One of the main factors driving the explosion in online casinos over the last decade has been the simultaneous emergence of the mobile internet. With more and more people accessing the web from mobile devices, the vast majority of online casinos have provided slick app versions of their sites that users can enjoy on the go. We’ve also seen the rise of a new generation of payment systems that are intrinsically linked to mobile devices.
As part of our ongoing series about funding methods for online casinos, let’s look at one of the more innovative solutions in the market – Sweden’s PugglePay. We’ll kick things off with some background on the company.
PugglePay is a Swedish startup run by Smart Payments Nordic AB that lets gamblers make instantaneous payments via their mobile phone without having to jump through complicated registration hoops or download specialised apps.
The service is a relatively new one and first came to market as recently as early 2013. PugglePay has been targeted at the gambling and gaming sectors since the outset and has signed partnership agreements with providers such as Europe Casino, Mr. Green, and Betsson along the way. They’ve also attracted industry attention and been nominated for prestigious awards such as the Nordic E-commerce Newcomer of the Year and the Red Herring Europe Top 100.
In contrast to many of the payment provider giants we’ve covered elsewhere in our guides, PugglePay remains a relatively tiny outfit at the time of writing with just a small Stockholm-based team running the operation. PugglePay has over 30,000 users and is currently primarily available in Sweden and Finland.
PugglePay’s basic service is straightforward – the company enables mobile phone users to make payments directly from their mobile phones. After selecting PugglePay as your payment option on a page, you simply enter your mobile number and click to confirm. You’ll then receive an SMS with a special code that you can enter on the merchant’s site to confirm the payment.
Once the payment is confirmed, you’ll receive an invoice from PugglePay via email or SMS which you are then legally obliged to pay within 14 days. At no stage do you have to register on a merchant’s site or provide any identifiable financial information. PugglePay has also recently announced support for the Mobile BankID scheme in Sweden which allows users to authenticate themselves online more easily.
PugglePay has a commitment to creating a responsible payment ecosystem and performs credit assessment on customers along with imposing deposit limits to discourage problem gambling.
On the merchant side of the equation, PugglePay promises to boost online sales by up to 37% and help increase conversions and average checkout sizes. PugglePay also offers 100% credit and fraud protection to merchants.
PugglePay offers a number of distinct advantages if you happen to be based in a country where it’s available. Here are some of the standout benefits:
- Speed: PugglePay’s checkout process is impressively frictionless and you can make purchases in just a few seconds once set up.
- Convenience: PugglePay’s mobile nature means you’re free to make purchases pretty much anywhere and everywhere. The only information you actually need to enter on merchant websites is your mobile phone number with the PugglePay system taking care of the rest behind the scenes.
- Security: PugglePay is regulated by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority which means it’s held to the highest standards of online security. The fact that your financial details are never exposed to merchants is another large plus point.
While there’s a lot to be said for PugglePay in terms of speed and flexibility, there are some significant disadvantages to bear in mind. Here are the main ones:
- Limited availability: PugglePay is currently only available in Sweden and Finland. Though we can expect the service to be rolled out across other Scandinavian countries in due time, there are as yet no details about when, or if, it will make it to other markets.
- Limited currency support: Unless you’re dealing in the Swedish krona or the Finnish markka, you’re out of luck when it comes to PugglePay.
- Limited casino support: Though PugglePay has signed up some impressive partnerships in the local Scandinavian market, the amount of casinos where it is available as a deposit option remains small.
- Deposit only: Though you can use PugglePay to deposit funds into your account where it’s geographically available, you cannot use it to withdraw funds.
As experienced online gamblers will know, there is a small group of software providers which power the majority of online casinos. Most of the leading names here have the ability to accept PugglePay where possible. Here’s a brief overview of the main providers:
- Microgaming: As one of the leading software providers in the market, Microgaming sets the pace for much of the industry. Microgaming have already come on board with limited support for PugglePay where available.
- NetEnt: Net Ent are known for their innovative tie-ins such as their Guns’n’Roses slots offering and have carved out a significant chunk of the market with their complete backend gaming solutions. Net Ent have already offered support for PugglePay casinos.
- Betsoft: Betsoft are one of the most established names in the business and stand out from the crowd with their cutting-edge cinematic 3D gaming offerings across slots and other classic casino games. If you’re playing from Scandinavia, you can expect to find Betsoft casinos that accept PugglePay on offer.
As we’ve pointed out above, PugglePay is limited to a relatively small geographical area and also cannot be used to withdraw funds so you’re almost certainly going to have to consider at least one alternative account funding method even if you are dealing with a casino that accepts PugglePay. Here’s a list of popular alternative funding and withdrawal methods:
- PayPal: Many years after its arrival on to the scene, PayPal remains one of the most convenient, speedy and secure online e-wallet solutions out there. It’s hard to beat the mixture of currency management and available countries PayPal brings to the mix and the number of both casinos and e-commerce outlets that accept this payment method is huge.
- Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard are the two leading candidates here and are accepted at practically every online casino. You’ll also find Amex supported at a somewhat smaller number of casinos. Credit cards offer flexibility, world-class security, and an attractive mix of reward programs for their use. They’re a highly recommended option to have in your funding arsenal.
- Skrill: PayPal isn’t the only e-wallet solution out there and Skrill has carved out something of a reputation for itself by actively courting the online gambling market. A combination of low fees, ease of use, and widespread acceptance at online casinos make it an appealing option for players.
PugglePay is still limited to certain markets but the idea behind it is an intriguing one that we can expect to gain more widespread adoption sooner rather than later. As things stand at the moment, it’s an excellent option to include in your overall payment portfolio if you happen to be based in Scandinavia, particularly in the context of low-stakes fun bets on games such as slots.
Be sure to check out our list of casinos that accept PugglePay and good luck out there on the tables!
|Author: Tim Bolding
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