Leading Payment Systems For UK Casinos
Over the last 15 years there has been an unprecedented shift in the technology we use for making payments. A rise in mobile gambling as well as tighter regulations in the market as a whole, has led new UK online casinos to look to alternative approaches when taking payments. We have created and curated our list of the very best payment systems for UK casinos below. In later parts of this guide, we will also be taking a look at the top payment systems in the USA, mainland Europe and Asia.
UK payment system rankings:
- Bitcoin Payments
- Pay by Mobile
For more details on these UK casino payment systems, choose a topic:
- How did we rank our top payment systems?
- Pay by mobile explained
- Other cryptocurrency payment systems for UK casinos
- Why are credit and debit cards not included in the top list?
- Some risks to be aware of when using these casino payment systems
How did we rank our top payment systems?
When creating this list of the best UK casino payment systems we took into account a number of factors. These included: speed, ease of use, fees and reliability. Bitcoin took our top position because it excels in most of these areas; however the one aspect holding Bitcoin back from mainstream adoption is ease of use, an issue that is currently stifling adoption. That being said, once a casino player has used Bitcoin for the first time, it will then be very easy to make casino deposits and withdrawals in the future – but that first use can be quite challenging for those less technically-minded (we’ve created this Bitcoin gambling guide to help). On all other counts Bitcoin was the stand-out winner; payments can be made quickly, fees on deposits of any size are as little as 15p, and the Bitcoin payment network has not had a second of downtime since its creation. Bitcoin is reliable.
Pay by mobile explained
Mobile payments have been increasing for the past decade, and competition to dominate the mobile payments space hotted up when Apple released their Apple Pay offering in October 2014. But pay by mobile (also called, “pay by phonebill”) does not work in the same way to Apple Pay – a technology which is linked to your credit or debit card. Phonebill deposit systems operate through a phone provider like EE or O2. Those on a mobile contract can deposit at their favorite casino simply by clicking a link in an SMS – the deposit is then added to the phonebill for payment at the end of the month. Pay as you go (PAYG) users are also able to interact with pay by mobile systems in the same way; although when credit runs out, the balance requires “topping up” before it can be used for another casino deposit.
Phonebill deposits are becoming more and more popular in the UK, with leading providers like Boku having reported rapid growth each year. Recently, Boku announced their expansion to Asia with the opening of a new office in Singapore and wrote that global carrier billing revenue was expected to reach $25bn by 2020.
Other cryptocurrency payment systems for UK casinos
Bitcoin isn’t the only payment system that can be used for gambling in the UK. While it is the most popular cryptocurrency when it comes to Great British betting, a number of others are showing strong competition as a deposit method. The two largest competitors are Monero – a Bitcoin equivalent, but with improved privacy built in – and Ethereum – a programmable cryptocurrency which can improve “trustlessness” in a payment system. More information about these cryptocurrencies can be found on the pages linked to above.
Why are credit and debit cards not included in the top list?
At BigcoinGambling.com we are closely involved with the inner workings of deposit and withdrawal methods at a number of UK casinos. Both mobile payments and Bitcoin payments offer a superior payment system over that of Mastercard, Visa or any other credit card. The benefits of these systems are not just for the user, but for the casino as well. Processing fees are smaller, the risk of fraud is smaller, speed is improved and payments are made with less friction – improving the conversion rate for new depositors.
The reality is that credit and debit cards will be an important but forgotten relic in the evolution of digital payments. A single transaction with a credit card can have several parties that it passes through before reaching its destination. Each party adds inefficiencies to the process, something that is heavily reduced in phonebill deposits and completely eradicated by Bitcoin payments. While credit and debit card payments are still the number one most used casino payment system in the UK, they simply couldn’t make our top list for reasons that will become clear to the mainstream in a few short years ahead.
Some risks to be aware of when using these casino payment systems
It should be made known that whilst these payment systems are superior to credit and debit card transactions, they do carry with them their own different risks. In the same way that credit and debit cards have risk of theft (be it digital or physical) and can also have deposits blocked by the banks, these other options also carry other risks.
Bitcoin Payment Risks
Bitcoin is computational and very “matter of fact”. The Bitcoin network does not have emotion. It does not care if you sent your Bitcoin to the wrong address, or the goods that you bought were never received. There is no charge back system with Bitcoin and ultimately no remorse – the Bitcoin network is the definition of unforgiving. For experienced Bitcoin users this is not a problem; these users know to check the address that they are sending Bitcoin to before checking it again a few more times and eventually sending it. Large transactions should be dealt with carefully, and the address to which you are sending funds should be received securely to avoid anyone tampering with it as it traverses the internet.
Pay by Phonebill Risks
The mobile payments market is going through a period of tightening regulation after many years of “wild west” style commerce (particularly in the UK). Respected casinos like mFortune and Slingo take deposits reliably, however it has been known for other casinos to hide unethical business practices in their small print. For example, a casino that registers you via your phonebill can – if it is stated on the page – also take a monthly or weekly subscription payment from you. It is more essential than ever to read the small print when making a casino deposit by phonebill.
Another risk of phonebill deposits are the ease at which they can be made. One tap payments have some enormous advantages, but they can also be a nightmare for those who do not track their payments too closely. With phonebill deposits, it is possible to spend a large amount of money at a UK casino without easily knowing how much you’ve spent. It is advisable that anyone using this payment system also keeps a separate record of their expenditure, to ensure that they don’t go too far into the red.