Internet business in India is rising, and we all know how badly government wants foreign investment in the country. Before, I go ahead with this article; let me tell you something about myself: I’m not a finance guy, and I have very limited knowledge about finances. Though, one thing which I know well is how freelancing works, how Paypal works, how Payoneer works, and what government is doing to promote online jobs in India.
There s no denying the fact, maximum source of income from freelancing or blogging comes from western countries like U.S, U.K and there are many options to receive the payment.
- You can use PayPal to receive payment (With limit of-course)
- You can request for monthly cheque payment
- Direct ACH transfer. (Offered by shareasale, Clickbank)
As a blogger, I have account on all major affiliate networks like CJ, Clickbank and many others. Being in India, one thing which I know: Receiving foreign payment is a task. Specially, when you have to wait 2 weeks for cheque to receive door steps, when you have to wait another 20-25 days for amount to be credit into your account. Technically, if a foreign cheque is issued on 1st of month, I will be seeing that money not before 40-60 days. That’s an epic two month wait-time.
How Indian government is making receiving foreign payment tough:
Do you remember, when Paypal stopped services in India, and when Payoneer completely shut down it’s services in India. It was a moment of chaos for all the bloggers and freelancers. We all know, Paypal or Payoneer cards were the best way to receive foreign payment immediately, and accepted by all major affiliate networks.
Later Indian government & RBI allowed Paypal to resume the services, but with limitations. You need to provide your PAN card details, along with no way to use existing Paypal money for purchases. Along with this, you can’t send or receive payment from one Indian Paypal account to another Indian paypal account. Specially, when E-commerce is growing in India, and Paypal which is a standard payment system globally, such limitations are a road block for an entrepreneur. Yes, there are alternatives, but we all know how good and how bad they are.
India is a country of freelancers, and most of work are outsourced from here, Paypal and Payoneer are backbone for any individual freelancer to receive money. With reserve bank of India, imposing limitation to Paypal, and stopping Payoneer to do business in India, they are literally killing the young India freelancing community.
- How many of you hold a credit card here?
- How many of you have a PAN card here?
Payoneer was one of the best service for anyone in globe to receive payments form various U.S merchant without any delay. By stopping Payoneer in India, they making freelancing community suffocate, and making them handicapped.
A workable solution according to current situation:
It is clearly evident that RBI has enforced many restrictions on receiving foreign funds. Even though Paypal has been partially allowed to resume its operations in India, the person receiving the funds has to comply with several guidelines and disclose all details. Moreover, you are also required to mention your PAN Card number.
All those who are above the age of 18 can apply for a PAN Card, but there are many Bloggers in India who are below the age of 18. These young bloggers who are below the age of 18 usually operate on the name of their parents and mention their parents PAN Card details and receive funds on their name.
However, I won’t advise you to work on the name of your parents because you can yourself apply for a PAN Card. Yes, contrary to public perception, the truth is that a minor can apply for a PAN Card. Whether you are below the age of 18 or above the age of 18, I would advise everyone to opt for a PAN Card as it is one of the best proof of identity. Moreover, now that you have grown-up and have started earning, its better that you handle your expenses on your own which is only possible when you have your own PAN Card and received payments on your own name.
Applying for a PAN Card is an easy process and you can even do it online by furnishing Form 49A online along with the prescribed fee of Rs. 96. Applying for a PAN Card is a fairly simple process and there is no need for you go get this work done through Agents as the Income Tax Department easily issues PAN Card which is directly sent to your address.
I emailed Payoneer team few days back, but it doesn’t seem they are going to resume their services in India any time soon, and with Paypal account, one can’t receive personal payment within India, it’s time to stick to alternatives like 2checkout or ccavenue. Thanks to Karan from Charteredclub for his useful input in this article. Hopefully, in coming days we will see an active and positive step by Indian government to support Indian freelancers and bloggers.