How Beneficial is Paystack and Stripe Acquisition to Nigerian Writers?

A question all Nigerian writers (on medium) are asking.

Photo by Ryan Snaadt on Unsplash

In the month of October 2020 Stripe, American online payment company, Stripe acquired Paystack, a Nigerian startup online transaction platform, for a deal worth 200 billion Naira. This meant a big deal for a whole lot of people-Africans, Nigerians living in the diaspora and a bigger deal for many Nigerian writers on Medium.

The acquisition couldn’t come at a better time, when Nigeria’s economy was slowing collapsing, turning a lot of people to skilful ways to earn money, one of which is writing on medium.

Medium Partners Program

Medium is a songwriting platform for writers to express their thoughts in writing and share with a million audience. They went further to monetize it for writers. This is what they call Medium’s Partners Program

Writers should be paid for the quality of their ideas — not the attention they attract for advertisers. That’s why “anyone” can join the Medium Partner Program and earn money when Medium members read their stories.- Medium’s Partners Program

The irony of the above statement is that the Partner Program has yet to open up for “anyone”. Anyone except Africans and other regions where Stripe isn’t supported. At least in its terms of payment. This is a big problem for Nigerian Medium writers looking to get paid. A few people are of the view the partner's program is only a disguise.

Payment Method

Medium’s Partner’s Program allows writers to receive their earnings through online payment, Stripe. This is great for the number of writers living in countries where Stripe is supported. One would expect with creating a program of such capacity, there would be vast options of online payment. Sadly for Africans, we are the ones at a disadvantage.

I wasn’t the only one quick to notice this non-inclusivity.

How does Paystack acquisition by Stripe come into play

We don’t blame Stripe, cause they have been trying to expand their service beyond the American dream. Like Stripe, Paystack is an online payment tech company that offers services in online transactions

I was excited when Stripe acquired Paystack and I guess hundreds of Nigerian writers (on medium) were too. Stripe’s acquisition of a Nigerian company meant inclusive opportunity for Africans (at least for the time being, Nigerians).

As the month went by, I kept checking Stripe’s website for updated supported countries, hoping to find “Nigeria” on their list of supported countries. Even a preview could have given us some closure.

It has been 10months since the acquisition and it doesn't feel like Nigeria will be getting the inclusivity it deserves.

The question then becomes, who exactly is benefiting from this acquisition.

Certainly not me!

Who is to blame: Stripe or Medium?

Medium!!!!

And I say this with my full chest. Medium alone is responsible for the payment options available to pay its writers. By providing other payment options that support a wider range of countries or perhaps other digital currency solutions — like bitcoin for example they are creating room for inclusivity across broad.

Medium writers are heavily disappointed that the acquisition by a stripe is yet to create a space for African writers to get paid for their art. Until the Medium Partners Program admits to themselves they’re running an un-inclusive payment system, it will forever remain a restricted space for writers.

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