How to integrate with a Merchant of Record like Paddle

We plan to offer paid subscriptions internationally. However, managing country-specific VAT in potentially a myriad of countries poses a significant challenge.

One way to simplify this process is by using a Merchant of Record (MoR), like Paddle ( Essentially, from a VAT perspective, you sell the product to the MoR, who then sells it to customers worldwide. The MoR handles the payment process (similar to Stripe and Paypal) as well as all VAT administration, including filing and paying the VAT in each and every country.

From the customer’s perspective, you still market the service/product in a conventional way. A minor and manageable drawback is that “Paddle” will appear on any invoice or receipt. If the customer is not informed about this, questions will surface.

You receive payment for the services/goods sold via the MoR minus a fee for the MoR’s services, which cover payment processing and VAT administration.

If you sell goods or services internationally, this approach can save you a significant amount of time, accounting fees, and mitigate risks associated with constantly changing VAT regulations worldwide.

As of my last check, Paddle’s fee was marginally higher than Stripe’s, despite Paddle handling much more of your administrative burden.

I would expect the Discourse integrations needed with Paddle (or any other MoR) to be similar to the ones done with Stripe. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information about Paddle, or any other MoR, on the Meta platform. Does the support team or anyone else know if there are any solutions available or plans for an integration with Paddle (or any other MoR)?"

We appreciate any input on this issue.


Nothing official on our side, but there may be community OS solutions that I’m not aware of.

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Just adding a note that selling Discourse subscriptions via Shopify might also be a way of having the transactions processed by a merchant of record: How to Use a Merchant of Record for Global Growth. This would be somewhat expensive (I think they charge 6% on top of their normal transaction fee), but might solve a problem for some sites.

As far as I know, there isn’t a Shopify Discourse Subscriptions app yet, but it seems technically possible.

Lemon Squeezy is another possible option: Merchant of Record • Lemon Squeezy.

Before putting too much effort into selling Discourse subscriptions via a merchant of record, it would be a good idea to confirm with the service that they’re ok with selling forum subscriptions.


Thanks for your response, Simon.

Upon a quick examination, it appears that Lemon Squeezy and Paddle charge the same fee: 5% + 5 cents per transaction.

When selling subscriptions and using a currency other than USD (such as Swedish krona in our case), Stripe’s fees will amount to a similar figure. (However, as also mentioned above, Stripe’s services do not include the cumbersome VAT management.)

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