A Deep Dive into the History of Wirecard Casinos
Wirecard may be less well known in the UK, but it is a popular service in mainland Europe and the company which operates it is a major organisation. Founded more than two decades ago in 1999, Wirecard AG is based in Aschheim, a small town on the outskirts of the Bavarian city of Munich, in southern Germany.
The company is responsible for the employment of well over 5,000 people, and it truly is an international operation. Its employees are based throughout the world. In addition to its Bavarian headquarters, it has a further twenty five offices based all over the globe. These include a major outpost in Singapore in South East Asia. It has at least a hundred employees in around a dozen further countries, including the United States, Brazil, India, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Wirecard expanded rapidly from its late 20th Century roots. It was listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE) in 2005 and expanded beyond continental Europe for the first time in 2007. This was when it established its Asia Pacific operation with the opening of its Singapore office.
By 2013, it was already one of the leading companies at the forefront of the new burgeoning technology of mobile payments. In addition to its established industry leading European operation, its South East Asian expansion was going full speed ahead. It became the major brand behind mobile payments within Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The following year, Wirecard also established operations in Africa, the Middle East and Australasia too. These operations provided a comprehensive retail payment processing service including online, mobile and real world point-of-sale (POS) transactions.
2015 saw the company launch its major new mobile payment brand Boon. This has become a major success worldwide in subsequent years and provides a large proportion of the company’s revenues to this day.
Entry into the highly competitive North American market was achieved in 2016 with the acquisition of a pre-existing payment service in Philadelphia. This was consolidated later the same year in South America with the additional purchase of a similar operation in Sao Paolo in Brazil. The following year, Boon linked up with Apple Pay, expanding the territorial reach of the service to several other European countries, including France, Italy, Spain and the Republic of Ireland. 2019 saw the country entry the lucrative Chinese market for the first time.
Today, Wirecard is a major international player in the worldwide payments industry. It is one of the top thirty companies listed on the German stock exchange (DAX). At the time of writing, the company’s total revenues have already surpassed the €2 billion mark, with net profits reaching around €350 million. Its shares are valued at around €90.
How Do Casinos Accepting Wirecard Work?
Wirecard is at the forefront of modern payment technology. It offers three distinct services: a virtual card, a pre-paid card and a mobile app.
With the virtual card, Wirecard issues a 16 digit card number just like those normally found on a real plastic credit or debit card. An expiry date and a three digit security code (the equivalent of the CVC code you will find on the magnetic strip of a real card) is also issued. Customers can use this information on websites and in online stores to pay for goods and services online. You can therefore also use these to pay your deposits at an online casino.
However, the clear disadvantage of a virtual card is that it cannot be used at real world retail ‘bricks and mortar’ stores. This is where the pre-paid card comes in. Here, you really do get an actual plastic card to use at the checkout in shops, cafes, restaurants and other retail outlets. As the name suggests though, it isn’t a credit card, as you have to pre-load it with funds before you can use it.
This does have its advantages though – for example you can get one even if you have a poor credit record. After all, you’re not being offered any credit. It’s also great for customers who like (or need) to keep a close control of their spending: you can’t spend it if you haven’t got it.
Finally, there is the Wirecard app, branded as ‘Boon’. This works very much like other contactless payment apps, such as Apple Pay. You can use it in conjunction with a smartphone, watch or any similar digital device. Just download the app and your device effectively turns into a digital wallet. You can then make cashless payments without the need to enter a PIN at any real world checkout with the necessary technology installed. Boon works with both Apple and Android software, so it can be used by virtually everybody who has a suitable smartphone or other device.
But Wirecard really is at the cutting edge of smart payments, so it is already moving on to the next stage of technology. Now, with Boon’s new ‘scan and pay’ smart payment facility, you won’t even have to queue up at the checkout. To buy any product, you will just be able to scan an item instore using its QR code, add it to your basket and pay on your phone without needing to join the endless line at the till. How great will that be for Christmas shopping, or if you are in a hurry to catch that bus or train? If necessary, you will be able to show the receipt on your phone or device as proof of purchase.
It’s free to make a purchase using Wirecard. The vendor you are buying from will instead pay a small commission when accepting your payment. It’s also generally free to upload funds to your Wirecard account, although you will be charged if you are paying in or withdrawing cash. These fees can vary from just 0.5% up to as much as 3% at the time of writing. You will also be charged an annual fee of around £5 for the issue of a pre-paid card.
Wirecard is a major payment service, renowned throughout continental Europe. It is now available for use in the UK, and is becoming increasingly popular as a payment option at many online gaming sites. Look out for the logo on the banking page of any Nektan powered casino.