The State of the GSoC Payments for India 2017

Amitosh Swain Mahapatra
2 min readSep 10, 2017


One of the very interesting part of Google Summer of Code is the payments. It’s a large factor that will motivate you to continue your project amidst the very hot and humid Indian summer. Setting up the payment correctly is a really nervous experience, as the questions asked during sign-up are bewildering. I aim to answer some questions that came to my mind while signing up to Payoneeer. If you are new to GSoC, I hope this will be helpful for you.

Initially I was interested to get the shiny Google branded Payoneer card, but bank transfer was the only option available for India. I hope they change it the next time.

Documents and Cards, Do I need any ?

Apart from the “Proof of enrollment”, You need your “PAN card”. Get it done online if you do not posses one. The amounts transferred will be greater than what is permissible under IT act, so you must report them. However, the payments come under the category of “stipends” which are n̶o̶n̶-̶t̶a̶x̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ taxable (as per 2017, by no means I am a lawyer).

Edit: Earlier I assumed all stipends are non-taxable. I got this part clarified from a tax lawyer. The wording is vague on that part. It says, all grants received for the sole purpose of sustaining education efforts are tax exempt. However, “working as an apprentice” or any other means where one receives compensation in exchange of services is taxable. Then the question arises — what about PhD scholars working as TA?

What currency should I choose to get payments in ?

It depends on your bank. My bank was SBI and they charge a huge amount for currency conversion. Payoneer has a rate of ~2.5% which is very attractive. If you are not sure, I recommend to go with the INR option. The amount will be transferred using NEFT. However, if your bank has a lower exchange rate, then go with USD.

How long does it take ?

Once Google releases payments, it takes 2–3 days to be credited to your bank account. First you will receive a mail from Payoneer telling the transfer has been initiated. Then after 2–3 days, you can check with your bank for the amount to be credited.

What are the purpose code, IFSC code etc. I am asked about ?

They are some codes that are required for your transaction. The purpose code, says which purpose the amount is meant for. Google has documentation about the purpose code in its manual, I advice you to read that, it may change the next year. IFSC code is for enabling NEFT transactions, you can find it in your passbook. If not, ask your branch for the information.

For me, the GSoC payment experience was quite smooth. Thanks Google and FOSSi foundation for making my summer memorable. And Payoneer for your great service.

Originally published at on September 10, 2017.