Skrill

Online casinos have been around since the days when bank transfers required up to an entire week to be processed. Clearly, this was extremely inconvenient – sending money to friends and family in an emergency was difficult if not impossible, depending who they banked with and whether there was a branch somewhere close to you.

If you wanted to play some online casino games, nobody wanted to wait an entire week for their funds to become available. The majority of the public did not trust the internet back then – entering your card details into a website was both scary and even risky, depending on the level of security used by the receiving party.

It was in this environment that a handful of savvy entrepreneurs came up with the idea of creating a digital wallet, or e-wallet as they are more commonly known today. Over in the United States, Elon Musk’s X.com was expanding to become a fully fledged bank. X.com was renamed PayPal in 2001, right around the same time that MoneyBookers was founded in London, England.

What is an e-wallet?

A digital wallet can take many forms, and the expression will likely lead many people to think about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies today. Whilst those technologies are undoubtedly exciting, services such as Skrill and Paypal have vastly different goals and use cases. As a result of this, it is very unlikely that cryptocurrency will push these services out of the market anytime soon.

Skrill operates a secure encrypted website. Signing up can be a tad laborious – you will need to upload your identification documents and a recent utility bill before you can begin sending and receiving money using Skrill. The reason for this is the regulations enforced by the majority of worldwide governments.

Any company offering financial services is required to perform Know Your Customer (KYC) checking on everybody who wishes to begin using their services. This was not always the case – I can personally remember a time when anybody could open a Skrill account and begin sending and receiving money without any KYC verification whatsoever.

Coming back to the original question then, an e-wallet is a secure website which allows you to store money in an online account. E-wallets have the ability to send and receive money instantly – it doesn’t matter where the business or person you need to transact with might be, your e-walllets gives you the ability to send and receive money to and from anyone on the planet with just a few clicks of the mouse.

History

Perhaps taking a little inspiration from Elon Musk, Skrill was established by Daniel Klein and Benjamin Killmannhich in 2001. MoneyBookers, as it was known at the time, immediately recognized the issue that online casinos were experiencing sending and receiving payments. The two founders decided to focus their entire site and marketing budget towards the online gambling industry.

This turned out to be a wise decision – the pull of being able to receive your winnings from an online casino instantly rather than having to wait an entire week led to MoneyBookers quickly being added as a payment option at almost every online casino.

You could now deposit at your favorite casino (and without giving them your banking information), play your favorite casino games, and when you had a lucky session, you could request a withdrawal via Skrill as well. Skrill withdrawals took anything from a couple of minutes to a few hours, depending on the casino. Let’s be honest – even a few hours are better than waiting days for a bank transfer or worse still, watching out for a cheque in the mail.

But what next, after your winnings arrive in your Skrill wallet? The company was quick to think about this too. They offered bank transfers of course, but through no fault of their own those were still agonizingly slow. The company soon made a deal with MasterCard, and for just a few dollars you could purchase a Skrill Debit Card, allowing you to spend your winnings immediately.

Offering their own debit card was a master stroke – Skrill was soon purchased by Investcorp in March 2007, by which time it had grown to become one of the top three e-payment providers in Europe. One of their competitors was PayPal, but their purchase by eBay meant that they were focused on completely different market segments to Skrill. Paypal was not an issue.

The third company on the other hand was a an extremely strong competitor – Neteller. Skrill and Neteller were both focused on the online gambling market, and while both companies were competing in some countries, there were many other countries where only one or the other had a presence. This piece of luck was sufficient to allow both companies to continue expanding, and a series of mergers and acquisitions followed.

In February 2013, Skrill purchased the Austrian-based prepaid card company paysafecard. This wasn’t enough for Skrill, however, as they also purchased UKash in 2015. UKash was based on an innovative idea of allowing people to purchase vouchers from stores and gas stations, in much the same way you would buy a mobile phone voucher.

Skrill continued to grow and expand, its rise seemingly unstoppable – that is, until late 2015 when Optimal Payments made a bid for the company, offering $1.1billion. Despite the fact that Optimal were the parent company behind Skrill’s archrival Neteller, the deal on offer was simply too good to turn down.

With all of Europe’s primary electronic payment methods now owned by the same company, Skrill’s new owners decided to kick things up a notch by hiring a number of new teams who would focus on other markets aside from online gambling.

Before the buyout, Skrill had dipped a toe in the water as far as sponsorships were concerned. They sponsored the British National Football League in 2013 as well as being the main sponsor of the European Poker Tour on several occasions. Optimal Payments took this to the next level by sponsoring Leeds United, a major player in the English Premier League. Most recently, Skrill has announced a four-year sponsorship deal with Italian club AC Milan – one of the best teams on the planet.

The success of Skrill and its parent company has not gone unnoticed – in 2019, the company won an award for offering the Best Digital Wallet from Juniper Research and the Future Digital Awards. They have also received accolades from the American Gambling Awards and the Consumer Payment Awards.

How to deposit using Skrill

Opening an account with Skrill is relatively simple, although the KYC requirements can be a little annoying. This is the same no matter which payment method you choose to use though, so it is not fair to blame Skrill for this.

Once you have opened an account, you will need to submit your documents for verification. This is usually done within an hour or two during business hours. Once your account is verified, you are finally ready to fund your e-wallet!

Adding funds to your Skrill wallet is simple, as their secure server allows you to deposit funds using your debit or credit card. You can also make a transfer from your bank, which is much faster today than it was in the past. Skrill have their own custom interface that allows you to connect your bank account with Skrill. If you choose to do this, transfers between your bank account and your e-wallet are instant.

Skrill has been expanding into other markets for several years now, although online gambling sites do still seem to be their primary focus. Nevertheless, the company has added the ability to make deposits using many cryptocurrencies, as well as 40 regular fiat currencies.

Almost every online casino on the web has the option of making a deposit via Skrill. If you do not have funds in your Skrill account, you can fund the deposit using any of their available payment methods in real-time, without any fees.

Skrill deposits will appear in your online casino account immediately, but if you are playing at a new casino and wish to take advantage of a welcome bonus, be sure to check their terms and conditions before using Skrill to make your deposit.

Unfortunately, there are still many casinos that haven’t woken up to the fact that Skrill now performs just as much KYC verification as they do. In the past, some players would open multiple Skrill accounts so they could claim a welcome bonus more than once. This became so common that the entire industry responded by refusing to offer any kind of welcome bonus to players making their first deposit using Skrill.

How to make a withdrawal using Skrill

Getting lucky at an online casino isn’t easy, no matter who you choose to deposit with! Still, regular players will often find themselves in a position where they want to withdraw their account balance. With Skrill, this couldn’t be easier, although you do need to make a Skrill deposit before you will be permitted to request a Skrill withdrawal.

Skrill withdrawals tend to be extremely fast – many of my favorite casinos will send Skrill withdrawals immediately. When I say immediate, I really do mean it, too – I can press withdraw on my laptop, pick up my phone to check my balance, and BOOM! the funds are already waiting in my Skrill wallet, ready to be spent using my Skrill debit card or instantly transferred to my bank account for safe keeping.

Some casinos still insist on checking every withdrawal manually before paying out, which is understandable. Because of this, there are casinos which can take between a few minutes to a few hours before they send the funds to your Skrill wallet. If you install the Skrill app on your phone, you will receive an instant notification as soon as the funds arrive.

If your favorite casino takes more than a day to send a Skrill withdrawal, why not ask them why? There are dozens of online casinos who will send Skrill withdrawals within seconds, so there really is no excuse for delays of more than a few hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know I can trust the Skrill website with my card details?

Skrill encrypts all the traffic sent between you and their site, even before you log in. You can double check this by clicking on the padlock icon to the left of the address bar and choosing “Certificate”.

The way these certificates work is outside the scope of this article, but the key thing to know is that a certificate issued by DigiCert or VeriSign is impossible to forge, and uses RSA SHA256 to encrypt your data before sending it across the web.

SHA256 is a way of encrypting data in such a way that, without the full certificate (which is not shown to the user) it would take every computer on the planet over a million years, all working together, to recreate the information stored in the certificate. In short – the Skrill site is about as secure as it is possible to be!

What happens if I have a problem while using Skrill? Do they have good support?

When I first began using Skrill, support was a real issue in my opinion. They had a live chat feature on their website, which was almost never manned, and a phone number which kept you on hold for up to an hour waiting to speak to someone.

Thankfully, things have come a long way since then! The live chat feature has been dropped in favor of an AI-driven virtual assistant, which sounds bad but I have found it to be surprisingly adept at answering my questions during testing in June 2021.

The company still has a telephone number, and you rarely must wait on hold for longer than a minute before speaking to someone. There is also 24/7 e-mail support, and a ticket system available once you log into your account. Creating a ticket is my preferred way to smooth out any issues, as they are normally responded to within just a few minutes.

Should I use Skrill or Neteller?

Both companies are now owned by the same parent company, Because of this, you may have expected them to be merged into a single company at some stage. It doesn’t look like Optimal has any plans to do this, however – Skrill and Neteller still operate in various different countries that the other one does not, and there are slight differences in withdrawal fees and the way the two sites operate.

If you live in a country where both Skrill and Neteller are available, my personal preference is Skrill, but it isn’t for any particular reason – I’ve just been a user for such a long time that making my deposits, transfers and withdrawals using Skrill just feels natural to me. When I use Neteller on the other hand, I sometimes find myself scrabbling around trying to find some particular option I am looking for.

Both companies are trustworthy, both have secured well designed websites, and both of them have all the appropriate licenses for dealing with financial transactions in over 35 countries. In short, it really does just come back to which one you prefer!

How much does it cost to use Skrill?

This is a great question, because it is important to understand how much you are paying for the convenience of Skrill’s e-wallet service.

Almost every “regular” payment method such as VISA, Mastercard, Trustly, and PaySafeCard has a 1% fee attached to it, however it is possible to dodge this charge by simply choosing Skrill as your deposit option, and then opting to pay with your card once the Skrill deposit window appears. Because the funds are moved directly from your source to the casino, there are no fees to pay …. And you still get the advantage of being able to withdraw via Skrill!

Transfers from one Skrill account to another cost the sender 2.99%, whereas the receiver pays no fee at all. All of Skrill[‘s transfer options work in the same way, with the sender being charged a fee (maximum 4.99% for an international transfer including currency conversion) and the receiver paying nothing.

The Skrill Debit Card costs 10 EUR to purchase initially, and 2.5 EUR if you lose it or otherwise require a replacement. A 10 EUR annual fee is charged on the anniversary of your card first being activated.

If you need cash from the ATM, the low fee of 1.75% is extremely fair compared to similar cards. For example, if you withdraw $10, it will cost you 17c. Most pre-paid card providers charge a flat fee of $1, $2, perhaps even more whenever you withdraw cash, so this is a particularly attractive feature of the Skrill Mastercard.

The casino is telling me that Skrill is not my “first-in-first-out” payment method, so I cannot withdraw. Why?

If you read the terms and conditions and deposited using another method to claim your welcome bonus, well done – You’re smarter than 95% of the rest of the population who haven’t read this article!

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