I’ve written about the PaySafeCard system elsewhere on the site, explaining how you can use it to make cash payments into your online accounts thanks to the manner in which you can buy a PaySafeCard in a shop and then enter the sixteen digit PIN to put that money wherever you want it to be. I’ve also done a piece about the store cash cards offered by the big bookmakers out there that have high street stores, which let you pay cash into your account in a shop and have it turn up in your online wallet. The point being, there are countless different payment methods available out there that give you a heap of choice as the consumer.
One of the new digital breeds of payment methods is the online electronic wallets, or eWallets for short. Well known names in the UK include PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, who lead the market and innovations leading the way. If you’ve done any online gambling before then you’ll likely at least have heard of Skrill and Neteller, whilst those of you who have made purchases on sites like eBay will know all about PayPal.
A main benefits of using eWallets is they allow you to keep your gambling transactions in one place and away from a bank statement. This helps to keep track of winnings and loses, especially useful if you have multiple betting accounts. Before betting with eWallets however it is important to understand how they work and what the advantages and disadvantages of using them are and how eWallets work in general.
eWallets For Betting and Gambling Online In The UK
First up it is PayPal, formed as Confinity in 1998 it merged with X.com in 2000, owned by the celebrity billionaire, Tesla owner and space enthusiast, Elon Musk. The most famous eWallet of them all was bought by eBay for $1.5 billion back in 2002.
The company has continued to grow since then, with many customers preferring using their services to bet online when possible. It isn’t always possible as PayPal have high fees for merchants, meaning less than half of betting sites offer the method. If you bet with a site that accepts PayPal it is by far the best electronic wallet.
They have the best mobile app that means you can use it to bank on the go. The security features are second to none, whilst the banking methods are smooth and easy to use. There’s still that downside about not every online casino and bookmaker using PayPal, however, so that has to be weighed into any calculations that you make in terms of which eWallet is for you. If you want an eWallet to use for other services online not just betting however this is the most widely accepted.
One other issue using eWallets like PayPal is that you won’t be able to use PayPal in a lot of instances if you’re hoping to take advantage of the free bets or enhanced odds offers that bookies give new customers (the same is true more so with Skill and Neteller). You’ll have to use an alternative payment method if you’re hoping to get either of them added to your account, so it’s about weighing up the pros and cons of each scenario.
PayPal Quick Registration
As a side note whilst I’m talking about PayPal, one of the bookies that will allow you to use the system for your account with them is Coral. Not only that, but they specifically have a system that allows you to do a quick registration with them if you’re going to be doing your transactions via the medium of PayPal. PayPal quick registration allows you to sign up in seconds, with most of your details drawn from your PayPal account.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
Formerly known as Moneybookers, Skrill is just as well-known as PayPal and Neteller and is becoming more and more popular with bettors, in fact it was originally set up in the early 2000’s to service punters who wanted to gamble online from one account. As a result, many bookies allow you to use a Skrill to bet with them online (although few offer welcome bonuses with Skrill).
Skrill (and Neteller) generally have lower overall fees than PayPal and therefore if you only use the account to bet it can prove better value in the long term. Since being bought out by the Optimal Payments group, the owners of Neteller, in 2015, there is not much to separate both wallets. Payments are just as quick and will definitely be just as secure, so I’d recommend that you have a play with both eWallets to see which one takes your fancy.
One defining feature of Skrill is 1-Tap. Many sites now offer this and once you’ve linked your Skrill account to your bookie or casino online account you can add and remove funds with one button click. Kind of like the 1-Click instant buy on Amazon. Very useful for those pressed for time or who want to get money into their account in a rush to place a bet.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
In truth, Neteller is my eWallet account of choice for a number of reasons. For starters, the company is one of the most trusted and popular online, with good relationships with all of the major bookmakers. Neteller is also a little more more mainstream compared to Skrill, useful if you plan to use the account more widely than just for betting, a kind of intermediate between PayPal and Skrill.
The cash out time is instant to your eWallet, any delay is simply how long the betting company take to process your withdrawal, so you don’t have to wait forever to get your money once you’ve decided you want to move it out of an online betting site’s coffers. Bonuses are just limited with Neteller and coverage is lightly lower than with Skrill, so if you bet with a lot of sites Skrill might shave it slightly.
Pre-Paid Cards & Bitcoin
You can link your Neteller account to a pre-paid card if you like (you can do this with Skrill as well) that is useful for not overspending, it also allows you to fund accounts that don’e accept Neteller but do accept bank cards, this is also useful for getting the sign up offers too.
Neteller and Skrill also allow you to transact in Bitcoin and other de-centralised cryto-currencies, making it one of the only ways to bet online using these forms of payment.
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
EcoPayz is just as old as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller, established in 2000, but is less well known and used in the UK. There are several sites that accept ecoPayz which works on exactly the same principle as the other wallets.
An added benefit of EcoPayz is the bookies that do allow the payment service generally also let you take the welcome bonus too. The Eco account can also be linked to a card that can be used as a typical pre-paid bank card, including to add fund to betting accounts.
EcoPayz is just as fast and secure as the other providers on this page.
Recommended EcoPays Betting Sites: Coral, Betway, 10Bet & William Hill
T&C’s apply, 18+, Begambleaware.org
What Are Electronic Wallets
Let’s start with the most basic point of all: What are eWallets? Short for electronic wallet, eWallets use and store your money in one place for you online, much as a real-life wallet would store your cash and cards for you before you head to the shops or on a night out.
eWallets act as a place where you can collate your different funding sources, so you don’t necessarily need to add your banking details direct your bookmaker account reducing the chances the details an be misused. One of them main reasons to consider using one is the speed with which funds can be deposited and withdrawn from an eWallet to a betting site, which is especially helpful if you’re the sort of person who has several different bookmaker accounts to play with.
You can use an eWallet as a physical store of money or just as an intermediary to send the money through, but still keep your transactions away from your main bank. Fees are charged to withdraw and sometimes to deposit to and from an eWallet, but this is in effect what you pay for the service and benefits outlined below. You can also use eWallets to fund or pay for things in multiple currencies, even crypto.
Why Use eWallets To Gamble Online?
Knowing what an eWallet is is one thing, but knowing why you’d want to use one for the purposes of gambling is something else entirely. The answer has many aspects to it, not least of all the speed with which you can move your funds about that I’ve just mentioned.
No Gambling Transactions On Bank Statements
One of the key things about an eWallet is that it can keep your monetary movements out of the eyes of your bank. You can use your bank account to transfer money into your eWallet or simply use the eWallet as an intermediary to directly transfer from your bank to your betting site. Using a eWallet like PayPal meand the bank won’t be able to find out what you’ve done with the money, all you will see on any statement is a PayPal transaction.
There’s obviously nothing wrong with gambling, it’s not illegal or something that a bank manager would judge you over. Yet it can affect your credit rating if you have a number of different accounts with online bookies, so being able to stop your bank from having that information is no bad thing.
Keep Track Of Winnings and Loses
Another key reason you might want to consider using an eWallet is that you can keep all of your betting history in one place, including a coherent account of your wins and losses.
Sensible bettors will keep track of everything that they’re betting in order to ensure that they’re keeping their wagers in check, so having an eWallet that will allow you to exactly that can only be a good thing.
Share Your Bank Details Less Giving Added Security
In this day and age of internet usage, more and more people are wary of handing out their bank details more often than is necessary. We’ve all heard the stories of X company announcing that they’ve been hacked and that customer information has been compromised, so it’s definitely not just paranoia to be conscious of the number of times that you give you your bank details.
Using an eWallet can save you from doing this too much and adds an extra layer of security between your online betting accounts and your bank.
Easy Updating Of Bank and Card Details
It is very frustrating updating your card details each time one expires, or if you open a new account of move banks. With an eWallet you only need to update and verify any details in one place saving a lot of added hassle.
Multiple Funding Sources In One Wallet
It may seem obvious, but if you use your bank balance to deposit funds into your betting account then you’re restricted in terms of the number of sources that you can use. If you use an eWallet, however, you can pay money into that eWallet, or through it, via as many different methods as you like but still use just the one account with your bookmaker so as to limit any confusion.
It’s also not exactly unknown for banks to block transactions that it deems to be suspicious, seemingly doing so at will and without any sold reasoning. You won’t have the same problem with an eWallet.
Last but not least, I just want to touch once more on the speed of transactions. Because it’s all online, withdrawing to an eWallet is significantly faster than doing the same thing with a standard bank account.
If you want to move your money around relatively quickly then using an eWallet is always likely to be the best way of doing so, which is especially useful when you’ve got a number of accounts with various bookies in order to take advantage of their offers and so on. You’ll be able to move any winnings from bookmaker A to bookmaker B far quicker with an eWallet than a traditional bank account and you never know when that might be useful.
Disadvantages Of Betting With eWallets
It’s not all sweetness and light, of course. There are, unfortunately, downsides to using an eWallet as your method of getting money into your betting accounts.
The first one is that there are fees, often not for depositing or withdrawing to and from the bookmaker or merchant, but when you add or remove funds from an eWallet itself. It is rare for these fees to be astronomically high, but if you’re doing a number of transactions then they’ll soon start to add up. Then again the service isn’t free and if you want the benefit of having a separate digitial wallet you do need to pay some fees. It is very rare for bookmakers themselves to charge you fees for using eWallets.
Perhaps the biggest argument against using an eWallet, at least initially, is that they have been used to abuse bookmakers’ offers in the past. The result of that is that the likes of Skrill and Neteller can’t be used to make your initial deposit if you’re hoping to taker advantage of a bookie’s welcome offer. In fact, the majority of bookmakers don’t let you use them for any sort of offer, so you might end up losing out on a decent chunk of welcome funds if you don’t read the small print first and check whether or not they’re on the list of banned depositing methods. Remember you can sign up with a card to get an introductory offer then switch to an eWallet later if you wish, or alternatively use one of the providers pre-paid cards that don’t have the same issue.
When it comes to PayPal, it’s probably the most famous and commonly used eWallet in existence. The problem is that not a lot of bookmakers actually accept it as a payment method. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty out there that do. Yet I’d be lying to you if I said that you could use it with any bookmaker on the market because some are funny about allowing customers to deposit funds with a PayPal account. That’s the sort of thing you’ll need to think about if you’ve already got a PayPal account and aren’t keen on opening another eWallet when you’ve already got one.
Neteller and Skrill – The Punters Choice
If you want your eWallet just for betting and gaming you are best off with one of the specialists, Neteller or Skrill, who are also the most widely accepted.
To open an account the first thing you’ll want to do is to head to their website and sign up for an account. You’ll have to send them evidence of who you are in order to make sure that you meet their Know Your Customer requirements, this will include proof of ID and address.
After you’ve signed up you’ll be asked to deposit funds into your account, which you can do via a number of methods. As well as bank transfer, you can use debit and credit cards or even send them in a cheque if you’re old school. Once you’re up and running you simply need to link your eWallet to your bookmaker’s account, which you do in the same way that you’d add a debit card or bank account but by choosing the eWallet option. Pretty much every respectable bookie will let you use an eWallet and Skrill and Neteller are the most popular of those.
There are a number of added extras with both systems that you’ll probably want to take advantage of. For starters, both Skrill and Neteller have loyalty programs that are, blissfully, realistic and achievable. They obviously want you to use their system more than any other, so the more often you do so the more you’ll earn points that can do things such as reduce the fees you have to pay or result in you getting a dedicated account manager.
They also offer prepaid credit cards that allow you to use your eWallet balance in a real-world scenario, or with bookies that don’t accept the eWallets direct. You can also gamble with more currency option, including via Bitcoin and other cryto currency.