What Is Paysafecard?
Paysafecard is a method of prepayment that allows you to use online services without actually linking your credit or debit card. The company offers a few products; the ability to buy prepaid codes that can be used online, a prepaid Mastercard that can be topped up then used as a debit card wherever Mastercard is accepted, both on and offline, and a mobile app to control your Paysafecard account. The main product, however, is a printable 16-digit code that can be purchased from retail outlets.
From it headquarters in Austria, Paysafecard has grown to serve 47 countries, including the UK, the US and the majority of the Eurozone. Currently, the service can be used with US dollars, UK pounds, Euros, the Swiss Franc or the Swedish Krona. It has won numerous awards over the last decade, and has grown to be one of the most well-known and recognisable online payment methods worldwide. It is widely used within the online casino market and the vast majority of online systems accept it as a payment method.
How to Use Paysafecard
One of Paysafecard’s main features is that it is easy to use, and stable even in underbanked areas as an account is not necessary. The first step to using Paysafecard is to purchase a code at a physical retailer. The website has a handy map function that allows you to search for a partner outlet in your vicinity. There are a range of prepayment amounts available, and you can pay with cash or by using a credit or debit card. However, your card information is not linked to your Paysafecard. In return, you will receive a printed 16-digit PIN.
This acts like the long card number on a debit or credit card and can then be used online at each individual site’s discretion. The website you’re using will redirect you to Paysafecard, which will prompt you to enter the PIN. This will then send you back to the original site, with your account automatically credited. To use Paysafecard with online casinos and gambling, it’s important to remember to purchase an over-18 code.
If you’re having trouble finding a convenient retail outlet, you can also get hold of Paysafecard online. The PIN is then emailed to you with a password for added security, instead of being handed to you physically.
Advantages of Paysafecard
The main advantage of Paysafecard is that you don’t need to link an online casino account to your credit or debit card. This removes potential security issues online – hence the name. And as you don’t need to set up an account, there is also added convenience, assuming you live near a participating retailer.
In addition, users tend to highlight the ability to pay in cash as an advantage. This adds an extra level of anonymity to the process. However, with the Mastercard version also being an option, you can add an extra layer of formality to Paysafecard, which will then be accepted anywhere that takes Mastercard, meaning that your funds are far more flexible than if you just use the printed PIN.
Disadvantages of Paysafecard
There are a few disadvantages to using Paysafecard. Firstly, if you are looking to deposit large or irregular amounts, you will be disappointed. Depending on the country you are in, Paysafecard is only purchasable with fixed amount denominations and there are relatively low limits, so high rollers won’t find this an attractive option.
Secondly, if you don’t happen to be near a retail outlet that allows Paysafecard purchases, you may end up using the online version. This immediately removes one of the main security benefits of Paysafecard, as you are then vulnerable to email hacking even with a password-protected email.
The main drawback though, is for US users. Currently, the US DoJ has declared that Paysafecards that have been purchased using US dollars cannot be used at online casinos. This means that US citizens and residents will need to check carefully before they make a Paysafecard purchase.
Overall, if you are happy with fixed denomination payment and live nearby a physical retailer, Paysafecard is a solid option for the more security conscious online casino users. It is widely used and has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years, so it isn’t likely that there will be any issues with using it in the near future either. However, for higher rollers, US users and people who don’t have access to convenient retail outlets, an e-wallet alternative might represent a better, more flexible bet.