Agate FAQ

Hello. As you’ve probably seen, we have partnered with a company called Agate who are attempting to help create and foster a new, responsible system of payment for media.

We imagine you’re on this page because you’re not really sure what we’re asking you to sign up to. Which is fair enough. We’re an early partner in this process, and we’ve never seen a company attempting anything like this.

So, to make it all a little clearer, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

1/ You’re Asking Me To Pay?

Yeah, a little bit – but rather than ask you to fork out for a monthly subscription (or fill this site with a hundred hideous ads) we’d like to try it on a pay-as-you-go, page-by-page basis.

So what we’re suggesting is that you sign up to Agate, stick a little bit of cash in your Agate wallet and then we’ll take a modest 10p whenever you choose to read one of our paid-for articles.

That way, if a week goes by and you don’t end up reading anything, you don’t pay anything. And if you do decide to read something, we’ll take a 10p per story, up to a weekly limit of 30p (which means once you’ve paid out 30p to us you can binge read on Popbitch as much as you like without worrying about breaking the bank).

2/ Do I Have To Pay For Everything?

No. The weekly email will remain free. And some of our articles will still be free too. But for most of our longer, more in-depth pieces (the ones which are definitely worth 10p) we’ll take a little micropayment for them.

3/ How Do I Sign Up?

It’s really easy. It’s just three steps, you don’t need to hand over a load of personal data and you only need to sign up once. After that, you will be able to visit any other site which uses Agate without any further friction.

4/ Is It Truthworthy?

Of course! Agate uses Stripe and PayPal to process payments, so you know your credit card details are secure.

5/ Is It Transparent?

Yep. We want to make sure you know exactly what’s happening at all points – so you can choose whether or not to actively authorise each payment, or you can pre-approve certain charges (depending on your personal preferences and spending limits).

Either way, the green Agate tab on the side of your screen will always let know whenever you’ve been charged. The tab will also allow you to see prices, your progress to the weekly “free point”, and give you access to your account details.

6/ How Much Are You Asking For?

You can upload as little as £3 and you can get your unspent money back whenever you want.

7/ How Does The Weekly Limit Work?

Agate is a pay-per-article system; the price we’ve set here at Popbitch is 10p per article. There is a weekly “free point”, which means that if you spend 30p in a week (i.e. read three articles) you can read for free for the rest of the week. That way you’ll never spend more than 30p a week – whether you read three, five, ten or more of our longer stories*.

The week is counted from the time you read the first article, and will reset each week. (To be precise, it will reset 168 hours after your start your first article of the pay-period)

8/ Do I Have To Deal With This Every Time I Want To Read Something?

No. Once you’re signed up, the payment for each article goes through instantaneously. You’re not continually having to put in more credit card details, or signing up for site after site, or dealing with any kind of hassle.

9/ What If I Want To Re-Read Something?

Once you’ve paid for an article once, you can re-read it whenever you like at no extra cost. So if you want to go back to something six months later, you can do.

10/ Can I Use My Agate Wallet On Other Sites?

In time, yes. As Agate signs up more titles, you’ll be able to use your wallet across those publications too.

The added bonus is that if you top your wallet up through Popbitch, you will still help to support us even if you use the money to read articles elsewhere – because Popbitch benefits every time you top up your wallet (regardless of where you then spend the money).

We’re the first publisher to test out Agate, but there are more on the way. We think they’re proposing a pretty sensible system of funding digital publishing because, if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to graze across loads of different websites without having to sign up or subscribe separately at each one.

– If you want to talk to us about any of this, please email

– If you have some feedback you think Agate would benefit from, please email them

* Fair use restrictions will apply