Patreon said today it has fixed the root cause of a problem that led to creators and patrons seeing widespread rejected payments this week, and it’s still working to solve the larger problem. The funding platform confirmed to Engadget that financial institutions have flagged “a slightly higher-than-normal number of patron payments” as fraudulent. In addition, some creators said they’re unable to access their funds, which Patreon describes as an unrelated problem stemming from a partner update.
The company describes the inability to access payouts as only affecting “creators using a single payment partner,” which its system status page identifies as Payoneer. It says it’s working “actively with Payoneer to restore payouts” and expects to see the transactions restored today.
The problem gained attention after various Patreon users posted on social channels about losing supporters en masse. Many reported that Patreon’s billing information appeared to have recently shifted to Dublin, which some users speculated was the root cause of banks flagging the transactions as fraudulent. “I just checked and have lost 80% of my patrons,” Dr. Brooke Magnanti, author of Secret Diary of a London Call Girl, posted on Bluesky today. “Awesome.”
Meanwhile, Reddit user u/Competitive_Fruit901 wrote on Wednesday that they lost 300 patrons. “Billing messed up way more than usual this month,” u/Koratl replied. “A lot of people’s cards flagged Patreon as fraudulent.” Redditor u/arzen 353 chimed in, “Not only that, there’s no way to re-try payment once you authorize it with your bank. People can’t re-subscribe even if they want to. Apparently you just have to wait for patreon to un-fuck itself.”
Hey, if you're a Patreon creator and are confused as to why a bunch of your income vanished, it's because Patreon's system appears to have totally collapsed. They sent me an email saying my credit card blocked the payment as fraudulent, and CANCELLED ALL OF MY CREATOR SUPPORT. 1/
— Jason Pargin, author of John Dies at the End, etc (@JasonKPargin) August 2, 2023
Patreon tells Engadget that the Dublin billing location is likely related to a recent upgrade. “We made a required upgrade with one of our payment processing partners,” company spokesperson Ellen Satterwhite wrote in an email response. “That may have changed the descriptors people are used to seeing in their statements. We are working closely with this payment processing partner to resolve the issue.” Patreon doesn’t expect the flagged payments to be a long-term issue. “As a matter of course, when payment declines happen for various reasons, and payments are retried, those patron relationships are restored,” the company told Engadget.
The company added that it didn’t want to speculate about a timeline or specific actions for flagged transactions until it’s fully rolled out a fix. However, it expects to restore the payout issue today.