The words “passive income” suggest that it’s the third aspect (payment) that defines the difference between passive and active income, but the main differences are usually found in the value delivery methods.
With an active income method, you hand over your work product once and get paid for it once.
With a passive income method, your work product is delivered multiple times, and you get paid multiple times.
The passive element means that this value is being delivered without your direct personal effort. So you’re using a method to get your work output into the hands of multiple customers, but you don’t have to be the one personally delivering it.
For example, when I publish a new article to my blog, it gets delivered to people all over the world automatically, but I don’t have to personally send it to everyone. The value delivery is automated.