Paysafecard (not Paysafe Card and definitely not Pay Safe Card) is a popular eVoucher scheme that is used throughout Europe and in particular in the United Kingdom. Paysafecard is now owned by the eWallet company Skrill. Paysafecard’s main rivals in the eVoucher market were the UK-based company UKash, but Paysafecard bought and absorbed UKash in 2015.
Paysafecard is not really a card, which does confuse some people. People can visit a Paysafecard agent and purchase ‘a card’ for any amount of cash up to £175. They will be handed a slip of paper with a unique 16-digit ‘card number’. This number can be used repeatedly as a means of online payment until the amount of cash associated with the ‘card’ has been exhausted.
Why Use Paysafecard?
Accepted at a large number of online casinos
Paysafecard probably vies with PayPal as the fourth most-popular deposit method at online bingo, casino and slots sites behind credit/debit cards, Skrill and Neteller. Not every online site will accept deposits via Paysafecard, but a lot of them do.
No need to manage another financial account
You have no need of a Paysafecard account, and indeed there’s no way of setting one up. You simply head to any real-world retailer that has PayPoint facilities, hand over your cash (or use a credit or debit card) and receive your 16-digit number. You then enter this number when you are asked to pay for the online services you want to use your Paysafecard for.
Secure … ish?
The money you use with your Paysafecard is tied to your 16-digit number. When you use that number at an online bingo or casino site, the balance on the ‘card’ is reduced. You are therefore reliant on the online site keeping your 16-digit number secure, which 99.99% of them do. However, if someone gets their hands on your number, they can use it and reduce your balance down to zero.
If your number is stolen, the maximum you can lose is the balance on your ‘card’. If your bank account or credit card is hacked, you could lose thousands.
You need to leave the house!
If you have run out of cash on your latest Paysafecard, then you have no choice but to venture out into the real world and purchase a new one. You cannot purchase one online. This can be annoying if you run out of money at 2am.
You cannot withdraw to Paysafecard
No matter when some sites say, you cannot withdraw to Paysafecard. Payments from a Paysafecard are strictly one way from the customer to the merchant. Merchants cannot ‘buy’ Paysafecards and then pass them to customers.
Don’t lose your number!
If you lose your Paysafecard number, then you lose the money attached to it.
Is Paysafecard Banking Friendly?
When you want to deposit at a Paysafecard online casino, bingo or slots site (i.e. one that accepts Paysafecard), you just select Paysafecard as your deposit option. Of course, you must already have gone out and purchased a Paysafecard from a retailer first. Via the site cashier, just enter the amount you want to deposit from your ‘card’ and your all-important 16-digit card number. Your deposit should be processed instantly.
As mentioned above, you cannot withdraw to Paysafecard. If you have made a deposit using Paysafecard then you will need to use an alternative method for withdrawing. Unfortunately, this usually means you will have to make a deposit via this method first before you can withdraw to it.
There are no fees for using Paysafecard. The company makes its money by charging the merchant, not the customer. There is a £3 charge per annum if you do not make a purchase with your Paysafecard number for twelve months.
Opening an account
As already mentioned, you do not need to open any kind of account if you want to use Paysafecard. Your Paysafecard is a limited virtual card that you buy at a retail outlet and that expires once you have cleared the balance from it.
You can if you want to open a ‘my Paysafecard’ account. This allows you the luxury of managing your Paysafecards, paying via a username/password and topping up your account online. In short, it turns Paysafecard into an eWallet.
You can also order a Paysafecard MasterCard. This is not a credit card but a pre-paid card that you load up with cash before you use it. You can then use it anywhere that accepts MasterCard credit cards.
Our Final Thoughts
Paysafecard is perhaps a ‘halfway house’ between real cash and online banking. You can use your Paysafecard online, but you can only purchase one from real-world outlets. This is ideal for people who do not want to open an eWallet account, or do not want to use their credit or debit card to fund their online bingo or Paysafecard casino play.
While Paysafecard is now accepted by plenty of online casinos, there remains one major downside and that’s the fact that you cannot use Paysafecard for withdrawals. If you do not want to use any common alternative in order to withdraw, then your only choice is to have a cheque sent to you, which could take up to six weeks.