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For newcomers to the world of online gambling, one of the biggest obstacles to joining an online casino is the prospect of handing over personal details in order to move cash in and out of their new account. Whether it's concerns over security, hidden fees or ease of use, there are plenty of fears that rear their ugly heads and prevent players from accessing games.
Fortunately, online casinos now offer a wide range of payment methods (and withdrawal options) that are quick, secure and easy-to-use. So you're bound to find one that suits your situation. Below you can find our breakdown of the wide array of options available to prospective punters and the respective details that come with each.
Bank transfers involve using direct banking services to transfer funds directly from your bank account to your online casino; with no middle men involved. Because it's a straight transfer, there are normally no fees.
Debit cards are connected to your current account, and use the funds in your account to make deposits. They are instant and there are no additional fees for making deposits with a debit card.
Unlike debit cards, credit cards are not directly connected to a current account. They are provided by numerous banks and financial service providers, and are essentially a loan facility. Funds transferred from a credit card are borrowed from your provider and, if they aren't repaid by the agreed date, will incur interest (fees). Transfers are instant, but many online casinos charge small fees for their use, which vary based on which company provides your credit card.
These function like a debit card, but instead of withdrawing funds from an account or loan facility, they must be topped up with cash before you can spend. This makes it easier to control and keep track of spending. Some are physical cards, others are virtual; meaning you have the numbers you need to input to 'pay by card', but no physical card.
Transfers are instant. Fees vary by provider, but can be applied to top-ups or transactions as either a percentage or flat fee. However, online casinos will not charge you to deposit with a prepaid card.
Instant payment services function as a security barrier between your bank and the online casino. You simply create an account with the instant payment service and input your account details, then use your login and password to make payments. Transactions are normally instant. Most are free to use, but some apply a small transaction fee. Online casinos will not charge you for depositing with an instant payment service.
e-Wallets provide services that combine elements of both prepaid cards and instant payment services, though their exact processes differ between the various providers. Sometimes you will provide your account details, and when you use your e-Wallet login to pay, the provider will simply debit your account and pay on your behalf – just like an instant payment service.
Others require you to transfer funds into the e-Wallet before you can use it to pay (exactly like a virtual prepaid card). Many also come with their own security, as well as associated protection policies and dispute resolution services.
Transfers are usually instant, unless additional protections are in place. Fees vary, and can be applied to deposits into your e-Wallet or on transactions performed by the provider. But online casinos rarely charge players for paying via e-Wallet.
In addition to the traditional methods, there are a couple of interesting alternatives. Bitcoin is a virtual currency and peer-to-peer online payment system that is growing in popularity. Bitcoin is acquired through 'mining' via payment processing, or purchased from certain outlets. Keep an eye out for the introduction of Bitcoin gambling in more mainstream casinos.
Online casinos are constantly looking for news ways to make their customer payment processes easier, more secure and more versatile, so keep checking their lists of accepted payment methods for new ideas.
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