Paypal is one of the oldest online transaction services having been with us since the late 1990s. It is the world’s largest and most secure e-wallet solution. Inexorably linked to the bidding behemoth eBay, it is a desirable and centralised way to manage finances at online casinos. However, not every operator offers PayPal for deposits and withdrawals, which makes the option all the more sought after. Indeed, no other single casino payment method is more often hunted by potential players. Read on as we now take a closer look at the origins and development of this internationally-renowned company.
To many observers PayPal is intertwined with eBay. But contrary to popular belief the service was not originally intended as a payment management system.
PayPal actually evolved from a software platform developed by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin. It was called Fieldlink (later Cofinity) and first appeared on handheld PCs such as the Palm Pilot and Personal Digital Assistant of the late 1990’s.
In effect, Fieldlink was the first E-Wallet that allowed for email payments. By 1999, it had become known as PayPal.
By 2000, eBay were using PayPal in the USA as a means to processing its payments. At this point, over one million people were using the service. Unsurprisingly, its popularity did not go unnoticed. Cofinity eventually merged with Elon Musk’s X.com.
Musk was extremely enthusiastic about PayPal, so much so that he ordered the termination of all other internet banking operations accepted by X.com. Despite Musk’s ousting as CEO, X.com was renamed PayPal in 2001.
Following sustained growth, PayPal was floated on the stock exchange with the company’s IPO listed under the ticker PYPL. Priced at $13 a share, more than $60 million was generated.
In the autumn of 2002, PayPal was purchased by eBay for $1.5bn. In 2004 PayPal became available on UK eBay, further boosting revenues. The service quickly became established as the payment method of choice by most users of eBay. That it was designated as the default option certainly helped as well. Because of PayPal’s massive popularity, numerous competitor services closed within a relatively short period including Yahoo’s PayDirect, Google Checkout as well as Western Union’s BidPay service.
In 2007, PayPal secured a high-profile deal with financial services giant, MasterCard. This paved the way for the PayPal Secure Card service – a payment platform that enabled people to make payments on websites that did not accept PayPal. On the back of this partnership, PayPal generated close to $2 billion in revenue.
In order to bolster its fraud prevention systems, PayPal acquired Israeli company Fraud Services in 2008 for just under $170 million. This was followed ten months later by the purchase of Bill Me Later – a web-based payment specialist that offered transactional credit at thousands of online merchants in the US.
By 2010, PayPal’s user base had expanded to well over 100 million people in 190 markets and across 25 different currencies. Flushed with its many online successes, the company dropped a bombshell in 2011 by announcing that it would be focusing on offline payments
To support this move, the company sealed a major deal with Discover Card, enabling payments to be processed in around seven million shops and stores in the US. Further acquisitions followed in 2013 including the purchase of customer acquisition specialist IronPearl as well as payment gateway company Braintree.
At the behest of hedge-fund magnate Carl Ichan, PayPal was spun into a separate public trading entity from eBay in the summer of 2015. That same year the company purchased digital money transfer company Xoom, gaining access to 1.3 million US customers. The deal proved to be a major coup for PayPal: in a twelve month period preceding the purchase, more than $7 billion had been sent by Xoom users to people in more than 37 countries.
In late 2015, peer-to-peer platform PayPal Me was launched. For the first time, users were able to send custom link requests via text and email. The PayPal Me service was launched with mobile users firmly in mind, allowing users to make faster payment services. The platform was rolled out in eighteen countries including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. As of September 2015, PayPal boasted 170 million users.
On May 17th 2018, PayPal purchased Swedish payment process, iZettle for $2.2 billion. Around a year later, the company revealed they’d struck a deal with social media platform Instagram to include a new checkout feature. Today, they remain one of the most popular online transaction services. With that said, there are a few things to keep in mind, with regards to iGaming.
Unlike Neteller and other specialist online casino payment services, PayPal has no real roots in the iGaming industry. But, pre-2006, you could deposit money on various random US poker sites. However, when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act came into effect in 2006 that specifically targeted financial institutions, it became illegal to process off-shore gambling funds through the US.
Since then, they have pretty much pulled out of the US market, and this stance is enshrined in company policy:
“PayPal prohibits transactions for gambling activities by merchants and account holders in the US and any jurisdiction where gambling activities are illegal, and by merchants whose services are accessible to account holders in the US.
PayPal allows approved gambling merchants to use our service in certain jurisdictions where gambling activities are legal. To be approved, merchants must demonstrate to their satisfaction that they have the ability to block gambling activities for account holders in the US and any jurisdiction where gambling activities may be illegal.
Unless the merchant has been approved by PayPal, account holders may not use the service to send or receive payments for any form of gambling activities, including but not limited to payments for wagers, gambling debts, and gambling winnings, whether conducted online, in person, or through any other means of communication. Gambling includes placing, accepting, recording or registering bets; participating in lotteries; or otherwise carrying on a game of chance for money, property, or other things of value.”
As can be easily deduced from the second paragraph, PayPal casinos aren’t guaranteed as they do not grant any old or indeed new casinos the right to utilize its wares. A comprehensive system of approval takes place to ensure the quality and integrity of the online casino. Hence, not every casino carries the payment option. Therefore, it follows that a casino just by virtue of offering a PayPal option is already a seal of approval on the casino itself. The chances of them approving a disreputable casino are virtually none.
Suffice to say: the reasons people explicitly seek out casinos offering the method are both sound and multifaceted.
Like all top online transaction services, PayPal is pretty easy to use. Nevertheless, here’s a quick run-down if you’re unfamiliar with the service.
Though PayPal casinos may be a cut above other e-wallets in terms of profile and trust, the functionality remains largely the same. Chances are you’ve already bought or sold something on eBay in your lifetime and therefore these three steps are moot. But:
Create an account. You’ll need to come up with a username (your email, perhaps) and a password that passes the strength test.
Then, fund the account with a credit or debit card, or a direct transfer from your bank. The money should come through instantly, and you’ll be ready to deposit at the casinos of your choice. When depositing or withdrawing at a casino, all you’ll need to plug in are your username and password. No account numbers or 16 digit codes are required. And this is the same at every online casino that accepts PayPal.
Though we have probably mentioned all of these points in passing, there are 3 main reasons why using this payment method for online casino gaming is a good idea:
PayPal is a sensible way to play. Find a suitable casino here.