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Ukash Vouchers as Payment at Online Casinos
If you look at the online casino industry as a whole, you'll see different bottlenecks at different places. One important bottleneck is payment processing. If players don't have a way to make deposits and withdrawals, then that can completely shut down the industry as a whole. We've seen this type of thing happen through legislation in different countries. Because of this it's easy to see the effects in a practical, real-life scenario. Ukash was a casino payment method that's been very important because it steps outside of the typical boundaries of credit cards and electronic wallets, the two types of methods that have typically dominated the market.
The Premise of Ukash Casinos
Ukash was based on a voucher/virtual wallet system. You would make a payment for a voucher, and you'd be given a confidential 19-digit code that's used as the identification for that voucher. Anyone with that code could use the funds from that voucher to spend those funds. It was critical that the voucher itself was protected just like cash. If you were to spend an amount worth less than the face value of the voucher, then you would be given a new code to represent a voucher for the remaining balance.
The reason this was such a good idea for the leading online casinos is that it allowed people to deposit easily, securely and anonymously. Players did not have to link up their credit card or bank account with an online casino. There was no direct link that could have led to a data breach giving an individual problems with their financial or personal details being leaked. Even today, many people don't feel safe making purchases with their bank account or credit card numbers on the Internet, especially for casino gaming, so this was a great alternative. Playing at a Ukash casino gave players an option outside of the norm that was sorely needed.
The Switch to Paysafecard
In late 2015, Ukash was purchased by Skrill and was absorbed into the Paysafecard brand. Paysafecard works in virtually the same way as Ukash, except that the code given for the voucher is 16 digits instead of 19. As a result of the redundancy between Ukash and Paysafecard, Ukash was taken out of circulation, and all vouchers had to be redeemed within a fixed frame of time that's now over. Ukash casinos all just switched over to using Paysafecard, and business progressed as usual.
For the players, there's really no difference in the overall experience. The process of depositing with this method is more or less the same, and the only real change is that the code is three digits shorter. The average player probably wouldn't know the difference when playing at a Ukash casino unless they saw that the graphic on the voucher read 'Paysafecard' instead of 'Ukash'.
Comparing Ukash (Paysafecard) With Other Methods
The first step towards getting in on the action at an online casino is to pick a deposit method. The two main alternatives to using vouchers like the ones we're discussing here are credit cards and electronic wallets. We're going to look at how these vouchers compare to each of these alternatives and give you some practical advice on how to choose.
Ukash vs. Credit Cards
The main advantage to using a credit card as a casino deposit method is that it's quick and simple. Even if you purchase your Ukash (Paysafecard) voucher online, it's an extra step that defeats the purpose for people who value convenience over everything else.
On the other hand, Ukash vouchers (even purchased online) have the advantage of placing virtual distance between your credit card and your casino account. This is worth it for one extra step for many people, and once you get used to the process, it might only take a couple of extra minutes to get started. Once you know what to expect, it's easy and is comparable to taking the time to find your wallet to get your credit card when depositing at an online casino.
Ukash vs. Electronic Wallets
Ukash and electronic wallets are similar in how they work. While an eWallet will have you keep money in a separate account that functions much like a debit card account, Ukash has you keep your money through a voucher identification number. Both of these are items that hold the value of your funds, but they are redeemed in different ways.
When a Ukash or Paysafecard voucher is created, there is a connection between your payment method and that voucher, much like when you fund an eWallet. However, once you go to pay for something from the eWallet or voucher balance, there is no connection with the voucher, and there is a connection with the eWallet. This is the main difference between the two, and it's the key selling point for those who want an extra layer of privacy and security.
How to Deposit at a Ukash Casino
There are a few basic steps that go into making a Ukash (now Paysafecard) deposit. Let's look at a quick overview of the process:
- Visit a location online or in person that sells Paysafecard vouchers and purchase one for the amount you wish to deposit.
- Keep the voucher safe, and do not give your 16-digit code to anyone for any reason.
- Log into an online UK casino of your choice, and navigate to the cashier area.
- Choose the Paysafecard option, and put in your 16-digit code and deposit amount to complete your deposit.
You can purchase a Paysafecard voucher for Ukash casinos online if you like. This isn't ideal for users who don't want to use their credit card online though. For others who just don't want to have the online casino in possession of their credit card information, it's a viable alternative to electronic wallets.
Security, Safety and Privacy
Playing at Ukash casinos is that it can add an extra layer of safety that you can't get from electronic wallets and credit cards. We're going to cover some of the reasons for this here.
First, realise that when you have a credit card or electronic wallet on file with an online casino, it's often easy to get a deposit going if someone gets unauthorised access to your account. By playing at a Ukash casino and using vouchers, you make it more difficult for someone to use if they're able to get into your account without your knowledge.
Another source of added security is that your credit card or eWallet information won't be tied to your account name and password in the event of a data breach. These breaches are extremely rare, but they have happened. If that information isn't tied together, then that makes it harder for someone to use that information to get access to your finances.
A third reason that it's more secure is that it avoids situations where keyloggers or viruses on your computer grab your eWallet login information or your credit card details. Hackers would then be able to use that information to make fraudulent purchases themselves. If they get the pin number for a Paysafecard or Ukash voucher, it's no longer useful for them because it's already been used by the time they would see the information.
On the Topic of Banking Fees
One final topic we want to take a look at is that of banking fees. One of the biggest costs for an online casino is the amount of fees that they have to pay for transactions. They often pass these fees off to the player to keep overhead costs down. If you pay with an electronic wallet, you often pay fees twice: once when you fund the wallet and once when you make the actual deposit. It's not unheard of for people to pay anywhere from five to ten percent of their deposit in fees.
Ukash (or Paysafecard) vouchers offer much lower fees overall, and this means more money goes into your account. There is a small fee associated with your initial purchase, but as there is little to no overhead cost for a casino to accept voucher payments, there is typically no fee for depositing with this method. That means more money in your account and a better chance of winning since you'll have more funds to wager with.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Ukash casinos can offer some features for your deposits that you can't get from other methods. With Paysafecard being the new face of Ukash, and with the simple fact that they're owned by the same company that owns the top two electronic wallets in the online casino industry (Neteller and Skrill), you know that you'll be in good hands when you deposit with this method. Overall, it's a fine option for players who want to fund their accounts in a fast, safe and secure way.
"Note: From 1 November 2015, Ukash has been entirely replaced by Paysafecard. Take a look at our recommendations of best Paysafecard casinos.