An Insight a Day

Not Currently Available in Your Country

Depending on where you live, you might be fortunate enough not to encounter any geo-restriction errors, ever. Or, depending on where you live, geo-restriction errors might be what's stopping you from getting what you want.

Want to earn money on the internet? The classic advice is to start a website, or YouTube channel, or something, and make money off ads and affiliate programs. Or you could do a bit of freelance work or sell stuff on eBay or Etsy. Sounds easy, right? Well, that's assuming you can use PayPal to receive payments.

According to Wikipedia, there are 97 countries that can only send, but not receive, payments via PayPal.

Different countries have different conditions: Send only (Package Service allows sending only, valid in 97 countries), PayPal Zero (package suggests the possibility of enrollment, entry, and withdrawal of funds in foreign currency, but the user can not hold the balance PayPal account, operates in 18 countries), SRW Send - Receive - Withdrawal (the possibility of enrollment, input-output and the ability to keep your PayPal account balance in the currency and to transfer to the card when the user sees fit, operates in 41 countries) and Local Currency (SRW plus opportunity to conduct transactions in the local currency, 21 countries).

Similarly, Stripe only allows users in 43 countries to receive payments. And Amazon Affiliates? Only 17 countries are eligible to sign up for it.

But the good news is that, eventually, more countries will be supported. This isn't related to payment processors but take Spotify, for example. Before 2020, they only supported 79 countries. In 2020, they added another 13 countries, resulting in a total of 92 supported countries. But in 2021, they plan to launch in 80+ new countries, almost doubling the number of countries supported in 2020.

Hopefully, geo-restrictions will be a thing of the past as more and more people connect to the internet. But for now, I guess we'll just have to live with it. Well, those of us in the "Not currently available in your country" group anyway.