Online transactions are revolutionizing the payment industry, the number of online transfers increases every day and new providers arise with innovative features. In a world of cryptocurrencies and financial time travel, traditional payment methods like debit cards must offer different added value to compete in such a dynamic market.
Through this article we’ll review one payment option that has been present in the market for several years; we’ll explain the features, pros and cons of Maestro cards and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about using a Maestro card as a funding method at online casinos.
What is Maestro?
Maestro is a debit card service offered by Mastercard, it is a global network of banks anywhere in the world that offer this card giving you access to bank holder services wherever in the world with one account. Mastercard started this project back in 1985 when the company acquired the ATM network Cirrus, and it was in 1991 that they launched the first point of sale debit network in the world; Maestro card.
With a Maestro card, you’re able to withdraw funds from ATMs, buying at physical establishments, online shopping, making deposits and processing transfers.
The network of Mastercard is spread all over the world and Maestro card has a stronger presence in some countries than in others, this card is more popular in Europe than in other regions, which means it will be easier to find ATMs with the Maestro logo in an European country than elsewhere. A clear example of a country with a wide adoption of this card is the United Kingdom where the Maestro card is authorized as a valid payment method in over 1.2 million retail establishments. While this is something to consider, it’s worth mentioning that there is approximately one Maestro card for every six Mastercards, which is not a small number when considering the size and reputation of the network, so rest assured that there's availability of ATMs, online casinos, and other establishments that accept Maestro all around the world.
Maestro works not only in debit cards; this financial network is also available for prepaid cards. Several providers of prepaid cards such as Quidity or Splash work with Maestro, so by acquiring any of these cards you have all the benefits of prepaid cards and you’ll have access to Maestro international network. Even Mastercad offer prepaid Maestro cards as one of their options for prepaid gift cards.
Maestro Updates 2021
With more than 666 million cards issued, and literally hundreds of online casinos accepting them throughout the world, Maestro debit cards remain as one of the preferred banking methods for online gambling.
With the current online gambling regulations and bans on credit card use, Maestro debit cards are becoming a more viable option in countries such as; Australia, the U.K, and Germany.
Mastercard has released a FAQ regarding Biometric cards, these new fingerprint-enabled cards will soon be available for both Maestro and Mastercard brands.
With the rise of Legal sports betting across the U.S, Maestro cardholders can look forward to participating in these events funding them with their debit cards.
After an alert from the Information Security Group at ETH Zurich regarding a potential security flaw with Maestro and Mastercard, the company implemented new protocols to strengthen their security and eliminate all related risks.
Since 2020, Swiss financial company Credit Sussie started replacing Maestro debit cards with the new Mastercard debit, which combines credit and debit card advantages into one card.
Advantages of Maestro card
The most important feature of Maestro is the global network that allows transactions with this payment method, according to their website; there are currently 1.9 million ATMs in 13 million locations around the world where you can withdraw funds from your account. Thanks to this network you can forget about carrying cash when you travel, just make sure you’ll have a Maestro ATM near and make sure you have selected your region or country of destination in your account settings and you’ll be able to withdraw funds and make payments as if you were a local card holder.
The security is one of the biggest benefits of Maestro, as being part of Mastercard, you can stay assured the company is well funded and your money is safe using the world’s most widely recognized card brand.
Besides the international network feature, Maestro card works as any other debit card giving you access to a e-banking account where you can customize periodically payments, check your balance and make transfers.
When using your Maestro card abroad you have access to local banks infrastructure and services, according to the place and local banks you might or not be able to make deposits through the ATMs from the partner banks, however always remember that every time you change your location you must adjust to the structure and features available in that country, so you might not always be able to deposit funds in your account in any ATM.
If you opt for using a prepaid Maestro card you’ll also have all the advantages of using prepaid cards as an online payment method. Firstly, and most importantly you are not required to have a bank account, it isn’t related to any credit history and there are other great advantages like the minimum age to be a prepaid Maestro card, as several providers allow holders from the age of 13 as a safer and more efficient way for kids to access to funds.
Prepaid Maestro cards are an excellent option for online payments because you can interact with online vendors without providing any banking information which for many people is a great safety feature. An interesting benefit of using prepaid Maestro cards and not credit cards for doing online payments is that prepaid cards have a limit of the amount you destined to that account and prepaid cards don’t extend credits helping to limit your expenses. With your prepaid Maestro card, you have access to an online account where you can verify your balance, change settings, etc. just like any other card account.
Disadvantages of Maestro card
One of the most common concerns about Maestro card among users is the possibility of fraudulent payments from all the world and the increasing implications of possible skimming. Reason why; some of the international banks part of Maestro network offer more options to increase the safety of your account, according to the bank where you acquire your Maestro card you might assign regional settings to your account so it can only be used in certain countries or regions, of course you’re always able to change those settings according to your needs. In addition to the regional settings, in order to increase the safety level of your Maestro card, all of these cards work with a PIN code that you also can change from time to time to increase your account’s safety.
Some people like to keep their financial information separate from their online betting accounts and obviously this is not an advantage that the use of Maestro card can provide, as every time you share your financial information with a website it is very important that before subscribing to an online casino you verify the company is authentic and always make sure you know where it is founded and which institutions regulate their practices, any well stablished online casino will display information or links to those details. Make a quick review before creating an account in any online casino to review the company those will be 10 minutes well spent if you make sure your online gambling experience is safe.
As being a debit card service, Maestro card may have monthly fees to cover. Compared to other online casino payment option, having a constant fee is a great disadvantage for Maestro card, however you must consider that with Maestro you’re subscribing to more services and advantages.
Another economic disadvantage of Maestro card are the fees per transactions, according to your place of residence and the place where you make use of your Maestro card you might be charged per each transaction. If you opened your account in US dollars and you withdraw funds in Germany in euros you’ll be charged, the amount will depend to the bank partnership and of course the transaction will be made at the exchange rate stablished by the local bank.
The final disadvantage of using Maestro is the trend of its network to decrease. Maestro cards were very popular some time ago, however the number of partner banks in the network has been decreasing and as trend several banks like HSBC switched from Maestro to Visa debit cards. So even when the international network that Maestro offer is well consolidated and very extensive you must consider that from time to time you’ll see changes in the list of international banks associated to the network.
How to choose an online casino that accepts Maestro?
If you have decided to use your Maestro card for opening a new online casino account, you are entering to the next phase of decisions; you must now choose the best online casino for you. There are some points you might like to review before deciding:
Regulation: The first and most crucial factor is to acknowledge the current legislation on online gambling of your place of residence. Some countries have more exigent legislations on this industry than others, some betting modalities or payment methods might be banned, so make sure you make a quick search before get going.
It is also very important that you consult the regulation of both online casinos and online sports betting, in some cases these gambling categories are managed and regulated separately and even by different commissions so make sure you fully understand what is and what is not allowed to do in your country.
Payment method: You already established you want to open an online casino account with a Maestro card, however before discharging the rest of the options you might want to check out which other options they offer for funding and withdrawals, you might want to use your funds to pay something through Paypal and you’ll be very disappointed if your online casino doesn’t provide you that option. You don’t have to make a deep analysis on this point, just make sure the online casino you choose offer at least 2 of your favorite payment methods for online transactions.
Safety: The third point of interest will be safety. In addition to keep your gambling legal, it is of your first interest to keep it safe, there are several ways to ensure your online gambling experience, by selecting and trusty online casino. Firstly, you must verify the information of where the company is established and regulated, online casinos affiliates to industry associations are always a good indicator, if you have trouble finding this information at an online casino you might want to just skip it and look for a more established company. You can also verify the reviews of other users to see how has been their experience with that gambling platform and avoid frauds or just disappointments.
Betting offer: The next thing to take in account are your preferences for online casino games and sports you like betting in. You have a wide variety of options; big online casinos usually have a wider offer and you can make sport bets and play online casino games from the same platform and smaller online gambling sites might have a more limited number of gambling choices but they usually have a specialized added value. One of the clearest examples of specialized gambling sites are the numerous new eSport gambling sites that offer vast information related to the games and championship rules and some of these sites are now broadcasting the mayor tournaments on eSports worldwide. Always keep in mind that you don’t have to select only one gambling platform, you might find two or three sites that together offer exactly what you’re looking for.
Features: Think of all the features you want to have in your online gambling experience. From a perfect mobile casino platform, to the possibility of watching games and matches while betting directly from your casino account or being able to use Bitcoin to deposit and withdraw your gambling funds, all this is possible in the online gambling world you just have to make a quick research to find what you want.
Promotions: The last consideration before start betting online is to compare the attractive bonuses and promotions that online casinos offer to see which one is more suitable for you. Remember welcome bonuses aren’t the only promotions online casino offer, so before jumping in a casino that offers to triplicate your initial deposit; consider other online casinos that not only offer an interesting welcome bonus but also give periodically promotions or bonuses in specific tournaments or casino games you like.
At the end of the day, the purpose of online gambling is to have a good time with the possibility of winning some extra money, so just have fun with your new online casino account funded with Maestro and don’t forget to stay informed of the latest news and innovations of the online casino world.
|Author: Tim Bolding
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