The arrival of the internet in our lives has been a game-changer in countless ways. From revolutionising the way that we get information to transforming how we shop, the list goes on and on.
It’s even transformed the way many of us can play casino games and, along with it, how we are able to pay to play them. This has brought about a fundamental shift in the way that money moves around which has seeped into other areas of our lives and even brought about predictions that physical cash may cease to exist at all.
The appeal of the online casino
There has been a great deal written about the appeal of online casinos, as well as the factors that have fuelled the huge popularity of these sites that generate a global revenue of around US$66 billion a year and rising.
A key element of their success has been the drive to innovate, not just in accepted payment methods, but also in the nature of the sites themselves. Look back over the history of the online casino and you’ll see that the games have gradually become slicker and more sophisticated. There has also been a real explosion in the number of slots games available with some sites offering a hundred or more.
One of the biggest breakthroughs, though, has been the emergence of the live online casino. This uses the most up-to-date streaming technology to play live games like roulette and blackjack run by real dealers.
This offers the most realistic version and ambience of the casino experience, so it’s little wonder that it’s proved to be so very popular.
Naturally, the biggest single appeal of the online casino is the fact that play is possible from anywhere with an internet connection. It’s also this that has brought about the need to offer multiple methods for remote payments.
The best ways to pay
When it comes to assessing the various different payment methods, there are a number of considerations to take into account. The first of these is obviously how quickly the transaction can be made. After all, players don’t want their enjoyment to be delayed. Then there is the overall convenience of the method. And, finally, there may be fees involved which should obviously be as low as possible, if there at all.
There are five main groups of payment method that you’ll encounter at online casinos. This excludes cryptocurrencies as they are not widely accepted, and this doesn’t seem like something that’s likely to change any time soon. But here are the ones that you will encounter.
You’ll find that virtually every online casino will accept payments by debit cards like Visa and Mastercard. It’s linked directly to your bank account so it’s a super-secure way to pay and there are also no fees involved. They are a very good way to make deposits as this is almost instant, letting you start playing straight away. At times, however, it can be a little slow to receive withdrawals from a casino account. For this reason, some players prefer to use other, faster, methods of payment.
Another very popular payment method is the pre-paid card like the KOHO Card or the CIBC Smart Pre-Paid Visa. The way that this works is simple. You simply load it up with a fixed amount from your bank account and then use it to pay. It is far more anonymous than having to hand over bank details and many people like this aspect of the pre-paid card. The main disadvantages are that you can only use it to pay, not make withdrawals, and there may also be fees to pay for the card.
E-Wallets have really taken off since the first high profile one, PayPal, came on the scene. They are linked directly to your bank account and allow for almost instant deposits and withdrawals.
Some of the biggest names include Neteller and Trustly and offer the same level of anonymity as pre-paid cards. However, the use of these sometimes means you don’t qualify for the welcome bonuses offered by many casinos.
These days we are all relying more and more on our mobile phones to do almost everything for us – including making payments. So, you’ll find many casinos offering the option of using apps like Boku. This just adds the amount you spend to your phone contract bill. Quick and convenient, it does have quite low maximum deposit amounts. There are also phone apps like Apple Pay that link directly to debit cards stored within them. Again, low deposit levels might be an issue and you can’t generally use mobile apps for withdrawals.
Some people still rely on the tried and trusted method of using wire transfers to and from their bank. Super safe, the downside is that this can mean that withdrawals can take up to ten days for all of the security checks to be carried out. There are faster methods, including Trustly, that also offer the same level of security, and which are used by thousands of casino players every day.
Of course, choosing which method to use is very much a case of personal preference. Some people even decide to use a range of different methods depending on the casino. So it’s mainly a question of deciding which are the most important criteria for you – and setting everything in motion.