Mastercard’s Adult/18+ Requirements: An Overview

  • Updated

Mastercard has implemented two new requirements for Adult/18+ creators and platforms like Patreon that host Adult/18+ content:

  1. Age Verification
  2. Consent Documentation

REQUIREMENT 1: AGE VERIFICATION

This is a summary of Mastercard’s Age Verification requirement. For greater detail into the process, including measures we’re taking to ensure privacy, security, and inclusion, check out this frequently asked questions article in our Help Center.

Mastercard requires Patreon to verify the identifications of Adult/18+ content creators to ensure the creators are over 18. The requirement specifically applies to creators of Adult/18+ pages that include one or more works containing sexually explicit content or nudity. (If your page is currently categorized as Adult/18+ but contains no sexually explicit content or nudity — or if you choose to remove any such content — you are eligible to opt out of Age Verification by recategorizing from "Adult/18+" to "Safe for All Audiences.” Here’s how you can do that.)

Adult/18+ creators already on the platform who are actively receiving subscription payments from patrons began receiving prompts (email and on-platform) to initiate Age Verification in early 2023. At that point, Adult/18+ creators who have not recategorized as “Safe for All Audiences” can submit a government-issued identification to the secure, global vendor we’ve partnered with to verify creator ages. In the spirit of inclusivity, we have also developed a list of alternative (non-government) identifications that can also meet the requirement, so creators can choose the path that’s right for them. You can find out more about that option here. Eventually, creator payouts (and campaigns) will become contingent on Adult/18+ creators completing Age Verification.

You can read more about this in the Age Verification FAQ article in our Help Center.

REQUIREMENT 2: CONSENT DOCUMENTATION

Mastercard’s Consent Documentation requirement, which applies to content published October 15, 2021 and onward, applies only to Adult/18+ creators whose content is visual in nature (photography and videos, for example, as opposed to audio or animations) and features real people. Below you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions about this requirement:

What does securing Consent Documentation entail?

This requirement involves documenting the consent of participants to participate in Adult/18+ content, and to that content being on Patreon. To save creators the step of hiring legal assistance or drafting a legal document themselves, we’ve developed a template (in multiple languages) that creators can use or refer to if they choose.

Do we have to use the template form provided by Patreon, or will a general one do?

You’re under no obligation to use the legal template Patreon published — that was just a step we took to make fulfilling Mastercard’s requirements a little bit easier. Affected creators can use a release form that they create themselves, or perhaps collaborate with an attorney to create, but we do recommend that you take a look at our template as you can be sure it covers all the bases you need to meet Mastercard’s requirements.

Once I document participant consent per Mastercard’s requirement, do I submit the document somewhere or retain it myself?

You should store the consent documentation yourself for a minimum of two years and be able to produce it upon request.

Do I need to obtain retroactive consent documentation for people featured in previously published content?

No. This documentation is required for content published to Patreon starting October 15, 2021 (so it will not need to be acquired retroactively for content published before that date).


We’ll update this article with additional information and resources as they arise. In the meantime, you can email any other questions to CreatorPolicy@Patreon.com

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