Skrill

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History of Skrill

Skrill’s existence began in London in 2001 with a focus towards the money transfer needs of the online gambling community.  They began their operations under the name Moneybookers and rebranded with the name Skrill in 2013. Through their nearly two decades of providing money transfer services, Skrill has undergone the common pattern of mergers and ownership transfers that successful companies in any industry do.

Skrills history of corporate acquisitions has included being sold in 2007, 2009, and 2015, the latest of which was for a whopping sum of 1.1 billion euros.  This sale brought Skrill under the corporate umbrella of Optimal Payments (now known as Paysafe Group), alongside a former rival in the electronic payment exchange industry, Neteller.

How does this payment method work?

Skrill functions largely the same way that any online bank does.  Users can load funds into their Skrill account from either a bank account or a credit/debit card, then use that account to perform a variety of transactions anywhere that Skrill is accepted.  This includes making payments or transferring funds from a Skrill account strictly online, but also allows users to obtain a prepaid debit card that can be used for purchases anywhere that Mastercard is accepted.  The Skrill Mastercard debit card can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

This type of payment method is particularly useful for funding online casino/betting accounts because some local banks are not permitted to perform such transactions.  For Skrill users in a restrictive market like India, for example, Skrill serves as a workaround for the restrictions which have been placed on local banks. Even though those local banks are blocked from performing transactions to fund casino accounts, casino enthusiasts are still able to fund their Skrill accounts because they are not a casino site.  And because Skrill’s operations are based elsewhere, in a jurisdiction that allows transactions with online casino sites, those transactions are completed without any issues.

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How can I register?

Registering as a Skrill user is as simple as it gets.  A new user needs only to provide Skrill with their name, location, currency choice, and email address, then establish a password for their account.  Once you have established your account, it’s just a matter of funding your Skrill wallet and then you’re ready to use Skrill to transfer funds into different currencies internationally, fund your online casino account at numerous sites, and pay for a multitude of goods and services online that accept Skrill as a payment method.

Timelines

Skrill timelines vary greatly depending on what methods a user chooses.  For example, let’s look at a Skrill user in India who wants to transfer funds to an online casino site such as JeetWin or ShowLion.  This user can deposit funds from either their bank account or debit/credit card to their Skrill account.  The credit/debit card deposit option will show their funds appearing immediately upon their next Skrill login, while the bank transfer option for that purpose will take between two and five business days to be completed.

Now that you have funded your Skrill account, you can use your Skrill login to transfer funds from your Skrill e-wallet to the gaming site of your choice.  This funds transfer will happen instantly since Skrill maintains ongoing transfer relationships with all of the most popular sites, so you’ll be able to place bets at your favorite site immediately after initiating a transfer from your Skrill account to that casino/betting site.

Once you’ve gotten your fill of 3-card poker or baccarat and want to withdraw your winnings, how long do you have to wait?  This, again, depends on the methods you choose. Since our example customer is in India, they can’t withdraw directly from the casino site to their bank account.  They must instead route their funds through Skrill as explained above and those funds will be available in their Skrill account instantly, after accounting for any delays caused by the gaming site on the merchant end of the transaction.

Once your funds have reached your Skrill account on their way to your pocket, this is another step where you have multiple options with different timelines.  If you use your Skrill login to withdraw funds to your bank account, it will take between one and five days to complete. On the shorter side of that timeline is the option to withdraw using your Skrill Prepaid Mastercard at an ATM and have funds in your hand immediately.    Each choice available at each step of the transaction (deposit, send, receive, and withdraw) comes with different timelines and different fees, so it is important for new Skrill users to find the methods for each step that work best for them.

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Fees

Skrill is certainly not running a charity and many of the money transfer options for Skrill users come with fees.  These fees can be broken down into two types: a percentage of the transaction being performed or a flat rate based on the type of transaction.  These fees are largely assessed at the withdrawal stage of Skrill’s funds transfer process. Withdrawal to a bank account carries a flat fee, while withdrawals to a VISA card, a mobile wallet, or via ATM with the Skrill Prepaid Mastercard each carries a different percent rate assessed against the amount being withdrawn.  

Another fee calculated as a percentage of your transaction is the Foreign Exchange Fee, which is assessed in addition to any other applicable fee noted above.  This fee only comes into play when there has been conversion from one currency to another as part of the transaction. These fees can take a noticeable chunk out of your money, but it’s important to remember that they are how customers pay for the convenience that Skrill provides.

Skrill’s Competitors

Skrill has carved itself out a corner of the lucrative payment technologies market, but the lucrative nature of this industry means it is full of competition and that Skrill’s competition includes some gigantic businesses.  Without a doubt, the titans of Skrill’s competition are Apple Pay and PayPal. These companies dominate the industry and either might end up being the next corporation to purchase Skrill for an even higher sum than the amount they sold for in 2015.  Skrill has conveniently found a niche in the payment technologies market by catering to online gambling enthusiasts and providing them with an attractive option besides PayPal and Apple Pay.

Skrill: Pros and Cons

Skrill’s biggest pro lies in the simplicity of the services they provide.  Once you have your Skrill login set up, you only need the email address of the user you’re sending funds to in order for your transfer to be completed.  These transactions are simple on the receiving end as well, with the person on the receiving end only needing a Skrill login to access the funds you have sent them.  The biggest downside of Skrill’s services is undoubtedly the fees. All of the conveniences they provide come at a price and the faster you want to complete your transactions with Skrill, the more it will cost you in fees.  You’ll need to determine on a case-by-case basis whether the fees are worth the convenience before you initiate any transactions.

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