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I would like to point out two things about Flattr:

- Whenever other people send you money, Flattr keeps 10% from that money.

- When you make money with Flattr, Flattr expects you to give this money back to other authors you like. And they will send them back to other authors. As the money are sent back and forth, and 10% are removed at each step, Flattr is the only one actually making any money.




It's a bit more insidious than 10%.

Flattr takes 7.5%.

Their payment processor takes 9%.

Withdrawing costs you $3.

And people call Patreon's 5% (on top of Stripe's 3%) outrageous. I guess it's better than the walled garden 30%, for popular enough sites.


Stripe charges 2.9% + 30¢. So on $3 that would be 0.387 cents that is 12.9% fee.


Stripe is not meant for smaller payments, but even then it's less than Apple's eye-gouging 30%.


Wow. I used to like Flattr (though, I only used it once), but this is a terrible design decision from them, imo.

I'm not sure what the right solution is, but this is pretty gross as you describe it. Off the top of my head, the only thing that would make me feel better about Flattr is if they somehow tracked money as it flows through Flattr, and prevented double-taxing content creators.

I do find my perception interesting though. Generally, I'm pretty pro-company in the sense that, they need to pay their devs, they need to pay their bills, investors, etc. Yet, if a company moves itself in my head to the "we're here for the community" side of the line, suddenly they conceptually become a non-profit in my head, and if their profit feels like more of the pie than absolutely needed, it feels like the worst type of greed. Greed from the needy, greed from those we're trying to support, etc.


An easy enough solution might be to take a cut when money is moved in to or out of Flattr, but to take nothing when moved between Flattr accounts.


For optics they could take a cut only when moving money out. Then the consumers never feel taxed, they feel like the producer is getting 100% of the money.

If the money then circulates then that's OK. If the money is withdrawn then take a good cut of that.

One downside to that is that the more popular it becomes, the more 'currency' the flattr-coin becomes, it simply circulates with people neither depositing it nor withdrawing it. However, flattr are then effectively become a central bank and that isn't a problem.

The real problem with not taking a cut of moving between flattr accounts is that people would sell flattr through side channels to avoid flattr taking a cut. So you'd pay me cash and I'd transfer to you the flattr coin on platform.

And if it took off in a big way then money laundering becomes a problem and the cut would not cover the cost of KYC etc.


They could take an interchange fee. I'm not seeing why they take 10% instead of <1% like VISA does.


As others have commented, Flattr itself keeps 7.5%. The detailed fees are described here: https://blog.flattr.net/2017/10/our-new-fee-structure/ Hopefully the payment cost will go down again, but unfortunately micropayments come with high transaction cost. Compared to revenue streams like App-Stores or even advertising, this is still much more efficient.

Regarding keeping money in the system: In the new version, there are separate accounts for "givers" (contributors) and "receivers" (creators / publishers). So, just shuffling money around is neither the obvious nor the intended solution.


> unfortunately micropayments come with high transaction cost. Compared to revenue streams like App-Stores

Flattr is neither a micropayment service in the sense that you make a "real" transaction nor is it an App store.


"When you make money with Flattr, Flattr expects you to give this money back to other authors you like."

Not true, from the FAQ:

How do I withdraw money I have received? You need to have a valid bank account associated with your profile. You can then request a withdrawal. This works worldwide as long as your bank accepts international bank transfers.


Of course you can withdraw your money. But when you just want to make money, both Creator and Contributor profiles are crated (to make contributions super easy).

It is quite hard to make money with Flattr (you need to be really popular to get enough micropayments), and I guess that 95 % of Creators never reach the 10€ limit to actually withdraw their money. So giving money back to others is the "obvious" thing to do.


In the new version, there are separate accounts for "givers" (contributors) and "receivers" (creators / publishers).

So, just shuffling money around is neither the obvious nor the intended solution.


Flattr expects you to give this money back to other authors you like

What does this mean?

By the way, apparently the full fee is now quite higher: https://blog.flattr.net/2017/10/our-new-fee-structure/


As a European user, that surely is motivating me to sign up. yeah, we got rid of an efficient payment method so you'll be paying even more. But it's userfriendly that way!

Given that the amounts are going to fluctuate anyways, I wonder if tracking multiple currencies would really be so bad?


Yup. SEPA wire transfers are amazing, and it's scandalous how the credit card oligopoly keeps the US in the dark ages when it comes to banking.

But America lives off credit, so nothing's going to change any time soon.


Credit cards and paper cheques.


That their business model is to get the money move as much as possible, as they charge per transaction.


Flattr only keeps 7.5%. As a creator, % wise you end up with more in your pocket this way vs a lot of other revenue sources. Also, no fees are charged until end of Nov, so some time to test the waters.


> Flattr only keeps 7.5%.

That is only true for cases where users credit their account only with $3. For every $ above this limit flattr will also pocket some additional money. For a 10$ account recharge flattr will keep additional 3.5%, for a $20 recharge they will pocket additional 5%.


It sounds like a pyramid scheme to try and monetize an echo chamber.


Not really, you can flattr others with it, but that is more because it would be strange if you could not do it.




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