I hope someone can help me to understand this.
When I accept work on Upwork, I accept it in US$ and thought that my bank will take care of the Exchange from US$ to ZAR.
I was surprised to find that Upwork does the exchange and does not pay me in US$, but in ZAR.
My problem is that the published Exchange rate at the time that I requested the payment was:
Bank Rate: ZAR16.86 / US$1
Upwork only gave me: ZAR15.89 / US$1
That means I am loosing about ZAR1.00 on every US$1 that I earn, that is about ZAR500 for a US$500 payment. To put in perspective, I paid ZAR800 to fill my car with fuel today, so it is more than half a tank of fuel that I stand to loose.
Between the 20% commission, the US$0.99 transaction fee for payments and the poor exchange rate I am really loosing a LOT OF MONEY.
Why does Upwork not pay in US$ instead of ZAR?
We understand your frustration. Unfortunately, the difference in exchange rates is not something Upwork can control. When a bank converts a transaction, they will mark up the interbank rate to buy or sell a currency. Online calculators will not take into consideration the mark up that is applied. Since rates constantly change throughout any given day, the rate you received is the rate offered by our bank at the time your specific transaction was processed.
When direct to local bank account is the disbursement method, then the funds are converted automatically into your local currency. You can check out this article for more information about fees and timing associated with the direct to local bank method.