We are always telling our readers to look beyond the shiny bonuses when it comes to online casinos.
While the bonus is with you for maybe a few days or weeks, its the rest of the casino you will be experiencing for however long you play there – and that matters.
And while things like customer service, withdrawal times and security may sound boring, they are one of those things that you only notice when you really need them – so it’s best to get them right from the outset.
One of those things is payment methods – it’s no good signing up at a site and then realising your method of choice is missing from the options.
Here’s a little guide to why you should pay attention to how you actually finance your account.
The tried and tested classics
Needless to say, bank cards are a tried and trusted way of financing your account – and fortunately most casinos accept a range of classic plastic.
But actually, it is worth remembering that not all cards are created equal – it can depend on which area of the world you are playing in.
In an area where gambling online is illegal, players may find that these established payment providers will block gambling transactions.
Similarly, those players looking to play at casinos which are unregulated in their own jurisdiction (which we would not encourage anyone doing) may see overseas payments blocked.
Visa credit and debit are good choices for straightforward deposits, although remember you can go in to debt with credit cards. Mastercard however will not let you withdraw money back on to the card, so players will need to think about having an alternative withdrawal option.
As for American Express – it’s not exactly a widely available option.
Prepaid cards are a popular option with many players, so it will pay to check the online casino actually accepts them.
Paysafecard seems to have really cornered the market to the extent that it is probably the only one worth talking about here.
It is a very popular method of payment, promising the simplicity of cash with complete security. Users load an amount of money and get a pin number. They then can load the money on to the online casino without having to give away any additional information.
It’s seen as a secure way of moving money and is particularly popular for online casinos and sports betting.
Thankfully, loads of online casinos offer Paysafecard, but sod’s law says that if you want to use it and don’t check – the casino typically ends up not offering it.
You can’t withdraw and load money back on to them, however.
As we move further away from the recognisable plastic cards, we come to e-wallets, which perhaps sound more complicated than they actually are.
Actually they are not too far a departure from prepaid cards. The e-wallet is a third party through which you deposit funds. Those funds can then be loaded into an online casino account. Simple.
The advantage of course is that the player has a buffer between them and the casino. All of the information goes to the third party provider, which many players see as desirable.
Some players find that they can avoid banks blocking transactions, they can load funds from just one account to control their gambling and low transaction fees.
They would certainly be something to consider, for security, safety and ease of use.
The different types of E-wallet
There’s a range of different options and most of them are pretty good.
If you want to use them, check your chosen casino actually offers them.
Paypal, although perhaps one of the most recognisable e-wallets, is actually a relative newcomer, as it is only fairly recently that it has allowed gambling transactions.
Other more common e-wallets are Neteller and Skrill, which have merged, and offer a tried and tested service. You can’t go wrong with these two, although some might grumble at the transaction fees, which are not unreasonable, but perhaps higher than some would wish.
Ecopayz is another decent option.
How safe are my details?
All of this talk of e-wallets and protecting you details may make you think that giving up bank information to online casinos is an absolute no-no.
In fact, trustworthy casinos are just fine to deal with in that regard. They use site security and encryption to keep details safe.
That said, if you want to add an extra layer of protection, an e-wallet is never a bad option.
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