Author: Sebastian Scheplitz
We are living in the age of online gambling. Gone are the days of frequenting brick-and-mortar casinos to play your favorite slots or table games. The same is true for visiting physical high-street betting chains to place bets on sports.
Everybody and their mother are now playing casino favorites anytime, anywhere, anyplace through online gambling platforms.
Online casinos are on the rise – especially in these trying times. Regardless of where you are, there are online casinos and sportsbooks ready to service you. What makes it possible is the vast array of online casino payment methods available for potential customers to use.
The versatility of deposit and withdrawal methods that online casinos offer is what allows players worldwide to find a provider that suits them personally and play there.
However, your mileage may vary depending on the country you live in based on these tools’ availability, convenience, and security.
So, before we venture into the topic, let’s have a look at this video first:
Different Types of Payment Methods
One of the most important features that most players look at is the ability to make deposits in a fast, easy, and safe manner.
Many online casinos and sportsbooks offer various deposit and withdrawal methods.
Some providers allow you to deposit via a given payment method only, while others may allow you to withdraw your winnings to your chosen deposit method. And most of the time, you can only withdraw money to the same method you used for the deposit.
With all the varieties that online casinos offer, deposit and withdrawal options can be a little tricky to navigate.
That said, to help you choose the payment method that suits your particular needs, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the best payment methods for online gambling.
1. Credit and Debit Cards
This payment method is the most popular around the world, particularly in Europe and the United States. It is the leading payment method in France (52%), the UK (49%), Belgium (47%), and Spain (36%).
Moreover, online casinos and sportsbooks generally accept Visa, MasterCard, and/or Maestro.
The primary advantage of using credit and/or debit cards is its accessibility. That’s because practically anyone can apply for a credit/debit card and use it around the world.
However, their main disadvantage is that a growing number of banks do not accept online gambling payments.
This practice is solely under the discretion of the issuing bank as each bank has its own internal policy governing online gambling transactions.
And recently, credit card providers have been the subject of stringent regulations stemming from their use as an online casino payment method.
We will discuss these recent developments later in this article.
E-wallets are rising in adoption. They are also poised to take over the market share of online casino payment methods due to their ease of use and withdrawal (less than 24 hours).
However, one of its key downsides is that most e-wallets charge transaction fees. It must be noted that these fees are generally minimal and are offset by loyalty programs that e-wallet providers offer.
Currently, PayPal ranks as the most popular e-wallet worldwide, with over 200 million active users in North America and Europe.
The most popular e-wallets apart from PayPal include:
An e-wallet provider known for its security. Players can use this prepaid card with vouchers that have a unique 16-number PIN code. Now owned by Skrill (formerly known as Moneybookers).
Skrill is a popular e-wallet option that is regulated and governed under UK law and works just like PayPal does. You can load your online account and use it to fund online casino deposits and withdrawals. It is available in almost every country.
Like Skrill, Neteller is an e-wallet that used to be the flagship provider of online gambling payments but has since declined due to the increasing number of available payment options.
However, it still remains a popular method that is accepted almost everywhere. You can deposit as you would with PayPal and withdraw quickly by either using their Net+ card or transferring the balance to your bank account.
This another secure e-wallet that is increasingly becoming popular nowadays. Its ecoAccount feature allows players to perform all of their online casino transactions at one endpoint.
3. Prepaid Cards and Vouchers
It is the leading prepaid card in the online gambling business, especially for the UK and Europe.
Almost every online casino accepts it as a payment method due to its high security (as opposed to paying directly with your credit/debit card) and its minimal fees.
Paysafecard is not available in the United States. However, you can buy one in a different location and deposit money to it electronically. This would allow US citizens to play in a casino that accepts this payment method.
EcoPayz also offers a prepaid card with its ecoCard. The ecoCard works the same way as a Paysafecard does in terms of managing online deposits and withdrawals at countless locations around the world.
It also comes free and does not require a credit check. Customers may opt to use a single-use prepaid card or opt to use the ecoCard.
4. Bank Wire Transfers
Most iGaming operators and bookies accept wire transfers as one of their primary payment methods. They are seen as a secure method of payment by online casinos due to their strict requirements.
For instance, wire transfers are subject to more stringent KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures to reduce possible money laundering or otherwise KYC-related risks for all parties involved in online casino transactions.
However, KYC procedures often take time; therefore, this payment method takes around seven days to complete. Another drawback is that bank charges on wire transfers can vary depending on the deposited or withdrawn amount.
For this reason, this payment method is more prevalent in countries where easier and quicker online payment methods are not as widely available.
5. Instant Bank Transfers
This type of wire transfer offsets the typical disadvantages of conventional bank wire transfers, particularly when it comes to transaction times.
One of the most popular types of instant bank transfer services for iGaming operators and online sportsbooks, particularly in Europe, is Trustly.
Trustly works as the “middleman” and transfers funds straight from your bank to your online casino or sportsbook of your choice, without having to send any of your essential payment details (e.g., credit/debit card details) to the iGaming operator.
Essentially, what this means is that your transactions will be safe from any kind of misuse or fraud.
However, it must be noted that instant bank transfer providers are available almost exclusively for deposits, meaning you will have to choose an alternative method of withdrawal. However, this is offset thanks to limited time promotions that these providers often provide to its users.
Another popular instant bank transfer provider is iDEAL, which is used more often in the Nordic regions.
It is the most popular in the Netherlands, with over 54% of all Dutch online payments processed via iDEAL in 2014.
iDEAL doesn’t impose transfer charges and offers optimal transaction flexibility.
Giropay is another online casino payment method which is similar to iDEAL in form and function.
This online payment method’s main advantage, like iDEAL, is its simplicity of use. This payment method is most often used in Germany, with over 80% of German banks affiliated with Giropay.
It is one of the leading payment processors in Germany, with around 75% of Germans owning a Giropay card.
More and more online sportsbook and casino portals are starting to adopt cryptocurrencies as a payment method. This largely stems from the guaranteed security that Bitcoin and its other related cryptocurrencies provide.
One of the pros of using Bitcoin as a payment method is that it allows American players an opportunity to play online, as Bitcoin gambling doesn’t fall under the definition of “online gambling” in the United States, which is banned in most US states as of this writing.
However, online casinos that primarily accept cryptocurrencies are starting to operate out of established European jurisdictions like Malta. This includes brands such as Bitstarz and CloudBet. More traditional high street sportsbooks are also starting to accept cryptocurrencies as a deposit method.
Payments in Bitcoin can be fast – however, the exact particulars depend on what wallet you are using, as well as the withdrawal terms of your chosen online casino.
Other cryptocurrencies that are gaining traction apart from Bitcoin include Litecoin, Monero, and Bitcoin Cash. Their ability to process transactions much cheaper and faster than traditional Bitcoin makes them enticing payment options for online gambling.
Regardless of what cryptocurrency you opt to choose, several important advantages will enhance your playing experience. These include the following:
- Fast transactions. Credit and debit cards typically take 3-5 days to process, whereas cryptocurrencies offer instant delivery and confirmation.
- Security. Cryptocurrencies offer an extra layer of security due to its inherent cryptographic nature. Paired with the advanced encryption technologies that many reputable online casinos and sportsbooks employ, it makes for a highly-secure payment method.
- Privacy. Cryptocurrencies also offer a layer of privacy, with some transactions being performed anonymously.
How do iGaming operators guarantee security with payment transactions?
Online gambling sites involve large amounts of money coming in and out of the iGaming operator’s coffers. These transactions involve confidential personal and financial information as well.
Reputable iGaming operators value their players’ business and take necessary steps to protect this personally identifiable information.
Here are the following security protocols online gambling sites employ to keep you and your information safe:
- Firewalls. Firewalls define parameters that determine which traffic can be allowed to and from a network. That way, online casinos can prevent unwanted traffic from entering their servers.
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL). SSLs identify information about the server from which a particular website originates. It then creates an encrypted connection that stores your personal information into pieces that need to be unlocked by secure keys. Sites with that particular green bar near the URL indicate that they are protected with SSL.
- Variety of Deposit Options. Online casinos that can provide various reputable deposit and withdrawal options indicate a company that takes great care of its customers’ financial transactions.
- Security Certificates and Logos. Any iGaming operator can claim that their site is safe by displaying VeriSign and other similar certification logos on their website. However, it’s easy to fake them. Therefore, whenever you are in doubt, you can always contact the issuing company, checkitss website or the FAQ section to see if their assertion is legitimate.
- Audits. Disputes are a fact of life for any business, and that includes online gambling. Reputable operators will attempt their best effort in resolving disputes via audit trials performed either by the operator or an accredited third party
Online casinos and sportsbooks are generally ahead of the curve as far as security is concerned. The measures they take are comparable to a banking or financial institution. Anytime regulation or the security situation calls for it, iGaming operators are adroit at implementing changes.
Banned and Favored Payment Methods Around the World
Some countries may ban certain payment methods outright. Some other payment methods may not be used in certain countries but may be used in another. Let’s take a look at some examples below.
UK: Ban on Credit Cards
From April 14, 2020, credit cards have been banned from being used for all forms of gambling in the UK. This ban, however, does not extend to the purchase of National Lottery tickets.
This ban came off the heels of a couple of government inquiries involving social responsibility and online gambling in the industry.
Based on information from the UK Gambling Commission, over 24 million adults gamble in the country, with the UK Finance pulling data that over 800,000 British adults used credit cards to gamble in 2018.
According to the Gambling Commission, credit card-funded gambling may lead to significant financial risk, particularly for problem gamblers, who comprise 22% of online gamblers in total.
Credit cards can exacerbate a problem gambling situation as the consumer can try to chase his losses easily.
Germany: Crackdown by Visa and Mastercard
It was reported on May 26 that online casinos catering to the German market would no longer be able to use payment services from Visa or Mastercard. This follows on the heels of legislation targeting the iGaming sector and payment processors working with online casinos.
Reports have also circulated of German online casino patrons not using Mastercard credit cards to deposit and withdraw at iGaming sites. According to reports, online casinos have received instructions from Visa and Mastercard to remove their companies from their payment options in Germany, or else lose access to their services in the markets they currently work in.
China: WeChat Pay
WeChat is a chat app, developed by Tencent, that is widely used in China. WeChat had over 1.2 billion monthly active users in the second quarter of 2020.
Tencent’s WeChat Pay, a branch of WeChat app, is an extremely popular payment platform that allows users to make online payments and transfers within the same app.
It has become a key player in payment processing in China, with a massive market share. Furthermore, more and more online casinos have started to accept WeChat Pay deposits as of 2019.
Qiwi is a popular prepaid card that can be purchased at ubiquitous sales points in Russia.
It allows its users to pay for anything – including online gambling sites as an alternative to credit cards and bank transfers. Qiwi also comes with an e-wallet app for easy management.
Like WeChat Pay in China, Qiwi is advantageous for Russian players due to its wide acceptance in the Russian market and its ease with deposit and withdrawal transactions.
Brazil: Boleto Bancario
Players in Brazil will know about the Boleto Bancario. This service allows customers from Brazil to initiate real-time transfers from an account held in the country.
It’s been around since 1993, and is under the supervision and regulation of the Brazilian Central Bank. A valid Brazilian tax number is required to use the service.
Transactions via this method are made by first procuring a Boleto Bancario bank slip that is pre-loaded and can be used for online or over-the-counter transactions. Payments can take up to 5 working days.
As we can see, online casino payment methods can vary widely depending on the country, especially for the non-English speaking markets that favor payment systems in different languages.
The differences will vary even more when marketing said online casinos and sportsbooks in certain markets where linguistic and cultural contexts require further expertise.
The importance of localization in the iGaming industry
Payment methods are an important aspect of localization for iGaming companies, and operators should pay close attention to them.
That’s because the quality of your site’s content and its relevance play a critical role in helping customers determine which online casino or sportsbook they should play with.
The details always matter – even when it comes to something as specific as online payment methods. For instance, there are various ways currency formats can be localized for different target markets.
Western numbers typically separate numbers into thousands. Traditional Chinese and Japanese number systems, on the other hand, group numbers into ten thousands.
While numbers are now often written in Western digits, ideographic characters representing ten thousands are inserted after every four digits.
Contrast this with the Indian number system, wherein the lowest 3 digits are grouped as thousands, and then grouped by every 2 digits after that.
Number formats also vary. They can be formatted including separators, width, as well as digits (Arabic, Chinese, or Western, etc).
These are just some of the many nuances that iGaming content creators need to navigate in an industry that is going increasingly online.
Taking the preferences of your international users into consideration and localizing your iGaming content goes a long way in inspiring trust and building a relationship with your audience.
And that’s where an online casino translation agency that can perform localization for iGaming companies comes in.
Having a cohesive, coherent, and contextually-relevant localization plan will go a long way in driving customer retention and taking marketing for iGaming businesses to the next level.
Header Image Source: Photo by user13883487 on Freepik
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