Skrill is an e-commerce company that makes it easy to move money via the internet. It provides customers with online deposit accounts – commonly called “e-wallets” – and a secure, low-cost way for them to make and accept payments via those accounts. Skrill also provides
- the “Skrill iT” service, which lets you transfer money to anyone who has an e-mail address, almost anywhere in the world
- the Skrill Prepaid MasterCard, which you can use to draw your funds at an ATM or make purchases anywhere that MasterCard is accepted.
Skrill began in 2001 as a company called Moneybookers. The popularity of Moneybookers grew steadily from that time onwards, in keeping with phenomenal growth in numbers of online money transactions globally. The company changed hands twice, and in 2011, its name was changed to Skrill as part of a rebranding campaign.
By 2012, Skrill had secured 25 million accounts across the globe. In 2013, it was sold to CVC Capital Partners for a whopping €600 million. Among the brands that have integrated Skrill’s payment gateway are Facebook, Skype and eBay. Currently Skrill’s main competitor is NETELLER.
Using Skrill for betting
Part of Skrill’s rapid growth can be attributed to a huge increase in the popularity of online betting. Using Skrill, which is accepted by all major betting sites, it’s easy to deposit money into betting accounts. It’s also easy to transfer any winnings on your bets back into your Skrill account so that you can access and manage the funds.
Advantages of using Skrill to manage your betting funds include:
- lower costs than for most traditional payment methods
- security – the only information you need to give betting sites is the e-mail address you’ve registered with Skrill (no more handing over of sensitive credit card or bank account details)
- instant fund transfers – unlike many other payment methods, there are no delays and funds you move will reflect immediately
- the ability to manage your betting funds (what comes in and what goes out) using a single account, which you can keep separate from your savings.
Skrill promotions: free bets and bonuses
From the perspective of a punter, one of the features that puts Skrill ahead of its competitors is its Gambling Promotions page. On this page, Skrill advertises a wide selection of promotional offers by sports, racing and gambling sites.
Substantial bonuses and extremely generous free bets are available from several bookmakers and betting sites, if you link to them via Skrill and open accounts with them. Many of these offers are unique to the Skrill site. As well as general offers for Skrill customers, the site includes:
- “VIP” offers, which are available to high-activity Skrill customers with VIP status
- 1-Tap Offers, for users of Skrill’s mobile payments system
- dedicated pages for William Hill and Bet365 offers.
By default, all featured promotions and offers in the selected category display. However, you can use buttons along the top of the screen to filter the results so that only sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, forex trading or online lottery offers are shown.
Opening a Skrill account
To open a Skrill account, you take these steps:
- access the Skrill site and click the Sign up for free button
- specify your country, desired currency and language
- enter your name, address and mobile phone number
- enter your e-mail address, date of birth and a password
- type the security message that displays on the form
- click Accept and create account.
Note that you can hold a Skrill account in any of major currencies. However, once you’ve made an initial transaction, you can’t change the currency for the account.
You can choose to complete an identity verification process to qualify for making higher-value payments than those otherwise allowed. Once you’ve got an account, you can deposit funds in it using various methods, including bank transfer, card payment or cheque.
As a UK-based company, Skrill is licensed under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It’s also licensed to operate within the European Union.
Using Skrill to move money into or out of betting accounts is generally more secure than traditional payment methods. This is because the only information you need to give a betting site is the e-mail address you’ve registered with Skrill. You don’t, for example, have to reveal credit card or bank account details.
In addition, Skrill has been classified as meeting the highest standards of the Payments Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS Level 1). The company uses sophisticated encryption and data security measures to protect customers’ financial information, and has a security team that works around the clock.
Skrill mobile payments
In 2012, Skrill introduced its Skrill 1-Tap service, which lets you make and accept payments using a mobile device. With Skrill 1-Tap, customers can pay for goods with a single “tap”, without having to re-enter login or credit card details.
Skrill fees: what does using Skrill cost?
Using a Skrill account to transfer funds to a merchant or receive funds is absolutely free. However, there are fees for other types of transactions. These vary depending on the country you’re in and the methods you use. In the UK, for example,
- a fee of 1%, up to a value of £8.22, is charged for sending money to an individual
- depositing money using a local payment method (bank transfer, cheque, Maestro, Skrill Direct or SOFORT) is free
- depositing money using Swift is free, but deposits using other global payment methods (including payment by American Expression, Diner’s Club, JCB, MasterCard and Visa) are subject to a fee of 1.9% of the deposited amount
- withdrawal of funds by bank transfer, Visa or Swift costs £2.42
- withdrawal of funds using a cheque (whether local or global) costs £2.88.
For transactions involving currency conversion, Skrill adds a charge of between 2.99% and 4.99% to the exchange rate it offers. Note that Skrill penalises customers with inactive accounts. If you don’t log into your account or make any transactions for a year, Skrill will automatically start deducting a monthly service fee equivalent to €1 from your account.
Skrill VIP programme
Skrill assigns “VIP” status to high-turnover customers, who qualify for various benefits and extra features. For example, VIP customers are given security tokens and can earn points by participating in a loyalty programme. They’re also authorised to hold multi-currency accounts.
Whether you’re a serious punter with multiple betting accounts or just occasionally place a bet with your favourite bookie, it’s a good idea to consider opening a free Skrill account.