Everything you need to know about banking at online casinos
While there are some great no deposit bonuses on offer these days, if you really want to win big at an online casino you’ll have to put some money on the line. When making a deposit, or a withdrawal at an online casino, we’re all looking for a fast, secure and simple process. Not sure which payment methods tick all three boxes? Let us take you through the payment options available at the top online casinos, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each. Once we’re done, you’ll know exactly which casino banking option is your best bet.
Debit cards & credit cards
Credit and debit cards need little introduction – they’re traditional payment methods that are still a firm favourite amongst online casino players today. This should come as no surprise – they’re easy to use, provide instant payments and don’t require any additional registrations! Pretty much anyone with a bank account has a debit card and easy access to a credit card. They’re a familiar, trusted method of payment accepted just about anywhere you can think of, from high street retailers to virtually every online casino.
Debit cards vs credit cards
You’re probably well aware of the difference between the two, but for those who aren’t – you’ll be glad to know it’s fairly straightforward. Credit card users are given a line of credit to make purchases, whereas debit card users can only use the funds available in their bank account. This makes the credit card a great option for players seeking a little extra flexibility.
The reason why credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard have remained so popular for online casino players is because they offer multiple benefits. First and foremost, people trust the security protocols provided by the company issuing the card, so they are confident it can be used safely. Additionally, the credit card is the most widely accepted online casino payment method. This means you have the pick of the litter where you want to play. They also provide instant deposits and quite often they have the highest deposit limits, which makes it perfect for high-rollers.
However, these tried and trusted, easy to use cards don’t come without drawbacks. Once your casino has processed your withdrawal request, you won’t be able to receive your funds instantly. Your funds will then need to be processed by your bank, which can take a further few working days.
Paying with either casino banking method requires you to share sensitive information with your online casino, such as your card number and expiry date. While any licensed casino is required to use industry standard encryption technology to keep transactions secure, there’s a minute risk of this information getting into the wrong hands. Furthermore, although the majority of online casinos don’t charge any fees for depositing via a credit card, a few card issuers charge a small fee for gambling payments, as this is deemed as a ‘cash advance’.
An e-wallet is simply a digital wallet which holds funds, stores bank cards and can be linked to a bank account. The main attraction for online casino players here is that you can send and receive money instantly, 24/7. This makes e-wallets a great alternative to traditional methods like debit card payments, which can only be processed on working days.
You can make e-wallet payments without sharing any sensitive information, such as your bank account details. This layer of security, in additional to the encryption technology present at licensed casinos, eliminates the risk of such information being leaked. It can’t get into the wrong hands if you don’t share it.
The most popular e-wallet provider by far, is PayPal. Over the last decade, PayPal has become a household name and is now even accepted at a number of brick-and-mortar retailers. However, it isn’t your only casino banking option. There are number of alternatives, including Neteller, Skrill and Ecopayz. E-wallets allow players to receive and send funds instantly with ease.
Most top online casinos will accept at least one e-wallet option so you’re definitely not restricted as to where you can play by using this method. However, support for PayPal is generally most commonly offered at more established online casinos.
Signing up for an e-wallet is a quick process that usually only requires an email address and a few other personal details. However, if you’d like to link your bank account to your account, you’ll have to go through a verification process which can often take a few business days.
Prepaid & virtual cards
Prepaid cards come in various forms, from virtual cards to single use voucher cards. . Paying with a prepaid card allows you to set limits for ultimate control over your spending. With no links to your bank account, using a prepaid card means you can’t spend money that isn’t on the card!
Paysafecard, for example, provides a great alternative for players without a bank account or credit card. Instead, you can simply pay in cash at thousands of retailers that stock Paysafecards, amongst other prepaid card options.
You can even get your hands on a physical prepaid Mastercard these days. This is a great option if you’d like to spend your casino winnings at your favourite online and high street shops, withdraw at ATMs or even spend abroad. These cards can be used anywhere that accepts Mastercard, so you’ll be able to spend your winnings at millions of retailers worldwide!
Alternatively, you can create virtual cards with providers such as Entropay. Entropay allows you to create unlimited virtual cards over the lifetime of your account. You can have as many as 10 cards active at any time! If you use one Entropay card per online casino, for example, this would help to contain any breaches. Plus, they can be deleted instantly if you have any security concerns.
While both are great banking options for players looking to budget better or simply withhold their bank account details, there are a few limitations. The amount you can deposit is of course restricted to the value of the card. The maximum value available on a Paysafecard, for example, is only £175. If you’re a high roller at the online casino, this could be a deal breaker. Plus, not many casinos are able to offer withdrawals back to the prepaid card. This forces your hand – you’ll have to use an alternative method if you’d like to cash out your winnings.
Pay by phone bill
This deposit method is exactly as what it sounds like- the cost of your casino deposit will simply be added to your phone bill at the end of the month. All you need to do is enter your phone number and you’ll receive a code to verify the payment.
Quick and easy
The main advantage to paying by phone bill is that it’s incredibly quick and easy. You won’t need to enter your card details and billing information- all you need to do is verify the payment when you receive a text code. The deposit will be credited to your account practically instantly so you can start playing right away.
Options for everyone
You can pay by phone bill with a wide range of different mobile network providers. You can even pay by phone bill using a BT landline, which means there’s a phone deposit option for everyone.
Phone bill deposits are usually subject to daily limits of around £30, so while this deposit method is great if you want to keep tabs on your spending, it’s not ideal for high rollers. You won’t be able to withdraw any online casino winnings with your phone bill. While some casinos allow you to choose your withdrawal option when you deposit by phone bill, others limit phone bill deposits to bank transfer withdrawals, which can take slightly longer to process.
Of course, no top casino is complete without offering a variety of convenient payment options, the latest of which is the popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
One of the biggest benefits of using Bitcoin with online casinos is that it is a universal currency. Because it doesn’t come from one specific central region or governing body, users everywhere in the world can easily purchase and exchange Bitcoins. Previously, many people in foreign countries had difficulty using other payment methods due to withdraw limits, local banking regulations, and currency conversion charges and issues.
Another huge benefit for casino members is anonymity. Unlike using a bank card, you never have to disclose your personal information while using Bitcoin. Your payments and withdrawals cannot be tracked. For users who care deeply about their privacy, Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies are ideal methods of payment. It is also great for people who want to be certain to avoid any legality issues associated with online gambling in their country.
Finally, Bitcoin is often faster and more convenient for casino users than other payment methods. While many casinos require at least a 2-3 day wait period on debit and credit card withdraws, with some casinos taking as long as 6 or more days, most casinos can process e-wallet deposits and withdrawals within just one day.
The major disadvantage of using Bitcoin is that it is still a very new, unregulated currency. Because of this, the value of Bitcoin can change drastically at a moment’s notice. It is not quite as stable as official, regulated currencies.
Pay & Play
Now that we’ve taken you through the pros and cons of casino banking options available to you, you should have an idea of which one ticks all your boxes. Of course, choosing a payment method is only half the job done. If you’re looking to win big and enjoy an unrivalled online casino experience, you’ll have to choose from the very best. Not sure where to start? We’ve put together a shortlist of our favourite licensed casino sites. Our top rated list is jam-packed with the best bonuses, promos and of course a wide range of casino games, so whether you’re looking to play online slots or baccarat, you’re sure to find something for you at one of our featured casinos.