Papaya Global Payroll Review 2024: Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons

Our Verdict

A world of payroll options with exceptional in-country support

Papaya Global is a superior solution designed to address the sophisticated payroll and HR needs of larger organizations. Responsive and expert service at every price level, a reputation for dependability, and generally robust capabilities should easily push it onto any PEO procurement shortlist.

Its international footprint, however, is the real differentiator. Papaya’s network of in-country experts can help companies onboard, pay, and manage an international workforce — even helping secure work and residence permits when they send employees abroad. It can handle cross-border payroll runs in over 100 currencies and manage benefits in more than 160 countries, with pay stubs delivered in each employee’s native language.

Pros

  • Provides payroll management support for workers in over 160 countries
  • Local partners can provide country-specific advisory services
  • Sliding scale price structure based on the number of employees
  • Global contractor payment and management plan available

Cons

  • Scaling up could be expensive for large multinationals
  • Final pricing is quote-based
  • Setup/onboarding fee and transaction fees
  • Contract required

Papaya Global Plans & Pricing

Professional employer organization (PEO) solutions blend automation with human consulting and package them up based on a company’s particular needs. Pricing in such a sophisticated category can be a bit opaque, so we were pleased to see Papaya’s relatively transparent 3-tier pricing plan.

It works on a sliding scale based on number of employees. If you have 101 to 500 employees, fees start at $25 per month (USD) per employee, $20 per month per employee for 501 to 1000 employees, and $15 per month for over 1000 employees.

That said, we did find the website’s claim of ‘zero hidden charges’ and ‘no additional fees’ a bit distracting. Delve deeper and you’ll find fees for onboarding and transaction processing. And, regardless of which tier you choose, every new customer needs a customized quote.

Grow Global Scale Global Enterprise Global Contractor
Monthly Cost $25 per month per employee $20 per month per employee $15 per month per employee $30 per employee per month
Free Trial
Employees 101-500 employees 501-1000 employees More than 1000 employees Unlimited
PTO Management ✅Through integration with BambooHR ✅Through integration with BambooHR ✅Through integration with BambooHR N/A
Expense Management ✅integration with Expensify, or manual data import from other third-party solutions ✅integration with Expensify, or manual data import from other third-party solutions ✅integration with Expensify, or manual data import from other third-party solutions ❌Not included
Reporting Advanced reporting and analytics module Advanced reporting and analytics module Advanced reporting and analytics module Basic record-keeping and transaction reporting
Customer Support Extensive: access to local experts, centre of excellence team, 24/7 chat support, Free access to global knowledge base (continually updated) Extensive: access to local experts, centre of excellence team, 24/7 chat support, Free access to global knowledge base (continually updated) Extensive: access to local experts, centre of excellence team, 24/7 chat support, Free access to global knowledge base (continually updated) Full access to a continuously updated knowledge base of global contractor employment resources

Grow Global – starting at $25 per employee per month

Grow Global is Papaya’s ‘entry-level’ plan — though that description doesn’t quite do it justice. Every tier of the PayrollPlus offering comes fully packed with the same premium package of employer features and benefits, from extensive payroll processing to robust analytics, integrations, support, and payment tools. Employees benefit too, with access to payslips, time tracking, documents and Papaya support through their own personalized portals.

Where the tiers differ is in how they address organization size and complexity. Grow Global will accommodate 101-500 employees across four legal entities. Final pricing is tailored to each company and includes a level of ongoing human support, so free trials aren’t an option.

Scale Global – starting at $20 per employee per month

As we said, every Payapa Global monthly plan comes fully packed with features and benefits for employers and employees. The Scale Global tier offers everything in the Grow Global plan, but lowers the per-employee per-month price. Starting at $20, the plan is designed for organizations with 501 to 1000 employees and accommodates up to 10 different legal entities.

That’s the only change — the bigger the company, the less you pay per employee. You just need to cross that 501st employee threshold. As with Grow Global, the final monthly bill will depend on your customized quote. There is no free trial but you can request a demo.

Enterprise Global – starting at $15 per employee per month

Large organizations with 1000 employees or more can enjoy the advantages of scale with the Enterprise Global plan. It’s designed for large and diverse firms with more than 10 legal entities (and logically, probably with a multi-national presence). This is where features like 160-country coverage, automated payments in local currency, and support from local country experts in Papaya’s Center of Excellence could show their true value.

Papaya’s sliding scale price structure drops the per-employee per month starting price to $15, so that will take some of the sting out of your monthly invoice. But it depends. Like Grow Global and Scale Global, final pricing depends on your customized quote.

Contractor – starting at $30 per employee per month

Flexible modern businesses with a full roster of international contractors and gig workers can sign up for Papaya’s Contractor plan. It starts at $30 per employee per month and gives you a platform to onboard, manage, and pay freelance staff in 160+ supported countries.

You can bulk on-board up to 1,000 contractors at a time, and auto-generate standard country-specific contracts. Both hourly and flat-fee contracts are supported. Papaya guarantees full compliance with local labour law and provides liability protection. Contractors can submit their invoices through the platform for you to approve, decline, or pay.

The final bill depends on a customized quote, however, you can get a ballpark by multiplying the number of contracts you’d manage on the platform by $30. Have 100 freelancers? Assume you’d pay $3,000 a month (100 x $30).

Papaya Global Overview

Starting price $25
Best for Small to medium-sized (SME) firms with a workforce of between 100 and 1000 employees.
Customer support Premium access to local experts, centre of excellence team, 24/7 chat support, free access to global knowledge base (continually updated)
App integrations Expensify, NetSuite, BambooHR, Oracle HCM, SAP Success Factors, and more.
Security & Compliance Bank-level data security protections plus compliance with global Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.
Reporting & analytics
Mobile app
Auto-alerts and reminders
International Payroll More than 160 countries supported.
Digital Payslips

Standout Features

If there’s a payroll or HR management capability you need, Papaya Global probably handles it. It’s a robust, full-featured professional employer organization (PEO) platform that delivers end-to-end capabilities, from onboarding new employees and contractors to paying them, managing their benefits, and generating the legal paperwork to formalise the relationship.

Amid all that, three key capabilities jumped out that help set Papaya apart: its international payroll capabilities, HR management tools, plus the knowledge and expertise to keep workforce management in line with local regulations, wherever your employees are based.

International Payroll and Taxes

Papaya Global offers the best in class payroll capabilities

We think Papaya’s payroll capabilities are best in class. From a single platform, you can manage payments to an international team spanning 160 countries. That’s a step beyond what most PEO platforms offer and essential for firms keen to hire based on skill and experience rather than location.

As the name suggests, Papaya Global is perfect for firms with a distributed multinational workforce encompassing full-time, part-time, contract, and freelance hires. Payroll runs can be denominated in more than 100 different currencies. A centralized dashboard gives you a fast overview of all payments for all locations. Payroll taxes can also be captured and filed for each country Papaya supports.

Human Resources Management

Onboard new employees with Papaya Global

Onboarding new hires in one location is challenging enough for most businesses. Try doing it for 20 locations in 20 countries. Papaya makes it easier to identify top candidates for a given country and process the paperwork quickly so they don’t get away.

Every art of the process is seamlessly joined up. For example, when a new staff profile is added to the platform, Papaya’s immigration services team is notified so they can ensure the process follows that country’s regulatory rules. This isn’t a standard feature in the PEO solution category. When a new hire says yes to an offer, Papaya auto-generates and emails a country-specific employment contract, which can be viewed and e-signed in their personalized employee portal.

Global Regulatory Compliance

Papaya’s international footprint is a key differentiator and it feels tailor-made for companies that need to mitigate the risks associated with managing a global workforce. A mix of online and expert in-person support spanning 160 national jurisdictions helps employers stay compliant with labour law, local customs, and workplace practices. A continually updated knowledge base helps employers stay abreast of legal and regulatory updates.

Integrations

Papaya’s list of pre-integrations isn’t long, but in our opinion, it’s a case of quality over quantity.

Automation is only part of the PEO picture, and with so much expert human support already built-in adding A-list names like Expensify for expense management, NetSuite for ERP, BambooHR for PTO management; plus SAP Success Factors and Oracle for HCM makes more sense than trying to compete on features.

In our view these integrations augment and strengthen the Papaya feature set, enabling developers to stay focused on the core offer.

Papaya Global Customer Reviews

Users score Papaya near the top of the 5-star range with a 4.6 on Capterra and 4.5 on G2. What do they love? Service, service, and service. User comments like ‘they have payroll experts who can resolve issues quickly’ and ‘our queries get answered in no time’ come up again and again.

A review of Papaya Global on G2

Papaya Global vs Top Competitors

Papaya OysterHR Remote ADP TotalSource
Best for Mid to large-size businesses with operations in multiple countries Startups, scale-ups, and those that maintain a roster of international contractors Large forms looking for a single EOR partner across multiple countries Large multi-nationals with strict software procurement specifications
Starting Price $25 per user per month $29 per contractor per month $29 per month (contractor plan) Quote-based
Free Trial
Standout Features Premium support, multi-currency payments, global compliance tools Exceptional international coverage — 180 countries for the Contractor tier Full-stack EOR partner with incorporated entities in each country More than 300 pre-built reports, and analytics presented in storyboard style for easy consumption
Reporting Sophisticated analytics dashboards Basic Standard Advanced
Mobile App

Papaya Global vs OysterHR

OysterHR vs Papaya Global is a tough call to make. On paper, both PEO solutions cater to international organizations with a range of payroll features that make operating in multiple languages, currencies and regulatory regimes easier to manage.

Where OysterHR edges Papaya out is on the contractor front. We found that it can process contractor payments in over 180 countries (vs. Papaya’s 160) and also has its own in-country entities to handle payrolls abroad. Papaya works through a network of international partners.

But for larger firms with global operations, our reviewers found Papaya to be the better choice. It can process cross-border payments immediately, while partnerships with Wall Street titans J.P. Morgan and Citibank allow it to offer secure payment deliveries and banking rails. Companies can also take advantage of a global payroll wallet that lets them fund one virtual payroll bank account in any of 100 national currencies, and pay workers in their 160+ country footprint in their local currency — something OysterHR can’t do.

Papaya Global vs Remote

Remote’s solution is built for the Employer of Record (EOR) market — which means firms that handle the hiring, paying, and ’employing’ in local countries on your behalf. While Papaya Global has an EOR offer (currently $650 per month per employee) it sits outside the central Payroll Plus 3-tier pricing system outlined above. For Remote, the EOR market is its bread and butter.

In fact, signing up for Remote means you’re engaging it to be your worldwide EOR. Here’s the rub: Papaya contracts with national EORs in each country. Remote owns all of the legal entities and subsidiaries it operates across the globe. For international employers who want the risk management benefits of ‘full stack’ EOR (e.g. no middlemen), that’s a strong offer. For the majority of businesses that don’t use the EOR model, Papaya is the better option.

Papaya Global vs ADP TotalSource

ADP is a legacy name in payroll processing and very possibly the first global payroll brand. Its certainly one of the few to trade publicly. For businesses that need an established PEO partner, ADP TotalSource is a proven choice. Like Papaya Global it offers a full range of standard PEO features like payroll and benefits administration, HR Services, compliance, and workers’ compensation insurance.

ADP says it caters to businesses of every size, which should mean you’re signing up with a PEO partner that can grow with you as revenues and headcounts expand. However, less-than-transparent pricing makes that claim hard to assess. Our reviewers gave ADP top marks for features, service, trust and reliability. On pricing, we recommend going through the qualifying process for both Papaya and ADP and getting a tailored quote from each.

Find out more about ADP in our ADP Payroll review.

Verdict – is Papaya Global Worth it?

In our view, Papaya Global offers one of the most comprehensive PEO solutions for organizations with global ambitions. It’s not the cheapest, but premium features and services delivered by real experts imply a premium cost. It seamlessly blends enterprise-grade payroll and HR tools with exceptional customer support, which includes country-specific consulting. Its impressive global footprint, A-list partnerships, and multi-currency payments infrastructure make it a top-5 option for medium to large enterprises.

How We Test Payroll and PEO Solutions

Techopedia is a leading authority on payroll and HR solutions. Our independent reviews of apps, platforms, and services are conducted with the needs of payroll pros in mind. We assess its quality in six key areas:

  • Pricing – What are the different price tiers and what’s included/excluded
  • Features – Core features and those available at different price levels
  • Integrations – We look at how easily the solution could be integrated with the tools you already have in place
  • Automation – We ask how many repetitive, time-consuming tasks the product can take on
  • Ease of Use – We look at the interface, the range of menu options, the effort needed to roll it out, and how much training would be required for new users
  • Third-Party Reviews – We consider what hands-on users saying about the product on respected platforms like Trustpilot, Capterra and G2

How to Choose the Best Payroll Software

Choosing the right payroll software can impact business outcomes — for better or for worse. If you’re thinking of trialling a new solution or investing in one for the first time, here are some key considerations:

  • Ease of use – Is the interface and functionality intuitive, or will training be required?
  • Essential Features – Does the solution combine payroll with HR, time tracking, benefits management, and expense management?
  • Pricing – Is there a plan for my budget that offers all the capabilities I need? How easy is it to scale up or down if business needs change?
  • Integrations – Can the solution blend easily into my existing payroll workflow?
  • Customer Support – What levels of support are offered and do they differ by pricing tier?

FAQs

Is Papaya Global a legit company?

What does Papaya Global do?

What companies use Papaya Global?

Do international companies use Papaya Global?

Mark De Wolf
Tech Writer

Mark is a freelance tech journalist covering software, cybersecurity, and SaaS. His work has appeared in Dow Jones, The Telegraph, SC Magazine, Strategy, InfoWorld, Redshift, and The Startup. He graduated from the Ryerson University School of Journalism with honors where he studied under senior reporters from The New York Times, BBC, and Toronto Star, and paid his way through uni as a jobbing advertising copywriter. In addition, Mark has been an external communications advisor for tech startups and scale-ups, supporting them from launch to successful exit. Success stories include SignRequest (acquired by Box), Zeigo (acquired by Schneider Electric), Prevero (acquired…