Last Updated on December 10, 2012 by Trevor Hallsey
PaySafeCard is a popular online poker deposit method with a proven track record for security and longevity. PaySafeCard is a real, plastic, pre-paid card that users can purchase at local retail outlets, use to make purchases over the Internet, and avoid having share personal and/or financial information.
PaySafeCard is available at nearly 150 online poker rooms and thousands of online retailers across the globe. It’s safe, secure, and fast, making it a perfect choice for online poker players all across Europe. There are more than 20,000 local shops that sell PaySafeCards in the U.K. Alone, and over 210,000 spanning Europe.
The only drawback about the PaySafeCard for Canadian poker players is that the card isn’t available anywhere in North America. That means Canadian poker players cannot withdraw or deposit funds using the PaySafeCard.
In fact, PaySafeCard is only available in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
What are PaySafeCard Poker Deposits?
There is no need to set up an account with PaySafeCard or load funds onto your card. PaySafeCard is a physical, plastic pre-paid card that is purchased in one of over 200,000 retailers across Europe. Note that in some shops, the PaySafeCard purchased may come in the form of a paper print-out, depicting all of the necessary info to use the card.
If you have access to a PaySafeCard, you start your journey towards poker deposit freedom by visiting a shop that sells the card, usually a drugstore, financial service company, or other big retail store.
You’ll have to pick a money amount to buy when you first pick up your PaySafeCard: the cards come in a few standard sizes, £10, £20, £50, and £75. Unlike other prepaid card deposit methods, you aren’t able to add money to your PaySafeCard, instead you have to start with a specific size of money preloaded onto the card.
The good news?
You can use up to 10 PaySafeCards at a time at most sites that accept PaySafeCards as deposit methods. That gives you between £10 and £750 to deposit in your online poker account.
Choose one of the PaySafeCard-friendly online poker rooms and head to their cashier section to select the PaySafeCard as your deposit method.
Your PaySafeCard comes with a 16-digit PIN number which you have to give to the cashier along with the amount you want to move from your card to your poker account.
PaySafeCard is sold in increments of £10, £20, £50 and £75. Your deposit limit is limited to the size of the card purchased. Use as many as 10 PaySafeCards on a single deposit to increase the “limit” on your PaySafeCard deposit.
The PaySafeCard is a secure method of transferring money, mostly because PaySafeCard users don’t give up any personal financial information when they buy the cards or transfer money with their cards. You exchange cash for cards without attaching a bank account or any other financial transfer method.
To set up your password for heightened security measure, log onto the PaySafeCard web site. Customer support for the PaySafeCard is available twenty-four hours a day all week long using either an online help form or live chat support. You can also use a toll-free telephone number if you’re located in the UK.
PaySafeCard is fast, easy to use, and convenient–just exchange cash for the card and deposit away. Unfortunately, the card is not available to anyone in North America or outside the heavily populated parts of Europe. If PaySafeCard were available to American and Canadian poker players, it would be close to the perfect deposit method.
Requirements for Canadians to Use PaySafeCard
As of this writing, Canadian poker players can use PaySafeCard to fund their online poker accounts, but they cannot buy PaySafeCard anywhere in the country. With the Canadian government leaning toward regulation inside of Canada rather than legalization across the board, it isn’t likely that payment transfer methods like PaySafeCard will become more available to Canadian players any time soon.
Theoretically, you could travel to Europe, convert your Canadian dollars to Euros or pounds, buy several PaySafeCards, and then travel back to Canada. But customs rules might interfere with that possibility. And buying an airline ticket to Europe just to fund an online poker account is prohibitively expensive for most poker players. There are other funding options available to Canadian players that make a lot more sense.
Canadian PaySafeCard Online Poker Sites
Since Canadians can’t use PaySafeCard to fund their accounts, there are no Canadian online poker sites doing business with PaySafeCard.
Instead, let’s take a look at some alternatives to the PaySafeCard for Canadian poker players looking to fund their player accounts without using a credit card and without the ability to transfer directly from their bank.
PaySafeCard Alternatives for Canadians
As Canadian and American poker players look with longing at their European poker playing counterparts who can easily use the PaySafeCard to increase their poker bankroll, it is easy to forget that North American poker players have other options for adding money to their online poker accounts.
Easiest to Fund Canadian Poker Sites (eCheck)
Prepaid Credit Cards
Even though VISA has announced it will stop allowing the funding of online poker accounts for North American clients, prepaid credit cards are still a viable option for Canadians looking for deposit methods that work for their favorite online poker sites.
MasterCard branded prepaid credit cards are still, as of this writing, allowing deposits to poker rooms. Each poker player’s experience using these cards to fund their accounts will be a little different, with people from some Canadian provinces having more trouble in terms of payments being denied than others. Still, look into securing one of these prepaid MasterCards available to Canadian poker players.
The BMO Prepaid Travel Mosaik Card costs just under $10 CAD when you buy it. The card is valid for 36 months. During that time they charge no new fees or reload charges. Since this prepaid MasterCard is issued by a real bank, you get all the customer support and other features you’d expect from any traditional banking product. You can use any bank account’s bill pay option to fund your BMO prepaid Mosaik card, and you can even walk into a BMO branch anywhere and put cash on your card without fees. Make sure you use the card at least once a month, or else you’ll be charged $2.50 a month for a non-use fee.
The Vanilla Prepaid MasterCard gets a bad rap because of dodgy customer service and all kinds of online reports of an inability to use the card to pay bills and other simple purchases. Still, this is one of the best prepaid MasterCards for Canadian poker players, since there’s no signup at all, and you can remain 100% anonymous during the purchase and setup process.
The Vanilla prepaid MasterCard is easy enough to find. Just visit a big retailer or drugstore. You can’t reload the card, and if you don’t use it all up within 6 months you’ll start taking on heft fees, so this card is good for a one-time deposit or reload only. Depending on where you buy the card, you can expect to pay between $3 and $6.
Remember that no matter how good a prepaid card is, your online poker site could choose to reject it, as could the bank you try to fund it from. Don’t put all your faith in one card, and do your research before you select any money transfer service.
eWallets hide your personal financial information while letting you make financial transactions online. Not every eWallet allows you to deposit to casinos (Paypal being the most famous example), and not every eWallet is available to Canadian poker players, but many such as Click2Pay and Payspark are available to Canadians looking to fund their poker bankrolls.
Depositing money from eWallets means instant funds availability. You can add money to most eWallets using ACH, wire, and bank transfers, so these eWallets are a nice loophole around the bank account lockout facing Canadian poker fans.
To open an eWallet account, just visit their website and follow the instructions. One nice bonus of using an eWallet to fund your poker account is a literal bonus—many poker rooms offer players a better bonus or even a small amount of instant cash to their poker bankroll for using their preferred eWallet transfer method. Expect bonuses of around 10% of $20-$50 cash.
Unfortunately for Canadian rounders, the best eWallet options (PayPal and NETeller) are now closed off to all North American business, not just people from the United States. Here is a short list of eWallet options that are still open to Canadian poker players:
Canadian Law & PaySafeCard Deposits
The restriction against using the PaySafeCard has nothing to do with Canadian law and everything to do with the simple fact that the cards aren’t sold anywhere in North America. PaySafeCard could expand their operations to North America, but dealing with the complexities of Canadian and American banking law will probably prevent that, and since the online poker laws in all of North America are changing rapidly, you can bet that online poker account funding has little sway in changing what PaySafeCard chooses to do in terms of new business in Canada and the US.
Even though the PaySafeCard is a convenient and inexpensive way for European players to fund their online poker career, Canadians don’t need to weep or lament their inability to use the card. Canadians still have plenty of options for adding money to their poker player account, perfectly legal methods that are as inexpensive as the PaySafeCard and may offer better bonuses at poker sites. eWallets and prepaid credit cards remain the best PaySafeCard alternatives for Canadian poker players.
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