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Community Member

Low Dollar exchange

Please I'm worried about the exchange rate being offered by Upwork. I'm losing roughly 10000 naira to the exchange rate of 396 naira whereas, the official exchange rate of a dollar to Naira is 415, while black market is 570. My bank is buying a dollar for 440 today and selling for 452.

Please where does Upwork get this rate from because it's not on par with reality. 

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Hi Onyekachi, 

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. Thank you.

~ Goran
Community Member

Have you heard about Wise (previously called Transfer Wise)?


You can use their services to receive money from Upwork, and then transfer it to your local account. 


They allow you to open a virtual US bank account, that you can use to transfer your money from Upwork without any fees, in US Dollars.


Once the money is on your Wise account, you can transfer it to your local bank, in your local currency, and their exchange rates and transfer fees are probably the best out there. 



This sounds good. Please how does it work? And I thought Upwork charges $30 dollars for wire transfer? 

Community Member

Onyekachi N wrote:

 My bank is buying a dollar for 440 today and selling for 452.

You're forgetting that you are not just changing currency and paying for that, you are also payingfor the service of transfering your money internationally! It's nit the same as walking into a bank with a wad of cash.


Onyekachi N wrote:

I'm losing roughly 10000 naira to the exchange rate of 396 naira  

Even Wise (Transferwise), which is one of the most cost-effective ways to send money internationally, offer a rate that is worse than what Upwork's bank (not Upwork) is offering you at 1 USD = 388.000 NGN


Community Member

I also have the same issue. 

Considering the 20% service fee that Upwork charges freelancers, I feel they should at least try to get good rates for us. Because after subtracting Upwork fees 20%, the exchange rate further takes away ~15% of the money that's supposed to get to you.

So at the end, as a freelancer from Nigeria, you end up getting a huge chunk of your earnings cut off.

Putting into account how difficult it is to get a job on Upwork, I consider this rather unfortunate.

I really wish Upwork could look into this and maybe have a talk with their bank or something. 

The 396NGN/$ rate is much lower than the official rate, bank rate, or even worse the parallel market rate.

The statement "The difference in exchange rates is not something Upwork can control. "  is rather sad to hear.

At least Upwork should try to do something about this issue

Community Member

Hi Oyekachi,


I totally feel your frustration because I am also a freelancer working from Nigeria. I recently discovered a great solution to this issue. I opened an account with **Edited for Community Guidelines** and requested for a GBP bank account which I used to receive my payment from Upwork. Exchange rate as at the time I dropped this reply is N734.31. See the screenshot attached.
You should consider getting an account with them. Just click on "Grey" above.




Community Member

Hi Boluwatife, 


I use this service too. How do you link your virtual GBP account to Upwork to receive payments? They don't have a virtual US dollar account anymore

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