Why Shouldn’t I Pay or Get Paid Directly?

Whether you’re a freelancer or a client, you can be assured that payments made through Upwork are safe, timely, and hassle-free. That’s because Upwork requires all payments to go through our platform and offers Upwork Payment Protection for both hourly and fixed-price contracts.

  • Hourly – Clients should only pay for hours worked and freelancers should be paid for their time spent working.
  • Fixed-Price – Escrow helps ensure clients get the work asked for and freelancers get paid for work completed.

If a client or freelancer suggests that you accept a payment or pay them outside of Upwork, report it to us immediately. Our staff will investigate and take action as appropriate. Sending or receiving payment directly is considered circumvention, and is a violation of Upwork's Terms of Service (see Section 7) unless an opt-out fee is paid. Engaging in circumvention can result in account suspension and costly penalties.


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