Oyster Review (2023): Pricing, Features, Pros and Cons

Oyster Review (2023): Pricing, Features, Pros and Cons

Oyster’s fast facts

Key Features: Global hiring, payroll, compliance, employee management

Pricing: $29 – $499/person/month, custom pricing

Appropriate Team Size: Small to medium

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Oyster is a versatile payroll platform for global remote teams, and it does have both pros and cons. There are many other options to consider, so it’s important to get an overview of Oyster’s main features.


Oyster has three pricing options based on the type of team members you want to work with. The least expensive option is the annual contractor package, priced at $29 per contractor per month, billed annually. This package allows you to hire contractors in 180 countries, manage contracts and organize payroll in over 100 currencies.

SEE: Enjoy this comprehensive list of the top payroll solutions of 2023.

If you’re working with full-time employees, Oyster offers an employee package priced at $499 per employee per month if billed annually. The price goes up to $599 per employee per month if you choose the monthly billing option available for this package. The employee package allows you to hire employees in 130 countries, automate hiring processes, organize international payroll, set up local benefits packages and take advantage of IP protection features.

If you have a large global team, you can contact Oyster to create a custom pricing package. Custom packages are seat-based for five or more global team members. This package includes custom employee or contractor needs as well as personalized support from Oyster. You also get a reduced rate compared to the standard employee package.

Key features of Oyster

International payroll

Figure A

A look at Oyster's payroll management features.
A look at Oyster’s payroll management features. Image: Oyster

Oyster is specifically designed for payroll across global borders. Teams that work with contractors or employees internationally can use Oyster to simplify human resources processes. The app includes features to help with compliance, as well, which is particularly valuable when working with people from different countries.


Figure B

Time tracking capabilities are built into Oyster's payroll platform.
Time tracking capabilities are built into Oyster’s payroll platform. Image: Oyster

Oyster includes a time-tracking feature for all team members. While there are many great time-tracking tools for remote workers today, it’s helpful to have this feature built-in.

Role management

Figure C

Easily view and change team member payroll status in Oyster.
Easily view and change team member payroll status in Oyster. Image: Oyster

Oyster can be especially helpful for those who are new to balancing contractors and employees. It includes a misclassification analysis tool that helps you ensure you’re not accidentally misclassifying people as contractors. You can also calculate the estimated cost of hiring an employee and the potential return on investment.

SEE: Does your business need a payroll provider that offers international payroll services? Use our buyer’s guide to review the best solutions.

All-in-one options

Oyster condenses a lot of global HR needs into one platform. You can manage hiring, onboarding, payroll, benefits, time off, contracts and compliance all in one place. The focus on international teams helps Oyster fill a unique but important niche in the payroll software market.

Oyster pros

Easy international hiring

One of the most convenient benefits of Oyster is how easy it makes international hiring. Oyster helps connect HR managers with contractors and employees in over 100 different countries. This significantly broadens the talent pool available to your team.

Managing global teams

Oyster simplifies working with an international team. It can guide you through tasks like creating compliant contracts for a contractor’s specific region. Oyster’s payroll system supports over 120 currencies, as well.

Quick role changes

Oyster includes assistance for converting contractors to full-time employees. For example, you can calculate the cost of hiring a new employee based on wages appropriate for their specific region. The equity assessment tool also makes it easy to create adequate benefits for employees in different countries.

Oyster cons

Global team focus

Oyster focuses specifically on HR needs for global teams. If you’re only working with people in one country or region, the main benefits of Oyster may not make a significant difference in your workflow.


Oyster can be quite expensive, especially for employees. Depending on your specific market and needs, the cost of Oyster may not deliver a high ROI. The price per employee per month is also higher in some parts of the world than others. For instance, hiring an employee from India costs $599 per month whereas hiring an employee from Ireland costs $699 per month.

Less advanced automation tools

If your team already has expertise in managing a global team, the automation features of Oyster may be helpful but not game changing. Many of the features are geared towards those who aren’t already familiar with global HR. These features and the automation tools can certainly be convenient but may not make a significant difference for experienced global HR managers.

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

Oyster is a great payroll platform, but it isn’t for everyone. If you like some of the features of Oyster but prefer different pricing or other options, there are a few alternatives you can check out.


Rippling is a global payroll workforce management platform with many of the same tools as Oyster. It’s best for global payroll management, but includes other features like time tracking, contractor management, insurance, benefits and more. Integration options include Zoom, Slack and Google Workspace. Pricing starts at $8 per user per month, but Rippling only gives custom price quotes.

Read our full review of Rippling here.


Deel HR is similar to Oyster in its user interface and features but may be better for larger teams. It can support small businesses, as well, but is a bit more robust than Oyster, making it good for enterprises. You get some additional international hiring tools, like visa and background check assistance. You can even use Deel to ship office equipment to international employees.

Read our full review of Deel here.


Compared to Oyster, Pilot is better suited for small business payroll. The pricing rates are noticeably less expensive than Oyster. For example, the base employee rate is $299 per employee per month, about $300 less than Oyster. Pilot includes support for contractors in more countries, as well. The UI is a bit more approachable than Oyster, making it a good option for those who are new to payroll management apps.

Review methodology

In our review process, we analyzed Oyster’s features, pricing and customer ratings. We also analyzed competitor platforms to see how Oyster measures up against similar apps. Each platform was compared impartially based on features included for the price.

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