Revisiting the topic of Pro-rating payments

I’ve made a topic about this before: as is, when pledging to a page, if it’s not pay-up-front, a patron has to wait til the end of the month to see any rewards / have their payment go through, or if it is pay-up-front, they can get charged twice in rapid succession if they pledge near the end of the month.

I (and a few others) had suggested pro-rated payments as a workaround, though the concern is if a patron pledges at the end of the month, they can get access to everything for a reduced rate, then immediately withdraw, making it easy to freeboot content.

However, giving each patron their own unique payment cycle means drastically higher fees for the creator, cause they can’t be batched (which was the concern from 2017’s proposed fee restructuring that was massively unpopular).

A workaround for this: delay the pro-rated payment. There’s two ways to do this.

Option 1: the first payment a patron gives is for 100% of their tier, as soon as they’re on the monthly schedule, they then pay the pro-rated rate for the second payment (first full month), and then from there on out it continues as normal with their full tier payment. This probably would not be possible to apply to smaller pledges.

So if you pledge to a $10 tier on the 27th of June, you’d pledge $10 right away, then $1 on the 1st of July, then $10 from there on out, starting in August.

Option 2 is just to combine the pro-rated month and first full month. This would result in slightly less fees, offset by making a patron pay a bit more at the start. This would be more possible to apply to smaller pledges.

So if you pledge to a $10 tier on the 27th of a June, you’d instead pledge $11 and wouldn’t be billed til the 1st of August at the usual $10 a month.

Going deeper into it, this could be an opt-in system (like pay up front currently is), and there could be options for creators to tweak this too–maybe they can choose the cutoff date where a pro-rated rate starts and gets measured. (E.g. maybe you specify that pledges in the first week of the month don’t need pro-rating.) You could also specify which tiers are eligible for pro-rating, in the event of option 1 where a pro-rated payment might be less than the fees incurred if it’s too small. The important thing either way would be for Patrons to be informed of what they’ll pay to get started.

The goal would be to mitigate payment processor fees, which would benefit both creators and Patreon itself, while still allowing creators to get access to content immediately without the risk of being charged twice in rapid succession, depending on when they pledge.

I was prompted to bring this up again as I saw on Twitter that stuff regarding upcoming changes were revealed (I don’t know if by Patreon’s choice or by a violated NDA Edit: ah,there was an announcement, I just didn’t see it), but I feel like this is something worth considering regardless.

What do you all think? I know Patreon’s been interested in revisiting a more immediate payment model and I feel like this kinda could provide the ‘best of both worlds’ (up front payments + batch payment processing).