Ontop’s fast facts
|Star rating: 3.4 out of 5
|Pricing: Starts at $29 per month
As an international payroll service, Ontop offers global hiring, payroll and compliance services, with contractor hiring in over 150 countries. That said, Ontop mostly stands out for its rock-bottom pricing on its EOR (employer of record) service, with a lower starting cost than any other company we’ve seen. So if your global team has a tight budget, Ontop may appeal to you.
But between negative employee reviews and a lack of transparency about Ontop’s services, we think you’re better off paying more for a better experience ― like one of the Ontop alternatives reviewed below.
Ontop Payroll plans and pricing
Ontop has three different plans. The right plan for you depends on whether you intend to hire employees or contractors ― and also how many contractors you’ll have.
(Unfortunately, Ontop doesn’t have a free trial. You can request a demo, though.)
Keep in mind that Ontop doesn’t let you sign up for a plan directly. Its website instead requires you to request a demo, and then you can sign up for service through a rep. So if you need international payroll ASAP, you may want to find a provider that lets you sign up instantly.
Contractor Starter: $29/mo.
Businesses with 10 or fewer contractors can use the Starter plan. This plan starts at $29 per month. You still get all of Ontop’s contractor features ― including hiring, compliance and payments ― in more than 150 countries.
Note that when you use a Contractor plan, Ontop pays your workers in dollars through a virtual wallet with a digital Visa card. You don’t have any other payment options.
If you’ve got more than 10 contractors, Ontop offers the Contractor Custom plan instead. It has all the features of the Starter plan ― except you get custom pricing for your business.
Employee (EOR): $209/employee/mo.
If you plan to hire employees rather than use contractors, Ontop has the Employee plan. With this plan, Ontop can serve as your employer of record (EOR) in six different countries.
As an EOR, Ontop offers onboarding and compliance, takes care of taxes, administers local benefits and pays employees (in local currencies).
Ontop’s Employee plan starts at just $299, making it more affordable than other international payroll services.
Key features of Ontop Payroll
Global contractor hiring
Ontop’s bread and butter is its international contractor hiring service. Ontop lets you hire contractors in over 150 countries around the world ― from the Aland Islands to Zimbabwe.
You can choose from two models: You can hire workers yourself and pay them through the Ontop global platform, or you can both hire and pay workers through Ontop.
Either way, Ontop helps you create contracts (more on that in a moment), get signatures from workers and stay compliant with local labor laws. Plus, of course, Ontop makes it easy to run payroll, so you can quickly pay your contractors ― no matter where in the world they live.
Now, Ontop’s contractor payroll comes with one big limitation: Workers always get paid in dollars through an Ontop digital wallet. Ontop doesn’t let you deposit money directly into a contractor’s bank account, for example. On the one hand, Ontop’s digital wallet gives workers instant access to their money. On the other hand, not everyone wants to use a virtual wallet, and contractors have to go through extra steps if they want to access their money a different way.
Aside from payroll, you can also offer extra perks to contractors through Ontop, like pet care, food delivery and more.
Employer of record services
If you want to hire actual employees, you’ll need to use Ontop’s employer of record (EOR) service.
Unfortunately, Ontop limits you to just a handful of countries for hiring employees. In fact, while Ontop’s website claims to offer EOR service in 15 countries, it lists just six: Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. That’s a fairly small list compared to some other global payroll companies.
Unlike Ontop’s contractor plans, the Ontop EOR plan lets you pay employees in their local currencies. You can also offer benefits and perks, although Ontop is cagey about exactly what benefits it allows for.
Ontop does try to make hiring and onboarding as painless for you and your employee as possible. In most cases, your new employee should be ready to go in just three days. And Ontop provides each employee with a personal concierge to help them through the onboarding process. (Even so, Ontop still gets very negative reviews from employees.)
Note that you have to use Ontop’s EOR service to pay employees. While some international payroll services let you get employee payroll separate from EOR, Ontop is not one of them.
Ontop makes hiring workers faster with its document management.
For starters, you can quickly create new contracts using Ontop’s contract wizard. You can set up one or multiple contracts at one time, decide what kind of agreement to create (such as per-assignment or per-period), and then choose whether you want Ontop to sign for you.
After that, you just fill in basic information about your new contact, payment details and contract duration. (You can also upload a template if you’d like.) Then you can virtually sign your new contract and send it off to your new hire to sign too.
Ontop keeps all your contracts organized for you, so you can refer back to them at any time. You can also amend existing contracts and get them re-signed. And, of course, you can choose to end contracts ― with just as few clicks.
Ontop can help manage other documents too. It will keep records of what documents each worker needs (like identification, passport or bank certificates) and let you know whether or not those documents have been uploaded. This helps you stay compliant with labor laws with less paperwork on your part.
- Very affordable EOR service.
- 24/7 customer support.
- No transaction fees when paying employees.
- Widely available contractor payroll (in over 150 countries).
- Payroll and benefits administration options.
- Custom pricing for over 10 contractors.
- Very bad reviews from employees about software access and customer support.
- Requirement to pay contractors via virtual wallet.
- No time tracking, workflow automations, software integrations or other common payroll software tools.
- Fewer HR tools than competitor payroll software.
- No Ontop app for employers.
- Limited and contradictory information on website.
- No free trial for any plans.
If Ontop isn’t ideal for you, check out these alternatives
While Ontop may be cheap, it isn’t the best payroll software for many ― or even most ― businesses. Many teams will miss payroll software features like automation and software integrations. The very negative Ontop reviews from employees could be a dealbreaker too.
So if you’re not sold on Ontop solutions, consider one of these global payroll software options instead.
Our star rating: 4.7 out of 5
Simply put, Deel is a more comprehensive payroll and HR service than Ontop. Sure, Deel has a similar core service as Ontop, offering both contractor and employee payroll all across the world. But Deel has more features, from automation payments to software integrations (20 of them) to an HRIS (HR information system). If Ontop seems too one-note for you, Deel may be a better choice.
Our star rating: 4.3 out of 5
Another global payroll company, Remote, offers EOR service in 21 countries and contractor payroll in many more. Unlike Ontop, Remote pays contractors in their local currencies, and it offers them multiple ways to receive payment. Remote also has a strong focus on intellectual property and invention rights, so you can feel more confident about keeping your ideas and data safe.
Our star rating: 4.1 out of 5
Like Ontop, Multiplier offers EOR and contractor payroll. But Multiplier gives you way more options. For instance, if you need payroll but don’t need features like contracts, benefits or EOR service, you can opt for a cheaper payroll-only plan. Or if you want to easily get computers to your new hires, you can take advantage of Multiplier’s equipment service. Plus, Multiplier offers extras like leave management and expense management, which may save you money on additional software.
We did hours of research on Ontop and used our findings to grade it on over three-dozen factors ― including Ontop pricing, customer reviews, payroll tools, support options and more. Then we used our standardized rubric to compare Ontop payroll to other global and domestic payroll companies. The resulting scores informed our Ontop company review.
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