Improvement request: overhauled "update payment method" page

Hi Patreon friends!

I saw a reply on another topic today from @reyna, in which she mentioned that there’s a general site overhaul happening.

So I wanted to ask: are there plans to overhaul the ‘update payment method’ process?

I stay on top of our Declines at the top of each month, and I know from talking our patrons through this regularly that it’s a fairly confusing and unintuitive process, that many of them don’t manage to get right the first time. I’d say, unscientifically, that I see about a 33% failure rate.

An all-too-common scenario is “Okay, I updated it! Can you check if it worked?” … and they’re still in Declined. It sometimes takes people two or three tries until they get it to work.

Another (comical, but also very bad) scenario is “I couldn’t figure it out, so I just created a new account.” Seriously, this happens about once every other month. This is … not a good reflection on the usability here :joy:

I’d love to know whether the team has plans to redesign this functionality and bring it in line with modern-day expectations. For a company whose primary function is payment processor, ‘update payment method’ feels like a pretty big piece not to have just simple, flawless, and completely locked down.

Thanks everyone!


I have had similar problems, costs me patrons.

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I have spent time walking people through this, hand-holding via Discord, but I have also lost a few Patrons because they couldn’t get the payment system to function.

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Same. It seems like something that should be SUPER easy for a website to get perfect in this day and age, right? Updating payment methods should be easy and intuitive!


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I see this happen every month - I lose about 30-40 patrons because their payments get declined and 90% of them don’t bother to update. You’d think that Patreon would have a stable payment system…

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This is just a wild guess, but. Are most of your patrons paying with Debit/Credit Card? I ask this because I, as a patron, I’m subscribed to a few creators here. I just had to authorize Patreon to charge my PayPal account once and never had any problem with it (although I’ve only been using Patreon for a few months).

Credit/Debit Cards expire every 4 years or so, and therefore the payment info needs to be updated everywhere, but a PayPal authorization lasts for as long one wants it to last (can be cancelled at any time by the user).

Still, I find very odd that so many people have problems with this, even if it’s really confusing to update the payment info, that should only be necessary every 4 years. What are the chances of having 30-40 patrons with an expired credit card?

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Hi Sigma91! You are so right: PayPal is by far the better option. And indeed that’s what we use for the other creators we support.

Unfortunately, a lot of our patrons are older and not very tech-savvy, and don’t have PayPal accounts.

Couple that with the fact that credit/debit card numbers get hacked and frauded constantly (I had one person recently whose debit card was frauded twice in two months!), and the chances of having a bunch of patrons each month with a card that needs updating are, for us, about 100%. :joy:

Regardless, this is all ancillary to the main point, which is that Patreon’s card-updating system is obtuse and needs redesigning. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the explanation, now it all makes sense. Of course having a good PayPal integration is not an excuse to leave a poorly designed credit card update process. Both payment methods are supported and should be easy to use for everyone, and it seems it’s not the case for credit card right now.

Hi everyone, patrons can update their payment method under the Manage Memberships tab of their account settings. This article walks you through how to do so, and may be helpful to share with declined patrons.

We also do the following, and are looking into how we can make it more clear for all declined patrons what their next steps should be.

  • Email declined patrons to let them know there was an issue with billing and instructions to update their payment info.
  • Place a banner on their Patreon page prompting them to update payment info
  • Restrict access to patron-only content until past-due bills are collected
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