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Now is the perfect time to start earning some income from foreign sources. The higher the Rand/Dollar rate goes up, the more money you make when you set your prices in United States Dollars (USD).

This report is aimed at South African photographers who would like to start earning US Dollars but don’t have a mechanism to bring it into South Africa.

I will go through a few options that you can use. There are others out there, but these are the simplest to implement. It should not take you any longer than 24 to 48  hours to get these payment gateways setup.

You can decide which one works for you.


Paypal has been around for a while but it was only a few years ago that we as South African’s could actually receive money into Paypal and bring it into South Africa.

This was made possible by First National Bank (FNB) who entered into an agreement with Paypal.

Even if you don’t have an FNB account, you can still use their service. I will explain this in detail shortly.

a)   You have an FNB Account

If you don’t have a Paypal account, you can create one here:

Complete all the details, and then you will be asked to verify your Paypal account by adding a credit/debit card to your Paypal profile.

Paypal will take off $1.95 off your account and then return it once your account has been verified.

Now you will have to link your FNB account to your Paypal account.

  1. Log in to your FNB account at
  2. Select PayPal Services, then click Link PayPal Profile.
  3. Complete the instructions on FNB to link your accounts.
  4. You’ll need to log into your PayPal account to confirm that you are the account holder.

It will take about 24 to 48 hours to get this all setup. Then all you need to do is give people your Paypal email address and they can use that to send money to you

Please note that we as South Africans can only receive USD. If your clients are in other countries, they can send their payment in their local currency but you will have to log into PayPal to accept the payment. PayPal will then convert the currency to USD.

A word of warning – you can lose a lot of money this way because of the exchange rates. To keep your life simple just send your clients an invoice in USD directly from PayPal and then you will not have any conversion issues.

To withdraw the money into your FNB account, you will log into your FNB online profile and withdraw the money there. It normally takes about 5 to 8 days to arrive in South Africa.

FNB will charge you a small commission on the transfer and you have to accept the rate of exchange that they quote you on.

When you withdraw the money you will be asked for a code (reason for transaction) to describe the transfer of the money coming in. I use the code 266 (Proceeds for services, data, news and news agency fees). This applies to all the digital online work that I do for clients.

Just check the codes if you are using your Paypal account for services other than photography related work.

There are three rules established by the South African Exchange Control:

  1. Any funds you have received cannot be sent to other PayPal users.
  2. No funds can be used to pay for online purchases anymore.
  3. You must withdraw the money within 30 days of receipt to a South African bank account.

That is a bit of a pain, but the ease of use makes it worthwhile.

b)   You don’t have an FNB Account

If you don’t have an FNB account you can still link your local bank account to PayPal via FNB. You will follow the same steps outlined above in relation to PayPal.

Once that is done you will have to create an online banking profile with FNB. Once that is done, follow the steps to link your local bank account to PayPal as outlined on the FNB site. FNB will request certain documentation from you to verify you.

c)   General

For more information you can contact FNB directly on 0861 729 725 or


PayFast is a South African Gateway platform that is very useful. You can receive payments from credit cards from anywhere in the world. It also allows you to receive EFTs and other forms of payment.

For the purposes of this report I will just be covering how the credit card payments work. All transactions are done in South African Rands. So you send a payment request to a client anywhere in the world but it will reflect in ZAR. However, the client’s bank account or credit card will charged in their local currency.

The one disadvantage of this methodology is the fluctuating exchange rate. If you have quoted your clients in USD and then do the conversion to send them an invoice, you could lose or gain money depending on how the currency fluctuates if they take too long to pay the invoice.

Once the money has been received, PayFast puts a 48 hour lock on the funds. Once they have verified that the payment is not fraudulent it becomes available for you to withdraw to any major South African bank. It takes about 24 hours to transfer to your local account. In total it takes about three to four days before the money is in your account, which is a lot faster than a PayPal transfer.

To create an account at PayFast go to and register for an account. You will be asked to verify your details and link your bank account. This process can take up to 48 hours. Once that is completed you are now able to receive payments via credit card from anywhere in the world.

PayFast has some detailed tutorials on how to set your account up. Just as a note PayFast is really useful to use as a payment gateway if you want to sell your photography services or photos off your website using WooCommerce as an e-commerce platform. Give me a shout if you need a quick report on how to do this.


Now this is a really useful payment gateway if you have clients overseas. Payoneer issues you a prepaid debit card (MasterCard). They also give you a US bank account. You can also apply for a Euro card and EU bank account.

The great advantage of this payment gateway is that your money is available immediately. You can swipe your Payoneer card at any shop in South Africa. The purchase is deducted off your Payoneer account in Dollars even though you purchased in Rands.

You can also withdraw the money from any ATM or you can transfer it into your local bank account.

The one disadvantage of this is that you do not get such a great exchange rate, but the immediate availability of funds is ever so useful during cash flow crunch times.

Just a side note – if you are earning money as an affiliate or representative from sites like Amazon. this allows you to receive payments directly into that account instead of waiting for cheques to be issued and sent to you. To bank a US cheque in South Africa can take up to 8 weeks and you get a shocking exchange rate.

To create an account go to this site: Payoneer

Complete the profile requirements and request a card. It will take about 6 weeks to be delivered to South Africa. Once you have received your card, log back into your Payoneer account and activate your card. You are now ready to start receiving money.



If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at or on my Facebook profile


Twitter: @DianaHeuser