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Comparasino interview with Paysafe’s Rory Howard on UK online casino payments

In an interview with Comparasino, Rory Howard reflects on how Paysafe’s Skrill and NETELLER digital wallets and paysafecard eCash solution have supported online casinos’ growth in the UK

Comparasino: Why should online casino players in the UK deposit and withdraw with digital wallets such as Skrill and NETELLER?

Rory Howard (RH): Like Paysafe’s broader product offering, our Skrill and NETELLER digital wallets are well-established payment options in the iGaming industry with strong brand recognition among UK online casino players. Both wallets launched over 20 years ago, so when today’s players see the Skrill and NETELLER logos on an online casino’s website or at their cashier, they resonate as a trust-mark with the brand. Players know they’ll be able to deposit and cash-out seamlessly at the casino, with the security of the transactions guaranteed.

The popularity of Skrill and NETELLER with players means that iGaming brands often look at integrating with Paysafe as a new acquisition channel in its own right. Offering Skrill, NETELLER and our other solutions helps to attract players to a casino and ultimately convert them.

Comparasino: How do digital wallets compare to traditional payment methods?

RH: In the UK online casino market, cards remain king, but digital wallets are also very popular, enabling players to better manage their funds for wagering. Beyond iGaming, over the last few years we’re seen consumers become more and more savvy about segregating their disposable income for entertainment from their regular financial commitments like bill payments.                                             

Using a digital wallet, players can keep their gambling funds outside of their traditional bank account. A wallet also allows bettors to transact freely across multiple iGaming brands. In this respect, Skrill and NETELLER are often go-to solutions for players, given their widespread

Comparasino: How do digital wallets actually work?

RH: In essence, a digital wallet is a virtual online account that allows consumers to transact online with merchants, including online casino and poker brands. Players can choose to fund their digital wallet account using a wide range of payment methods – from using their debit card or making a bank transfer to alternative payment methods like Paysafe’s paysafecard eCash solution, among other options.

Once the digital wallet has been funded, players can use the account balance to wager with iGaming brands offering the wallet as a payment option, with the added security of not having to share their financial info with the operator. Winnings can be cashed-out quickly to a player’s wallet account, and can then be transferred direct to their bank account or debit card, or used to wager with other online casinos or for other eCommerce transactions.  

Comparasino: Skrill and NETELLER have been used by online casino players for many years now. What has been key to their long-standing popularity?

RH: With NETELLER having launched in 1999 and Skrill just two years after that, the two wallets have evolved in tandem with the UK online casino industry – from the market’s earliest days to its maturity. The wallets earned their initial popularity from their ability to support unprecedented payout speeds, with winnings cashed-out to players’ Skrill or NETELLER accounts almost instantly.  

Until fairly recently, cashing-out to bank accounts, debit cards and other payment methods often took several days, so the wallets’ payout speeds were really effective in generating a winning experience for online casinos’ customers. This not only served to strengthen player retention for brands but also galvanized the growth of Skrill and NETELLER’s user-base.

Today, aside from their widespread availability with online casinos, Skrill and NETELLER are very effective financial tools for players who want to keep their gambling funds separate from their main bank account, as I mentioned earlier. In addition, both wallets offer attractive loyalty programmes – Skrill Knect and NETELLER Knect – that enable users to earn cash rewards for their transactions.  

Comparasino: Online cash is still popular with a small cluster of players. How do you facilitate cash payments at UK online casinos?

RH: Cash usage has declined in the UK, but it remains popular with certain consumer demographics and this is reflected at online casinos. Although more sophisticated casino players may prefer a digital wallet to wager across multiple brands, a more traditional bingo player, for example, may still like to transact with cash, just as they do in their everyday lives.

For cash-focused players, we offer the paysafecard eCash solution. Sold in newsagents, supermarkets, petrol stations and other retailers across the UK, paysafecard is essentially a voucher with a 16-digit code that can be used to fund an online casino account quickly and securely.

Ultimately, UK players’ payment preferences are diverse – it’s really ‘horses for courses’. To best serve their customers, casinos need to cater to the entire spectrum of transactional preferences – from card payments and digital wallets like Skrill and NETELLER to eCash options like paysafecard. Every online casino experience starts with a payment, so operators really need to start as they mean to go on.

This interview was originally published on Comparasino. To learn more about iGaming payments for the UK and other global markets, download Paysafe’s All the ways players pay 2024 report.

  • Alternative online payment methods
  • Digital wallets