The last ten years have seen a worldwide revolution in the area of online payments and processing. Where transferring money globally was previously a hair-raising, expensive, and time consuming affair, these days you can send and receive money pretty much anywhere on earth with the click of a button.
That’s been excellent news for online casinos and their customers of course. Funding an account and cashing out your winnings has never been easier or more straightforward, and gamblers have a huge amount of options to choose from.
While options like Bitcoin grab the headlines, the tried and trusted methods of money transfer are still widely available and in use, and they continue to offer a range of advantages. In this article, we’ll look at wire transfer as an account funding option and guide you through the process of finding an online casino that accept wire transfer.
Let’s start with a little history.
Wire transfers get their name from the historical fact that the first money transfers recorded in the 19th century took place literally over telegraph wires. These days, of course, that’s no longer the case and the name refers to a transfer of funds between accounts. The most common way of doing this is via a bank-to-bank transfer, but there are also dedicated companies such as Western Union and MoneyGram that offer the service.
The basic principles involved in wire transfers are relatively straightforward. You give a bank instructions to transfer money using IBAN and BIC codes to ensure the destination is crystal clear. The bank then sends a secure message to the recipient bank using a secure system such as SWIFT or Fedwire. Funds are then settled between the two banks and this process typically takes anywhere from several hours to a few days.
The vast majority of online casinos will happily accept wire transfers and they offer a number of plus points for gamblers that we’ll look at now.
It’s always tempting to simply put all your gambling finances on a credit card or run it through PayPal, but using wire transfers actually brings a number of advantages. Here is a quick list of the main factors in its favour:
- No need to reveal your details online: Online payments systems are massively convenient but they do raise the spectre of having to hand over potentially sensitive financial information to third parties. While the majority of online casinos are perfectly secure, you don’t necessarily want to be handing out your credit card details to third parties online. Wire transfers allow you to make a secure transfer that never exposes your underlying financial data.
- Casinos are happy to accept wire transfers: From the casino’s point of view, wire transfers are an attractive proposition. They involve no extra intermediaries or fees and completely side-step the possibility of credit card chargebacks or disputes.
- Multiple currency support and available worldwide: As pretty much the original way of being able to move money globally, wire transfer is a fully internationalised system with established procedures for handling multiple currencies and can be carried out from nearly every country.
- A solid track record: In contrast to newer payment methods such as Bitcoin, wire transfers have been effectively used for over two centuries and are guaranteed to work seamlessly.
- Deposits and withdrawals available: Unlike other transfer methods such as phone bill methods, wire transfers can be used both to lodge money to your online casino account and to withdraw winnings down the line.
- No limits on amounts that can be transferred: When it comes to moving money around by wire transfer, you’re limited only by the amount of money you actually have available.
- Potentially low fees: If you’re transferring money within grouped territories (for example between European countries or inside the United States), transfer fees will generally be quite low and, in some cases, non-existent.
As we can see, using wire transfers can be a very handy way of getting money in and out of your account but there are some associated disadvantages you should be aware of. Here’s a quick list of the main negative points:
- Time consuming: Though banks are slowly being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern world, wire transfers are still far from instantaneous. You can expect to wait anything from a couple of hours up to a few days for your transfer to go through.
- Limited recourse: Credit cards offer various levels of consumer protection when you’re using them to buy goods and services but you won’t find the same options available with bank transfers. It’s extremely difficult to even try and reclaim any money once it has been transferred.
- Potentially high fees: These won’t usually be an issue if you are transferring within linked areas but fees can creep up if you are doing truly global transactions.
- Availability: Nearly all online casinos will happily accept wire transfers and offer them as a way of withdrawing funds as well. You should still be sure to check that your particular casino offers both options though.
As we mentioned above, wire transfers are basically a one-shot deal. Once you’ve transferred the money it is gone, so you need to be particularly vigilant in making sure you’re dealing with reliable casinos.
The usual precautions should be taken here. Make sure your online casino has a solid reputation online and, ideally, also an offline presence that can be tracked. Be particularly wary of casinos that seem to have sprung up overnight and that are based in jurisdictions that you’re not totally certain about. You’ll also want to see that they offer a full range of support options via telephone, email and live chat.
If you’re going to be using wire transfers as your primary transfer method, it’s a sensible precaution to start with a number of smaller transfers just to make sure everything is running smoothly before you pile in with large deposits. Also, make absolutely certain that funds transfers work smoothly in the other direction as withdrawals before you really commit to a particular casino.
Your choice of wire transfer as a funding method should make no difference at all to your gaming experience. You can expect to find exactly the same mix of gambling options available in a wire transfer casino as you would anywhere else. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular options:
- Slots: Slots are a great fun way to blow off a little steam with some low-stakes action. The latest range of 3d titles from software providers such as Betsoft have made these a particularly compelling option in the last few years with impressive effects and storylines that wouldn’t be out of place in a Hollywood movie.
- Roulette: Say “casino” to the average person and the first game that will come to mind is roulette. This classic game of chance remains as attractive as ever and is offered by nearly all online casinos.
- Poker: For many gamblers, poker is where the action really is and you’ll find a full range of styles and pot sizes available in all online casinos, giving you a chance to pit your wits against the best in the world on the baize.
- Blackjack: The unique mixture of strategy and chance that blackjack provides is an incredibly attractive one and you’ll find a choice of live dealer and software driven games available online.
Wire transfers are an excellent financial tool to have at your disposal but they’re obviously not the only option open to you for funding your online casino account. We typically recommend using a mix of payment sources to ensure you’re not overly reliant on one particular provider. Here are some of the more common alternatives you can take advantage of.
- Credit cards: Cards such as Mastercard, Amex, and Visa are incredibly popular options for use with online casinos and are practically universally accepted. The major providers offer high levels of security and flexibility and also typically provide enticing reward offers and services for using their products.
- E-wallets: Maintaining one or more e-wallets isn’t just a good idea for funding casino accounts, it will also make your overall online life that much easier. PayPal is the obvious leading contender here and is accepted in a huge amount of online casinos. Other providers such as Skrill and Neteller are also widely accepted.
- Phone bills: Gamblers in the UK can take advantage of the ability to use their mobile phone accounts to transfer money. Transfer amounts are limited but it can be an excellent, convenient way of funding low-stakes gambling.
Wire transfers have been the mainstay of worldwide fund transfers for centuries for good reason – they’re a reliable and low-friction way of moving money globally. In the context of funding your online casino account, they’re a great option to include in your overall funding strategy, particularly when it comes to moving larger amounts either in or out of your account.
Make sure you’re taking full advantage of wire transfer when it comes to managing your funds and we wish you luck out there on the tables!
|Author: Tim Bolding
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Selecting the best banking option is crucial for your online casino journey, we invite you to check our exhaustive section of Payment Methods so you can compare different providers and select the one that works the best for you.