Payment

The main reason I want to add a guide for payment is that PayPal users can see your real name if you don’t set up a PayPal Business account. Most people don’t want that noise but aren’t aware.

Setting this up can take time, maybe even days, so this isn’t something you’ll set up quickly in five minutes when your stream suddenly blows up. In fact, my settings are still kind of a mess.

General

  1. Create streamer-specific e-mail account
    • Get a streamer-specific phone number if available in your country
    • Consider a separate bank account for this later on
  2. If you become a big-time streamer, you may want a separate account or credit card for this income source

PayPal

  1. Create PayPal Business account
    • Otherwise your [legal name will show up][busness-promise] in receipts
    • Some suggest it still might show
      • Try this link for changing your PayPal contact name
      • Gotta love being at the mercy of a corporation that doesn’t give a flying fuck about users’ privacy and safety
    • Your e-mail address will always show in receipts
  2. Enable 2FA for your PayPal (if possible)
  3. Confirm your credit card with PayPal to get Verified and raise your limits
    • It can take 2–3 days for the validation code to appear on your credit card statement
    • If it still doesn’t show up, call PayPal or e-mail PayPal and arrange an alternate verification1
    • Regarding personal information in receipts with credit cards, Streamlabs write:

      Your donors will not be able to see any personal information.

      This is an example of what the charge will look like on their bank/credit card statement.

      Credit card statement with no personal information

      “FAQ for Credit Card Donations”

PayPal hate privacy

PayPal.me

Do not use PayPal.me, because it shows your city and state on the profile(!). Yes, even business accounts.

PayPal and taxes

I haven’t looked into this, but you can run into issues with the IRS if you don’t read your income reports properly. This Reddit thread on PayPal, taxes, and direct deposits has a longer discussion of this.

Streamlabs

  1. Link PayPal e-mail to Streamlabs
  2. Submit credit card info to enable credit card donations
    • Make sure the photo is not rotated as the images seem to be automatically processed by an algorithm that doesn’t check for rotation
  3. Change your Streamlabs donation settings under “Settings” to your liking

Chargebacks

Don’t forget to familiarize yourself with how chargebacks work. Here is the key part:

There will be a chargeback fee of $15 deducted from your balance by our card processor, not by Streamlabs. When you receive a chargeback, the card processor will deduct the original donation plus the $15 fee from your account. If we win the chargeback, the $15 fee will be waived. It is always better to refund the donations than to go through disputes as there is a fee for disputes.

I recommend you read this Kotaku article to explain the threat model of abuse you’re up against with Twitch and YouTube.

If you have a feeling some dumbass is going to do a chargeback on their donation, consider refunding it before so you don’t eat the chargeback fee if your dispute doesn’t go your way.

Streamlabs don’t have anywhere near the anti-abuse features they need; please upvote my Streamlabs suggestions for counteracting PayPal abuse.

Refunds

If you need to refund someone their tip, just head to your Activity page, click on the donation and hit Refund this payment.

PayPal has more info on refunds.

I also set up a redirect for the link on https://cygnatus.com/paypal/refund and about ten other intuitive aliases as well.

PayPal alternatives

Other tools against abuse

  1. Note that you’ll have to be logged in to PayPal before the links will probably direct you to the right page. Gotta love PayPal’s care for their users.

    I am also explicitly putting the PayPal support links there because it’s practically impossible for you to find them otherwise. Almost as if PayPal don’t want to help their customers when they can’t make more money off them. ↩︎