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Payment Options at Online Casinos

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Players go to online casinos for wagering with real money. Therefore there needs to be a mechanism to transfer funds to and from online casinos. In fact online casinos offer several such mechanisms so that the players can choose the one that works best for them. The payment options at online casinos can be classified into three main groups.

The first group involves a direct transfer from the player’s bank account to his casino account and vice versa. Traditionally this was done by writing out a paper check and posting it to the casino. This payment option takes weeks to complete and online players do not use this option. Under certain default conditions casinos use this option to remit withdrawals to players. A more common way is to transfer funds by wire transfer. This can take a few days and in this electronic age even a few days is far too long. The latest options in this category are a variety of electronic transfer mechanisms like eCheck that transfer funds in matter of seconds.

The most commonly used group is that of credit cards. All major credit cards, like Visa, MasterCard, Diners and Amex, can be used over the Internet. Since credit cards can be used in land based outlets as well they have become a single method of all payments and hence their popularity. One disadvantage of credit cards is that it allows players to first wager and then pay for it and this induces them to spend more than they should. To overcome this, the credit card companies also issue debit cards where players first deposit funds with the issuing bank. Players who routinely wager at many online casinos have their credit card details stored on the servers of each of the casinos. Though the online casinos take all possible security measures there is a very small risk of identity theft. Therefore some credit card companies have started issuing small value one time use “cards” for payments to online casinos.

The latest trend in payment options at online casinos is through e-wallets or electronic wallets. Players open an Internet account with one or two e-wallets and fund these accounts using any of the options described above. Then they can transfer funds to any number of online casinos using a single e-wallet. This way the credit card number is on one server only and this greatly reduces the risk. The credit card verification process also need not be done at each online casino since it has already been done at the e-wallet. The number of e-wallets is proliferating. There are country specific e-wallets and currency specific e-wallets. e-wallets can be used for other online payments as well and this increases their usefulness.
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