How would you feel about a Patreon wallet?

To be blunt, I don’t like the idea, at all.

I only have 226 Patrons, I’m still fairly new at this. But I would guess 95% of my Patrons (or more) came here to Patreon because I convinced them to do so on my Youtube channel. So having Patreon try to now talk them into spending bigger blocks of money so that they can start supporting a whole buffet of content creators other than myself seems to be a bit of a slap in the face to all of us who’ve worked hard getting people to come here, set up accounts and start supporting us. And if you started running them off, pressuring them with offers … that would be very bad indeed.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Patreon launch a huge advertising campaign, trying themselves to get new Patrons here to support us all. That would be great. But no thank you on the wallet idea. It just doesn’t seem very effective, please leave my Patrons out of it.


how much would patreon credits be worth in real human currency. why would i want to get paid in patreon credits. this seems like you are asking if you can scam us.
i dont understand what incentive i would have to be paid in anything other than real currency. it seems like in the model you proposed, you pocket 100 dollars and i get paid in “credits”. which means nothing to me.

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this just sounds suspiciously like you’re pulling the old “paying your workers in points they can only use at the company store” scam. but even more poorly thought out, somehow.

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The idea here would be that the monies in the wallet would be translatable to a real world equivalent. Again, we’re just grateful for all the questions and thoughts. More to come!

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im not getting paid in bitcoins, carla. can you elaborate on what you mean by “real world equivalent”.
e: it would help if you were upfront about what problem this was supposed to solve instead of just pitching ideas and letting us filling the blanks with how its supposed to benefit us.

In the case of a cryptocurrency, as some creators shared ideas about above, you’d be able to convert those.

If you’re a patron, you might just have cash in a stored wallet that goes to creators.

Earlier, you made a comment about this being “the company store” and it’s important to point out that would be something that would not align with Patreon’s approach to bringing any new payments possibilities to market. We would want to ensure that creators and patrons have complete understanding about what and how this payment product would function. Of course, right now, we haven’t scoped any actual products, so there’s nothing to explain. The musings of people above have been really helpful in knowing what needs are important and what questions we would have to answer around any sort of wallet functionality. It could be that we create options for people to pay up front for a year, we could create gift cards, there’s a lot of avenues to take, but it needs to be grounded in the various needs and desires of our creator community.

We’re literally still exploring ideas here and wondering how people would feel about a wallet and what that would mean to them. These are long range things. We’ll be coming back with more specific questions as we flesh out ideas and think about answering questions people have had.


i mean, i would be more willing to accept you were “just asking questions” if patreon hadnt evaporated all the goodwill it had by overtly trying to screw creators in december while in the same breath trying to pretend like its helping us. as it is now im not willing to sit here and give you reasons why your nebulous idea will benefit me if you wont even tell me what the idea is or what irs supposed to solve. “hey what do you think of this idea” isnt a helpful topic if you wont tell us ways in which it will effect us and keep dancing around whether or not patreon credit is 1:1 extrange rate with real currency or what the idea actually is. as it is it seems like youre fishing to see what you can get away with.
speaking of which where i can invoice patreon for my services as a consultant?

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@beasmygod… you’re being a bit salty.

honestly, it sounds like patreon isn’t “working” out for you in the way(s) that you had hoped… there are other options out there like Kickstarter’s new creator platform, drip.

personally, i’m just grateful that i didn’t have to build anything myself to start making a few dollars on the stuff that i’ve been working on. believe me though… i’m a software engineer and could have built a “pledging” system myself with off-the-shelf tools and more…

… but patreon made it infinitely more easy so i could just focus on building the project(s) that my community wanted. my attitude about what patreon has created for us and allowed us to use seems categorically different than the one you’re sporting.

and sure… anything patreon does has to balance their need to support their own business objectives and revenue targets just like their customers (us, the creators). so they are going to be naturally incentivized to create services and solutions that hopefully serve both parties in concert. thankfully they’ve invited us to conversate about it in forums like these.



i’ve been trying to make the switch to drip for a long time and currently am just waiting to be included in a batch of invites so i can change over fully and leave patreon behind since it is clear it has no room for creators like me or my peers. i am overtly, loudly unhappy with patreon’s ideas and priorities and i am not here for this coy song and dance where i come up with business ideas to make them money for free or give them permission to pay me in “credits”. gratitude that a service exists has long been replaced with irritation at their ineptitude at understanding how they fit in with creators and their patreons and the services they are rolling out are not only not unhelpful for me, but oddly evasive. why not just say “we’ll pay you with money”, for example? I’m confused as to what i get paid in in this hypothetical since it seems to be implied it something i have to convert to usable cash.

i could be thankful that a representative from patreon doesnt come to my house and shoot me in the face with a shotgun every morning too, but im not.

e: i dont know how to be plainer about it. i dont have any good will left for patreon due to december’s events and i am highly suspect of any idea that doesnt give concrete plans and especially any ideas that seem to hint at payment that involves me getting paid in scrip money

ee: and uh, lest we forget: we drum up business for patreon. not the other way around. patreon needs to be thankful for their creators for creating business for them. this weird reverent thanks to a company that cant exist without us is weird.

well I for one appreciate you asking, I am not entirely sure how this would work out, but I can see some benefits to it.


i would love to hear what kind of benefits this plan could have bc i also what to know what kind of patreon donor can only donate 1 dollar a month but also can buy $100 worth of patreon fun money in one go to spend. who is this person.

This is a good question. As requested above by other creators, the desire for this wallet would be to live alongside other methods of payment. You’re right that for some of your patrons at that level of $1 or $2 membership, it may be too expensive to pay a larger amount up front. This question/thread is not about a wholesale replacement of any existing system. The payments team is curious about other offerings because of questions that various creators have raised in conversations here and in person.

We didn’t come with this question to be proscriptive. We could have come with just one idea but we know that every creator’s business is different and their audiences are different.

I can work with the product team to have them share more of their ideas here – this thread has provided a good series of questions that can be explored and as we share our concepts we can ensure questions about things like honoring patrons at lower dollar levels, or creating gift cards, or ways to minimize fees.

There are still many things we have to address with payments, especially ensuring that we can offer charge up front to everyone, that need to happen first. We know there’s a lot more to be done before we launch anything like this, but it’s all part of the process of product improvements.


Giving Patrons the option to “charge up” so to speak to avoid processing fees while gracefully falling back on the current approach might be nice. Making it mandatory however would alienate some people (and we just had that in December ;)), we don’t want that. The fall back IMHO is crucial here, to avoid the need to constantly having to top up.

What I don’t like at all to be honest is creating some kind of parallel economy with some custom Patreon currency (be it crypto backed or something like Nintendo Points back in the day). That becomes intransparent too quickly, regardless of how easily it can be mapped to something like the $ (or € for that matter ;)) and also creates a whole rat’s tail of further issues that IMHO shouldn’t be something that Patreon, our Patrons or we should have to concentrate on handling. It’s bad enough as is for people who don’t happen to live in the US like me who constantly have to have an eye on the current exchange rates. (BTW, would be great if you thought about offering the Euro, but I know that’s taking this off topic)

Having some kind of wallet charged up with funds is basically how Liberapay works, and they circumvent the fee madness nicely that way. What they don’t do is having a fallback solution in place to fetch funds for pledges from some other means of payments if they aren’t sufficient for the current payment cycle, but it does create the situation outlined above where patrons don’t remember or care to top up and there goes your monthly income.

If Patreon were to implement this, it should work pretty much identical to how our creator funds work today. In a nutshell: Enough funds? Use wallet. Not enough funds? Take difference from primary payment method.

And what worries me is the psychological component mentioned by @trevor.mahlmann - I’ve also made the experience that “one time donations” create a whole different kind of attachment to the cause that’s being supported than having a renewing monthly support, making retention way more difficult. The approach to do something like a “be charged annually” as mentioned by @colortheory might combat that though.


I feelit’s an unnecessary complication. If it’s optional and some people have a use for it, that’s fine, but someof us have audiences that are difficult enough to get to sign up to “one of those web things”. ANY additional complication will make them leave in frustration. Patreon is not set up to be a community (it’s completely compartmentalized, creators interact with their patrons and that’s it, no cross-pollinating) yet this, and especially a site currency as has been suggested, is the kind of feature that requires a fully immersive community. A website that is a complete ecosystem where users can spend all day wandering around, exploring features and communicating with random other users (deviantART is a good example). Then features like this make sense because it’s an immersive subculture and everyone there gets all the references. This is not the case here. The creators are inside but not communicating (this forum is outside the site and not everyone is on it) and the patrons are outside no matter their involvement, many of them never ever going there since updates arrive by email. I urge you to really think about how to make Patreon a more immersive site that attracts visitors and turns them into residents, before adding secondary features.


this is a good perspective on the situation.

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Thanks for all the examples – and great notes about fallback situations. I do agree that we all your patrons to be cognizant of the fact that this is about monthly, renewed support.

This is also super helpful. Agree — and this underscores the urgency we have around the patron experience too. There’s another great thread here in this forum about the patron experience.

As a platform, our goal is not to have your entire membership base only interacting with you on Patron. The reason we created our apps and the whole platform approach is that that your members can take that notion of membership with them into the spaces where they already interact with you. Granted, that’s something we have to continue to grow!

Your point here though is to keep options for payment easy to understand for patrons. Definitely a critical component!

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I’mnot entirely sure what the above means in practical terms. It is ESSENTIAL that visitors, whether they are already patrons or not, can browse creators freely, by exploring categories, entering keywords, AND by random discovery. Right now, as has been pointed out many times, this is impossible. It is NOT POSSIBLE to find any creator other than the top creators you guys feature. This is such a huge strategic mistake I can’t even understand why you’re not stopping everything else to fix it first. We’re all losing oceans of potential revenue. Without the possibility of building up a native patron base, as opposed to have to drag everyone else from another site, most of us are going nowhere with Patreon. I speak as someone who accrued 16,000 followers on deviantART solely thanks to the free circulation and excellent discovery functions of that site. I didn’t bring anyone there from outside, in fact I never told anyone outside dA about my account (because it’s so messy in other respects). Not just followers but buyers, job offers and more. It’s not just about the patronage (“gasp!”); if someone doesn’t want to pledge but wants to commission work from a Patreon creator, I would guess that most creators here would be delighted. All these are life-improving benefits that are currently being actively denied to us. You have to understand that while this is the case, many of us have to invest our time on other platforms where at the very least we get eyeballs in return.


the multimillion dollar company that takes a 5% cut of my earnings already should be shouldering the CC fees, imo. i dont know what my 5% cut is going to if not to run the site smoothly for me and my peers and pay the employees of patreon. how much did the ceo take home last year?

why doesnt patreon batch fees or start a 2 dollar minimum or as a solution? bc right now the rumor on the street is that this and decembers idea were to duck regulations of some kind.

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