Reader FAQ

Reader FAQ

What is Paygo?

Paygo is a Micropayments service that enables you to read Paywalled content, for several cents or a small donation, without having to subscribe or view nasty ads.

You deposit a small balance to your  Paygo account and every time you encounter a Paygo enabled Paywall, you can choose to read that one article for a small price set by the Creator or Publisher.

Paygo Mission: Make Journalism profitable again

To make Journalism profitable again, we need a business model affordable enough for the consumer to use daily but profitable enough for the Publishers. Consumers need to read diverse opinions without buying subscriptions to everything and sharing their data with every news source. Publishers need better monetization models for their content, other than Subscribe or take a hike.

Paygo Vision: Every Paywall should allow consumers to anonymously “unlock” access to a specific article with a “Pay As You Go” model

Imagine if every Paywall has a button that acts as a virtual keyhole. Each consumer can anonymously unlock their Paygo account and read the specific article in a Pay As You Go model for several cents. Several cents may not sound like much money, but it can represent ten times what the Publisher would earn on ads, generating fractions of a cent per article viewed.  With Paygo, Consumers get access to any content they want without a subscription or ads nor the need to signup and share their information with every site. Publishers make much more money than Ads and can offer their content to 100% of their viewers while still offering subscriptions to their most engaged users who need it.

We believe creators, whether an established Publication or a Newsletter writer, should have full ownership of their content and distribute it on any platform they choose. We do not believe there is a one-size-fits-all business model for all content. Every creator should balance a mix of free and open, ad-supported, closed subscriptions, accessible but not free Pay As You Go, as a portfolio of monetization options. The Creator should decide the mix, balancing discovery and distribution vs. profitability and scarcity - their content, their choice. Consumers will decide what to pay for based on their needs and desires.

How does Paygo work?

Creators write and publish posts on their platform of choice (Ghost, independent site, Substack, etc.) with a Paygo donation link included. Readers can click on the Tweet to be brought to the Creator’s post, which may have a paywall to support the Creator’s work. Reader’s are not beholden to any subscription and are able to pay-as-you-go while reading great work from their favorite Creators.

How do I join?  

All you need to do is find an article you want to read and click on the tipping button, like this one from Steady.

If this is the first time you are using Paygo, it will present you with the following screen:

Just select 'add funds' to load your Paygo balance with $3 from Google Pay or a credit card.

Then select how much you'd like to tip the Creators.

How much does Paygo cost?

Creators determine the price of their work and Reader’s pay only for the work they want to read.

Why is Paygo prepaid?  Why Micropayments?

Micropayments are financial transactions involving minimal amounts of money, cents, or fractions of cents. Since digital content has no marginal cost (i.e., a digital article can be read once or a thousand times for the same cost to create), Micropayments can provide a lucrative business model for the Creator negligible for the Reader.  Micropayments cannot be supported on the current financial networks since the transaction cost of a credit card payment can easily reach $0.30+ per transaction. Thus, paying 0.05 cents for an article would be a losing proposition.  Paygo solves this by doing $3 transactions, holding the balance for the user, and then paying the creator the relevant payment, even a few cents, from the prepaid balance.  Paygo will keep a percentage of the transaction to cover the aggregated transaction fees and generate a profit. At the same time, all creators connected to Paygo get to offer Micropayments profitably to their readers. Added benefits are frictionless access (no need to sign up), anonymous transactions (no need to share your personal information, such as email or credit card, to get access), and potentially new digital business models yet to be imagined, unlocked by this new structure.

Why should I pay for articles at all?

Free and independent news media is a key part of a functioning liberal democracy.  In recent years, with the move to the internet and the weakness of online advertising, our news outlets are suffering financially, leading to consolidation into conglomerates, firing of journalists and shrinking of coverage. The user experience has been getting worse as these sites try and convince you to subscribe and political or financial influence is seeping into our objective news sources. Every time you Pay or Subscribe you are helping keep our media free.  Every time you circumvent the payment you are effectively hurting our democracy. Do your part, pay for what you read.

I am a Creator with a question about working with Paygo.

How to add tipping to your Ghost newsletter.

How to add tipping to your Substack newsletter.

For any other questions you can reach us at

How do I see my Paygo balance and transactions?

To see your balance click on the arrow to the right your username in the top right corner.

You can see your deposits:

And your transactions:

What payment methods do you accept?

Paygo supports Google Pay and Credit cards

How do I update my payment information?

Please contact for more information.

How do I update my email address?

Please contact for more information.

Why won’t Paygo remember me?

When you switch browsers or devices, Paygo sometimes forgets you due to the way cookies are treated.  All you need to do is “login” and Paygo should remember this browser/device from now on.

I have a problem with my service - how can I contact you?

Check out our FAQ’s here and if you can't find an answer, email

Can I see a few articles to get the idea of how it works?

Sure - you can check out the articles below:

In News Publishing, Your Subscription Is Either #1 Or Irrelevant

Paygo migrates to

Read our launch post on why Paygo is important for Journalism and a free press or listen to our founder, Noam Bardin, explain his views.  Share your thoughts with us at  You can follow us @PaygoMedia or sign up for our newsletter