The reason why Medium can’t pay Indian writers. (& how it is not Medium’s fault?)

Sakthitharan S
Indian Writer Hacks
3 min readFeb 16, 2023

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India-based writers eagerly waiting for Medium’s support in accepting them in Medium’s partner program.

Many people expected that Medium will soon support payments to India when Stripe officially launched in India. Later Stripe for India progressed to “preview” mode, but still Medium refused to support Indian writers.

Source: https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038647414-Trouble-enrolling-in-the-Medium-Partner-Program-from-India-and-Brazil

So I did a little research on it. Here’s the truth.

Medium uses Stripe to process payments. Stripe launched in India. Stripe was successfully processing all payments to India. Technically, Stripe can process Medium’s payment to India.

The problem is not with Stripe or Medium. It is in the Indian government’s policy. RBI or the Income tax department of India, I can’t specifically point out which one enforced this particular rule for foreign transactions.

I found the following from Stripe’s website.

“At the moment, we only support non-INR presentment by registered Indian businesses (that is, sole proprietorships, limited liability partnerships and companies, but not individuals) up to a maximum of 10,000 USD per transaction, which is a regulatory limit. In addition, a valid Importer Exporter Code (IEC) is mandatory if you sell physical goods, but is optional if you sell services, as long as you’re not taking any benefits under India’s Foreign Trade Policy.”

Anyone from India who need to receive payment in non-INR (i.e. USD in our case) must have a registered business. Individuals can’t receive payment in non-INR currencies (but in INR).

To prove that you have a registered business, you need a valid GSTIN number that needs to be entered into Stripe and then Stripe will verify it before allowing you to receive money in foreign currency.

Most of the Indian writers are individuals and don’t have any registered business. Those who registered a business in India can sign-up for a Stripe account to receive payments in USDs and other non-INR currencies.

Even Stripe accepts you, Medium has less possibility to work on differentiating writers from India who have registered businesses and who is not. As Medium is enrolling the writers through a different process, even…

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