Cash is quickly becoming a thing of the past. The number of ePayment transactions increases by 8% on average each year. By 2020, it is expected that 726 billion transactions will be made through digital means annually.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the huge rise of ecommerce, which has ushered in digital payments. Nearly 22% of the world shops online – that’s a market size of around 1.6 billion consumers. Other areas of ecommerce have made even greater strides forward. Online gambling has grown significantly as an industry, with revenues rising from £187 million in 2009 to £4.5 billion in 2018.
With so many transactions taking place every second on the web, ever-quicker ePayments have been essential to keep up with consumer demand. Now, thanks to the increasing sophistication of data encryption and the introduction of new technologies like cryptocurrency, paying online is now faster and more secure than ever.
Which ePayment methods are accepted by online casinos?
The variety of online payment options has grown significantly in recent years. There are payment methods to suit everyone, depending on their location, currency, transaction type and personal preference. The payment preference a player opts for is likely to be impacted by their selection of game.
For example, serious online poker players might opt for a bank transfer, as they are likely to be depositing large sums of money on a regular basis. While those who are new to online gambling, playing games like craps, might consider reading a comprehensive blog written by an expert covering how to play craps in detail, before making a deposit using a more simplistic method. Let’s take a look at the full range of options in detail:
1. Credit or debit cards
Most commonly Visa or Mastercard, credit and debit cards are one of the most widely accepted methods for making payments over the internet. Customers simply input selected personal information and bank account details into an online form and money is transferred directly from their account to the merchant’s account. However, the UK government is considering banning the use of credit cards in gambling.
To pay through an e-wallet, both the customer and merchant must be signed up to a service such as PayPal or Skrill, which allow users to deposit and withdraw funds safely. They are able to convert currencies automatically and have customer service teams on hand to help with any payment issues or discrepancies. If a website does not send out the goods the customer has ordered, in many cases they are able to put in a claim to the e-wallet provider for a refund.
3. Bank transfers
Often used for large or recurring payments, bank transfers allow customers to deposit money directly. This is usually possible for both domestic and international payments.
A relatively new method of payment, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin allow for anonymous transactions. Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital asset that can be transferred from one owner to another and are stored in digital wallets. However, gambling operators must be able to identify players and verify their sources of funds as part of Gambling Commission’s anti-money laundering measures.
What must online casinos make sure of when offering ePayments?
The challenges that online businesses face with ePayment systems often depends on the location of their customers and the nature of the products or services they provide.
Online casinos must take precautions to ensure customer’s data is secure. This is needed to protect them from breaches in privacy and theft – also to maintain strict technical standards imposed by the Gambling Commission – and is often achieved through utilising advanced encryption technologies.
How do you spot a secure online casino? An SSL certificate signifies that a website has the industry-standard technology to keep data private and transactions safe, through an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. That’s why it’s recommended you play at a secure online casino with an SSL certificate so you can guarantee it’ll handle your funds with care.
2. Payment options
Online casinos must offer a wide range of options for customers looking to deposit money into their account. Having simple but safe payment options helps these businesses to maximise revenue opportunities – catering to a wide variety of payments. As many payment systems carry transaction fees, gambling sites should spend time these payment options against their product pricing and factor them in to profit margin calculations.
3. User experience
Finally, users should find it easy to make payments on any website. Gambling sites need to factor in handy tools such as shopping cart integrations into their ePayment choices. How well does an ePayment system interact with their website? How easy is it for customers to navigate through the checkout process? Speed is also essential when it comes to online casino payments. After all, being able to deposit and withdraw money instantly is part of the game’s appeal.
Did you know? In a recent survey, 26% of respondents said that they did not purchase goods because the checkout process was too long or complicated, 17% said that they did not trust the payment options available and 6% stated that there were not enough payment methods to choose from.
Could cryptocurrencies be the answer to secure online transactions?
The recent announcement that Facebook has developed its own cryptocurrency has piqued interest in this currency’s usability as an online payment method. The global social media giant unveiled its plans for Libra, a cryptocurrency that will be available in 2020 for use on Facebook products, as well as on other retailers that sign up with the platform.
One of the unique features of this currency is that it is untraceable, which is both a benefit and a risk to consumers. Transactions are independent of the identifies of the people or companies making them, which helps to prevent identity theft. However, this also means that criminal activity – such as money laundering – can potentially go undetected.
Many ecommerce and online casino websites are beginning to offer cryptocurrency as one of their ePayment options, with the most well-known currencies being Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Ripple.
One of the benefits to cryptocurrency is that it keeps users anonymous. However, the Gambling Commission have imposed a strict rule that operators must be able to identify their players. This means that it’s unlikely that online casinos will offer this payment anytime soon.
However, as globally recognised companies such as Facebook show an interest in this technology, we can expect many more online merchants to follow suit.
The number of ePayment options being offered in the world of both ecommerce and online casinos is greatly expanding. As options grow, it is important for consumers to become informed about the benefits and drawbacks of each method, ensuring that they can enjoy making online transactions without putting their financial security at risk.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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