Skrill Casino & More – A Brief History
Skrill was one of the earliest forms of e-payment. The original service and company was founded in 2001. However, you may have trouble finding any record of its existence back then, because it was originally known as something else entirely.
This discrepancy is explained by the fact that it is one of many companies and services which has suffered the indignity of a re-brand. Yes, those essential key workers which we all depend on, marketing executives, need to find a way of earning their ginormous salaries. They like nothing better than to rename a perfectly functioning brand and spend millions on an advertising campaign when the original name was memorable and respected.
Remember when Royal Mail became ‘Consignia’? Well that went well – so well you’ve probably forgotten it. Or when British Gas became ‘Centrica’? Surprisingly, Centrica still exists, but they’ve gone back to using British Gas as the trading name haven’t they…
There are without doubt countless other examples of marketing mishaps. Skrill is the result of just such a calamity. The service was originally launched as the aptly named ‘Moneybookers’. I guess the argument was that it was a difficult term for non-English speakers, and that they wanted to become more internationally focused. But then again, much of the world can speak English to some extent, and what does ‘Skrill’ mean in any case?
Anyway, Moneybookers was an immediate success in its original form, and grew steadily throughout the succeeding years. Within a decade, it was the United Kingdom’s top rated private finance backed firm, according the Sunday Times. It had also already achieved over 25 million customer accounts and was accepted by well over 100,000 different online merchants.
Not good enough for the marketing bods though, so it was at this point that the fateful decision was made. Moneybookers, the clearly named electronic money transfer service, was to be re-branded as something that sounded a bit like a tiny crustacean.
The new name was announced in 2011, and by 2013 the deed was done. Moneybookers was no more. The service still exists as Skrill, but it is no longer a market leader. And whereas at the beginning of the 2010s it was a powerful company with the financial muscle to absorb and acquire its rivals, by the end of the decade it was itself swallowed up by a better known and better named competitor.
Nevertheless, the success continued for a while, using the momentum built up by Moneybookers’ success. In 2013, a takeover bid was accepted by the online pre-payment company Paysafecard. However, later the same year, Skrill itself was acquired by another private equity firm called CVC Capital Partners for a sum of around €600 million.
In 2015, the company was traded yet again, becoming a part of the Optimal Payments group, owners of the rival service Neteller. This time the company was valued at over €1 billion. It was at this point that Optimal Payments decided on their own re-brand. Would they choose the nonsensical made up word ‘Skrill’; the better, if slightly antiquated pun of ‘Neteller’; or the much more recognisable, sensible and descriptive term Paysafecard? Suffice it to say that Skrill is now owned by the Paysafecard Group.
It is surely a supreme irony that Skrill, the service formerly known as Moneybookers, is now owned by a company that retained its clear and appropriate, but multi-syllabled name – Paysafecard. This is especially the case when you consider that it was originally the re-named Skrill which acquired Paysafecard.
Oh well, I’m sure the marketing moguls know what they are doing…
How Does Skrill Actually Work?
Skrill is an international money transfer service. It operates in almost every country in the world: over two hundred at least. It is also available to use in any of forty alternative currencies, including all the main ones like the British pound, the euro and the US dollar. It’s also a very secure service. All transactions are fully encrypted, and your personal banking details are never disclosed to the recipient
It’s easy to sign up for a Skrill account. All you need is an e-mail address. You’ll also need to provide your name, the country you are living in and decide on the currency in which you wish the account to be held. Then you will need to decide on a suitably strong password. That’s it! You’re done.
There are over a hundred different ways you can load your account with funds. Most people use their bank account, debit or credit card. You can even use cash via Skrill’s sister payment method Paysafecard.
It’s easy to send money. You can transfer money to a friend or member of your family. All you’ll need is their e-mail address and they’ll receive your money instantly. If they don’t have a Skrill account, they just have to open one – for free.
You can also transfer money directly into an international bank account for free. There are no charges for this service, and only the recognised exchange rate will be used, so no hidden fees. To use Skrill to pay for goods and services online, just click or tap on the Skrill logo at the checkout. All such payments are also fee free. Instead, the retailer or vendor you are buying from will be charged a small commission when accepting your payment.
Receiving money into your Skrill account is always free, and you won’t usually have to pay a fee when uploading funds either. Most methods are free of charge, apart from when you use one of Skrill’s stablemates, Neteller or Paysafecard. In these cases, you will need to pay a charge of 1%.
So what fees do you have to pay? Well, it’s always best to actually spend the money in your Skrill account, because you’ll face a hefty charge when withdrawing funds to a bank account or credit card. This will vary according to the method chosen, but you won’t get much change from a fiver, as a minimum.
There is no fee for any international money transfer into a bank account, although you will have to pay to transfer money into a domestic account. This will again vary depending on the bank, but can be up to 2%. A personal transfer to friends or family via e-mail is also fee free so long as you have pre-loaded your account, and have not used Neteller or Paysafecard to do so. Otherwise, fees can be as much as 10%. Currency conversions other than directly into a foreign bank account are also subject to a fee of 1.5% at the time of writing.
You will also need to ensure that you use your account regularly. If you don’t use it at least once per year, an annual service charge of around £5 is deducted.