Patreon Accelerates Manual Reviews to Improve Relationships With Content Creators and Fans

Patreon Accelerates Manual Reviews to Improve Relationships With Content Creators and Fans

Rick Hiltbrunner

KYC Patreon Case Study

About Patreon

Patreon needs little introduction these days. Home to 200,000 creators and millions of patrons, it’s the largest online platform designed to foster creativity, promote financial independence and to connect creators with their audience.

But it’s not without its risks. Payments need to be checked. Content must be moderated. Identities have to be verified.

This is where Rick Hiltbrunner, Senior Manager of Fraud Operations, and his team come in. And as he experienced first hand, fighting fraud isn’t always about accessing tons of data. Sometimes, it’s better to have fresh, actionable information:

We were with Emailage who offered a whole bunch of tools that we didn’t use. We didn’t have the capacity or the need for those extra bells and whistles. And it got to the point where we used so little of what they offered us it didn’t become worth it.

After considering various anti-fraud software, Rick’s team was offered a demo of SEON. He realised the features were more in line with what he really needed, especially when it comes to improving the customer experience. The reverse email and social media lookup tools were particularly promising as they could reduce friction in acquiring extra user data.

What was at stake with lengthy reviews was the relationship with the customer. They may not appreciate you reaching out to verify that $1,000 payment. So we risked upsetting the patron and then the creator too, if they’re waiting for that payment to go through.

As an invisible data aggregation layer, SEON now helps Rick quickly get to the essential data in real-time.

With SEON, I can see that the address has been around since 2012 because it appeared in data breaches. I can see it’s been registered on these 15 other social websites. From then I can just manually match the relevant information to make my case.

Accelerating the payment verification

Manual payment verification dropped from

24h to 30m

Better data accuracy lowers customer insult rate from

6% to 2%

Similarly, payment verification is accelerated thanks to more accurate data points. This is particularly useful when it comes to identifying prepaid cards versus cards associated with a cardholder’s bank accounts.

We now have a constant source of truth for card BINs. If you go and type a card BIN on the internet you’ll get 50 different results because the lists are all over the place. But now with SEON we can be consistent when linking cards across the team.

Working with more accurate data allows Rick and his team to move faster – and with minimum user friction. Whereas the team had to wait hours or days to verify someone’s payment, SEON allows them to do it in 30 mins or less.

This also helps keep legitimate patrons happy. Patreon’s customer insult rate, which was already low, dropped from 6% to 2% – a result of Rick and his team gaining more confidence in accepting medium risk payments thanks to the right user data.

SEON has become baked into our process. it would be a blow if we had to continue on without it. Not just the tool in and of itself, but all the requests we’ve made for changes or adjustments to the team. It’s been a really good relationship between our two companies.

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Rick Hiltbrunner
Senior Manager of Fraud Operations

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