|Type||Private limited company|
|CEO Udo Müller|
|Revenue||€191.6 million (2016)|
Number of employees
Paysafecard (as a brand stylized in lowercase) is a prepaid online payment method based on vouchers with a 16-digit PIN code, independent of bank account, credit card, or other personal information. Customers can purchase vouchers at local sales outlets and pay online by entering the code at the checkout of the respective website (e. g. an online game). Paysafecard codes are not designated to be passed by mail or telephone.
Paysafecard is issued and distributed country-wise; cross-border and cross-currency usage is possible within some limits. The scope of services and partner webshops varies by country. In most countries, a personal account called my paysafecard for uploading PINs is available. Starting in Austria in 2000, as of 2018 paysafecard is available in over 40 countries. Two former competitors, Dutch Wallie and British Ukash, have been absorbed into paysafecard.
In 2013, paysafecard was acquired by British digital wallet provider Skrill, and in 2015 as part of the Skrill Group by the Optimal Payments Group, a global online payment processing provider regulated in the United Kingdom. Optimal Payments subsequently rebranded as Paysafe Group.
Name: paysafecard and Paysafe
In 2015, paysafecard became a part of the multinational Optimal Payments online payment corporation, which subsequently rebranded as Paysafe Group. The group now directly offers certain products and services under the Paysafe brand. Paysafecard, however, continues to be a subsidiary brand of the Paysafe Group in its own right, alongside some others, like the digital wallets Skrill and Neteller.
Countries with paysafecard available include Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.
Web offers payable with paysafecard include online games, social media, telecommunication, music, and others. The scope of websites accepting paysafecard varies per country for several reasons. The most widespread use are online games; for example, League of Legends accepts paysafecard in 41 countries as of 2018. Examples of other partners accepting paysafecard in 20 or more countries include PlayStation 4, Steam, Guild Wars, Second Life, Skype, Facebook and Newegg.
The company behind paysafecard is based in Vienna, Austria. It was founded in 2000 by four Austrians, including the first CEO Armin Sageder, as paysafecard.com Wertkarten AG ("paysafecard.com prepaid card Inc."), later transferred into a GmbH, a private limited company. Technical partner providing expertise and the original hardware was IBM Austria. The following year, paysafecard launched also in Germany. In 2004, co-founder Michael Müller assumed the role of CEO.
In 2005, paysafecard received an EU funding under the eTEN program supporting electronic services with a trans-European dimension. Subsequently, paysafecard launched in Slovenia, Greece, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. In 2008, British subsidiary Prepaid Services Company Ltd. received an EU-wide e-money licence by the British Financial Services Authority (FSA), later the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, expanding a small e-money issuers certificate valid for the United Kingdom in 2006. This authorised the company to issue e-money throughout the European Union. Also in 2008, paysafecard Switzerland obtained a license as a financial intermediary.
In August 2011, paysafecard absorbed Dutch competitor Wallie. In February 2013, Skrill, one of the largest payment services providers in Europe completed the acquisition of paysafecard.com Wertkarten AG. A year later, CEO Michael Müller left paysafecard and handed over to his brother Udo Müller. In November 2014, Skrill acquired British paysafecard competitor Ukash and merged it into paysafecard. In August 2015, Skrill group competitor Optimal Payments group completed the acquisition of Skrill group, including paysafecard, and subsequently rebranded as Paysafe Group.
Core of paysafecard is a 16-digit PIN, sold (most usually) on a printout, a pre-printed prepaid card, or as a digital information online. In the respective countries, paysafecard is available in demoninations ranging from 10 to 100 euros, United States dollars, pounds sterling, and Australian dollars, and approximately equivalent sums in other currencies, e. g. 100-1000 Norwegian kroner.
When paying in an online shop, the user enters the 16 digit PIN, and the amount tendered is deducted from the paysafecard balance. Hence, the same PIN code can be used multiple times. For larger sums it is possible to combine up to ten paysafecard PINs.
The current balance of each paysafecard as well as its transaction history and production date can be viewed at the official site by entering the respective 16 PIN code.
Business model and fees
The paysafecard company earns varying proportions of merchants' transaction volumes, shared with the distribution partners. They do not charge any fees to the customer for purchasing and using paysafecard, as well as checking the balance of a PIN or its payment history online. Nonetheless, in the following situations fees are to be paid:
- Twelve months after purchasing a paysafecard customers will be charged an administrative fee of €3 (or like sums) on remaining balance per month, which will be automatically deducted from their credit.
- A reimbursement of credit remaining on a paysafecard PIN requires the customer to provide their personal details, a copy of a valid form of photographic identification, bank account details and the details of the paysafecard PIN in question. Usually a reimbursement fee will be deducted from the remaining paysafecard credit, in Germany amounting to €7.50.
- For payments in a different currency than associated with the PIN obtained, paysafecard will charge a fee of usually 2%.
In contrast to in-house vouchers and prepaid products, paysafecard is sold and accepted at distinct companies ("Third Party Billing"). For this reason, dealing with them is a banking transaction and requires either a banking partner or a banking licence. In the beginning, paysafecard was issued by the BAWAG P.S.K. in Austria and the Commerzbank in Germany.
Since 2008, paysafecard's subsidiary company Prepaid Services Company Limited holds a licence of the Financial Conduct Authority (resp. its predecessor Financial Services Authority) "to issue electronic money (e-money) and provide payment services", valid for all countries in the European Economic Area. Therefore in those countries, paysafecard is issued by Prepaid Services without external banking partner. Further, Swiss paysafecard subsidiary paysafecard.com Schweiz GmbH is a licensed financial intermediary in Switzerland and issuer of the product also in other countries, e.g. in Australia.
In the beginning, paysafecard was sold as pre-printed scratchcard. Starting in 2002, paysafecards are usually sold as printouts called "eVouchers" by the company, uniquely numbered receipts from in-store sales terminals. Paysafecard is distributed country-wise by varying external partners, which is why also shop types offering paysafecard vary by country. Typical examples include newsagents, petrol stations, post offices, pharmacies, supermarkets, electrical retailers and vending machines. The world-wide number of points of sales sums up to 600,000.
Paysafecard has limitations manifesting especially when used for online gambling. Payments (thus also deposits in gambling accounts) with paysafecard are inherently limited to the amount of €1000; for classic paysafecard (not my paysafecard) this amount has been lowered to €250 in 2016 due to compliance regulations. Many other online payment methods allow a multiple of those amounts. Also, in contrast to other payment methods, accountless paysafecard does not enable a customer to withdraw money. However, a withdrawal to my paysafecard is possible and supported by several online casinos.
The company offers supplementary services to classic paysafecard, especially in most countries an online account called my paysafecard to upload PINs and to do repeated payments more comfortably. At the payment checkout of a webshop, customers may choose between entering a PIN and signing in to their my paysafecard account. The account also includes a loyalty program called my PLUS - doing payments will earn you points that can be exchanged for different benefits.
Paysafecard is a payment method that enables the customer to stay anonymous not only to the merchants, but also with respect to the payment provider. The amount of money exposed to loss by accident or fraud is limited to the denomination of the voucher purchased; no bank account or credit card data are put at risk.
Nonetheless, there are varying instances of abuse:
- Like all systems that only require entering data on a website, paysafecard may fall victim to phishing techniques. By mimicking the official website or a merchant's checkout page, fraudsters may trick users into entering their PINs and use the credit for themselves. A special instance are so-called "paysafecard hacks", allegedly doubling the value of your paysafecard.
- In common low-tech versions of this phishing, fraudsters offer goods, services, or cash prizes demanding a commitment fee, and ask for paysafecard PINs by mail or phone (or scans of the card) for payment. No goods or services are ever delivered in such cases.
- In the early 2010s, paysafecard was criticized as being abused by criminals for anonymous payments — by means of uploading prepaid credit cards, including stolen ones. In September 2010, German computer magazine Computer Bild propagated a quick legal regulation. Indeed a new money-laundering law was passed in Germany, effective at the start of 2012. It obliged customers of anonymous prepaid methods (like paysafecard) to undergo an identification procedure when surpassing a monthly spending amount of 100 €.
- Mainly from 2012 to 2014 cases were reported of fraudsters calling at gas stations, trying to obtain paysafecard PINs from the salespersons by pretending to be paysafecard personnel. Two cases in Vorarlberg, Austria, summed up to a financial damage over 6000 €.
- Starting in 2012, paysafecard and other prepaid payment methods (like then-competitor Ukash and Bitcoin) have been abused by ransomware, claiming to originate from the German Federal Criminal Police Office. The ransomware locks customers' computers and may threaten to erase their hard drives, unless a fine is paid. However, computers are not unlocked even when the fine is paid by the customer. paysafecard suggests to remove related viruses and trojans by following instructions provided by Botcrawl.com and other websites.
- Some scam websites claim to offer free paysafecard PINs under labels such as "promo PSC", luring internet users into subscription traps and click fraud, and not providing any service in return. Worse versions of this type of scam offer a free "Paysafe generator" and install a ransomware virus.
Paysafecard sets clear that PINs are only to be entered at authorised online shops, and never to be passed in any other way. The payment method is never used for governmental fines or reminder fees.
From 2009 onwards, paysafecard has won several Paybefore Awards (since 2016 Pay Awards), issued by the US Paybefore media group, a daughter of Informa, with a focus on prepaid electronic payment solutions. The first of those awards was 2009 Best Non-U.S. Prepaid Program. Other examples include 2012 Most Innovative Prepaid Solution Europe and 2016 Best Online or Mobile Commerce Solution.
In the annual contest Austria’s Leading Companies, awarding top businesses in all states of Austria and the entire republic, paysafecard has won 1st places in Vienna in 2015 and 2017, respectively ranking 3rd and 2nd in Austria overall.
In the 2018 Austrian Great Place to Work contest, paysafecard won 1st place in the category New Working World and Quality of Living, as well as 10th place among all medium-sized companies.
- "PaySafeCard Casinos". onlinecasinos.org.uk. Retrieved 2019-11-08.
- "Alle Rankings von Austria's Leading Companies" [All Rankings of Austria's Leading Companies] (in German). Die Presse. 22 November 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Leibovitch, Daniel (12 November 2015). "Optimal Payments Rebrands as Paysafe". cardnotpresent.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
- "Paysafecard – Details & Information". ewallet-optimizer.com. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
- Dörner, Stephan (27 June 2012). "Im Untergrund-Netz der Cyber-Kriminellen - Missbrauch von Paysafe" [In the Underground Network of Cyber Criminals: Abuse of Paysafe] (in German). Handelsblatt. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- "Ukash und Paysafe: Betrüger nehmen Tankstellen ins Visier" [Ukash und Paysafe: Fraudsters target gas stations]. computerbetrug.de (in German). 2 January 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
- "AK warnt vor Betrug mit Paysafe-Karten" [Austrian Chamber of Labour Warns of Fraud with Paysafe-Cards]. orf.at (in German). ORF (broadcaster). 23 April 2013. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
- "Guthaben aufladen mit paysafecard" [Recharge your balance with paysafecard]. vectonemobile.at (in German). Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- Ioannides, Lydia (24 September 2010). "Κάρτες Paysafe" [Paysafe cards]. casino.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 23 December 2017.
- "Welcome to Paysafe Group". paysafe.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "Ripple kaufen mit Paysafe" [Buy Ripple With Paysafe]. brokervergleich.net (in German). Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "eWallet Optimizer: Paysafe Group PLC History". Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2021.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
- "Payment Method Profile: paysafecard - Available in the Following Countries". about-payments.com. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
- "PrimeiroPay: hassle-free payments". primeiropay.com. 8 May 2020. Retrieved 21 March 2019.
- "paysafecard - An Alternative Payment Solution Study, 2019 - ResearchAndMarkets.com". tmcnet.com. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
- "Paysafecard enters UAE online payments market". thepaypers.com. 1 August 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Paysafecard Casino Deposits". onlinecasinodubai.net.
23 December 2017
- "Riot Games Support, Payment Methods: paysafecard". Riot Games. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- Kemper, Jonathan (16 January 2015). "Spotify Premium ab sofort auch mit Paysafecard bezahlbar" [Spotify Premium from now on also payable with paysafecard]. mobiflip.de (in German). Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- "PS4: Top up wallet with Paysafecard". playstation.com. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "Use Paysafecard on Steam and Receive a Free Copy of Portal". steampowered.com. 19 August 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- The Guild Wars 2 Team (27 February 2013). "paysafecard Now Accepted in Gem Store". guildwars2.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- Linden, Jeremy. "List of accepted payment methods by country". secondlife.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "How can I pay for Skype?". Skype. Retrieved 22 June 2018. - lists paysafecard as a payment method in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States
- "What payment methods can I use on Facebook games?". facebook.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "International payment methods". newegg.com. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "PAYSAFECARD PAY CASH. PAY SAFE. - Trademark Details". trademarks.justitia.com. 4 January 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
- "paysafecard.com makes Web shopping simple, secure, private" (PDF). ibm.com. IBM. 2001. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- Dambeck, Holger (5 June 2001). "Internet-Prepaid-Karte ab heute erhältlich" [paysafecard obtainable as from today]. heise.de (in German). Heinz Heise. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- "Müller wird paysafecard-Sprecher" [Müller becomes spokesperson of paysafecard] (11 November 2019). horizont.at (in German). 5 November 2004.
- Hornacek, Harald (28 November 2005). "The Long Road". die-wirtschaft.at (in German). Retrieved 22 December 2017.
- "Pre-paid Paysafecard set for launch in UK". finextra.com. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
- "Firm Details: Prepaid Services Company Limited". Financial Conduct Authority. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
- "Basic details for: 475502 - Prepaid Services Company Limited". FSA. 1 July 2011. Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
- "paysafecard erhält EU-Lizenz zur Ausgabe von elektronischem Geld". Der Standard. 12 June 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- Habegger, Bruno (21 February 2008). "paysafecard expandiert in die Schweiz" (in German). pctipp.ch. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- "paysafecard acquires online payment provider Wallie". about-payments.com. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- Moss, Karen (11 February 2013). "Skrill acquires paysafecard.com". retail-systems.com. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- "Paysafecard verliert Chef" [paysafecard loses principal]. derstandard.at (in German). Der Standard. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2019.
- Finnegan, Matthew (28 November 2014). "Skrill extends payments portfolio with Ukash acquisition". techworld.com. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- "Skrill acquires Ukash, Optimal Payments acquires Skrill". onlinepaymentsreview.com. 14 July 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
- "Casinoer som tilbyr Paysafecard" [Casinos where paysafecard is available]. casino.org (in Norwegian). Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- Rusanov, Simeon (23 June 2016). "Paysafe: Finally A Danger In PayPal's Rear View Mirror!". seekingalpha.com. Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
- Krug, Katharina (19 May 2015). "Was ist Paysafecard und wie funktioniert sie?" [What is paysafecard and how does it work?]. chip.de (in German). Chip. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- Krug, Katharina (19 May 2015). "Paysafecard: Alle Gebühren im Überblick" [Paysafecard: Overview of all fees]. chip.de (in German). Chip. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
- "About paysafecard". worldpay.com. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- Challenges of Expanding Internet: E-Commerce, E-Business, and E-Government. 2005, Poznan, Poland, p. 355
- "Liste der bewilligten Finanzintermediäre nach Art. 2 Abs. 3 GwG (DUFI)" [List of licensed financial intermediaries in accord with Article 2 paragraph 3 Money Laundering Act] (PDF). finma.de (in German). Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- "General Terms and Conditions for Use of paysafecards in Australia" (PDF). afterpaytouch.com. paysafecard. 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- Hernandez, Will (19 October 2010). "Austrian Company's Prepaid Alternative Comes to the U.S. Market". americanbanker.com. American Banker. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "PAYSAFECARD". cbaaonline.com. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
- "Verwirrende Vielfalt" [Confusing variety [of online payment methods]]. tebiko.de (in German). 14 June 2001. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
Besitzer der Paysafecard rubbeln auf der Rückseite einen 16-stelligen Zahlencode frei. ("Owners of a Paysafecard reveal the 16-digit number code on the back side by scratching.")
- "Ripple kaufen mit Paysafecard 2018: So erwerben Sie XRP" [Buy Ripple with Paysafecard in 2018: So you can buy XRP]. betrug.org (in German). Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- "Guthaben für paysafecard: Einfach einkaufen ohne Kreditkarten" [Balance for paysafecard: Simple shopping without a credit card]. postfinance.ch (in German). PostFinance. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
- "Mit der paysafecard sicher im Internet einkaufen" [Safe online buying with paysafecard] (in German). Swiss Federal Railways. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
An allen SBB Billettautomaten rund um die Uhr [at all ticket vending machines 24/7]
- "Alternative Payment Solution: paysafecard". sandlerresearch.org. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "Paysafecard Binary Options Brokers". binaryoptions.net. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- "New maximum payment amount per transaction: 250 euros – my paysafecard is not affected". paysafecard.com. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
- "Paysafecard". casinobonusesindex.com. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- Seregin, Kirill (November 29, 2017). "Betsson Payment Methods". vip-bet.com. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- "paysafecard online casinos 2018". casinotop10.net. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- "Withdrawing Casino funds to Paysafecard". sirslot.com. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
- "Deposit Via paysafecard to Play Roulette". rouletteonline.net. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "Top 5 Paysafecard Online Casinos of 2018 - Safe & Secure". casino.org. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "Paysafecard Details and FAQ". ewallet-optimizer.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- "XML Specification Paysafecard" (PDF). securetrading.com. 15 January 2018. p. 9. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- "All About Paysafecard". casinoonline.co.nz. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
- "PaySafe MasterCard Kreditkarte" [PaySafe MasterCard credit card]. kreditkarten-prepaid.at (in German). Retrieved 12 April 2018.
- Párhonyi, Róbert; Nieuwenhuis, Lambert J.M.; Pras, Aiko (2005). "Second generation micropayment systems: lessons learned" (PDF). Department of Computer Science, University of Twente. p. 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- "Wie funktioniert die Paysafecard ? Vorteile, Nachteile, Kosten" [How does paysafecard work? Advantages, disadvantages, costs]. rechnungswesen-verstehen.de (in German). Retrieved 26 May 2018.
- Nguyen, The-Khoa. "Telekom-Phishing: Sichere Zahlungsmöglichkeiten für angebliche Rückstände" [Telekom-Phishing: Secure payment options for pretended arrears] (in German). 10 December 2015. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
- "Betrugsversuche mit der paysafecard" [Fraud attempts with paysafecard]. botfrei.de (in German). 18 January 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- Matthiesen, Nils; Hensen, Christian (22 November 2017). "Ebay-Kleinanzeigen: Das sind die aktuellen Betrugsmaschen" [Ebay classified ads: Those are the current fraud scams]. computerbild.de (in German). Computer Bild. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- "Paysafecard: Kriminelle nutzen Karte für Abzocke und Betrug" [Paysafecard: Criminals use card for rip-off and fraud]. bild.de (in German). Computerbild. 28 September 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- Haar, Tobias (November 2012). "Währungsrisiken" [Currency risks]. heise.de (in German). Heinz Heise. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- "Bundespolizei-, BKA-Trojaner entfernen" [How to remove the 'Federal Criminal Police' trojan]. bundes-trojaner.de (in German). Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- "BKA/GEMA computer virus - demands the payment of a "fine" by paysafecard". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
- "Achtung vor dieser kostenlosen Paysafecard" [Beware of this free paysafecard] (in German). mimikama.at. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- Bilbao, Berta (9 November 2016). "Remove Paysafe Generator Virus and Restore .cry_ Files". sensorstechforum.com. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- "How to pay securely online with paysafecard". paysafecard.com. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
- "Paybefore Reveals 2017 Pay Awards Winners". knect365.com. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- "The Winner's Circle: Paybefore Announces 2009 Award Winners (February 2009)". paybefore.com. 12 February 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
- "Paybefore Announces Best-in-Category Winners in London (March 2012)". paybefore.com. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "2016 Pay Awards Winners: Support Your Favorites". paybefore.com. 19 January 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "Die ALC-Bundesland-Sieger 1999–2015" (in German). Wirtschaftsblatt. Archived from the original on 2 June 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
- "ALC 2015: Paysafecard.com will weltweiter Marktführer werden" (in German). Wirtschaftsblatt. 24 November 2015. Archived from the original on 22 January 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "ALC, Austria's Leading Companies – "Die Presse"-SONDERBEILAGE" (PDF) (in German). diepresse.com. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- "Gewinner international" [Winners - category 'international'] (PDF). diepresse.com (in German). Die Presse. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
- "paysafecard.com Wertkarten GmbH". greatplacetowork.at (in German). Retrieved 21 June 2018.