Oyster’s fast facts

Starting price: $599.00/employee/mo.

Key features:

  • Payroll support for over 180 countries.
  • Contractor management.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Global benefits management.

International payroll and human resource software Oyster is the perfect mix of functionality and beginner-friendliness. It keeps people paid in over 180 countries, an impressively wide footprint. Meanwhile, the title’s attractive user interface and educational resources make it easier to use.

But there are caveats. It’s more expensive than many of its competitors, and some countries rely on third-party contractors to provide service, so quality can vary wildly worldwide.

Let’s determine whether the Oyster payroll software is right for you.

Oyster’s pricing

The platform is priced based on the type of workers you wish to handle, as there are two distinct subscriptions for contractors and full-time employees. Unlike some competitors, each subscription includes most software tools, so you don’t need to pick and choose functionality.

Still, you can customize your subscription package if you have over five full-time employees. For this plan, called the Scale tier, you’ll work with a sales agent. This tailoring is better than one-size-fits-all tiered plans for entities with more staffers and complex needs.

Keep in mind that only the Contractor plan has a free trial. But everyone else can still snag a one-on-one guided demo via a sales representative.

Compare Oyster pricing and plans

PlanStarting price per monthIdeal for
Contractor$29/contractorOnly freelancers/contractorsVisit Oyster
($499/employee when paid annually)
1-5 full-time employeesVisit Oyster
ScaleCustom quote6+ full-time employeesVisit Oyster

Oyster’s key features

Employer-of-record service

The employer-of-record (EOR) service is particularly beneficial for businesses looking to quickly expand globally because your business doesn’t have to establish local offices worldwide. Instead, Oyster acts as the boots on the ground — your employees in other countries are legally employees of that nation’s branch of Oyster or its affiliates. This service is best for companies that don’t have the resources or expertise to navigate the intricacies of international employment law.

Global benefits management

Many competitors handle international payroll but skip out on benefits. Not Oyster. The platform delivers both to over 165 countries. These perks include health insurance, retirement plans, maternity leave, sick leave and vacation days, which can differ widely from country to country. Through a partnership with Allianz, employee benefits packages are competitive and comply with local laws. The bottom line is you don’t have to lift a finger to ensure your staffers in every nation are compensated fairly with cash and perks.

Top-notch integrations and API

You’re in luck if you crave a customizable platform that seamlessly blends into your existing processes. That’s because Oyster boasts over 5,000 third-party integrations via Zapier, which is an exceptionally high number. Many competitors only connect to 100 or fewer apps. Some marquee connections include Slack, Google Workspace and Microsoft Teams.

And if that isn’t enough, Oyster’s API opens up possibilities for even greater customization and integration. It allows for developing custom workflows and applications, enabling businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs. These opportunities include transferring payroll data to centralized systems and connecting time-off data with calendar and messaging apps.

Oyster pros

Abundant educational resources

If you or your team are still learning the ropes of international administration, then Oyster is an excellent match. That’s because the platform delivers plenty of helpful educational resources. You can quickly get help through podcasts, an easy-to-read knowledge base, community forums and even in-person events worldwide.

The title’s centerpiece for learning, Oyster Academy, is a superb teaching tool. It’s fun and engaging courses teach the ins and outs about globally distributed work. Bottom line is if worldwide expansion intimidates you, then the platform is your best friend, ready to take baby steps together.

Superior global employment support

Oyster excels in facilitating compliant global hiring. It allows businesses to hire employees and manage payroll in over 180 countries, ensuring compliance with local regulations. This elaborate support is precious for companies looking to expand their footprint without the burden of setting up regional offices. The title employs a combination of directly owned subsidiaries and contracted partners to provide broad labor market coverage and compliance assurance in most regions. This mix enables Oyster to respond quickly to queries and workforce issues.

Beautiful user interface

The design of Oyster’s platform focuses on ease of use and clarity. With straightforward navigation and a clear, concise information display, administrators can easily find and manage employee data, payroll information and benefits. Most tasks involve simple point-and-click completion, and the attractive typeface and color scheme are universal. Business owners of all technical backgrounds can tackle HR tasks quickly without tripping on complicated processes or clunky designs.

Oyster cons

High cost

Oyster can feel relatively expensive, especially for small businesses or startups with limited budgets. The pricing for the Employee plan starts at $599 per employee per month. Sure, this figure is competitive. But if you’re strapped for cash, you can find far cheaper.

For comparison, Gloroot is as low as $299 a head monthly. Meanwhile, Remofirst is $199 per person every thirty days. There are also options to legally pay people abroad without the high price of employer-of-record services.

Keep in mind that lower-priced platforms may not offer the same user-friendly, full-featured experience that Oyster does. And alternates may not cover the countries you need. But if you simply wish to save money while growing globally, Oyster’s premium price will not do you any favors.

Uneven EOR coverage

The company boasts coverage in over 180 countries. But this is slightly misleading. Oyster doesn’t have a presence in every country it offers EOR services. For these locales, it contracts third-party vendors to oversee employees.

This reliance on third-party entities can prove troublesome. While local partners can extend coverage where there are few options, the experience and overall quality of these partners can vary radically. It might lead to additional administrative work, potential delays or a less integrated experience versus dealing directly with Oyster. Make sure to investigate which entity covers the locations you need.

If Oyster isn’t ideal for you, check out these alternatives

Rippling icon.
Image: Rippling


Rippling stands out as a formidable alternative to Oyster HR for small-business owners seeking all-encompassing HR software. What sets Rippling apart is its remarkable ability to integrate HR functions with IT operations. This unique feature allows business owners to manage employee onboarding, payroll and IT aspects like computer and software setup, all within a single platform.

And unlike Oyster, which focuses primarily on global hiring and payroll, Rippling offers a broader spectrum of services. This array includes employee benefits management and robust compliance support, making it an ideal choice for businesses looking for a more comprehensive HR solution. Additionally, Rippling’s user-friendly interface and automated workflows simplify HR processes, saving valuable time for small businesses.

Deel icon.
Image: Deel


Deel is another strong contender for small businesses looking to expand their talent pool globally. Similar to Oyster, Deel specializes in international hiring and payroll services. But it takes a step further by offering more extensive legal and tax compliance support in over 150 countries, so you don’t have to deal with the complexity of international labor laws and tax regulations.

Deel’s platform is renowned for its ease of use in managing contracts, processing payroll in multiple currencies and handling local tax requirements. This level of specialization is comparable to Oyster, making it ideal if you value lots of features and support.

Papaya Global icon.
Image: Papaya Global

Papaya Global

Papaya Global is an excellent alternative for small businesses seeking a streamlined approach to global workforce management. Like Oyster, it offers solutions for international hiring and payroll. However, the competitor excels in payroll automation and real-time workforce cost intelligence.

This alternate software title provides a robust compliance framework, ensuring businesses adhere to local labor laws and regulations. Its emphasis on data security and privacy further enhances its appeal, especially for businesses that prioritize protecting sensitive employee information. Compared to Oyster, Papaya Global offers a more data-driven and secure approach to global HR management.


We carefully analyzed Oyster’s geographic availability, functions and support in each locale. We also studied the platform’s user-friendliness, user feedback, educational resources and overall experience. Further, we researched competitors to understand how the title measures up to other options, among other factors.

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Stay up to date on the latest in technology with Daily Tech Insider. We bring you news on industry-leading companies, products, and people, as well as highlighted articles, downloads, and top resources. You’ll receive primers on hot tech topics that will help you stay ahead of the game. Delivered Weekdays