

oDesk (LFT) = 2-3 business days
PayPal = 2-3 business days

I usually withdraw every Wednesday and I made one last April 27 at around 10am. I have received the funds this afternoon (April 29) at around 5pm. So the waiting time is approximately 2 1/2 days.

The On Demand Global Workforce - oDesk

Receiving my funds from PayPal usually takes 2-3 days (same as with LFT). If I withdraw on a Wednesday, I usually receive the funds on a Friday, but not all the time as I have experienced a delay before.

Based on the above observations, I think LFT is a lot better than PayPal when it comes to transferring of earnings from Odesk. LFT offers a higher conversion rate and funds are directly transferred to our bank account. No third-party payment vendor involved, which means no third-party to restrict our account, delay payment, or add fees. No withdrawal limit. So we can withdraw  as much or as less as we want. The remittance speed is almost the same with PayPal.

For me, Local Funds Transfer is therefore the easiest withdrawal method to set up and maintain for our Odesk earnings. It all boils down to preference. I would still keep PayPal among my withdrawal and other transaction options online.
9 comments on "PayPal versus oDesk Local Funds Transfer: Which is a better withdrawal method for Pinoy Odesk Contractors?"
  1. I agree with, using Local Funds Transfers is way better than paypal :) the rate is much higher :)

  2. Yes Maishee! Higher conversion rate equals more earnings :)

  3. I agree with LFT. I was planning to open a Unionbank account but I noticed that I can save a lot more if I opened a BPI account instead. Mind if I ask what type of BPI account you have? I mean the one you're using to withdraw your funds from oDesk to your BPI account. So that I can open the same kind of account because I know that BPI offers a lot of diffirent kinds of accounts.

    Thanks! :)

  4. Hi Ellenski!

    Yes, we can save more of our earnings if we use BPI for LFT. I am using BPI Direct (a subsidiary of BPI but also uses the same BRSTN code 010040018). This savings account only requires P500 maintaining bal, unlike sa normal na BPI savings which requires P3000 maintaining bal.

    To open a new BPI Direct acct, you can make a personal appearance to the bank at magdala ng 2 valid ID's w/photo copies narin, utility bill at P500 initial deposit and come back after a week para sa atm card. Or you can apply for it online, fill up mo lang registration form then i-pick-up mo nalang iyong card at magsubmit ng requirements after a week (mag-emaail naman sila sayo kung ready for pick-up na iyong card) sa branch na pipiliin mo.

  5. But ODesk also charges 10% of your rate to your client/person paying money. Instead if you ask your client/depositor to pay that 10% extra to you on account of transfer/conversion fees, will it not be better?

  6. Sandeep,

    I believe that the 10% oDesk fee is paid by employers.

    The oDesk Service Fee is 10% of the employer's payment to oDesk, which equates to 11.11% on top of the amount paid to the contractor.

    For instance, my hourly rate is $8/hour and I've worked 20hours this week. Then I will be paid $160, but the employer's payment method will be deducted $176 dollar because they are charged with the 10% fee. Same goes for fixed-price contracts.

    You could check the details in "Timelogs" page of your oDesk account. The amount billed is different to Contractor earnings.

  7. Hi All,

    I'm new in odesk I have a BPI Express teller card can I use it in LFT? should the logo at the back really matters? cirrus, express net, and the red color letter "P".

    should I confirm this taxpayer status?

    When using BPI Direct can we set-up it in LFT and paypal?

    Thank you..

  8. Yes you can use any BPI account for LFT. Don't worry too much about what's on the card because what you'll need to set up LFT is the BRSTN code of your bank and Account Holder's name and address. Make sure to input these information correctly.

    You should also complete the W-8BEN form. It is a form used to confirm you are not a U.S. taxpayer. For record-keeping purposes, oDesk requires a W-8BEN for all non-U.S. taxpayers who withdraw oDesk earnings. Contractors just need to type [Accept] to complete the W-8BEN and the system will activate their eligibility to withdraw funds immediately.

    Lastly, yes you can use BPI Direct savings account for withdrawing funds using LFT and Paypal.

  9. can we use RCBC visa debit card as method of payment?


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