New: Prepaid Credits (and a bonus story)

Hey folks.

This week we’ve added support for prepaid credits that go towards your monthly bill. Most of you have a credit card on file so this isn’t relevant, but if you only have a prepaid card or a non-US debit card that we keep rejecting, this is for you…

You can view your credit balance and buy more by heading to your organization’s dashboard: https://fly.io/organizations/personal. We’ll also let you know if we reject a prepaid card with a link to buy credits instead.

Backstory
This time last year we were going through YC and prepping to launch our new VM platform. We left our houses, even traveled, without fear of catching the plague. Good times… Except that we were busy and didn’t implement any billing. We launched in March and new customers deployed lots of interesting apps, and a few dubious ones too. Torrent seed boxes, crypto mining, you name it.

After a while we started requiring a credit card before accounts could create apps. Almost immediately, scammers used prepaid cards that were valid when signing up but didn’t have funds available when we billed a month later.

So we started rejecting prepaid cards. That helped stop fraud (slightly,) but it also prevented a bunch of actual customers from using us. Turns out prepaid cards are more common outside the US than we thought, I’m sorry about that.

All told we’ve had over $50K in fraud and uncollectible invoices, and we’d like to reduce that. :wink: Credits aren’t as convenient as charging a card, but they let us reduce our risk while legit prepay-only customers use fly. This is one of many little improvements we’ll be rolling out to our billing system over the next month or two. Thanks for bearing with us as we fumble through this.

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