You are right about the Indian government having strict regulations on cross border payments. But the catch is it’s the funds outflow from India that’s affected, not funds inflow. Like I got hit by a hefty 50% duty last week for some books I purchased from UK, as anything above ₹10000 ($150) gets slammed.
As far as funds inflow from abroad is concerned, the Indian government welcomes it. This builds up the nation’s foreign exchange buffer for oil imports. They even give incentives like zero taxes on interest earned on foreign exchange deposited in Indian banks by Indians working abroad. The government does insist on disclosure of source of these funds to control terrorism financing. But small micro-payments like that from Medium will not be affected by this.
Besides, India has a large network of freelancers like software developers, web designers, photographers, designers, teachers, transcriptors, etc, who take up international assignments from their base in India. They have no issues about getting paid, and there are lots of payment platforms that enable this like Instamojo, which I have talked about in a previous post.
Ironically, Medium has managed to make Medium membership payments work in India despite the country’s tough regulations on funds outflow. At the same time time, they claim that making payments to Indian writers is an issue, even though the Indian government is lax on that front. It’s hard not to be sceptical of this claim. Having said that, I did give Medium a long rope, and paid the membership fee for over 24 months before I pulled the plug.
Medium clearly has a non-inclusive policy, as far as payments to writers go, and I’m just calling them out. The fact that there isn’t a single comment by Medium on this post speaks for itself.