A Note on Payments

When it comes to payments, some of you have experienced some turbulence, and I want to share with you what’s been happening and why.

Let’s start with the why — our mission is to fund the creative class, and we’re doing everything possible to ensure creators can scale their memberships on Patreon. We excitedly serve creators and patrons in over 100 countries, so it’s critical that we invest deeper in our payments infrastructure and make smart decisions about the partners we choose.

In payment processing specifically, we have the following goals:

  1. Reliability. Get creators their money on time, every time.

  2. Support creators across the globe. This includes supporting multiple currencies and additional payment methods down the road.

  3. Reduce payment transaction fees. Payment partners price their products differently, and we work with multiple payment partners so that we can aggressively negotiate on your behalf to minimize transaction fees. We also aggregate payments into the fewest possible transactions so that we can reduce transaction fees for creators and patrons.

  4. Support all of the art you make. Art challenges the status quo, lives on the fringes, and pushes society forward. As an arts company, we see it as our job to ensure that as much of it as possible can be funded. Where this gets challenging is that not all of our payment partners view the world and definitions of art the same way. This misalignment forces us to move quickly and make changes to protect creator income. At times, this has resulted in some creators experiencing inconsistency on Patreon.

The reality is that the inconsistencies you’ve seen are the result of us working for you, never against you, to make the necessary changes that ensure your art can continue being funded on Patreon.

Here are the recent changes you may have noticed:

  1. We quickly added new payment partners so that we could continue processing payments for as many Patreon creators as possible. One of these partners is a UK-based payment processor. This change helped us save thousands of creators’ incomes, and it also represents an important step in supporting international transactions better than before. The main downside, however, is that it created higher declines in some cases. Most of those declines have been resolved, but we’re still working around the clock to get the remaining declined cards in good standing.

  2. We audited all Patreon pages for content to ensure they fall within our guidelines. We always reviewed Patreon pages, but we increased the coverage and speed of our proactive reviews. We work one on one with every creator under review to bring their page back within our guidelines, and to restore their page on Patreon as quickly as possible.

  3. We launched 18+ age confirmation for mature content pages to ensure that we had the proper measures in place to provide a safe platform for all users.

To be honest, it’s been difficult to communicate these changes. Out of respect for our partners and our agreements with them, there are details that we contractually cannot disclose, even today, which makes it challenging to discuss specifics. What I want you to know is that our top company metric is your income. We show up to work because we want to fund the creative class and get you paid, so any changes Patreon makes to our payments are made so that we can send as much money as possible to artists and creators around the world.

We have and will continue to put the systems and infrastructure in place to be your stable, recurring, financial rock so that you can do what you do best — create.

We are humbled and honored to be your business partners; thank you for being part of Patreon.

Tyler Palmer is the VP Operations at Patreon