Below you’ll find some of the common questions we’ve received about Mastercard’s Age Verification requirement for Adult/18+ creators. We will add additional answers to any other common questions that emerge.
- About the requirement and who needs to do it
- The Age Verification process
- Timeline and next steps
- Data privacy
About the requirement and who needs to do it
What is Mastercard’s Age Verification requirement and why must Patreon comply?
Mastercard requires Patreon to verify the identifications of Adult/18+ content creators to ensure that they are over the age of 18. Patreon relies on this payments infrastructure to accept digital pledge payments and get creators paid.
Which creators need to do Age Verification?
Mastercard requires us to age verify the ages of Adult/18+ content creators whose pages include one or more works containing sexually explicit content or nudity (including animations and depictions of human beings).
I’m categorized as Adult/18+ but have no sexually explicit content or nudity on my page. Can I opt out of Age Verification?
Yes, you are eligible to recategorize from "Adult/18+" to "Safe for All Audiences," which opts you out of Age Verification. Here’s how you can do that.
My page is mostly focused on other things, but does contain some sexually explicit content and/or nudity. If I remove all of that type of content, can I opt out of Age Verification?
Yes, if you remove every piece of sexually explicit content or nudity on your page, you are eligible to recategorize from “Adult/18+” to “Safe for All Audiences,” which opts you out of Age Verification. Again, here’s how you can do that.
Do I need to ask people appearing in my content to complete Age Verification, too?
We are required to age verify only the Adult/18+ creator who runs the page (that’s you). Any collaborators who may appear in your content do not need to age verify.
The Age Verification process
What will Age Verification entail?
The majority of creators will submit a government-issued identification showing full name, birthdate, and photo (like a license, passport, or national ID), and you’ll submit photos of the front and back of that document. You’ll also snap a photo of yourself in that moment (in other words, a selfie), that will be matched to the photo from the ID to confirm it’s you. We expect the process to take approximately 3-5 minutes to complete.
What if I don’t have a government-issued identification to submit?
You’ve shared lots of ideas for how we can prioritize inclusivity throughout this process. With that in mind, we’re developing a list of alternative (non-government-issued) IDs we’ll be able to accept that will still meet Mastercard’s requirement. If you’d like to go this route, there’s no action required immediately; we’ll share the list of alternative ID types, along with next steps, in the coming months.
Which forms of alternative IDs might I be able to submit once you start accepting them?
Our goal is for you to be able to submit multiple documents that meet the requirement by collectively showing your full name, birthdate, and photo. A possible example might be a birth certificate, plus a student ID, plus a utility bill. We’ll share more details when the list of acceptable ID types is finalized, but we wanted you to know that it’s coming.
What if my address has changed, my ID has expired, etc.?
Since we aren’t required to verify any fields other than your full name, birthdate, and photo, if your address is out of date, that’s okay. However, we aren’t able to accept an expired ID. We’ve baked multiple months into this process to give creators plenty of time to make any necessary arrangements to renew your ID, secure a new form of ID, and so forth.
Which platform is Patreon using for Age Verification? Can I complete the process in a language other than English?
We‘re enlisting a third party vendor called Jumio that specializes in secure identification validation. And yes, Jumio is global in scope and able to accommodate the vast majority of languages for the convenience of Patreon creators.
In December, Patreon said they’d use Stripe as the Age Verification vendor. Why the change of plans?
Creators let us know that maximizing the number of supportable languages and countries was important to you. Stripe is a little bit more limited on those fronts, whereas Jumio instead enables us to make life easier for creators by supporting nearly every country, language, and form of government-issued identification.
Will Age Verification occur on or off the Patreon platform? Can it be completed on desktop only, or mobile as well?
We will integrate Jumio’s verification product into our platform, meaning that while your information will be securely processed end-to-end by Jumio, you don’t have to leave Patreon’s website to complete the process. You’ll be able to begin the process from a desktop browser, mobile browser or from within our iOS and Android apps. Once enrolled, you can complete verification on your desktop or mobile device. However, your progress will not be carried over if you attempt to switch between devices in the middle of the process. (The exception to this is if you choose to begin Verification on a desktop but elect to capture photos of your documents and yourself on your smartphone rather than a webcam). Verification only takes a few minutes to complete, so we expect most creators to be able to finish the process once they get started.
Timeline and next steps
How soon is this happening and how will I be notified when it’s time to age verify?
We will begin initiating the Age Verification process in September 2022 for Adult/18+ creators already on the platform who are actively receiving subscription payments from patrons. These creators will receive regular prompts both over email and on the platform.
How, and for how long, will the Age Verification rollout take place?
We designed a lengthy Age Verification rollout that prioritizes creator flexibility, giving creators two months (at minimum) to determine the best path for them: Some may have a government-issued ID handy and complete the process immediately; others may need a little more time to renew an expired ID, decide which ID to use, and so forth. Additionally, creators who aren’t able to submit a government-issued ID can wait until we release the list of alternative (non-government-issued) identifications that we’re able to accept and then take the time to gather their materials for submission. This rollout phase will allow creators to choose which way and time for completing Age Verification is best for them, while all the while being able to post content on their pages, access payouts, engage with patrons, and so forth without disruption.
After that two month flexible rollout period, will I be penalized if I still haven’t completed Age Verification?
After the rollout period, page functionality and payouts will indeed start to become contingent on Adult/18+ creators completing Age Verification. Eventually, campaigns that still do not comply will ultimately be frozen until the process is done. Our intention here is not to be punitive, but rather to meet the payment processor’s terms while also preserving creator autonomy as best as possible. So rest assured: well before any payouts are impacted or pages are frozen, creators will have received regular reminders to ensure they are aware of the process and nothing comes as a surprise.
When will Patreon bring all affected creators into compliance with Mastercard’s requirement?
To ensure the requirement is fulfilled, Patreon will bring all existing creators into compliance by the second quarter of 2023.
What steps are being taken to keep my information safe?
Creator privacy is incredibly important to us, and we made sure to select a vendor (Jumio) that specializes in secure identification verification. Jumio will retain creator data in a secure, encrypted database that we will only access through direct, tokenized API calls. Jumio’s commitment to upholding the highest security standards has been validated by multiple certifications such as ISO/IEC 27001:2013, PCI DSS and SOC2 Type 2. You can read more about what those certifications signify about Jumio’s security strength here.
If Jumio were to suffer a data breach, would creators be informed?
Yes. We require Jumio, in the event of a data breach, to alert us promptly and in meaningful detail, which we would in turn share with creators as soon as possible.
I prefer to keep my name out of my public account. Will my name be published anywhere when I complete Age Verification?
No. Patreon will never use the information you provide during verification to update any of the public information on your account or campaign.
Will my identification or personal data be shared with, or stored by, either Mastercard or Patreon?
We will store a log of your verification on our servers, and your personal information will be retained only on Jumio’s secure servers. All photos of your documents and yourself will be securely deleted after you have successfully completed the process. We will never share your personal information with Mastercard or any other third party, but we may be required to share proof that the verification took place. This is why we preserve a log of the verification. Any photos submitted during a verification process that you quit prematurely or are unable to complete will not be preserved.
Where will that data live and for how long? Will it be shared with, or stored by, Mastercard, Jumio, and/or Patreon?
Patreon will retain a record of your verification for as long as you maintain an account with us. Jumio will retain a record of your verification for up to five years or until we ask them to stop. All photos submitted during verification are securely deleted no later than a few days from the time of submission.
Will Adult/18+ creators’ identification data be cross-checked with local laws where the creators are located?
No. The identification data will be used to meet Mastercard’s requirement of verifying that the creator is above the age of 18.
Can I block out certain information on my ID that is not necessary to fulfill the requirement, like my address?
You are welcome to cover up parts of your identification that we don’t need, such as your address, but there is a chance this could cause issues with Jumio’s automated verification process. To ensure a smooth process, we do recommend taking a clear picture of your complete document.
I am a trans or nonbinary creator. My identification depicts my deadname, and/or my government misgenders me. How will Age Verification work in my case?
We recognize that asking for identification is deeply sensitive and personal, and that not everyone uses their legal or birth names in their daily lives. If you prefer to not submit a government-issued photo ID, or if you have documentation that reflects your preferred name, we are developing a process by which you can submit one or more alternative forms of identification that collectively show your name, birthdate, and photo. In the coming months, we will share additional details about alternative ID options that we’re able to accept to fulfill Mastercard’s requirements. Additionally, we will never reveal on your Patreon account the name from the identification you submit. We will retain a record of your verification, but you will always control what information is visible on your Patreon page.
If I complete Age Verification, then eventually leave Patreon and later end up creating a new separate account, will I go through Age Verification once more?
If your new page will feature sexually explicit content or nudity, then yes, you’ll complete the verification process again. For privacy and security reasons, we are unable to transfer verification status or verified information from one account to another.
If/when I leave the Patreon platform, what will happen to my data?
If you leave Patreon but do not delete your account, we will continue to retain your information on our secure servers. If you request for your account to be permanently deleted, all of your data will be securely deleted as well.
Will my patrons ever be asked to complete the Age Verification process as well?
All patrons seeking to pledge to Adult/18+ campaigns are asked to confirm they are over the age of 18, but Mastercard does not require patrons to complete the formal Age Verification process. That could change should new laws, regulations, or payment processor requirements arise in the future, but there are no such requirements as of now.