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Direct Participant Payments Now in Public Beta

FindingFive now allows you to compensate participants directly and automatically! After you build your FindingFive study, you can recruit participants from anywhere–your hometown or across the world–and pay them all with just a few clicks! It’s simple – you load funds into your account, and we handle the rest. In this tutorial, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how this process works.

Disclaimer: We currently only support transactions conducted in US dollars, Euros, and Hong Kong dollars.

Enable the Direct Participant Payment Feature

Our direct participant payment feature is currently under a public beta test. You should be able to use all these features by default.

Loading Funds

The first step is to load funds to your FindingFive account. You can do this by clicking on the “Balance” tab, followed by “Make a deposit” on the top right of your FindingFive homepage.

Choosing “Make a deposit” will open a pop-up window where you can make a deposit. Your account balance will automatically update – we won’t make you wait to use your funds!

Estimating How Much to Load

In Step 5 of our Session Launch Wizard, we’ve included a calculator to let you know the balance you need to successfully run your study. The calculator takes into account A) the number of participants you expect to include in your study, B) the compensation rate you identify, and C) our transaction fee, which is currently set at a flat rate of 15% (or 75 cents per participant, whichever is greater).

It’s a good idea to use this calculator before loading funds to your account, as you won’t be able to launch your study until you have an adequate balance in your account. As you become more familiar with how much money is needed to run your studies on FindingFive, you can preload your account without using this calculator.

Returning Unused Funds

When you launch your study, the full amount required to complete your study will be deducted from your account. Consider the above example, in which you expect to enroll 10 participants, paying each $4 for their time. Factoring in the transaction fee, $47.50 will be deducted from your account balance as soon as you launch your study.

However, it is possible that you may end up recruiting fewer than 10 participants, either because you decided to cancel the session before its scheduled end time, or because the session reaches its end time before all 10 participants could be recruited. In either case, there will be unused funds, which will be returned to your account balance automatically, usually within an hour (if not sooner). So, if you only collected data from 5 participants, $23.75 will be refunded to your account at the conclusion of your study. This way, if you want to run a second session, you will have an accurate sense of the balance needed to do so.

Note that the returned funds may arrive in several batches, because compensation is “held” for in-progress participants until they complete the study or abandon it. For example, if at the end of your session, only 5 participants completed your study (same as the above example) and 3 are in-progress, we will first return the cost of 10 – 4 – 3 = 3 participants.

Then, of the 3 in-progress participants, 2 complete the study and the other abandons the study, which would result in an additional return of funds of 1 participant.

Paying Participants (hint: it’s our job!)

After you load funds into your account, your work on this front is done. The pre-specified amount will be transferred to each participant’s PayPal account within 24 hours of their participation.

Pricing Structure

Processing financial transactions via PayPal incurs moderate fees for FindingFive. To make these transactions feasible, we are asking the researcher community to chip in and pay a small fee per participant. When the per-participant compensation rate is $5 or less, we charge $0.75 per participant. For all greater compensation rates, we charge 15% of the compensation rate per participant.

We are also exploring the possibility of offering an even lower transaction fee in exchange for a slightly slower speed at which participants receive their payment.

Withdrawing Account Balance

So you ran your experiment and have extra funds in your account balance… what now? You can always keep a balance in your account to use toward your next study. Or, you can withdraw it! We are implementing a feature that will allow you to withdraw your balance automatically. For the time being, you can email, and we’ll deposit the remainder of your balance straight back to the account from which you paid.

Read the Direct Payment FAQ for More

There are other important issues such as our policies on the compensation rate, what to expect when there’s a dispute regarding payment, and so on. Please check out our new FAQ section on direct participant payment for details!


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