What is Ream Managed vs Direct?

aka how subscription payments are processed


Last Update 2 months ago

For all authors, Ream has a standard 10% Platform fee from revenue authors generate on the platform. Ream is free to create an account and get started on for both readers and authors.

This 10% Platform fee is identical, whether authors choose Ream Managed or Direct for their payouts. 

For both Ream Managed and Direct payout options, the reader payment experience is identical.

All authors on Ream receive the emails of all their paid subscribers and have full control over refunds.

So then what is the difference between Ream Managed and Direct and what should I choose?

The short story on Ream Managed:

Ream Managed is Recommended for authors with beginner to intermediate business knowledge and authors who don’t want to ever have to worry or think about sales tax and VAT.

Ream Managed is open in 115 countries (full list here).

In short, Ream Managed is a Ream managed payout account for authors that uses a Ream Managed payment gateway to accept payments from your readers. The biggest benefit for authors of Ream Managed is that Ream is both liable for and collects, remits, and files sales tax, VAT, GST, and other associated fees.

Here's a full list of payment processing and payout fees for Ream Managed.

Ream Managed has a $50 USD payout minimum and pays out your available balance on the 10th of each month. Authors can request early payouts at any time, as long as they cross that payout minimum. If you don't cross the payout minimum in a given month, your available balance will carry over to the next month till you pass the $50 threshold.

Note: Sales Tax and VAT are separate from Income Tax. Sales Tax and VAT are paid by readers in excess of your tier price and do not have to be paid out of pocket by you as an author. These fees are based on the locations of your readers and are charged by local tax authorities. For more on Sales Tax + VAT click here and for more on how Ream helps with income taxes click here.

The short story on Direct:

Direct is Recommended for authors with intermediate to advanced business knowledge, and authors looking for full control of payout schedules, lower payout fees, and the ability to have portability of their subscriptions.

Direct is open in 46 countries (full list here).

For Direct, authors own their Stripe payout account and have direct access to all reader payment data. Authors are liable for sales tax, VAT, and other fees. Ream automates the collection of these fees but authors will have to remit and file these fees themselves as well as register for sales tax collection in relevant jurisdictions.

Here's a full list of payment processing fees for Direct.

We hope that our above recommendations help you decide what account option is best for you, but we know that you may want more details.

So we made this handy table to help out :).

And beneath this table, we link to some very helpful articles comparing Ream Managed and Direct even more.

Account TypeReam ManagedDirect
Available for Authors in Which CountriesPays out to authors in 115 countries.Available for authors in 47 countries.
Sales Tax/VAT/GSTReam is the marketplace facilitator and business of record. Thus Ream is liable for all sales tax and VAT and collects, remits, and files these fees. These taxes are exclusive (or charged on top of the tier list price) and thus do not affect author earnings.The author is the business of record and is liable for sales tax and VAT. Our tax partners can automate this collection for you, but authors will have to remit and file these fees themselves. These taxes are exclusive (or charged on top of the tier list price) and thus do not affect author earnings.
Refunds for ReadersAuthors can issue refunds at their discretion and have full control over this.Full control over refunds, including the ability to offer partial refunds.
Currency Conversion FeesStandard 2.5% fee anytime currency conversion applies. Charges are settled in USD before being paid out in your native currency. We accept payments from readers in over 130 currencies.These fees vary, but are typically lower than Ream Managed since charges will be settled in your native currency, resulting in lower overall fees.
Payout Fees$0.25 + 0.25% per successful pay out. Additional $2 fee per month when pay outs are made.No payout fees. There may be an extra charge by your bank for instant payouts.
Payout ScheduleAutomatic payouts occur on the 10th of each month. Authors can request manual payouts at any time if they surpass the Payout Minimum.Instant, daily, weekly, or monthly. You have full control over your pay out schedule (read our guide on how to make changes here).
Payout MinimumAuthors must payout at least $50 inside a single calendar month to be eligible for payouts. This minimum is designed to help authors reduce payout fees associated with Ream managed accounts.No payout minimums.
Payment Processing Fees2.9% + $0.30 for US based cards with an extra 1.5% fee for international cards.2.9% + $0.30 for US based cards with an extra 1.5% fee for international cards for US based authors. For authors in other countries, fees may be lower pending on rates in your specific country.
Ownership of Your Payment AccountAuthors have a Ream managed payout account and thus do not have ownership of their payout accounts. They still receive crucial reader data such as reader emails.Authors have full access and ownership of their Stripe account. They can disconnect this account from Ream at anytime and retain their subscriptions due to their direct selling relationship with their readers.
Business Name on Reader Bank StatementsREAM MEMBERSHIP will be the default statement descriptor on all reader bank statements.The author can customize their statement descriptor and the business name that displays on their readers’ bank statements.
Payment AnalyticsAccess to the Express Dashboard which gives detailed income views and information on future estimated payouts.Access to the Full Dashboard which gives authors granular insights onto advanced analytics such as abandoned carts and failed charges.
Income Taxes1099Ks, W9s, and W8BENs (where applicable) are automated and delivered to authors for their own tax filing at the beginning of the year.1099-Ks and W-8BENs (where applicable) are automated and delivered to authors for their own tax filing at the beginning of the year.
Chargebacks and Dispute FeesAll authors are enrolled in chargeback and dispute fee insurance so that regardless of a payment dispute, the author will not be charged out of pocket for it — instead the Ream platform is.The author is responsible for all chargebacks and dispute fees. These are extremely rare but usually incur a $20 fee, even if they reader didn't pay that much for their disputed charge.

Here is a list of helpful guides to further learn about payouts and payment processing on Ream:

Any questions, please contact our Support Team at [email protected].

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