“How can one trust a brainless electronic system to handle their finances better than a human being?”
If you’ve made statements like these in the recent past, your knowledge might be severely archaic, I’m afraid. Remote banking methods like Ukash and phone (SMS) billing are now safe, speedy and seamless modes of transaction. Some of them let you deposit money even if you don’t temporarily have enough balance in your bank account. Other banking methods help you set limits on your gambling spends.
Did you know that certain casinos impose restrictions like: You may withdraw money using only the exact same payment method you used for deposit? Though these systems also let you deposit using multiple methods, you’ll need to withdraw using those methods only. This usually is the case when the casino has an impressive list of banking options, take Betfair for instance. But why do some casinos have such policies? Sometimes it’s because they don’t have an integrated payment platform payment methods they support, and in some cases it’s done to maintain a continued 2-way business with their payment partners. Now you might think this is not too bad, but there’s another catch: Some payment methods might be instantaneous for deposit, however withdrawal (using the same method) might take a good 3 – 5 days to process!
What we’re trying to reinforce is that you must know your options well in order that you make an informed choice while depositing or withdrawing at casinos. In this article, we’ll classify the popular banking types available on UK mobile casinos, and introduce some great payment options for your consideration. Make sure you check the summary at the end, we have a little trick there!
Mobile banking options in the UK
99.9% of you don’t need to be told what a debit card looks like! Basically, it’s just a plastic card which contains your bank account details like account number, sort code, date of expiry, and a security code. You use it at a Cash Machine or ATM to withdraw money instantly, or you use the card details to pay off any online bills. Debit cards are great for banking at mobile casinos because you know your card won’t work if there’s no money in your account. This way, you’ll almost never gamble without having enough credit in your bank account. Visa™ and MasterCard® payment processing systems are the most common in the UK, and your banks will issue one of the following debit cards.
Popular Debit Cards: Visa Debit, Visa Electron, Debit MasterCard®, Maestro® (Debit)
NOTE: Some casinos also support the Solo and Switch debit cards, which are older versions of the current Maestro Debit card. Solo was introduced for customers (for example, teenagers) who did not qualify for a Switch (or Maestro Debit card).
Most of you are aware about “postpaid” credit cards too. They look and function like the debit cards except that you may be able to use them even if you don’t temporarily have money in your bank account. Most credit card providers issue a monthly statement of total bills, which you’re expected to clear within a month or 45 days’ time. This way, you could be totally bankrupt on the last week of a month (for whatever reasons) and still make massive deposits at mobile casinos because you know you’d get your salary on the 1st or the 2nd of the new month, and that you’d *pretty much* be in control of your finances then!
Like Debit cards, the world of Credit cards too is dominated by the two payment processing systems Visa™ or MasterCard® in the UK, and can be issued by multiple banks in the UK and Europe. You’ll also find number of UK stores issuing credit cards, take Tesco for instance. Make sure they have a valid Visa™ or a MasterCard® sticker before you try using these on mobile casinos.
Popular Credit Cards: Visa Credit, MasterCard
NOTE: Check out this official guide to recognise various types of Visa™ cards.
Prepaid cards emulate debit cards in function, but only partially. You need to have enough credit on your prepaid card to make a payment or use it at cash machines, but these do not always have a bank account associated with them. How to top-up prepaid cards then? Rules vary for different prepaid cards in different countries in the Europe and the UK, but usually you can top-up using a debit or a credit card, or using an internet banking username and password. Why do you use them at all then? It is easy to set aside a limit for gambling (or other activities) and top-up the card, and not bother with clearing off debts later!
Visa™ and MasterCard® payment processing systems rule the world of prepaid cards as well, to a large extent. You’ll also find online payment service providers like Ukash, trading in MasterCard® prepaid cards.
Virtual cards are gaining popularity these days in the mobile gambling circuit. You (almost) never receive a real plastic card in hand, and these electronic cards are meant to be used for internet transactions only. Virtual Visa Cards allow you to transact at all online Visa-supported outlets, and you’ll be pleased to know that many UK mobile casinos support such cards. Entropay is the most commonly used prepaid virtual Visa™ card, and we highly recommend this option if you’d like to set limits to the money you spend on gambling. Some of these cards generate an instant 16 digit number and security codes on screen, so you don’t have to keep any sensitive details on your email or your computer. Although not a common payment system in the UK, you’ll also find some casinos supporting virtual Master Cards (eg: an ecoVirtualCard). These are one-time use payment cards — extremely safe, secure and easy!
E-wallets (electronic wallets or ewallets) are nothing but entities that can authorise your personal details like age and other IDs, and let you transact online. As your physical wallet would contain important information about you, e-wallets store sensitive information that relates to your bank account and any online retailer. E-wallets or digital wallets are integrated with most e-commerce platforms available on smartphones and tablets, meaning that long winding digits on your phone or tablet can be automatically entered in easy clicks. Number of e-wallets are knocking about these days, and they more or less provide the same facilities, so you want to stick to ones that are available on majority of mobile casinos. We’d recommend PayPal, Neteller and Skrill among fifty others.
Trust us when we say that Phone Billing is the “in-thing”. Mobile casinos are typically accessed on mobiles and tablets by millions of players in the UK, over stable and secure WiFi, 3G and 4G networks, which is why this option is great for your network operator to invest in. When you “opt-in” for phone billing as your deposit – withdrawal option on a compatible casino, basically you let your mobile operator charge you on behalf of what you would otherwise have deposited at that casino. Your mobile operator makes things easier for you. All you are required to do is:
- Activate your Premium SMS facility
- Choose the phone billing option on your caisno
- Select deposit amounts (can range from a meagre £3 to £15 or so) and
- Pay for it along with your monthly mobile bill. Download this all-encompassing PDF guide to phone billing from Droid Slots.
You’ll often find the mention of a micropayment scheme known as “Payforit” in association with phone billing. Boku is yet another upcoming mobile payment platform that is used a lot these days.
Popular Phone Billing Network Operators: O2, Orange, Vodafone, T-mobile, BT Landline 3, EE, etc. and a range of pay-as-you-go SIM providers like Giffgaff, Lebara, Tesco Mobile, and Lycamobile on select phones / casinos.
Online Cash Payments
There are specialised online cash payments available for remote gambling and online shopping, PayPoint.net and Ukash vouchers being the most commonly accessed ones. Ukash vouchers are the easiest to use. You can buy Ukash vouchers for cash at any PayPoint store (or buy them online), and use the one-time code from your voucher to make deposits on mobile casinos. Sensitive information like bank details need not be supplied to the casino using this method. It is likely that you misplace your vouchers however, or that someone else stole your voucher and used it. If this happens, you need to contact Ukash in order to get a refund of your payments, and these guys are pretty diligent in handling such issues.
PayPoint.net’s PayCash scheme allows you to pay at an authorised PayPoint store using a barcode that is sent to your mobile. Make sure to check the video in the PayCash link above. Although only a few casinos have registered for PayPoint.net cash payments, we’re expecting this trend to pick up soon.
Bank transfers can mean sending money to the beneficiary via your regular internet banking or via an authorised agent like Western Union for wire transfer of funds. Mobile casinos often have the option of instantaneous bank transfers, but withdrawals might take a while to process at some casinos. We’d imagine bank transfers to operate better on desktop-based casinos than on mobile apps. Although it is the most reputed form of wire transfer, Western Union doesn’t often feature as a banking option on mobile casino websites. We believe their processes are friendlier and more suitable for “human sender – human beneficiary” interaction, which is often not the case at mobile casinos.
Bitcoin is an upcoming payment processing system that strives to make transactions between international currency units smoother and seamless. Currently, there are number of official currencies in the world that mobile casinos deal in: USD, GBP, AUD, CAD, to name a few. Due to different exchange rates between individual regional currencies each day, the world market experiences a dynamic problem of difference in rates between instantaneous and non-instantaneous trading activities. With the introduction of Bitcoins, the world’s currency rate differences are taken care of. Merchants exchange their regional currencies for Bitcoins, and use them for trading. This virtual currency is extremely beneficial to have, in case of a remote casino that operates in multiple countries.
Imagine yourself are on a business visit to another country. You can still play on remote casinos with a common virtual currency, ie. Bitcoin. We’re sure this trend will rise in the UK pretty soon. Vera & John, a new casino launched this year, is the current industry leader in Bitcoins.
Last but not the least, bank drafts like cheques and money orders are common withdrawal options at mobile casinos. After you have fulfilled the wagering requirements at casinos (which involves betting a certain threshold amount often as a ratio to what you’ve deposited), you may withdraw any winnings. Cheque processing, as you might be aware, takes about 3 to 5 working days, and casinos often mail your cheque over by post.
We know it’s a crazy hazy money-monger world out there — what’s even more confusing is that the above mentioned clients and merchants do not strictly adhere to the classes we have labelled them under! For example, Skrill and Ukash are not currently into core payment processing technology; they’ve collaborated with MasterCard® to make valid Prepaid cards! Similarly, a number of banks provide more than two of the above mentioned product types, so it is becoming increasingly important to know what you’re settling in for.
Do you know the simplest way to NOT GET CONFUSED with the plethora of options before you? It’s a 3-step solution:
- Go to our Casino Reviews and select a couple of casinos that catch your fancy
- Go to their webpages, and look carefully at the logos stuck on their footer
- Match the logos with this article, and you’ll know what you want to settle down for! TIP: You want to choose payment options that are available on most casinos, and have a short processing time!
If you’re still in a daze, get in touch with us.