If you want to tip a video creator on Twitch or YouTube, chances are your money is going through PayPal. But the livestreaming production-tools platform StreamElements is introducing an alternative. SE.Pay is a new, free tool that enables viewers to send money to broadcasters using a credit card. And it has some features that minimize problems that are common annoyances for livestreamers.
SE.Pay is launching first in the U.S. It has low transaction fees and a suite of fraud-protection features. The idea is to shield Twitch and YouTube Live broadcasters from a complication known as chargebacks. When someone disputes a charge, PayPal often forces vendors to pay that money back. In this case, the vendor is a livestreamer.
“The growth of live streaming and its maturation into a multi-million dollar industry for streamers caught many by surprise and, as a result, much of its infrastructure has not kept pace,” StreamElements chief executive officer Doron Nir said. “The process for accepting tips in all forms other than PayPal is so painful that many streamers are leaving significant money on the table.”
This kind of fraud protection is crucial for people on Twitch and YouTube. These creators are occasionally the targets of trolls. Someone can cause massive problems for you by donating $5,000 and then disputing that payment a few weeks later. You may go from having your best month ever to actually having to pay money back to PayPal and its credit card partners.
SE.Pay may solve that. And at the same time, it is promising to deposit money into livestreamers’ accounts much faster than PayPal does.
Getting paid by taking on PayPal
SE.Pay is the result of StreamElements’ partnership with payment-processing firm Adyen. That startup launched a wildly successful IPO in June, and its stock price is now sitting at $784 (682 euros), which is up from 431 euros per share when it went public.
Investors are excited about Adyen because it seems like the biggest threat to PayPal’s hold on the global payments market. The service has already amassed an impressive list of clients including Netflix, Etsy, and Uber. And eBay has even said that it is ditching PayPal for Adyen as its primary partner for payments. That’s notable because eBay used to own PayPal.
For StreamElements, this is a way to generate revenue. The company has has more than 150,000 registered users for its slick production and analytics tools. But it doesn’t charge anyone to use those. Instead, the company is looking to take a cut of payments. The problem is that both Twitch and YouTube have implemented native tipping mechanisms. A service like SE.Pay, that could eliminate some of the most troublesome aspects of working with PayPal, could help StreamElements attract more broadcasters.
“StreamElements is now one of the only streamer tool sets that allows creators to not only create professionally produced, beautiful streams to reach those audiences, but also easily engage with their communities on a financial as well as a social level,” said Nir.
Big-time Twitch and YouTube stars like Shroud and Casey Neistat use StreamElements. If SE.Pay turns into the standard for them, it’s likely something the next breakout livestreamer will turn to as well.