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Papaya Global Review

Kaylyn McKenna
Kaylyn McKenna
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Oct 28, 2022
  • Papaya Global is an international PEO that provides payroll, HR and compliance support in over 160 countries.
  • Employees can receive payments and expense reimbursements in their local currencies.
  • Papaya Global provides international compliance support, including assistance with navigating labor laws, immigration and visa requirements, and data security standards.
  • This review is for small business owners who are considering using Papaya Global’s PEO service.

Papaya Global offers a full-fledged professional employer organization (PEO) service that provides support to small and midsize businesses both domestically and abroad. The company’s payroll and HR outsourcing features are exemplary on their own, but Papaya Global goes above and beyond by providing these services internationally. This international PEO also offers talent acquisition and employee onboarding services, so you can easily find workers from all over the world to join your growing team. Because of the flexible service across many countries, Papaya Global is our pick for the best PEO for international businesses.

Papaya Global company logo

Papaya Global

The Verdict

Papaya Global provides international businesses with PEO support and compliance. This is essential for small businesses with employees and teams spanning multiple countries.

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Papaya Global Editor’s Score: 92/100

Customer service95
User interface100
Benefits offerings90
Payroll functionality100
Pricing75

Why Papaya Global Is Best for International Employers

Very few of the companies we reviewed offer international services. While many small businesses operate only at the local level, businesses with employees in multiple countries also need PEO support, especially in HR management and payroll processing. To fill this need, Papaya can support businesses in over 160 countries.

Papaya Global’s services include fast onboarding options, cross-border payroll processing, and real-time reporting and analytics. Papaya takes all the benefits of the best PEOs and provides them to companies abroad, making it a great option for any company looking to do business in other countries.

Pros

  • Papaya Global supports payment processing and benefits administration for employees in more than 160 countries.
  • The platform offers strong reporting and automation tools.
  • Papaya Global is one of the few PEOs that list pricing information on their websites.

Cons

  • Papaya Global is more expensive than several of the other PEOs we reviewed.
  • It takes approximately three months to go live with Papaya Global, which is longer than average.

Papaya Global dashboard

Papaya Global’s HR dashboards allow business owners to easily review each employee’s information, work hours and PTO. Credit: Papaya Global

Key TakeawayKey takeaway: Papaya Global provides advanced support for international businesses. When you’re comparing Papaya Global with other PEOs, keep in mind that costs and setup times are typically higher for international PEOs than for domestic PEOs.

Usability

Overall, we found Papaya Global’s platform incredibly user-friendly; the payroll, onboarding and benefits tools are easy to navigate. We were highly impressed with the data and reporting tools. Keeping track of labor costs, headcounts, retention and other key metrics is a bit harder when your employees are dispersed across multiple global workplaces. However, Papaya Global provides a wealth of tools that allow business owners to view the big picture as well as location-specific data.

Papaya Global self-service tools

Papaya Global’s self-service tools allow employees to quickly view past payments, scheduled time off and more. Credit: Papaya Global

Papaya Global also has a user-friendly employee dashboard where employees can check on their payments, request paid time off (PTO) and review assigned tasks. They can also update their own information in the portal if they move. We liked that employees can view all of the information in their own currency, which is automatically updated if the employer’s local currency is different from the employee’s.

We also liked the feature that allows users to review the company’s organizational chart within the platform. This chart is updated as new staff are onboarded; we found this helpful because it can be a bit confusing to keep track of everyone’s role and where they fit in the organization when you’re working at an international company, especially if there are significant time zone differences that prevent everyone from working together regularly.

Papaya Global Features

OnboardingThe platform provides a centralized onboarding process with payroll setup, employee paperwork and benefits enrollment all in one place.
PayrollPapaya Global can accurately process payroll to international employees in their local currency.
Expense managementPapaya Global can help with expense management and process reimbursements to domestic and international employees.
Benefits administrationWith Papaya Global, businesses can offer health insurance and other key benefits to employees in all locations.
HR analyticsPapaya Global’s advanced analytics dashboards provide key insights into a company’s workforce.
ComplianceManage international payroll, visa and HR compliance with Papaya Global’s platform and local experts.

Onboarding

Papaya Global can help businesses onboard employees in over 160 countries, and the new-employee onboarding process is seamless via the tech platform. Employers can easily invite new hires onto the platform, where they can fill out their new-hire paperwork, select benefits, set up direct deposit and complete other onboarding tasks. Local experts familiar with each country’s employment laws will review employment contracts and onboarding documents to ensure they meet the appropriate compliance requirements.

Papaya Global international onboarding tools

Easily onboard international employees with Papaya Global’s user-friendly electronic onboarding tools. Credit: Papaya Global

Payroll

Papaya Global can process payroll to employees in over 160 countries and make payments in their local currencies. The payroll platform provides a centralized system for all payroll processing activities, including domestic and international payroll and independent contractor payments.

Papaya Global’s accuracy and compliance engine will verify all your payroll data before it’s processed to help identify any inaccuracies or missing data. Papaya Global can also review reports to compare employee information and actual payroll costs against the company’s budget to help business owners understand where they may be going over budget. We liked how easy it was to drill down into different cost categories and break down the data by location. We also appreciate that Papaya Global can easily convert currencies and standardize financial data to display global cost data in a more user-friendly manner.

Papaya Global payroll tools

Papaya Global allows business owners to run payroll, collect the necessary payroll forms and view in-depth payroll insights. Credit: Papaya Global

Expense Management

Papaya Global can manage employee expense policies and limits, automate receipt collections and generate real-time payment reports. Because the company has partnered with Mesh Payments, businesses can offer their global employees a seamless expense management process no matter where they are in the world. Employees will receive reimbursements in their local currency.

Benefits Administration

With different providers, requirements and cultural norms, providing the right benefits to a global workforce can be a challenge. However, by partnering with Papaya Global, companies can offer competitive benefits packages to international employees. Regardless of the number of eligible employees a business has in each country, Papaya Global can enroll them in health benefits in their local region, if applicable. The company can also provide recommendations to international employers to help them build a benefits plan that will be competitive in each local market. Benefits offerings include health insurance, short-term and long-term disability, vision, dental, maternity leave and more.

HR Analytics

Papaya Global provides in-depth HR and payroll analytics through easy-to-read reporting dashboards. One dashboard that stood out to us was the diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) dashboard. DE&I is an important topic for many employers right now, and Papaya Global’s DE&I dashboard allows business owners to clearly see where their company stands in equity of gender, age and pay. The company also offers retention insights to help businesses better understand the causes of employee turnover within their business.

Papaya Global analytics

Papaya Global provides advanced payroll and HR analytics to give employers a clearer view of their workforce and costs. Credit: Papaya Global

Compliance

One of the biggest benefits of working with an international PEO is compliance support. Staying on top of all of the regulations, paperwork and compliance requirements is already a struggle for employers, but those challenges multiply when businesses operate internationally. Papaya Global makes it easier to stay compliant by connecting businesses with compliance experts who know the requirements for each country in which they operate.

There are also compliance tools built into Papaya Global’s tech platform to help automate compliance processes. The company’s global compliance engine ensures that country-specific payroll and labor laws are up to date and strictly followed. The platform also conducts a compliance check before processing payroll.

Papaya Global Cost

Papaya Global offers a number of plans to meet different business needs. The a la carte pricing is convenient for employers that need the flexibility to add more services or regions as they grow.

  • Payroll support: $20 per employee per month
  • Contractor management and compliance support: $25 per employee per month
  • Employer of record: $650 per employee per month

Papaya Global also offers a payroll intelligence suite with advanced payroll and contractor data insights and reporting. The payroll intelligence suite costs $250 per year when paid annually or $320 per year ($80 per quarter) when paid quarterly.

TipTip: Ask Papaya Global about volume discounts before you sign up. If you have a lot of employees, you may be able to save money on the PEO service.

Papaya Global Setup

Papaya Global can onboard clients with one to 15 locations in three months, on average. This may sound like a lengthy onboarding period, but it is relatively short for an international PEO. Domestic PEOs’ onboarding periods are approximately 30 days, but they deal with only one country. There are more data requirements, paperwork and processes for multinational PEO setups.

If you already have a payroll service or other vendors that you want to keep working with, Papaya Global can onboard them onto the platform. This process takes only three business days, on average. Papaya also integrates with several popular human resources information systems and payroll software vendors, including Gusto payroll, Workday, and SAP SuccessFactors.

Papaya Global Customer Service

Papaya Global offers support by phone, email and web chat. The company provides support in multiple languages to meet the needs of its diverse, multinational clientele. We like that the automated chat feature is user-friendly and that it’s easy to find answers to questions or get connected to a representative.

The phone support hours are a bit more limited than those of some other PEOs we reviewed. Customers in the U.S. can receive support from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. This is not ideal for businesses based on the West Coast, but we did find the phone support staff helpful. If you anticipate needing expanded phone support hours, consider the PEOs featured in our Justworks PEO review and Paychex PEO review.

Papaya Global Drawbacks

One downside of Papaya Global is that it’s on the expensive side for PEOs. Although the company’s payroll and compliance offerings are competitively priced, it’s quite costly if you want Papaya Global to be the employer of record for your employees. While you should expect to pay more for international PEO and payroll support, smaller businesses may be unable to swing the $650 per employee per month.

Similarly, because Papaya Global is designed for international businesses, the setup takes longer than usual for a PEO: approximately three months, compared with about one month for a domestic PEO. The higher implementation time and costs aren’t unreasonable considering the extra complexities of operating in multiple countries with different payroll and employment compliance issues, but companies that don’t plan to expand internationally may find a domestic PEO more practical.

Methodology

We conducted thorough research on the top PEOs to identify the best options. Papaya Global offered the best international support of all the PEOs we reviewed. When evaluating international PEOs, we looked for a service that offered support in a multitude of countries, currencies and languages. To evaluate Papaya Global’s service, we watched product videos, reviewed customer feedback, and communicated with Papaya Global customer service via chat and phone.

Papaya Global FAQs

Can Papaya Global help with immigration matters?

Papaya Global’s immigration experts can assist companies with immigration issues, including obtaining work visas for employees.

Can Papaya Global process payments for independent contractors?

Yes. While most PEOs manage payments only for traditional W-2 employees, Papaya Global offers independent contractor payment processing and compliance support.

Does Papaya Global keep companies’ and employees’ data secure?

Yes, Papaya Global meets all of the requirements set by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for data security. Papaya Global takes all of the appropriate technical and organizational measures necessary to protect clients’ data.

Overall Value

We recommend Papaya Global for …

  • Businesses with international staff.
  • Business owners who need assistance in navigating the immigration process for employees.
  • Companies that want advanced data reporting and automation features.

We don’t recommend Papaya Global for …

  • Small businesses that are looking for a low-cost PEO.
  • Domestic businesses that need short setup periods.
Papaya Global company logo

Papaya Global

The Verdict

Papaya Global provides international businesses with PEO support and compliance. This is essential for small businesses with employees and teams spanning multiple countries.

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Kaylyn McKenna
Kaylyn McKenna
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Kaylyn McKenna is a freelance writer specializing in business, tech, and leadership. She received her MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Touro University, and enjoys using her industrial psychology background to share management, HR, and organizational effectiveness tips with small business owners. She has covered topics related to business law, compliance, employee retention, company culture, and management strategies.