Neteller is an alternative way to spend your money online, without using conventional credit and debit cards. In our day, we didn’t even have those, so people today are truly spoilt for choice. Originally formed in Canada in 1999, Neteller is now a British company, having moved to the Isle of Man in 2004. It is owned and operated by a global e-payment company called Optimal Payments PLC, and is now safely used in over 200 countries across the world. Neteller is used by people to transfer money to and from traders and retailers. You can use it to pay funds to, or accept money from traders. You can then spend the proceeds via the card, or transfer the balance to another account.

It is important to remember that Neteller is not a “bank” as such, and does not lend money in the usual sense. It is regulated by the UK Government’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and is obliged to keep its customers’ funds completely separate from its own. This means that it will always have sufficient funds to repay its customers, so your money is secure at all times.

Neteller has always been very popular as a means of gambling online. It began processing online gambling payments in July 2000, and within a few years it was processing payments for 80% of the world’s gambling merchants, representing about 95% of the company’s revenue. Unfortunately, most users of the service were U.S. residents, so when the company fell foul of the United States’ strict gambling laws, it was forced to cease its American activities (hence the move across the Atlantic). Revenues fell sharply, and the company has now diversified into a more general purpose e-payment company. More than a dozen of the world’s major currencies can be used. Its Netbanx subsidiary looks after the merchant / retailer / trader side of the transaction / market.

Neteller basically looks and feels a bit like a credit card – it even features the MasterCard logo, but it is a pre-payment card only – you have to load it with money before you can use it. This can be done in many different ways depending on where you live, but most people make payments via credit or debit cards, giro payments, international bank transfers or other e-payment methods. There are no annual or monthly charges, but you may have to pay a commission when you deposit funds, depending on the method you use. But it is the fact that you can also easily receive funds from traders that makes this pre-payment card so attractive for online bingo players. You can then withdraw your winnings by transferring them to your bank account, or by withdrawing them in cash via a standard cash machine (ATM).

A premium membership called Neteller VIP is offered to regular users of the service, with additional benefits and discounted fees. This helped it to compete with its main competitor Skrill (see separate link). However, a more effective way of beating the opposition is to buy it, and Neteller’s acquisition of Skrill is due to be finalised later in 2015.

Nowadays, many people who don’t even use Neteller’s services will be familiar with the name. Football fans may recognise them through their sponsorship of Crystal Palace football club. Mind you, I prefer the old days when football shirts were plain and traditional with just a club crest on the front. Some things haven’t changed for the better…

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