Patreon announced that they will be applying a new service fee to patron’s individual pledges. The fee will be automatically added. This change will have an effect on patrons and creators.
A new service fee of 2.9% + $0.35 will be paid by patrons for each individual pledge starting on December 18, 2017. Once this change takes effect, the service fee will be applied to all pending retries and existing pledges. Patrons will see their first payment with the fee included on January 1, 2018.
Patreon put together an FAQ that gives more details. In it, it says that patrons who no longer wish to continue their membership with the updated service fee can cancel their pledge before December 31, 2017. Patrons who are pledging to a per-creation creator, who makes a post between December 18th and December 31st will see a service fee added to those posts.
There are two purposes of the new service fee. One is to help keep Patreon going. In the FAQ, Patreon says some of the service fee will go to Patreon’s employee’s salaries, and to pay for office space and to keep their lights on and servers running.
The other purpose is to give creators a higher percentage of the income that comes from pledges. The service fee allows creators to take home exactly 95% of every pledge with no additional fees. Creators will no longer see fluctuations in their Patreon derived income due to varying processing fees.
Patreon has provided a helpful statement that creators can use to explain the new service fees to their patrons. That might be useful to podcasters who have a Patreon for their podcast. Creators are not allowed to “take the hit” for their patrons and pay the new service fee themselves. Patrons are going to have to pay this new service fee, no matter if they are using a credit card or Paypal for their memberships.