What Is PaySafeCard and How Does It Work?
Paysafecard is a pre-payment system which can be used to make deposits at online casinos and payments for goods and services. Customers use a 16 digit PIN code which is unique for each Paysafecard to make payments. It is owned and operated by Isle of Man based Paysafegroup, who also own the electronic payment services Neteller and Skrill.
The service is particularly useful for three main reasons. Firstly, it is an excellent way for people who don’t have access to a bank account nor debit or credit cards to make payments online. Before the advent of Paysafecard at the start of the 21st Century, people without formal banking arrangements were unable to pay for goods and services online or make deposits at a casino site.
It is clearly not safe to post cash, and especially unwise to do so to people and organisations who are unknown to you. Postal orders could be used, but like cheques, this would be a slow process when used for online payments. Vendors would need to wait for funds to arrive before despatching goods. In fact, it would be rare to now find a casino site which would accept a deposit via Cheque. With the arrival of Paysafecard, prospective online customers could simply go into a high street or neighbourhood store and pay for a Paysafecard with cash. They could then use this to make instant online payments.
The second advantage is security. By using Paysafecard, deposits can be made without revealing any personal banking details. This means that online fraud and hacking issues do not apply. On the other hand, it is important not to lose your card, nor to disclose the unique PIN code. The code is effectively cash: lose it, or give someone else access to it, and there is no way of recovering your funds.
The third advantage of using Paysafecard is its anonymity. Because the card is unique for every purchase, and can be bought for cash, there is no way of tracing it back to a specific customer.
How does Paysafecard work?
Paysafecard is available from high street and neighbourhood stores like newsagents and supermarkets. It is also frequently sold by petrol stations. It is therefore convenient to buy for the vast majority of people living in the United Kingdom, who will find a participating store very close to where they live. It is also available worldwide, with well over half a million sales outlets across the globe. Payments can be made using any of the usual methods like credit and debit cards, but many of the users of this service prefer to pay by cash.
Cards can be bought in many different denominations. Most outlets will allow you to buy £10, £25, £50 or £100 cards. Other amounts are also available in some stockists, up to a maximum amount of £175 per card. You can buy as many cards as you like. You then simply use the 16 digit PIN code which is unique to each card to make your online payments. You do not need to spend it all at once: any funds left over remain on your card. You simply re-use the PIN until all your credit is used up. You can also use more than one card to make payments, up to a maximum value per transaction of £200.
Using Paysafecard to make payments is fee free. Neither do you pay any commission or fee when you buy the card. This means that it is completely free to use for most customers. However, fees are charged if there is any currency conversion involved, for example if you buy a card in pounds and wish to pay for goods in dollars. You also have to pay a fee if you wish to “cash in” your card: it is really intended to be used to pay for goods and services only.
Service users should also be aware that there is effectively an expiry date on each card. A monthly service charge is made from the 13th month after purchase. This fee is deducted from the remaining balance on the card.
Paysafecard also now offers additional services beyond the basic card, including a personal account, a mobile app and a linked MasterCard credit service.