Among the secure payment options available at online casinos that include credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, POLi and web wallets, another popular choice is the use of prepaid cards and prepaid vouchers. Prepaid payment methods have increased in popularity over recent years as more security conscious people turned to the Internet to spend money but wanted the peace of mind in knowing that their bank details weren’t compromised in any way.
Prepaid cards aren’t linked to any other bank account, helping to ensure consumer confidence when spending money online. In this article we’ll explain how prepaid banking methods work, what types of prepaid services are available for online gambling and the advantages and disadvantages that prepaid options present.
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How do prepaid options work?
When the demand for Internet shopping first started to soar, there weren’t many payment options beyond credit cards and PayPal. This presented a problem as not all Internet users had access to a credit card or online bank account and even those who did were still wary about spending money online, especially before online security became as advanced as it is today.
The invention of prepaid banking methods meant that Internet users could spend money online, using their own money instead of a line of credit, with the confidence of knowing that their payment details weren’t linked to any other source of information.
Prepaid options gave consumers the confidence to shop, gamble and spend money online without compromising their security in any way.
Prepaid cards supported at online casinos
Over the years more and more prepaid options have emerged, many of which are now accepted at the world’s leading online casinos:
Prepaid MasterCard & Visa – these debit cards work just like standard MasterCard and Visa credit cards except that the player is using their own pre-loaded funds rather than a credit account. Widely accepted at all reputable casinos, prepaid MasterCard’s and Visa cards typically give punters instant access to funds and are backed by dedicated security and customer service teams.
Paysafecard – Paysafecard (which now also incorporates the Ukash brand) gives users the freedom to spend money online without having to enter any personal or financial information, ensuring that privacy and discretion are protected at all times. Paysafecard’s can be purchased outright from land based outlets or via www.paysafecard.com (note that buying online means you’ll have to enter personal information) and come in different predetermined values of $5, $10, $25, $50 and $100. When purchasing your Paysafecard it will provide you with a unique 16 digit code which can then be entered to make payments online similar to entering a credit card number.
EntroPay – EntroPay is a service that provides prepaid virtual Visa cards that are accepted at any site that displays the Visa logo. Users register for an account at www.entropay.com and use their credit or debit card details to fund a prepaid Visa card. The details of the Visa card are then displayed on your screen and you can use those details to spend your own money online without having to disclose your personal or financial details elsewhere.
Benefits and disadvantages of prepaid banking methods
When it comes to online gambling, prepaid banking options allow players many benefits including:
Security – the level of security offered by prepaid services truly allows the most dubious Internet user to gamble with the confidence of knowing their personal information is 100% secure. Once the prepaid product has been used, it can be disposed of without any risk of your personal data being intercepted.
Responsible gambling – using a prepaid card means you can really stick to your predetermined budget, helping to make sure you always bet within your means and don’t gamble more than you can afford to lose.
No credit limitations or restrictions – many banks and financial institutions impose daily credit limitations on how much a user can spend, and some banks restrict the use of credit cards for gambling sites altogether. Prepaid services obliterate these restrictions as the player is betting with their own money at all times.
Although the advantages of using prepaid banking methods can be beneficial, with the good always comes the bad. The potential drawbacks of using prepaid services for online gambling include the following:
Wait times – some prepaid services require more effort and time involvement than others. A trip to a physical location to obtain a prepaid card or voucher is an easy enough task but can add unnecessary effort to your online gambling experience when other instantaneous methods exist.
Withdrawing funds – while an online casino may accept a certain prepaid method to fund your real money account, it may not offer that same payment method as an option for you when withdrawing funds. If this is the case, you’ll still be required to hand over personal financial details in order to access your winnings. Before deciding which venue to spend your prepaid funds at, refer to the casino cashier terms and conditions for further details regarding whether your prepaid method of choice is available for withdrawing your winnings.
Limited acceptance – while a majority of our recommended casinos will accept the prepaid banking methods mentioned above, the choice of which options are offered will vary from venue to venue. Using a prepaid service means that your choice of gambling venue may be limited to a site that will allow you to use your chosen prepaid method, whereas options like Visa, MasterCard, bank transfer, Neteller and Skrill are generally accepted at all online casinos.