From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

TypePrivate company
IndustryFinancial services
Founded2005 (2005)
DefunctAugust 2015 (2015-08)
Fatemerged into paysafecard
United Kingdom
ParentSmart Voucher Ltd.[1]

Ukash was a UK-based electronic money system that allowed users to exchange their cash for a secure code to make payments online. It was acquired by Skrill Group in April 2014 and merged into Austrian competitor paysafecard, acquired by Skrill a year earlier. All existing vouchers expired after 31 October 2015. Remaining ones could be exchanged into paysafecard PINs,[2] in May 2016 paysafecard announced completion of the process.[3]

The system allowed users to exchange their cash for a secure code. The code was then used to make payments online, to load cards or e-wallets or for money transfer. Codes were distributed around the world by participating retail locations, kiosks[1] and ATMs.


The service was founded in 2005.

In 2013, the company supported the launch of, which offers information about how to avoid online scams and ransomware.[4]

In June 2014 Ukash launched the Ukash Travel Money Prepaid MasterCard, a reloadable prepaid MasterCard for euros and U.S. dollars that could be used anywhere that accepted MasterCard.

In April 2015 Ukash became part of Skrill Group.[5] As a result, the Ukash online cash voucher scheme was replaced with Skrill Group's paysafecard scheme on 31 October 2015. Ukash distribution stopped on 31 August 2015 and any existing vouchers could be spent until 31 October 2015.


Ukash users were given a unique 19-digit code representing their prepaid money;[6] this was entered when making a transfer, payment or purchase online. If the purchase was less than the value of the code a new 19-digit code could be provided by merchants able to issue ukash, just like change in an offline cash transaction.

Online scams[edit]

The "bearer" of Ukash could spend it online anywhere it was accepted. Some scammers were reported to have been exploiting the Ukash system for black market use by extorting codes from victims. Fraudsters promised cheap loans or other services in exchange for a fee. Some offered items for sale on sites like Gumtree but these items did not exist. Others would infect a computer with Ransomware and demand the payment using methods including Ukash.[7][8]

In 2012, the company issued advice to consumers on staying safe with Ukash. It said "The best way for consumers to avoid becoming victims of fraud is to guard Ukash codes like cash. Each Ukash code is unique and like cash, must be kept safe and therefore never emailed or given to anyone else over the telephone."[9]

Ukash was designed solely for making payments online and at participating merchants. Most online scams reported obtained Ukash by asking the victim to email the code or give it out over the telephone.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Lowe, Frederick (2 April 2010). "Ukash Signs Russia Deal; Expects To Announce MasterCard Agreement in April". Cardline  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  2. ^ Ukash is paysafecard (redirected from
  3. ^ Ukash customers successfully shifted to paysafecard
  4. ^ "Avoid Online Scams". Ukash Official.
  5. ^ "Skrill Group completes Ukash acquisition" (Press release). Finextra. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  6. ^ Hernandez, Will (29 March 2011). "Ukash Looking to U.S. Market after New iPhone App". American Banker.[dead link]
  7. ^ "To Unlock Android Phone, pay $300". Ars Technica.
  8. ^ Arthur, Charles (13 February 2013). "Russian-led cybergang broken by police". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Ukash Security Tips". Ukash Official.
  10. ^ Frost, Maisha (10 October 2014). "PPI Call Conmen Given the Dial-Tone". Daily Express. Retrieved 10 October 2014.