Multi-Currency

Hello creators – great news!

Multi-currency is finally here! :moneybag:
As of today you can choose to let your audience and patrons pledge their local currency of Euros (€), British Pounds (£) or US Dollars ($). You can head to our blog for the full overview, but we’ve summarized the key info for you below:

How does it work?

  • When anyone in the US, UK or EU lands on your page, your tiers are automatically repriced based on their local currency, helping them to feel more at home.

  • To set pricing in different currencies with full transparency, Patreon maintains a publicly available global Price Book to ensure you know exactly how your tiers are priced internationally.

  • Your audience will see your tiers in their local currency at the corresponding amount in the Price Book, and from that point they receive a stable and consistent experience, paying exactly what they agree to at checkout.

  • Your current patrons will not need to change anything and can continue pledging as they have been. However they can update their currency if they choose. Instructions for that are here.

It’s worth noting that in working with creators offering currency choice, we learned that audiences from the UK and Europe are converting over 30% better when they can pay in their own currency.

You can head to your creator settings to opt-in, I’d also recommend reading through this Help Center article which goes into detail on the opt-in settings, how tier prices are converted, how you’re protected against currency fluctuations, and how exchange rates are reflected in your earnings.

There’s also some suggested messaging available in our Help Center to help you let your international fans and patrons know about the new currency choices!

Hope you’re as excited about multi-currency as we are! Let us know if you have any questions. :slight_smile:

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Pardon my French, but this is bull. You say we can “opt in” but you give us no option to opt out and are forced into this whether we wanted it or not starting October 5. It is completely unfair to put this increased charge on creators. You need to revisit this and allow creators to opt out if we so choose and it is up to the patrons to decide if they want to pay the conversion fee or not to support our pages.

Also, your messages are still utterly messed up despite multiple emails to support as well as the inbox still not having the ability to delete or sort messages and any email to support is a boiler plate response. How about you fix those things first?

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I have to agree this is problematic, as it doesn’t allow a creator to test how this actually works for them. I could see requiring sixty-days notice (or something) before switching back, but I would hate to lock myself into something without knowing that it brought me new patrons (which I don’t believe it will).

I’m very happy it’s opt-in, but believe it also needs to have the option to opt-out.

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It’s opt in only until October 5. Then, we’re all opted in whether we chose that option or not. That’s my issue. As if people want to join my page they will join it whether it’s advertised in their currency or not. I don’t have thousands of subscribers (or even hundreds) where their study of “30% increase” is going to make a big difference. But it will make a difference that adds up to a larger one if creators are having to pay the conversion fees now.

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I missed that! I read the page twice before I understood the implications for those of us who launched before August 5.

So, I’ll repeat me comments here I put in the original threads about this - there MUST be an opt-out for creators who do not want this.

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Hmmm, I just read this on the “Creator currency settings on Patreon” page:

When receiving a pledge in a different currency than your payout currency, Patreon charges you a 2.5% currency conversion fee.

This information IS available in the creator settings for people who started before February 11. But… For accounts that started after that date, this information wasn’t shared… ANYWHERE! Not in “Patreon’s supported currencies”, nor in “Selecting my billing currency” and neither in the creator page settings.

I think that is a gross mistake.

It all depends on how you are receiving your payouts I think. I’m receiving my payouts on PayPal, live in the Netherlands and thus have Euro’s. Which means PayPal charges me 2.5% conversion fee over EVERYTHING I receive from Patreon once Patreon’s fees are deducted.
I’m lucky in one way that I’ve set both my accounts to receive my payouts at PayPal and I will now pay less conversion fee, because I don’t have to pay PayPal’s conversion fee (average of 2.5% I think) over everything I get once all the Patreon fees are deducted, but now only over the pledges that are in a different currency than my own (Euro). So I will chose the Euro anyway.

But I think you guys are not playing fair to those who created their after Februry 11th and thus could already choose the currency, but were not informed of the conversion fee.
Surprise…

If you could enlighten the Engineering team on the effects of yet another brilliant one of their changes…

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I’d prefer the option to opt-out, too.

My local currency is EUR. The majority of my patrons is in the US. My expenses are in USD, EUR and GBP and my foreign currency expenses exceed the amount I pay myself in EUR (for which Paypal charges me 2.5% currency conversion fee already) so I’m staying with USD’s, but now every patron who chooses a different currency is gonna cost me money.

You have to let creators decide for themselves whether this change will benefit them, give us an opt-out.

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Messaging is STILL confusing.

‘Opt-in’, then ‘enable’ does not convey that all creators will be forced to accept multi-currency. It implies that the recipient is in a select group who can opt-in to multi-currency NOW and everyone else can opt-in after Oct 5. A clearer message would be:

Access your Creator Settings between now and Oct 5th to enable this feature immediately. After October 5th, multi-currency will be permanently enabled for all creators.

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i dont understand the purpose of doing this over just tying it to the current exchange rate at all. it’s also disheartening to hear that we are getting hit with yet another monthly fee to our incomes.

e: given that currency values can drop overnight, whats the purpose of having a system you only update once every 6-12 months??

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The goal is stability and predictability, but as you say, currencies can fluctuate wildly. Granted, we’re talking the £, $, €, which are more stable, but world events can change those rates enough to create problems. I raised this question (and one about fees) during the pre-beta discussions and it tool a long time before they answered with the above.

Here’s the 1-year USD/GBP rate chart:
image

And the 1-year USD/EUR rate chart:
image

Depending on which side of the transaction your on, it could hurt pretty badly if your patrons pay in a currency other than the one you use for your payout. Currently, there is no currency risk for USD payouts from patrons who pay in USD, as all the exchange fees and rate risk are on the patron, not the creator. That’s going to change.

Yes, this is a dollar-centric view, but it would apply to creators who set both their payout and pledge currencies to € or £. Allowing THAT removes ALL risk from creators for those who bank in $, £, or €.

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It’s clear to me that Patreon are instituting this feature because of that “audiences from the UK and Europe are converting over 30% better” stat. Intuitively, a price book and creator-absorbed conversion fee seems to me like the right thing to do in implementing multi-currency in a customer-friendly way, and I’m glad that’s borne out by the data. Slug creators with fees and potential currency fluctuation risk in order to present a simple, unchanging, appealing value proposition to potential new patrons.

I like and appreciate the feature. It seems to be designed well.

My contribution here is therefore not the typical “this sucks!” one I’m seeing on Twitter and the creator community. It’s about Patreon’s messaging to creators. I believe Patreon should clearly and confidently tell us they make choices that cost creators money in order to get us more patrons.

This is a hard thing to communicate because so many creators will bristle at it — it’s human nature to be fiercely loss-averse and fixate on a new 2.5% charge while ignoring what 30% higher conversions could mean — but it’s the fundamental PR thing here you have to consciously address, not artfully avoid.

You’re a thoughtfully-designed membership platform, not a payment processor, and you need to make that clearer at times like this. There’s a very clear parallel here to Etsy’s recent offsite ads blowup, which I hope your communications people thought about as they were thinking about how to explain this new feature to creators! (I don’t think they did.)

This is a new fee that will cost us all time and money and cognitive load to manage, and burying that fact (as you have done in the blog post, support document and email) is going to give a lot of creators the sense you’re trying to suck money out of their pockets. I don’t think you are. I do think you’re avoiding a difficult conversation because you don’t want to repel the people who want control you’re not willing to give.

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They did make this statement in the beta discussion forum. But the statement is also demonstrably false for a certain set of creators. If Patreon is able to confidently state that I’m going to see a 30% increase in patrons, then they ought to be willing to guarantee that my total income from my current patrons will not go down. If they can’t do THAT, then they’ve failed me, miserably.

Edited to add:
I have yet to have a single person tell me they wouldn’t become a patron because they had to pay in USD. I have, on the other hand, had people ask me for alternative ways to pay as they do not like Patron. YMMV.

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i would do more than bristle if patreon told me openly that they were instituting policies with the intent of costing me money, considering they already scrape 5% from me for the pleasure of using their platform that still has no archive feature, no remove patron feature, a messaging feature that works bizarrely and other basic features that users have been requesting for literal years. additionally the 30% conversion rate is based on speculation while the 2.5% is a guaranteed outcome.
tbh i’m not sure why patreon needs a system to deal with currency conversion rates when the payment processor should be able to handle it?

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Michael: I’m glad they made the statement somewhere, but it wasn’t in any of the communication I read today.

Patreon can and should make decisions that are broadly better for everybody here based on their research. The platform should constantly evolve to find ways to get us more patrons, and I’m very glad it’s not being held back by the kind of paralysis that would be induced by something like a guarantee against loss!

BTW: Patreon is claiming this brings a 30% higher conversion rate for GBP/EUR visitors, not a 30% increase in total patrons (Wouldn’t that be nice.) I suspect for most creators with US-based audiences we’re looking at pretty small increases in total patron count (and, along with that, pretty negligible increases in fees.)

alright problem, I opted in and my patreon amount shown on my page went down by 15% (or 350 bucks) for a total of 25% cut on income by patreon. I assume this is some error as the graphs dont show it, otherwise I would like to know why the 2.5% convertion fee for some currencies got turned into 15% on everything.

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There is an easy solution here - allow creators to set the payment currency and payout currency. That removes the currency risk for £ and € creators, and leaves the choice to the patron if they want to subscribe or not. As I noted, I haven’t had a single person write me about ‘having to’ pay in $, but there sure are a lot of people who don’t like Patreon and won’t use it at all.

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Hi all,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback. We have a few points we hope will clarify some confusion:

  • The goal of multi currency is to give creators access to a truly global patron base, especially as we add more currencies. Our research indicates this could increase international pledge conversion rates and in addition, with the 4.5% + 50 cent rounding, creators will be earning more money even with the 2.5% fee.

  • In terms of the opt-out, along with various of other reasons, we’re ultimately aiming for consistency and a better experience for patrons. We want to avoid patrons wondering why they can pledge to some creators in one currency but not to another in that same currency. This is not a great experience for a patron.

  • For folks who started after Feb 11, there was no 2.5% fee for the first phase of this. The only fees associated were the EUR and GBP specific payment processing rates - before we launched patron currency choice yesterday, cross-currency payments were not available to patrons or creators, so there were no associated currency conversion fees.

Lastly, we’re actively working on improvements to our messaging feature to provide more clarity. More to come on this soon!

Thank you again for all the feedback. Let us know if you have any other questions.

Which might be true, but given I know the source of my patrons, this will have exactly zero effect, and transfer fees and risks to creators. I understand you’ve attempted to mitigate this with the 4.5% upcharge and the 50¢ rounding, but that actually increases the advertised price and might stop someone from pledging. A $15 pledge works out to $16. While I understand the currency risk and fees are on the patron, they see a higher price on the screen.

I suppose I’m wasting electrons here so I’ll leave it at that.

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in addition, with the 4.5% + 50 cent rounding, creators will be earning more money even with the 2.5% fee.

how?

e: even in the best of times, currency isnt stable. but literally right now we are in a pandemic economy, every currency is going to be hit harder in the near future as we globally recover from this.

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On the consistency argument against providing an opt-out option - Patreon’s policy has been that the Creator owns the relationship with the Patrons. That would mean that Creator’s should be free to choose whether to offer multiple currencies or not. Consistency between Creators is not a priority.

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