Most players sign up at online casinos to engage in real money wagering. For this they need to transfer funds to their account with the online casino. Over time different mechanisms have been developed for this process. These mechanisms are called deposit options. There are four broad types of deposit options. These are credit and debit cards, electronic wallets, prepaid cards and bank transfers. Each type of deposit option has its own advantages and disadvantages. The organizations that provide deposit options for online casinos are often referred to as payment solutions providers. Most offer single type of deposit option but a few offer multiple types of deposit options.
How to Make Deposits at Online Casinos
The first step is to open a real money account with the online casino. While doing so the player will have to select a currency (in a multi-currency online casino) and a deposit option. The player should choose the currency of the country his residence, if offered by the online casino. Otherwise he can choose any other. There are some criteria for choosing deposit options. The option has to be available in the player's country and in his chosen currency. From the options available the player has to make choices based on his situation. As far as possible he should choose a deposit option that allows him to withdraw funds as well.
The actual procedure for depositing funds is as follows. The player must log in at the online casino and click on the Banking (Cashier) tab. There he should first select Deposit and then his chosen deposit option. He should ensure that the Internet connection is secure and should follow the instructions for entering the deposit amount.
The Reason Why there are so many Deposit Options
Players have different requirements. Most use credit cards for other online purchases and therefore find it a convenient deposit option at online casinos. Players who are averse to giving credit card details on the Internet or reside in places where the use of credit cards is problematic use alternative deposit options. Electronic wallets are favored by them because they allow both deposits and withdrawals. Players who are concerned about gambling on credit or who do not want to leave payment trails use prepaid cards that can be purchased using cash.
There has been a proliferation of local deposit options because many players are comfortable working with organization from their own countries.
Credit Card Deposits and Potential Issues 7995 and Other Blocking
People have been using credit cards for offline purchases long before the advent of online gambling. Purchasing air tickets or making hotel reservations online has become common nowadays. Because of their familiarity and widespread use credit cards have been the most common deposit options at online casinos. Initially there were security concerns. But through educating online players and through third party certification these have been addressed.
One of the problems of credit card deposits has been rejection of valid transactions. One reason this happens is to protect the user. If any unusual transaction that does not fit with the user profile is made then it could get rejected. It could be a transaction significantly larger than is usual or a transaction made from a different geographical location. A call to the credit card company will rectify this problem.
The bigger problem is blocking through the 7995 code. Around 2001 credit card companies made it mandatory for online gambling sites to designate transactions with the 7995 code. Initially this was not much of a problem. But after the passing of the UIGEA in the US the banks became liable for allowing funds to be transferred to online gambling sites. Therefore they began to block all transactions bearing the 7995 code. The only option in response to this is to try with another credit card or use an alternative deposit option.
Problems Depositing as a US based Players, and Some Alternatives
Till the passing of the UIGEA in the US in 2006 all major payments solutions providers operated in the country, including NETeller. Because of the UIGEA they began to withdraw from the American online gambling market. However, there are many online casinos that still accept US players and therefore these have to be funded. Many of them have organized the credit card payments so as to take care of the 7995 code. But rejections cannot be ruled out. One option is to hold a number of credit cards hoping that some bank will allow the transaction. A more prudent choice for US online casino players is to go for electronic wallets and prepaid options.
Using Alternative Banking Options for Depositing at Online Casinos
Deposit options at online casinos other than credit and debit cards are known as alternative deposit options. These came into being mainly because of the reluctance of players to provide their card details at a large number of online casinos for fear of hacking and identity theft. Alternative deposit options include electronic wallets, prepaid cards and bank transfers. Electronic wallets allow players to give their credit card details to only one agency and then deposit at any number of online casinos. Electronic wallets also allow players to withdraw funds. The advantages of prepaid cards are that players are not wagering with future earnings and can fund online casinos using cash without leaving any trail.
The Most Popular Alternative Banking Options for US Players Aside from Credit Cards
With the current legal situation in the United States the alternative banking options are fewer than in other countries, especially where online gambling is regulated by the state. ECheck is probably the most popular US deposit option. It can be activated from the Banking section of online casinos and can result in instant transfer from the players' checking accounts. Toggle Card and Prima Pin are prepaid phone cards that can be purchased online and used to fund online casino accounts. MyPaylinQ is an electronic wallet accepted by many US online casinos. Funds can also be transferred through the money transfer organization Western Union.
Popular Credit Card Deposit Options
The most popular credit card options are Visa and MasterCard. They have the largest global proliferation and offer services in all major currencies. Most people use these cards for regular off line and online purchases and therefore are familiar with their usage. Not only are Visa and MasterCard credit cards directly used to make deposits at online casinos, but they are used to fund electronic wallets as well. Another reason for the popularity of Visa and MasterCard is the additional security that they have introduced through the Verified by Visa and MasterCard Secure features. This has allayed the concerns of many online casino players.
Visa is a credit card option that is available globally. It is totally secure. Visa credit cards have different policies in different countries. For example in some countries players will be allowed to withdraw funds back into their card and on others they will not. Therefore players will need to check out the exact rules before selecting this option.
Visa Electron is a debit card issued by Visa. It is linked to the player's bank account and the player can make deposits only to the extent of the balance in the account. Hence it is an ideal option for players with a tendency to gamble more than they intended to.
MasterCard is one of the most popular credit cards servicing players across the world. It would be difficult to find an online casino that does not accept this option. It offers completely secure online payments. Since it is a credit card the players can actually fund online casinos without having the funds in their accounts.
Maestro is a prepaid card from MasterCard. It is used like a credit card but it is different because it does not allow credit to users. Maestro is ideal for players who want to make sure they do not wager in excess. Unlike debit cards Maestro is not linked to a bank account but must be preloaded.
American Express, Amex for short, is a US financial services company known for its credit cards and traveler's checks products. One of the major advantages of Amex credit cards is that many online casinos catering to American players accept this option. Amex offers complete security for online transactions and attractive commercial terms.
Diners Club is the oldest multipurpose credit card, having been established in 1950 in New York. Today it is owned by Discover Financial Services. Though it is an accepted deposit option at some online casinos, its presence is significantly less than that of Visa and MasterCard.
Popular Alternative Deposit Options
Alternative deposit options consist of electronic wallets, prepaid cards and bank transfers. NETeller and Skrill are the largest and most popular electronic wallet providers. They operate globally (except the United States) and offer services in many currencies. Both have received numerous industry awards. NETeller offers promotional events for its users in the same way as online casinos do.
Ukash and Paysafecard are the most popular prepaid cards. Their main center of operations is Europe, though they have started moving to other areas. Both of these are dependent on retail chain sales because they accept cash payments for their products. Those who are not interested in buying by paying cash can purchase these prepaid cards online as well.
Founded in 1999, NETeller is the largest alternative payment solutions provider to online casinos. Its electronic wallet is in use in over 180 countries (except the United States) and an amazing number of currencies. NETeller also offers a virtual prepaid card that generates a one-time use identification number for greater security.
Skrill (Formerly Moneybookers)
Skrill is one of the most popular electronic wallets. It was established in 1999 as Moneybookers and has undergone a change in name. Skrill has over 2.5 million users worldwide and operates in a number of currencies. Players can withdraw to their Skrill accounts. Skrill does not operate in the United States.
Click2Pay is an electronic wallet that is used by players from over 180 countries in a number of currencies. However, it does not operate in the United States. The credits at online casinos are instantaneous so that players can start wagering immediately. Players can also withdraw their winnings to Click2Pay.
EcoCard is a virtual debit card, which has been around since 2000. It can be loaded using regular credit cards and bank accounts. Then funds can be deposited at online casinos to the extent of the balance in the card. Winnings can be withdrawn back to the EcoCard. It is prevalent in Europe.
Ukash is a prepaid card prevalent in Europe. It can be used without a credit card or bank account. Players can purchase a Ukash voucher of the required denomination from a retail outlet for cash. They then choose the Ukash option at the online casino cashier and enter the PIN code displayed on the voucher to receive instant credit.
Paysafecard is a prepaid card prevalent in Europe. It can be used without a credit card or bank account. Players can purchase a Paysafecard of the required denomination from a retail outlet for cash. They then choose the Paysafecard option at the online casino cashier and enter the PIN code displayed on the card to receive instant credit.
EntroPay is a virtual debit card, which is issued to the player on signing up with EntroPay. It can be loaded using regular credit cards and then used for making deposits at online casinos through their Banking section. Winnings can be withdrawn back to the EntroPay card. Entropay is certified by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom.
Wire transfers can be effected through banks (see Direct Bank Transfer) or non banking companies like Western Union. In the latter case the online casino player need not have an account with the transferring agency but can deposit cash and instruct them to credit the online casino account. Wire transfers work in the United States.
ClickandBuy is a versatile electronic wallet. It is accepted in over twenty-five countries, it accepts over twenty different currencies and can be loaded using over forty different payment options. However, it is not accepted in the United States. ClickandBuy is authorized by the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom.
InstaDebit is a payment solutions provider that enables payments directly from the player's bank account to the online casino. It currently operates in over 30 countries of the world, but is especially popular in Canada. It cannot be used by US online casino players. It has been certified as a secure option by VeriSign.
UseMyBank facilitates the process of bank transfer. The player's bank and the online casino both have to be registered with UseMyBank. Then the player can access the banking section of the online casino and employ the UseMyBank option to directly transfer funds from his bank account. This removes the delays associated with normal bank transfers.
eWalletXpress is an electronic wallet. At present it does not cater to players from the United States. The player's eWalletXpress account can be credited by transferring funds from his bank account and the player can also withdraw funds from the eWalletXpress account to his bank account. The transfer to and from online casinos is free of charge.
Direct Bank Transfer
In this option the online casino player instructs his bank to transfer funds to the online casino's bank without the aid of any third payments solutions provider. Since the transaction is not carried out at the online casino site, it usually takes a few days for the player to receive the credit in his casino account.
It would be impossible to list all banking options because there are far too many of them. Most of the global options have been covered. There are many local options functioning in only one country or one region. They are able to provide localized service, which is valued by online casino players from that region.