Gracious Anthracite is a user on dragon.style. You can listen to them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

Patreon but it's self-hosted so you just connect it to some payment providers on your own 🤔

No but people are right that's not really helpful. Benefit of something like Patreon is it's easy to support multiple creators at once and also trust of your data. And payment plugins already exist for WordPress etc so that's not the defining difference

Gracious Anthracite @anthracite

@Gargron yeah, the whole selling point of Patreon in the first place (IMHO) was "we bundle up a whole bunch of tiny payments to creators you want to support so there's only one transaction fee", and now here they are putting a transaction fee on every single pledge, we may as well just all go back to the 'Tip me on Paypal' widgets.

@anthracite @Gargron On the up-side: Perhaps this will mark the return of Amazon gifts 😉

@zerok @Gargron god i hope not, I have enough stuff already, and an increasing number of reasons to feel iffy about Amazon.

@anthracite @Gargron i wonder who demanded a return on their investment to cause this to happen

@slipstream @Gargron they sure did put out a post last month crowing about their new infusion of vc...

@anthracite @Gargron It could be that they're doing this because of credit card processing fees. Shops dislike small credit card payments for precisely this reason, and so should Patreon creators, because taking $1 donations by credit card is a fairly wasteful affair. Those are microtransactions, and credit cards aren't really designed for that.

@Gargron @anthracite I see that they're charging 2.9% + $0.35. That doesn't strike me as outrageous for covering the processing fees. Credit card processors often have such pricing schemes and Patreon has to cover the cost and turn a profit somehow. They were doing that retrospectively before, toward the creators. Now they are doing it in advance, toward the contributors. It's not clear to me that they're turning a bigger profit this way.

@anthracite @Gargron I'm not sure if the problem is that they are greedy. The problem could just as easily be that people aren't trusting their stated intentions. Has anybody run the numbers on this?

@thor @Gargron see that’s the thing, the whole initial value proposition of Patreon was to make micro payments viable by aggregating them. One charge to patrons would be split up into like 20 $1 pledges. But now P is applying a transaction fee of their own to every pledge, and suddenly we’re right back where we started before they showed up.

@anthracite @Gargron And on the way, they discovered that it cost them more to run such an operation than they anticipated. They're probably not very happy about this either. They have basically discovered that they're no more efficient than other payment processors, who probably incur similar costs, thus the fee levels. Startups exist because "someone had a simple solution", but often, that someone just didn't understand the scope of the problem.

@thor @gargron @anthracite
I'm confused what happens to the 25% VAT they take on top of the pledges. Is that passed to the creator also?

@frankiesaxx @thor @anthracite I get charged VAT for every pledge as a patron to other creators. It's extra on top of the pledge. So for European patrons, it's now pledge + "processing fees" + VAT

@gargron @thor @anthracite
Yes. As a creator, do they send that VAT to you, to pay taxes with? Or is it going to Patreon?

@frankiesaxx @thor @anthracite VAT is a tax so it goes to some sort of government, whichever one Patreon has an office in I presume. It's not going to creators.

@djsundog @gargron @thor @anthracite
Presumably to operate in the EU they have to collect VAT on their service... I'm not sure why I have to pay VAT to send money through Patreon but not PayPal tho.

@gargron @thor @anthracite
Ah. My assumption was it was collected on behalf of the Patreon user like how Amazon withholds tax; I never thought to ask until now. (I do know what VAT is. :)

Definitely done with Patreon then. Having to pay 25% VAT on payment processing is ridiculous.

@thor @anthracite @Gargron This isn't credit card fees. Because if you have multiple pledges, they only charge your credit card ONCE, for the total. But you'll eat this fee for each pledge anyways.

@Gargron @anthracite @ocdtrekkie They were raising series B funds with investors as of 2016. This suggests to me that they were still running at an operational deficit at that time. Before the fee change, they were set to collect $7.5M in fees in 2018. They have an estimated 72 employees. Silicon Valley wages are ~$100,000/yr. That's $7.2 million.

@ocdtrekkie @anthracite @Gargron Now add operational costs, including credit card processing fees (which are still going to be considerable). To me it looks like a necessary adjustment. Can't live on venture capital forever.

@thor @anthracite @Gargron I have zero interest in Patreon's profitability. If I did, I'd be pledging to Patreon, not Gargron. :P

@ocdtrekkie @anthracite @Gargron They know this. That's why they had to word their announcement like they did. Because customers aren't interested in why. They just demand that the problem gets fixed. But over at Patreon, humans, often prone to error, made mistakes and got the numbers wrong, and now they have to fix the mess somehow. Happens all the time.

@thor @ocdtrekkie @Gargron except for the part where the presentation is “we’re changing fees to give MORE MONEY to CREATORS” instead of “our current fees ain’t working to keep a roof over our heads, here’s how we’re changing things”.

*shrug* we’ll see how it turns out, especially once KS’s Drip opens up early next year...

@anthracite @thor @Gargron Given that creators on Twitter are posting screenshots of all their lost pledges today, I don't know if Patreon will still exist if they don't make a 180 before 'early next year'.

@ocdtrekkie @anthracite @thor @Gargron even if they do change back to the old model, there's no guarantee that patrons will return. I see a $1 sub as almost an impulse purchase; you saw something they did once that was cute, you signed up, and you're content to let it run at that level because it's no hassle. causing that same situation to reoccur isn't easy, but doing it after being burned once like this will make it nearly impossible.

@jh4c @anthracite @thor @Gargron Likely true for many. In my case, I remember who I had pledged and will reactivate it if they reverse course.

Wait, I thought the point of patreon was rewarding recurring payments. They have to cover their operating costs somehow, obviously. I'd have expected that everyone was charged some fee already.

Why doesn't everyone asking for money just publish an account number for people to set up monthly transfers to? Tricky bit would be to monitor who's actually paying, if you have reward tiers. That needs API:ifying all the banks ála boobank (http://weboob.org/applications/boobank)

@tomas it used to be payment processor fees + 5% to Patreon + lower processor fees on the way out, now it’s just one processing fee that presumably includes P's cut and is a LOT bigger for people doing multiple small donations.

They used to make micropayments viable by bundling them, now they’re killing them with this new transaction fees.

As to why we don’t just publish account numbers... transaction fees are generally stupid high on small transactions, also patreon's ability to track that you made 5 things this month and ding patrons for donation*5 is damn handy.

Sending money to someone never cost me anything. Only crypto has that problem. Perhaps things are different in the U.S

@tomas yes, they are - anything besides handing someone a handful of cash incurs fees.

Oh, and if we give out the account and routing numbers, then there's nothing but trust to keep the person who has it from swiping every single dollar in the account.

American financial institutions kind of all suck ass.

@anthracite So you can just go "please send money from this account to that" with no identity checks? Not even some extra numbers only the account owner would have? Why? Do even IBAN transfers work?

@tomas Yeah it's pretty fucked up, isn't it? If someone gets these numbers and abuses them, it's YOUR fault for defending insufficiently against "identity theft", too, not the bank's fault for "having total garbage security". The banks spend a lot of money buying politicians to keep from having to, like, set up systems that have the faintest whiff of security; we have absolutely no functional limits on how much a corporation can donate to a politician's campaign here. And for what it's worth that lack of a limit probably explains almost anything that looks utterly insane about the US. Please invade us and save us from ourselves if you ever get a chance. It's pretty crazy.

Google tells me the US does not participate in IBAN, so they don't work.

Hey, limiting bribes^Wcompaign donations is a violation of Freedom of Speech! /s
I joke quite frequently that the U.S. should invade itself to give itself some democracy. This may end up tragically prophetic given the way things seem to be going