Though potentially revolutionary new payment technologies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have grabbed the headlines of late, the real story in many parts of the world has been the low-key universal acceptance of a previous generation of payment options. Credit cards are now truly omnipresent and, in many parts of the world, the vast majority of day-to-day transactions are carried out with debit cards.
Debit cards will be the focus of this article, particularly their use in funding online gambling accounts. For many gamblers, using debit cards to fund their play offers a perfect balance of convenience, transparency, and security and they’re an increasingly popular option worldwide. Finding online casinos that take debit cards isn’t always easy, however, so we’ll be breaking down exactly what you need to know in depth in order to help you get started with this option.
Let’s start with a quick look at what’s actually going on when you use debit cards.
Given the incredibly simplicity of the idea behind credit cards, it’s slightly surprising that they took so long to be widely accepted. Basic use is straightforward – debit cards are simple plastic cards that can be used in place of cash for a transaction. Payments are made directly from the balance in your bank account when they go through.
Debit cards first started gaining serious ground in the early nineties and the amount of banks offering their own branded cards soon mushroomed. These days, you’ll find debit cards offered by all the major credit card providers, as well as pretty much every major bank worldwide. They’re used for everything from conducting online transactions to making cash withdrawals from ATMs, and you’ve almost certainly made use of at least one within the last week or month.
Though there’s a bewildering array of individual cards on offer out there, they can all be broken down into three primary categories in terms of how they’re processed. It’s worth noting that a single card can often fit into each of the categories below:
- EFTPOS: You’ll find this also referred to as online debit or PIN debit. This type of debit card needs to be electronically authorized on every transaction with debits immediately reflected in the main account. If you’re using your card to pay in a restaurant with a PIN number, you’re using an EFTPOS card.
- Offline Debit: Also known as signature debit, this type of card is authorized via signature with transactions taking 2-3 days to clear. You’ll often see daily limits in effect on these cards.
- Electronic Purse Card System: These cards actually hold the account value on the card chip itself meaning that network connectivity is technically not necessary in order to make an authorised transaction.
An increasingly popular alternative worth mentioning, especially among younger users, are prepaid debit cards which allow unbanked people to top up a source of funds and then access it directly using a card.
Now that we’ve introduced debit cards generally, let’s turn our attention to finding online casinos where you can use debit cards.
The good news for gamblers is that debit cards are widely accepted at online casinos worldwide. As a generally useful rule of thumb, if your casino accepts credit card, they almost certainly accept debit cards as well. With that in mind, the techniques you use to find online casinos that take debit cards are much the same as you’d use generally.
As ever, a quick online search on the casino name in question is an excellent place to start. You’re looking for any types of red flags that might come up in a simple search such as other gamblers questioning their credentials or reports of payment problems. You also want to see a strong track record in place of keeping customers happy generally. Though new casinos blink into existence every day, and most of them are completely legitimate, you’re nearly always better off giving most of your business to established casinos to begin with.
You’ll also want to see all of the following in place:
- Crystal clear terms and conditions outlining exactly the casino is used and describing all relevant fees.
- A full range of customer support options including phone contact, email, and instant messaging.
- A full range of popular casino table games. Not all providers are equal in this respect so be sure to research the types of games on offer.
Finding a casino that accepts debit cards should be a relatively straightforward affair, and there’s a lot to recommend actually making regular use of them when you do. Let’s step through the main advantages that using debit cards bring:
- No risk of overextending yourself: Unlike with credit cards, you’re strictly limited to what’s actually in your account in terms of spending. This is good news when gambling as temptation remains safely out of reach.
- Speed and security: Debit cards offer best-in-class standards of both speed and security. Funds transfer will be extremely quick in most cases, and security standards are easily the equal of credit cards.
- Ease of use: It’s hard to beat debit cards when it comes to ease of use. People use them daily across a range of scenarios and they’re beaten only by cash in terms of pure convenience.
- Consumer protection: The vast majority of countries offer outstanding consumer protection legislation which covers people against a variety of scenarios that can occur with their use.
As with anything in life there are also downsides to using debit cards in online casinos that you’ll need to be aware of going in. Let’s briefly step through some of the main ones:
- No available credit: A strength in one context can also manifest as a weakness. Not having access to credit is not necessarily always a good thing. Assuming you’re a generally responsible gambler, taking advantage of credit can make a lot of sense when the time is right. Unfortunately, it’s not an option that will ever be available to you with debit cards.
- Not accepted everywhere: Though they’re increasingly omnipresent, debit cards aren’t yet accepted absolutely everywhere. While you should generally be on safe ground across European providers, be sure to check carefully in the United States and Asia if you’re banking on using a particular debit card.
- No separation from your primary account: Many gamblers prefer to isolate their gambling funding sources from the rest of their assets for reasons of privacy and general organisation. This isn’t an option that debit cards really bring to the table unless you’re setting up an entirely separate account to use them with.
Especially when compared with the process of obtaining credit cards, applying for a debit card is usually an incredibly straightforward procedure. As there’s no inherent risk being undertaken by the bank, most providers will be very keen to issue cards with very little associated hassle or red tape.
Though your credit history and credit rating may play a small background role, you can expect to be offered debit cards by your current bank. Ideally, you want to make use of cards from your main banking partner with a view to building up a pattern of responsible use over time.
You’re also likely to be offered enticing sign-up bonuses and ongoing promotions by various banks, so it’s well worth doing a little online comparison shopping to get a clear view of what offers are out there. The conditions governing individual cards can also vary substantially so be sure to check terms and fees surrounding specific transactions such as ATM withdrawal.
Debit cards are popular worldwide but their exact implementation tends to vary slightly from region to region. Let’s look at the main territories out there:
- USA: Though debit cards are popular across the USA, they still face ongoing stiff competition from credit cards in terms of day-to-day use. Most debit card offerings in the United States will also be linked with one of the major credit card providers one way or the other.
- Europe: Debit cards are incredibly popular across the European Union with countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland practically running on them. Debit cards are also becoming much more common in countries such as Italy and Germany where they were traditionally frowned upon.
- Asia and Australasia: Credit cards are still going toe-to-toe with debit cards across Asia and Australasia. The situation on the ground varies considerably from country to country. You’re advised to check carefully that your existing debit cards will be honoured before heading to any one particular country.
Though debit cards can be issued by pretty much any bank, there are a number of major industry players whose names you’ll see cropping up again and again worldwide. Let’s briefly step through them:
- Maestro: As part of the larger Mastercard brand, Maestro is recognised throughout the world as a leading category of debit cards. You’ll often see its logo present with that of the actual issuing bank.
- Visa: Visa have a made major inroads into the debit card market worldwide and you’ll commonly see their branding on both standard and pre-paid debit cards, particularly in Europe.
Debit cards are an incredibly handy option to have when you’re funding your online casino account, but we generally recommend employing a mix of funding options so that you have some fallback positions and flexibility. The following all make excellent alternatives to consider:
- Credit cards: Credit cards such as Mastercard and Visa give you the same level of speed and security you’re used to with debit cards married to the ability to actually take advantage of credit. Naturally, you’ll want to exercise this power cautiously! You’ll also stand to gain from the regular promotions and bonuses available with most major credit cards.
- Wire transfer: The original form of account funding and, for many, still one of the best. Virtually every major online casino will allow you to add and withdraw funds via standard electronic transfer. In cases where the associated fees aren’t too onerous, it can make an excellent solution when large sums are involved.
- PayPal: PayPal gives you access to world-class security and speed, allied to the ability to use the service across pretty much all of the internet. PayPal is also an incredibly popular option at online casinos generally and it should be accepted by the majority of non-american online casinos.
Any online casino which accepts debit cards worth its name should offer a full range of popular table games for you to enjoy, along with a good selection of slot machines. Here’s a quick run-down of the most common games you can expect to enjoy out there:
- Poker: Centuries into its existence, poker remains out on its own as the most popular table game worldwide. That’s even truer when it comes to the online version of the game, and you’ll find options covering all variants and pot sizes at sites around the web along with a thriving community of players.
- Roulette: Even in its digital version, roulette retains a certain sort of unique glamour. The latest range of powerful 3d-software underlying the latest online casino versions of roulette provide a genuinely immersive experience that gets incredibly close to the real thing.
- Blackjack: Savvy players worldwide have long been drawn to blackjack where a combination of the right strategy and a little luck can quickly lead to outsize winnings. You’ll be able to select between live dealer blackjack and standard software solutions online, and high rollers are generally particularly well catered for at blackjack casinos.
With their ease and ubiquity, it makes an enormous amount of sense to use debit cards with your online casino account where the opportunity presents itself. You’ll benefit from fast, secure transactions and the comforting sense of knowing exactly how much available funds you have at any given time. Be sure to consult our list of top online casinos that accept debit cards to get off to the best possible start out there on the tables!
|Author: Tim Bolding
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