There was a time when online casinos only allowed players to fund their accounts using traditional credit or debit cards or a potentially time-consuming bank wire transfer. As the world of finance advanced and new methods of paying for goods and services became available online casinos have wised up to the fact that players often wish to use new and varied ways in order to deposit funds into or withdraw funds from their online casino accounts. One such way is to use the online casino prepaid method of deposit and withdrawal.
What Is a Prepaid Method?
A prepaid method is basically like a credit or debit card, except you fund it yourself and it is always paid in advance – you never borrow money using this. The method works in the same way as a credit or debit card in that you have a 16-digit number and it can be used for purchasing goods or services.
Many of the available prepaid methods will issue users with a MasterCard-style card which can be used in physical outlets and even at ATMs, whereas others give you only a virtual card which can be used solely for online transactions, including at an online casino which accepts the prepaid method of payment.
How to Set Up Your Prepaid Deposit Method
There are hundreds of prepaid card options available worldwide. Some of these vary from country to country, but many are international. They include paysafecard, EntroPay, ClickandBuy, Click2Pay and and iDebit.
In order to get yourself a prepaid card you must simply go to the website of the individual provider and register. Registration is quick, but you will need to verify your identity with a valid form of photo ID such as a passport or driving licence and you will need to verify your address with a recent utility bill or other accepted form of correspondence which displays your home address.
Your virtual card should be available within minutes, but any physical card may take up to a week to arrive via local postal services.
Prepaid Deposit Pros and Cons
The obvious advantage of funding your online casino account with a prepaid method is that you are completely in control. You fund your card yourself and you can easily set yourself a bankroll limit, whereas a card linked to your bank account or a large pre-agreed sum you can borrow can sometimes prove to be too much of a temptation.
Using a third party such as EntroPay means your gambling transactions are kept secret from prying eyes. Your regular bank statement will show that you’ve transferred money to a prepaid card, but nobody will be able to see what you have used the money for. Similarly, with a physical card for your prepaid account you can either transfer winnings back to your bank account or withdraw them at an ATM, meaning nobody will know where the money came from.
The downside of the prepaid card is that you need to keep on top of funding it. If you found yourself in an emergency situation you might not have enough money on it to cover your needs, and unless you have access to the internet you might be unable to top it up in some situations.
How to Deposit Using the Online Casino Prepaid Method
Because the prepaid card option works in exactly the same way as an ordinary debit card such as MasterCard, the majority of online casinos accept them as a form of payment. You simply enter the long number from your physical or virtual card in order to perform a transaction in exactly the same way.
Not every casino will accept the prepaid method for funding playing accounts, so it can be worthwhile to check with them that they accept your chosen form before you register with them.
Fees and Convenience
Most prepaid cards will cost the user. Fees aren’t huge, but they exist nonetheless. There can be fees for having the card and it is very normal for there to be a transaction fee. This can be a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction, depending on which service you use. Some casinos will also charge you a fee for using this particular method and it can be worth checking this out before you perform any transactions on an individual website.
In terms of convenience prepaid cards are very good. They allow instant deposits and withdrawals which are just as quick as with any major credit or debit card, whilst allowing the user an element of anonymity.
Other Payment Methods to Consider
If anonymity is something which appeals to you then you might also consider using an ewallet. Services such as Neteller, Skrill or PayPal work in exactly the same way, by being pre-funded. More and more online casinos and gambling websites are starting to accept these payment forms and fees can sometimes be lower than with prepaid cards.
The disadvantage of an ewallet is that you don’t have a card, virtual or physical, to go with your account, although many retailers will allow you to know pay with these services via your mobile phone.
Are prepaid cards safe?
Yes. They are heavily regulated and need to take the same steps as other financial institutions regarding the safety of your money and personal details.
Where can I use a prepaid card?
At almost any outlet both online or offline if you have a physical card, and most places online with a virtual one. Always check that your particular card is accepted before registering or attempting to perform a transaction, just in case.
How do I top up my prepaid card?
Simply go into the website of your prepaid card provider and transfer money from your credit or debit card or transfer money directly from your bank account to it.
Can I go overdrawn with my prepaid card?
No. You can only spend the balance which is currently on your card. If you attempt to make a purchase when there is not enough money on your card it will be rejected.