As content creators, we all know that when someone sends us a tip, there are fees taken out, no matter what provider you use. Since PayPal is the primary form for tips, we have been working in the background to help reduce those fees.
PayPal has a program for Business Accounts called “Micropayments” (currently available only to streamers from the United States). This program changes the fee rates that you get when receiving payments from other users. The idea behind it is that businesses that process a large number of small dollar transactions end up getting a larger chunk of fees taken out (that base fee of 30 cents is a large amount out of a $1 payment), so the fee structure compensates for that. Instead of 30 cents plus 2.9% of the value, the Micropayments fee structure takes just 5 cents, plus 5%.
This is a HUGE win for streamers and content creators. This means on a $1 transaction, instead of getting 67 cents, you will end up with 90 cents. This is a nearly 40% decrease in fees taken from your tips. In a world where every cent counts, this adds up fast. The balancing point for this structure is at $12, where a transaction for this amount will see the same fee amount from either transaction program.
To help you to take advantage of this, and to help you get as many pennies possible, we have implemented a system in our tipping page settings. When you first link a PayPal account, that account will have the normal fee structure (30 cents +2.9%). If you want to take advantage of the PayPal Micropayments fee structure, then here is the step-by-step guide to start earning a bit more money. At this moment, this is only available for US-based streamers. We are working on rolling it out for other areas as soon as we can.
- Create a brand new PayPal account. This account will need to be verified, and then turned into a free Business account. This can have exactly the same information as your original account, it just needs a different email address.
- Contact PayPal. Use your local number (888-221-1161 in the USA) and speak to the Business Support or Product Site and Support team. Ask them to activate Micropayments on this second, business account. In some areas, you may have to go through some extra steps to get this activated, including writing an email from that email address explaining that you understand the fee structure and that you would still like the system to be implemented on this account.
- Wait for approximately 24–48 hours. This will give PayPal enough time to finish flipping the switch on your secondary account. Once this has been done, send yourself a payment from your normal account to your Micropayments-enabled account. Make sure this is a payment for goods or services and not friends and family. Some areas don’t see any fees for sending money to friends and family, so you won’t see the fee differences.
- Add an address for Micropayments. Once you have confirmed that Micropayments is up and running on your account, you should see an option to add an address for Micropayments (click the arrow if you don’t see it). Make sure you enter in your address for this second account.
At this point, you will now have two PayPal accounts. You can link both of these accounts to the same bank account, and withdraw the balances exactly the same as you have done before. We have built logic into the tipping page so that any tips will be directed to the address that gives the lowest fee (under $12, it will go to your Micropayments account, above $12, it will go to your normal PayPal account).
We hope you take advantage of this super useful way to reduce the fees you are paying to PayPal. And don’t worry, we have spoken with PayPal support about having this system set up, and they are 100% OK with it, and even recommend this form of saving money to their merchants.
PayPal Micropayments: Get more money in your pocket with StreamElements was originally published in StreamElements – Legendary Live Streaming on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.