What is Skrill?
Online bookmakers have significantly expanded their number of payment options to customers in recent years. A payment type that has become extremely popular is e-wallets. Individuals are able to upload money into their e-wallet then distribute it around different bookmakers as they see fit. One of the major digital wallet companies who support betting transactions are Skrill. All of the major, established bookmakers have a business relationship with the company and allow transactions through their payment gateway.
Skrill (originally formed as Moneybookers) was launched in 2002. Founded in the UK, it provided competition for the leading e-wallet providers Paypal and Neteller, and quickly gained its own market share. In 2007, the company was sold, and with its new owners it continued to grow rapidly as a private company. By the end of 2011, the business had been rebranded from Moneybookers to Skrill and in 2013, CVC Capital Partners acquired a controlling stake in the company for the princely sum of €600 million. Throughout 2015, there have been continued talks of a merger between Skrill and market rival Neteller, which would enable the newly formed company to compete with market leader Paypal – however as can be expected with such a large deal, it is taking time.
So How Does Skrill Work?
Customers open a Skrill account for free, and after registering and going through the verification process (one of the few negatives as discussed later), funds can be uploaded by either bank wire or credit/debit cards. When a customer accesses their betting account and chooses Skrill as their deposit method, they will be prompted to enter their log in details and can the funds will automatically be transferred. Pretty simple really.
The best online bookmaker sites for using Skrill as a deposit method can be found in the following table:
Top Online Sportsbooks That Accept Skrill
There are a number of advantages (and a few disadvantages) of using Skrill:
- Convenience – For bettors who use multiple bookmakers but only have limited financial resources, the logistics of moving money around different accounts can be difficult. Withdrawal times when using debit cards can vary from 1-5 business days, which is far from ideal. Furthermore, a plethora of betting transactions on a bank statement can become confusing and does not look pretty. Skrill eliminate these issues. The withdrawal times from betting accounts vary by firm, but are typically within 24 hours and sometimes instantly, allowing customers to reallocate their funds around different accounts. Also, as the money stays in the e-wallet, there are not constant transactions appearing on an individual’s bank statement, as the only deposits are to and from Skrill. This makes keeping track of funds, and profit and loss much easier.
- Security – Skrill take security very seriously and customers can rest safe in the knowledge that both their funds and details are well looked after. The information that Skrill transmit is encrypted to the highest standards of Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS Level 1). Skrill was also the first licensed e-money issuer in the UK and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Major companies such as Skype trust Skrill, so if Skrill link up with a new bookmaker, bettors can have faith in that firm.
- Anonymity – In certain countries, online betting is illegal or heavily taxed. Some governments even have restrictions in place with banks to prevent betting transactions being processed and in many cases, using Skrill can provide a solution to these problems. In the vast majority of countries, Skrill is not banned, and therefore bettors can upload their funds to their Skrill account and then to the bookmakers, with no evidence of any betting transactions.
- Freezing of accounts – There have been a number of complaints regarding Skrill’s policy to abruptly freeze accounts. Regarding account verification, customer services have been accused of being very slow to answer any account holder’s queries, and this can be frustrating for those users who need to access their funds quickly, either to withdraw back to their bank, or to deposit into a betting account to place a bet.
- Fees – Unfortunately, there are fees when customers eventually want to send their money back to their bank account. With that being said, these fees are fairly reasonable and most bettors are happy to pay the charge in order to be able to move their funds around safely, efficiently and quickly.
It remains to be seen how the merger between Skrill and Neteller affects operations, but at present, both are servicing a large number of bookmakers independently and successfully.