Paysafecard is a pre-payment service which enables electronic payments to be made in order to pay for online goods and services. The service has been in existence for around twenty years and is now available in over forty countries across the globe. The service has undergone many changes in ownership over the years, but is currently wholly owned and operated under its own name, with the holding company named Paysafegroup. This conglomerate is also responsible for e-payment services Neteller and Skrill.

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This method of payment has always been a popular way of paying for play on online gaming sites because of its simplicity and widespread availability. In fact, you don’t even need to have a bank or credit account to pay for goods with Paysafecard – making it a popular choice for more general online transactions too.

Paysafecard can be bought on just about any town high street and in many neighbourhood stores. They can even be bought from some larger petrol stations. Certainly wherever you see the distinctive yellow PayPoint signs, but also at many other general stores, Paysafecard is available for purchase. You can pay for them by credit or debit card or even cash, making them an excellent option for people with no bank account or a poor credit rating.

Paysafecard can be bought in several different denominations. All participating retail outlets sell cards at fixed denomination points between £10 and £100, with official PayPoint retailers also selling cards up to a top value of £175. You can then use these cards to make payments for goods and services at thousands of online shops and organisations, including casinos and other online gaming sites.

Each time you buy a new Paysafecard, you are issued with a unique 16 digit PIN code, which you enter online to make your payments. You do not have to spend the entire value of your card at once: any remaining credit is left on the card for future use. Equally, you can use more than one card to make purchases, so even large value items can be bought using the service, up to a maximum of £200.

All payments made using Paysafecard are fee free, except in some specific circumstances. Instead, the vendor or retailer is charged a small fee for accepting your payment. Fees are only charged to Paysafecard customers where a currency exchange is involved, or if the card is not used within twelve months of purchase. At this point, a fee of £3 per month is applied until the balance has been used.

There are several other advantages to be gained when using Paysafecard to make purchases online. It is a good way to avoid the possibility of various forms of online fraud, because you do not need to disclose any of your personal financial details when making a purchase. Whereas when paying with a standard credit or debit card, you may have to give your card number, expiry date and CVV number (the three digit number printed on the signature strip). So long as you are dealing with reputable sites, this form of purchase is very secure, but it remains possible for your details to be hacked or stolen, for example by hacking into insecure data storage facilities at the vendor, or by data being intercepted through insecure Wi-Fi networks. This is not possible if you are using Paysafecard, because you do not need to disclose any of this information.

For some players, the anonymity involved in using Paysafecard is also an attraction: your online purchases will not appear on your bank or credit statements for example.

But of course alongside all these advantages, there is a downside. And for Paysafecard this is that it should be treated very much like cash. If you lose your unique 16 digit PIN number, you have effectively lost your money. So you need to look after your unused cards, slips and numbers very much like you would need to look after your bank notes. Once lost or stolen, they cannot be replaced, unlike a credit or debit card, which can be. You also need to ensure that you do not disclose your numbers to anyone else, because once they have your 16 digit code, it’s as good as cash to them too.

Paysafecard is accepted by the vast majority of casinos, including those carrying NetEnt games. It certainly looks as if it is likely to remain a popular way of making deposits at online casinos for the foreseeable future.