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Monday, April 19, 2021

Clubhouse Payments is here: What is it, how does it work and why?

Clubhouse, the viral audio chat app is introducing payments, where users will be able to pay creators for the shows they host on the platform

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 6, 2021 10:28:52 am
Clubhouse, Clubhouse payments feature, How to make payments on ClubhouseClubhouse is now adding payments: Here's how it will work. (Image source: AP)

Clubhouse, the viral audio chat app is introducing payments, where users will be able to pay creators for the shows they host on the platform. Clubhouse confirmed the same in a new blogpost, adding that the idea is to help “creators build community, audience and impact,” and as they scale, they also want to help creators by making money on the platform.

All users will be able to send payments today and Clubhouse is rolling out the ability to receive payments in waves, starting with a small test group. The company says it will also look get feedback and fine-tune the feature, and then roll it out to all users.  It is not clear what all currencies will be supported by Clubhouse, but it will likely be limited to US dollars in the beginning.

Clubhouse is iOS only and it has pushed out an update, which adds the new feature. The new update also brings better news activity feed for users. Clubhouse says creators will get 100 per cent of the payment, that it will not take a commission or fee for the same.

How will payments work on Clubhouse?

First, the creator will need to have the feature enabled in order to receive payments.

If the creator has the feature, then a user can just tap on the profile of a creator (who has the feature enabled) and tap “Send Money”.

Enter the amount you would like to send them. The first time a user wants to make a payment, they will be asked to register a credit or debit card.

The person sending the money will also be charged a small card processing fee, which will go directly to Clubhouse’s payment processing partner, Stripe. Clubhouse will take nothing for the transaction, according to the blog post.

Clubhouse, Clubhouse payments feature, How to make payments on Clubhouse What payments will look like on Clubhouse.

Who is processing the payments? What is the privacy policy around this?

Clubhouse has also updated its terms of service and privacy policy to include the new payments feature. The privacy policy now has a section on payment information, which adds that it may prompt users “to provide financial information necessary to ensure payments can be processed by our payment processor, Stripe, Inc.”

Further, “information related to your payments or purchases is also processed according to Stripe’s services agreement and privacy policy.”

Clubhouse’s terms of service also make it clear that its parent company, which is Alpha Exploration Co. “DOES NOT PROCESS PAYMENT FOR ANY SERVICES,” adding that they are not ” a bank, payment institution, money transmitter, or money service business.”

When a user agrees to make payments on Clubhouse it will be according to Stripe’s terms of service and agreements. The terms of service add, “You hereby authorise Stripe to store and continue billing any Payment Instrument you provide to us or Stripe through the Services, even after such Payment Instrument has expired, to avoid interruptions in payment for your use of the Service.”

Why is Clubhouse adding payments?

The company says it is doing this to support the creator community, which sounds good, but it also needs to do this to ensure that they don’t leave the platform. After all, everyone in the tech world is trying to build a clubhouse rival at the moment. Twitter is already testing out Spaces with several users, and could prove to be one of the biggest competitors for Clubhouse, if it gets the audio feature right. Further, reports have shown that Twitter is also working on adding tip jars to Spaces, where users might be able to pay creators of such audio chats.

Facebook is already working on a Clubhouse rival, so is LinkedIn, Discord and even Spotify and these are all big names, who could potentially steal Clubhouse’s audience. More importantly, Clubhouse is still limited to iOS, which restricts its users base, especially in countries like India where a majority of users are on Android. Whereas others when they launch their audio chat apps or feature will likely be on Android and iOS both.

Clubhouse right now is facing a host of challenges from rivals, and payments could be one way of keeping creators on its platform.

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