Reddit Taps Stripe and PayPal to Power Gold Payments

  • Philip Ryan
  • January 16, 2015
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reddit_goldStripe and PayPal are competing for payments business across the digital world, but in at least one corner of it, the social sharing site Reddit, they are teammates.

The two payments companies are powering Reddit’s virtual currency, Reddit Gold, according to an update yesterday to Reddit’s privacy policy, which takes effect Jan. 29. It reads, in part:

If you choose to upgrade to reddit gold, this status will be stored on your profile, along with the transaction number associated with the payment and the recipient of any gold you send. Although Stripe and PayPal send us a receipt with your name and email address if you provide it, we don’t add that information to your account. However, reddit does not handle or have access to any of your payment information. For questions about how this information is stored and used, please read our third party partners’ privacy policies.

In an earlier “Ask Me Anything: (AMA) session, Reddit CEO Yishan Wong said in his introductory comments that transparency was his goal, and he wanted to clarify many things for users, including that “we work with Stripe and PayPal to process reddit gold transactions.”

It is not clear which payments providers Reddit used in the past. It may well have been Stripe and PayPal, but Reddit had not previously disclosed its payments vendors.

Comments on the AMA wondered about how these services would protect their privacy, which is a major concern of the community, which also contains an active Bitcoin group.

Reddit Gold, which was released in 2010, is not your typical virtual currency. It is a type of premium membership that allows users to bestow gifts and membership benefits on other members. It also provides discounts to partner companies such as Lyft, UPS, and the file-sharing service WeTransfer. A yearly subscription costs $29.99, while a month of gold access costs $3.99.

Last month, Reddit had 174 million unique visitors, according to the company.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

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