When the first online gambling sites launched in the early 1990s, the payment options were limited to debit / credit cards and online payments.
But as online gambling boomed, so did the range of payment options available to users. In fact, it would be accurate to say that online gambling and online payment technologies have grown in tandem – with one often aiding the other, as we covered in https://blog.themoneyshed.co.uk/changing-face-of-international-payments/.
These days, users of online gambling platforms such as bingo sites and casinos typically offer dozens of deposit and withdrawal options. If you don’t believe us, just check out some of the websites listed at https://www.whichbingo.co.uk/payment-type/pay-by-mobile/ / to see for yourself.
Here we give a breakdown of the main payment options offered by online gambling and bingo sites.
Credit / Debit Cards
This is the oldest payment option and still a popular one among users of online bingo sites. Every legitimate online casino accepts Visa (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/v/visa-card.asp), Mastercard, and American Express credit cards. Some also accept Diners Club. Credit cards are often the simplest option but there is a reason they are not the sole option. Some people don’t own a credit card. Others just prefer to use alternative, convenient, Internet-friendly payment methods.
The term e-wallet or online wallet can be applied to any dedicated online payment system. The largest e-wallet is PayPal, although Stripe is fast becoming a major candidate for the number one spot. Dozens of good online wallets have sprung up over the years. The most popular e-wallets for gambling include Skrill and Neteller. E-wallets offer online gamblers a number of advantages over credit cards. They guarantee quicker payouts and cheaper currency conversions. Unlike credit cards providers, e-wallet providers are less likely to reject a payment because of casino licensing issues.
With more and more people using their smartphones to do everyday things, it was only natural that e-wallets would gradually make way for mobile wallets. The best-known mobile wallets are Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. There are also many smaller mobile wallets that serve basically the same purpose. A mobile wallet does basically everything an online wallet does, but from the convenience of your smartphone. Mobile wallets are great if you do most things from your smartphone or tablet, such using mobile bingo apps or mobile casino sites.
Bank transfers have always been a popular form of online payment on bingo sites. In the 1990s and 2000s, standard ACH wire transfers were the norm. Users would just wire a transfer to their bingo platform and wait 1-2 days for the transfer to be confirmed before being allowed to play. Obviously, this form of bank transfer was low on fees but also caused many delays. Fortunately, a bunch of innovative companies stepped into the gap by helping facilitate bank transfers. These bank transfer services tend to be company specific, working with banks in, say the UK, Canada, or Australia, to ensure payments get made promptly. A good example of a transfer service is iDebit, which operates in Canada.
Finally, what would an article about online bingo and payment methods be without a mention of cryptocurrencies? The most famous cryptos are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Cryptocurrencies are currently used by only a small portion of online bingo players, but the number will undoubtedly rise in the coming years as cryptos gain widespread acceptance. A few forward-thinking online bingo platforms already accept crypto. Keep an eye on this space, as we think a majority of online bingo websites will be accepting cryptos for deposits and withdrawals by the early-2020s.