Table of Contents
- Popular Payment Methods for Online Casinos
- Bank Wire Transfers
- Instant Bank Transfers
- Country-Specific Payment Methods
- History of Payment Methods
For centuries casinos were the preserve of the rich and famous, with advances in technology highlighted by the development of the internet allowing popular products to be broadcast anywhere with a wi-fi signal.
However, in isolation, more than this ability is needed for global table game aficionados to delve into lobbies previously denied.
With a payment system that keeps up with advances in the virtual world, online casinos were able to stake their place as an entertainment staple in the manner that they have achieved during two decades of growth.
This article details the pros and cons of all the payment methods that online casinos support to allow PC, tablet, and mobile play and explains why some methods have become popular in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, India, and New Zealand above all others.
Our team of experts always has an opinion on which payment methods should be used to enjoy an enhanced experience whenever you take to the tables.
Popular Payment Methods for Online Casinos
There are several variables that you should take into account whenever you are thinking of registering for an account with a new online casino. Bonuses, safety, and software are all massively important, but so too are the payment methods that a site supports. A casino is likely to be attractive if it gives players a chance to deposit quickly, for a minimal fee, in a highly secure way.
To meet these demands, the standard online casino now offers various routes for deposits and withdrawals, with many being country-specific, ensuring that players everywhere have confidence in the running of these virtual firms.
Some payment methods’ limitations can confuse banking processes, which is one feature that online gambling sites can still improve on. At most casinos, you will find deposit-only and withdrawal-only banking options, which is less than optimal but is a factor that should be fine if these limitations are highlighted at the sign-up stage.
With so many payment methods to choose from, regular casino goers may well be scratching their heads, especially as, at face value, there appears to be little to distinguish one method from the rest.
This guide is designed to shine a light on this under-explored category. It will hopefully help you firm up your ideas on which payment methods are best for you whenever you wish to play your favourites from Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming and the like.
Credit and Debit Cards
Card payments are generally supported at every online casino. However, you will need to be up to date with local gambling laws to discern whether your provider accepts deposits via credit card. In the U.K. and Ireland, deposits made via credit card are either illegal or voluntarily prevented at online casinos that operate in these jurisdictions.
In countries where both credit and debit cards can still be used to make deposits at casinos, card transfers are a popular payment method.
One of the biggest reasons for the card’s continued popularity is that acceptance is nearly universal. Whether you play online gambling games in India, Canada, New Zealand, or Europe, Maestro, MasterCard, or Visa is nearly always accepted.
However, even though casinos are happy to take your deposit via credit card, lenders are increasingly removing this option as it is increasingly seen as being incompatible with sensible business practices.
Pros of Debit/Credit Cards
- Universal Acceptance
- Rapid Processing
- Payment Protection
- Enables Impulsive Play
- Restrictive Access
- Universal Acceptance – if you can find an online casino that doesn’t accept Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, or AMEX, you have too much time on your hands. Nearly every casino in almost every jurisdiction accepts card deposits.
- Rapid Processing – if you wish to spin on your favourite Yggdrasil slot or Playtech table game, you can do so instantly when depositing by card. The details on your Visa or MasterCard, including your name, 16-digit account number and CVV identifier, are instantly recognisable, ensuring that your payments are accepted instantly.
- Payment Protection – there is always a small risk attached to every financial transaction that you complete online. This risk is reduced when you stick to high quality sites that we have put on our safe list. Still, such is the technological advancement of the internet that fraudsters can occasionally clone plausible-looking links that only see their bank accounts benefit. If you use a debit or credit card to complete deposits for your casino play, you have extra protection from the consequences of online fraud. If a phantom casino was to take your money under false pretences, you could claim your card provider to see that this sum is returned.
- Enables Impulsive Play – one of the key benefits of using cards online is potentially also a drawback for some casino fans. Because card deposits can be processed so quickly, you may be more encouraged to make impulsive choices about your gambling. It is never a good idea to chase your losses or to bet more than you can afford, but with a payment card linked up to your device, these are easy behaviours to enter into.
- Restricted Access – in recent years, the opportunity to fund your casino account with a credit card payment has become a little more restrictive. Players in the United Kingdom and Ireland are already coming to terms with this more regulated landscape, and such is the pressure placed on corporate financial institutions. It is now becoming less common for credit lenders to allow their cards to be used for gambling purposes.
You might be forgiven for thinking that e-wallets are now taking over the world. Since the world wide web rise in the late 1990s, how we all pay for our goods and services has changed dramatically. Whereas there was little choice but to take a trip to your local casino if you wanted to play on jackpot slots or at the roulette table, usually taking a cash-paid taxi and using a cheque to buy your chips, modern online outlets give you a chance to deposit in multiple ways. The e-wallet is one of the most popular options.
You are highly likely to hold multiple accounts with the top e-wallet firms, with renowned businesses including PayPal, Skrill, Neteller and ecoPayz all being big names in this slice of the payment methods industry.
Like debit and credit cards, nearly all online casinos now allow you to fund all of your gambling through at least one of the most popular e-wallets. However, there are also some potential drawbacks if you wish to use your e-wallet at your favourite casino.
One of these is that deposits made through an e-wallet do not qualify for bonuses. As e-wallet firms act as an intermediary between a vendor and their client, this makes identifying a funding option opaque. A key constituent of Know Your Customer (KYC) rules – the guidance that the operators of online casinos follow to reduce the impact of crime on the iGaming industry – is that funding sources can be verified. This is difficult when money travels via an e-wallet.
A further downside of e-wallets is the fees that they attract. Even small transfers tend to require a fee, and when casinos already have a 1-5% edge over their customers, this makes the chance to earn a profit even more of an uphill battle.
Pros and Cons of Depositing via E-Wallet
- Supported Throughout the iGaming Industry
- Easy to Use
- Cross Border Payments
- Supported Throughout the iGaming Industry – you can occasionally find an online casino that only accepts deposits via MasterCard, Visa, or Cryptocurrencies. Still, these really are few and far between. Therefore if you have an e-wallet account to your name, you can play casino favourites whether you live in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, India, or New Zealand.
- Easy to Use – technology is only of value if it makes your life easier than before this aid existed. This is precisely why e-wallets have seen such a boom. E-wallets allow you to store all of your payment details in one place and at arm’s length from sellers, making the payment process quick and simple.
- Cross Border Payments – casino play can only be purchased in some markets in foreign currencies. E-Wallets make currency conversions simple. Your provider will advertise an exchange rate, take a small fee and swap your domestic currency for any other that you require.
- Fees – given that e-wallets are such a flexible way to pay for goods and services that you purchase online. It is not surprising to see that there are fees involved in the process. These generally kick in whenever you need to deal in a foreign currency and when you are receiving cash. So, if you are lucky enough to claim a big payout from your online casino account, it might be worth setting up an alternative withdrawal method if you have one available.
- PayPal – if you are a fan of PayPal, you may be disappointed from time to time. PayPal guards its brand closely. You will only ever be able to use PayPal as a means of deposit if your casino operator works within a regulated market and has a good reputation. If you like to play at offshore sites, you may be unable to count on PayPal as a payment method.
Prepaid Cards and Vouchers
Prepaid cards and vouchers are the hybrid payment method that delivers the best and worst features of cash-on-demand systems and more modern payment types. To use a prepaid card or voucher for casino play, you must find a stockist or access an online site where these can be purchased. At this point, you hand over cash, and in return, you are provided with a payment code for the desired amount. You can then use this code to apply funds to your casino account through its banking page.
This method is riddled with big positives and equally big negatives. First, using prepaid cards is a great way to protect your identity online. Because you don’t need to type in your bank details or ID information, you are very unlikely to be targeted by scammers.
However, just like when you use cash to make a payment, if you lose a PIN before you have time to redeem it, it is very unlikely that you will see this money again. The most likely beneficiary is the lucky individual who finds your card. Because of this flaw, prepaid cards and vouchers are capped in value. This means that users will only ever be able to load around £1000 via these methods in any single transaction.
Pros and Cons of Prepaid Card and Voucher Deposits
- Widely Advertised
- Payment Caps
- Deposit Only
- Security – some casino enthusiasts are amazed that the world has evolved at such a rate that slots, roulette and blackjack games can now be played anywhere. Still, they are equally concerned about being the victims of online fraud. Using a prepaid card or voucher substantially reduces this risk as these payment method types can be purchased for cash at various physical local venues.
- Anonymity – we don’t all like our financial affairs to be public knowledge, and if you use a prepaid card or voucher, they don’t need to be. You can pay for these handy stores of value in cash, so nobody can determine how you spend your cash as no records are kept regarding this.
- Budgeting – There is very little chance that you will be able to spend more than you can afford or engage in negative behaviours such as chasing losses if you fund your casino play with a prepaid card or voucher. Natural barriers mean that you will need to have a good think about how you wish to spend your money on the way to a voucher stockist, which should mean that you will come to a rational decision about your future gambling plays.
- Widely Advertised – If you like to use Paysafe or other popular methods of prepaid cards, you will be able to use this to deposit the majority of casino outlets anywhere in the world.
- Payment Caps – due to the highly liquid nature of the funds you place on a prepaid card or voucher, operators place limits on how much money you can transfer to a card at any time. If you are looking at depositing large sums to your casino account, prepaid methods are unlikely to be practical for you. The limits for this type of payment method tend to sit at around £1000. This is ideal for recreational players, but high rollers may like a little bit more flexibility.
- Deposit Only – Prepaid cards and vouchers have many merits but, unfortunately, most casinos only have the capabilities to allow you to make deposits in this way. Whenever you are lucky enough to be able to make a withdrawal from your online casino, you will need to link up a different method. This is extra work for casino fans, but at least you are compensated by some of the house’s cash!
Not Available in Every Market – If you are one of our U.S. fans, you may wonder what the fuss is about. PaysafeCard, one of the world’s most popular prepay brands, is not available in the U.S. Therefore, if you play at online establishments in any of the regulated jurisdictions, you will need to source an alternate funding vehicle.
Bank Wire Transfers
Almost every global online casino accepts deposits via wire transfer. There are many reasons why this is the case. Wire transfers are seen as having a security edge over many alternative payment methods, especially if you are dealing with an offshore site that may require a currency exchange in some form.
Part of this security advantage is down to the fact that casino operators are wary of falling foul of Know Your Customer (KYC) rules that require them to ensure that money laundering is minimised across the iGaming industry. This means that for you to be able to deposit at your casino, you will need to provide documentation that confirms your identity and where your funding originates. Because of this, your initial deposit can take several days to clear, though subsequent transfers should be processed more quickly.
These time constraints mean that bank wire transfers are much more popular in markets where express bank transfers and e-wallet options are less readily available. However, given the option to receive funds in cash through an intermediary or directly to a nominated bank account, bank wire transfers are still popular in the most modern markets.
Pros and Cons of Depositing Through Bank Wire Transfers
- Currency Exchange
- Accessible – Bank wire transfers can be completed in nearly every global jurisdiction. This means that even if you live in the most obscure location, you will still have a route open to you if you wish to fund your online casino account. In this age of technology, you can even complete wire transfers online. Simply provide details for the bank accounts where funds will be sent from and received, and agents at your wire operator will do the rest.
- Currency Exchange – wire transfers are an easy way to complete a foreign currency exchange. By simply providing details of the amount in your local currency that you wish to deposit, your wire service will convert this into the international currency of your choice to boost your betting bankroll.
- Secure – The wire transfer system is highly regulated, meaning you can be confident that your payment will be completed safely and accurately.
- Costly – just like every high-class service, a wire transfer requires a fee. This usually consists of a one-off cost to be paid by the sender, but in the case of cross-border transactions, these can jump up significantly.
- Irreversible – once you have set the wheels in motion on a wire transfer, it cannot be amended. This can be a problem for several reasons. First, you need to make sure that you are sending your funds to the right recipient, although when you are funding a casino account, this should be a small risk. Second, you must ensure you are sending the correct amount. If you add an erroneous zero to your transfer details, you could pay out much more than you envisaged. And third, you need to trust the recipient. We would only recommend using wire transfers when you are dealing with casinos that our experts have deemed to have an excellent reputation. If you are unsure about the validity of an online casino, transferring money by wire is the worst thing you could do. It will be very hard to chase up a refund in these circumstances.
Instant Bank Transfers
Instant bank transfers offer online consumers the security of a wire transfer without excessive processing periods, so they are ideal for players who wish to add funds to a waning bankroll.
Several firms are offering this type of payment that will be familiar to casino goers. Included in this number are Trustly, iDEAL, and GiroPay.
All of these essentially act as the middleman between your bank and your vendor. This means that you can securely transfer large sums of money instantly without providing all of your details to your casino.
Pros and Cons of Instant Bank Transfers
- Speed – casino fans tend to be time-poor. One of the biggest benefits of an online casino is that you don’t have to travel for hours to and from your local site, and you can play at whatever time you have available. Therefore, anything that holds up this process is largely unwelcome. This means that instant bank transfers are ideal, as any required funds can be moved in the blink of an eye.
- Safety – instant bank transfers can only occur because the information transferred between banks during the process is protected by high-level encryption. This makes instant bank transfers one of the safest of all payment methods to use.
- Adaptable – instant bank transfers can be completed on a variety of platforms. Whether you are playing your favourite games on a PC, tablet, or mobile, you can fund your play via Trustly or a similar provider.
- Localised – unlike big names in the card and e-wallet sectors, instant bank transfer options tend to be regionalised. Top names in Europe may not be available in the Americas and Asia, and vice versa. This might mean that you need more than one account to meet the needs of all your casino accounts.
One of the biggest revolutions in the payments market in recent years has been the birth of cryptocurrencies. How these stores of value are created is still something of a mystery. Suffice it to say that you need to own a computer that can find the answer to some extremely difficult sums, and for doing so, you are awarded cryptocurrency in one form or another.
You must add your crypto to the blockchain to claim your bounty to formalise your claim. However, the value of your prize is entirely dependent on international markets, with the value of virtual coins being highly volatile in recent months. Something certain is that crypto can be used as a means of deposit at scores of online casinos. Not only this, but crypto in the form of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Ripple can also be used to fund play on specialist crypto slot games directly.
However, cryptocurrency is still largely unregulated, and as such, this means that crypto is not universally supported. If you are looking to play at an online casino in the United Kingdom or Ireland, you won’t be able to deposit crypto. This option may be valuable in other regions, especially if you are eager to preserve an element of online anonymity.
Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency Deposits
- Anonymity – crypto is an unregulated currency meaning that official records of who owns what are very sketchy indeed. Due to this blindspot, the owners and the users of crypto can largely go about their business in relative anonymity, great for players who like to keep their cards close to their chest.
- Fast – crypto transfers complete at a lightning pace, ideal for casino fans who only have a finite amount of time to enjoy slots, craps, and baccarat at their favourite venues, so rapid transfer routes are always preferable.
- Security – all crypto transactions are protected by layers of SSL encryption technology, meaning that crypto traders can have confidence that payments will be completed as desired at all times.
- Restricted – crypto casinos are not universally supported. Casino fans in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, where sites are licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), are not allowed to use crypto as a means of deposit. The main reason for this is that the source of crypto is almost impossible to verify, so crypto-funded accounts would not pass the Know Your Customer (KYC) criteria that are rigorously enforced in this region.
- Volatile – the value of crypto can swing dramatically within short periods. This means that Bitcoin and the like can be risky as a store of value for casino fans. Placing bets at the roulette or blackjack tables comes with risks, but these are compounded if you are also concerned about the currency you’re gambling with.
- Costly – to make an online crypto payment, you will need a dedicated crypto wallet. This service incurs charges, but exactly how much will depend on your provider.
Country-Specific Payment Methods
In a world that is ever more influenced by globalisation processes, it may be surprising that payment methods often harbour local traits. But, just as language evolves independently, payment methods appear to adapt to specific local conditions.
In terms of uniqueness, India is the leader of the pack. Although the Indian economy is traditionally based on cash payments, the United Payment Interface (UPI) development has revolutionised how business is conducted in the country.
It was never inevitable that a mobile-based electronic payments network would take off in the country, but there are several reasons why this might have been the case.
First, internet coverage is patchy at best, so for any payment method to take off in India, it needs to be based on mobile data that is available to large proportions of the Indian population. To help with this problem, several popular UPI apps have shot up in recent years, with Google Pay, WhatsApp, Paytm, and PhonePe all having a UPI-based offer.
Secondly, Indians make high numbers of relatively small payments. UPI has been set up in a way that processes high volumes of transactions quickly and efficiently, which is just what the average Indian consumer wishes to see.
Thirdly, UPI operates within a framework that links India’s biggest banks, ensuring that all transfers are completed quickly and safely. A great benefit for all fans of casino action. Building on the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) system and incorporating the Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) to allow repeat payments, UPI has become essential to the lives of Indian consumers.
These India-specific issues mean that a mobile payments system is always likely to prove popular, especially one that provides a one-stop-shop approach by incorporating the accounts from all of India’s biggest banks.
Although the UPI system is largely confined to India, its neighbours, Singapore, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, have approved it. French banks are now happy to complete transactions via UPI.
History of Payment Methods
The development of the UPI and Interac payment method systems in India and Canada underlines how quickly the payments sector has evolved in recent decades. A look back at the history of payment methods will confirm that advancements in this area have been glacial for around 2000 years until the internet arrived.
19th Century – cash and cheque were the only means of completing day-to-day payments. These methods were both backed by guarantees from central banks across the world that recipients would be able to redeem an asset with a tangible asset on demand. These had been the only payment systems in town for much of the previous 2000 years.
1966 – was a great year for football fans and a fascinating year for advances in the payment methods industry. This year, the first credit cards came into use in Europe, with the Barclaycard being a prominent early name. However, this progress was built on the 1958 release of the Bank America card. For the first time, consumers could make a short-term borrowing arrangement with their credit provider with a promise to repay at a later date for a predetermined fee.
1987 – Debit cards finally arrived in the United Kingdom. No longer did consumers face lengthy queues at their local bank branch to get hold of some of their cash. This money was now loaded onto a card that could be used to withdraw cash from approved teller machines. Advances would mean that debit cards would eventually be used as a direct form of payment in shops around the world and eventually at online virtual stores following the development of the internet.
1994 – Pizza Hut accepted the first online payment, and as they say things have never looked back.
1997 – mobile payment systems emerged, with Coca-Cola ensuring that its products could be purchased by text message. Technology has moved on, but mobile payments essentially still build on this basic concept.
1998 – PayPal was launched. The creation of the world’s first e-wallet was a game changer. With online business rising exponentially, it was essential for a trusted virtual payment system to enter the fray. PayPal was easy to use and allow payments to be set up from multiple sources.
2008 – Bitcoin came into being. In the world of payments, crypto was like a space-age leap that would have profound repercussions for years to come. Based on the blockchain accounting system, crypto is mined through the calculation of complex sums, with its value being determined by the international money markets.
The 2020s – whatever innovations await at casinos.win, we will always keep you in the loop to guide you through the complex payments web. sit tight, and enjoy the ride!