- Skrill is a PayPal-like money transfer company based in Europe and popularly used for sports wagering.
- Rapid Transfer streamlines and encrypts bank transfers for online purchases.
- Paysafe Group hopes synergy between its two brands will drive US adoption.
New York – Skrill, one of the biggest eWallet platforms in Europe, hasn’t had much luck getting a foothold in the United States.
In 2014, Skrill notably became the only digital wallet sanctioned for Internet gambling in New Jersey. However, it hasn’t made much headway in the gaming industry since.
Most large US sportsbooks do not use Skrill, opting instead to support rival products like PayPal. The main exception is BetStarsNJ, which is a subsidiary of The Stars Group and a sister brand of PokerStars.
As its name suggests, BetStarsNJ operates an online sportsbook in New Jersey. The company accepts and promotes Skrill-based transfers for both deposits and payouts.
But for Skrill, that’s hardly enough, and it seems that the company is interested in conquering the US online gaming space. With front-facing spokesmen like former NBA superstar Steve Nash and soccer legend Alessandro Del Piero, the brand’s alignment with the sporting world is apparently deep-seated.
Skrill has long been a popular money-transfer platform among online gamblers in Europe, but the service has been off limits to US-based offshore bettors.
With its new Rapid Transfer product, however, the aim is to make funding online accounts – like those at Internet-based sportsbooks – simpler and safer.
Rapid Transfer launched in Europe back in September 2016, offering online merchants a way to integrate bank transfers directly into their ecommerce portals. Paysafe Group, Skrill’s parent company, explains the initiative.
“Using Paysafe’s Rapid Transfer identity and verification service, US consumers who transact with a merchant client of Skrill can now make instant online payments from their bank account without leaving the merchant’s website. By simply logging in with their bank account details at a merchant’s checkout, consumers will be able to rapidly make payments via ACH or wire transfer.”
In the US market, Rapid Transfer is designed to appeal to the roughly 30 percent of US consumers who are concerned about e-commerce fraud. The service could provide the boost Skrill needs for more widespread adoption.
Of course, there will be challenges making waves in an already saturated marketplace. As in any other industry, sports wagering operators are interested in offering the most convenient and widely-accepted payment options for their customers.
In order for Skrill and Rapid Transfer to catch on, the products will have to offer something more than existing services do. That will be difficult, as most commercial US sportsbooks already take a large variety of payment types.
These include cash, credit and debit cards, branded prepaid cards, PayPal, ACH, bank transfers, PayNearMe, wire transfers, checks, and more. Skrill and its Rapid Transfer service would compete directly with the PayPal, ACH, and bank transfer options.
Whether or not Paysafe’s full-court press results in a viable US market share, at least bettors will have even more options when it comes to funding their sportsbook accounts in the near-term.
Andy has been writing professionally for nearly two decades, with the last three years being dedicated to his primary passions: sports wagering news and gambling industry analyses. A walk-on punter, Andy has a particular interest in professional football, baseball, and horse racing betting. Come early May, you can always catch Andy – clad in all white, mint julep in hand – on Millionaires Row at Churchill Downs. In his dreams.