A Look into the History of PayPal Casinos
There are now dozens of different ways to make electronic payments when playing at online casinos. But out of all of them, PayPal was the first, and remains by far the most popular of the many e-payment methods available today. Payments with credit and debit cards still dominate the online casino market, but PayPal is the next most popular and by far the most widely used and trusted of the newer, non-traditional banking services.
The story of PayPal Casinos begins with eBay. eBay was the first of the major internet companies to become a household name, before online giants like Facebook and Google had even been thought of. It was the first company to really take advantage of the internet to introduce everyone to the possibilities of online trading, even across international borders. This United States based online market trading format was instantly popular with Americans, but also soon grew across the world. It was especially popular with British customers, who loved the fact that they could now enjoy the experience of the traditional car boot sale in the virtual world too.
This new online service was seemingly an instant success, but for eBay to become the international phenomenon it is today, a new payment method was required to oil the wheels of commerce. This is because it was difficult for people to make reliable payments online, especially between individual sellers who had no reliable way of making or receiving payments quickly. Cheques took days to arrive and required clearing – far too slow a process for the “instant” online world. Also, few individuals could accept credit or debit card payments because they weren’t eligible for the necessary merchant accounts demanded by the credit companies and established banks. It was PayPal that saved the day.
PayPal was originally conceived by a company called Confinity. Launched in 1998, the new money transfer system was an immediate success. So much so that barely three years later, in 2002, it was able to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, raising over $60 million.
PayPal’s overnight success was due almost exclusively to its perfect fit for eBay. By the time of the floatation, around a quarter of all the listed transactions on eBay were settled by PayPal. Not bad for a brand new service with none of the trusted heritage of traditional banking methods.
Customers and indeed eBay itself soon recognised the convenience and practicality of this innovative payment service. For customers, this was evidenced by the fact that over 70% of all eBay listings provided PayPal as an option for payment. For eBay itself, it loved the service so much it bought the company!
So it was that in July 2002, very shortly after its stock exchange listing, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. Under its new wing, the service continued to go from strength to strength, becoming the default choice for eBay customers and expanding beyond eBay itself to become available as a payment method for transactions throughout the online community.
The service was so successful that its erstwhile rivals soon folded. Competing services provided by big name corporations like Google’s Checkout, Yahoo’s Pay Direct and Western Union’s Bid Pay all bit the dust. Even eBay’s own service Billpoint was soon closed in favour of its adopted sibling.
PayPal soon became the preferred payment method for all eBay transactions and remains the most used method of payment on the world leading market trading site to this day. Today, PayPal is accepted by most respectable online casino sites.
Nothing stays the same for long in the world of international finance however, and the status of PayPal continues to be in constant flux. In 2015, the payment service was spun off from previous owners eBay to become an independently listed company once again.
And still the changes come. Early in 2018 it was announced that the service’s relationship with eBay is being further loosened. Although PayPal continues to be an option for customers using eBay, it is will no longer be the most prominent option on the site. From 2020, it will merely feature alongside, and with equal prominence to other alternatives such as credit and debit payments. PayPal will also end its agreement to process card payments for eBay at the same time.
But in truth, PayPal has long since moved on from relying on eBay for the majority of its transactions. By 2017, the last year for which figures are available, PayPal operated a truly worldwide service. It can be used in over 200 different countries across the world, and boasts around 220 million active registered accounts, with over 20 million in the United Kingdom alone. Payments can also be made in any of 25 different currencies too.
Unlike at the turn of the century though, there are plenty of practical alternatives to PayPal. It is not just eBay which is happy to accept many different payment methods. Many rival e-payment services have sprung up, and there is plenty of choice for customers and casino players to choose from. Some casinos offer more than a dozen different e-payment options alone and that’s before taking into account conventional credit and debit payments and alternative pre-payment methods.
Nevertheless, PayPal was the first and remains the biggest fish in the global payment sea and the preferred choice for many casino players. In many ways, PayPal casino sites mark themselves as a premium site – an internationally respected mark of quality.
So how do PayPal casinos work? The basic idea is to provide a service which enables people and businesses to transfer funds electronically in order to make payments online.
Signing up is easy. Just go to the company’s website and supply your e-mail address and create a secure password. You then add your bank account, credit or debit card in order for you to transfer money and make payments using your new PayPal account. You can choose all three if you want, and further multiple cards too if you wish. It’s free to set up your account, and most payments are fee free too. Instead, the casino site owner pays a small commission for accepting payment.
You don’t need to transfer funds into your PayPal account in advance either. Instead, funds are taken directly from your chosen linked account when you complete a transaction. Just look for the PayPal button at the checkout of your chosen casino.
The service can be used on any internet enabled device, with the company’s mobile app being a particularly popular method of completing payments online. In fact, things are even easier with the app – you can set up a secure four digit PIN and use this to make payments from your smartphone or tablet instead.
PayPal casino sites are very swift and secure. You don’t need to waste time filling out your personal information and banking details every time you make a deposit at a casino, because you’ve already pre-registered them with PayPal. All you need to do is log in to your account and use the secure password you gave when you set up your account.
So even after more than twenty years, PayPal remains the pre-eminent method for making electronic payments online. It’s free to set up and you’re never more than a couple of clicks or taps from making that quick, convenient and secure deposit at your favourite casino.