Vice Media sent in a lawyer’s letter to Patreon, and had her account frozen. It’s still in dispute, so she can’t access any of her money.
One thing that both, Naomi Wu, and Minnie Small, have in common, is that they do not rely upon a single source of income, so have been able to keep their heads above water while the disputes are taking place.
This is an excellent MUST-HAVE for every business, so as not to get shafted.
While i can use duckduckgo as well as anybody else, to find alternatives, i was wondering what other payment processors that the CoTech members have tried.
Could you tell us what your experiences have been like?
By and large I’d say they all pretty much of a muchness. A few years ago I came across http://home.iatspayments.com/ who offer a service specifically for non-profits (I have a number of clients who are charities) and they have a pre-exisitng integration with CiviCRM. Didn’t use them in the end, but might be worth considering.
I’ve always found people’s reluctance to use GoCardless (because you have to give it bank account details as opposed to card details totally backwards - what can I do with bank details other than give you money? whereas very easy to use card details for fraud).
This is more about your choice of provider and their inability to understand what customer service is, than it is about direct debits per se. As I read it, the direct debit guarantee puts you in control, and you can stop payments at any time.
It just so happens that I have some experience with a few payments providers. All of what I’m posting is public knowledge but this is just a convenient summary for you. Now the first thing I’d like to say is that there are no major providers who conform to anything approaching co-operative values, so that’s out the window to begin with.
What you have to understand is that things like PayPal and Stripe started out basically as shiny wrappers around VISA, Mastercard, American Express, etc. and the business model works basically by skimming some off the top at each level, with revenue sharing models between all of the organisations involved with organisations further down the hierarchy getting progressively less out of it - GoCardless and Stripe’s direct debit system are a bit different and instead I imagine work with different banks.
The problem, of course, is then to get away from that model, you’d basically have to build something from scratch which directly interacts with Credit Unions which are more often than not, not particularly technologically advanced. Given that this isn’t even remotely practical at the moment, here’s an outline of payments systems as they stand from my experience:
With that aside, our best experience so far has been with Stripe. It has a reasonably good API and the testing environment is pretty solid. The ‘model’ is a bit crazy when it comes to some things where objects like charges and refunds end up being nested in slightly peculiar ways, but it’s nothing you can’t work around. They have some SDKs for some languages which are very helpful.
PayPal has serious pain points, like the sandbox environment sometimes takes hours to update payments which can make testing refunds a nightmare. PayPal also has a bit of a nasty reputation for how they treated sellers on some websites and on eBay although it does have pretty amazing marketshare and quite good consumer confidence as a result.
GoCardless is solid if you want something with direct debits. The API is as good or better than Stripe’s. I have less experience with it, though.
It’s probably worth noting that if you want to support both PayPal and Stripe, you’ve got a bit of figuring out to do as they both insist on being listed first.
This is true, although the counter to this is that a direct debit mandate allows a company to pull any amount of money out of your account at any time. While the direct debit guarantee means that you should be able to get it back with the banks who are in that system (I’m pretty sure they all are in the UK), it’s still likely to give you a big headache if a bad actor chooses to pull out a large amount that you weren’t expecting. I’d guess that you can get into a grey area with fines and the like - for instance you aren’t able to invoke the direct debit guarantee in the case that you run up a large phone bill and this is because the payment wasn’t taken in error.