Not exactly. Though it does work on the basis of online banking, financial institutions must sign up to be a part of the Sofort network. In that sense, Sofort is an intermediary in a group of online banks that have agreed to transfer between each other. This is both a positive and a negative. On one hand, because of infrastructure that is set in place, it is an almost instantaneous, hassle free way to transfer money or make a payment. On the other hand, it is limited in that it is not universal. Only certain banks are part of the Sofort network, and the majority of these are German and Austrian banks.
Again, not really. E-Wallets such as PayPal and Neteller require their customers to transfer funds directly into their account, or set up direct debits with bank accounts or a cards, as and when you make a purchase. Sofort would consider these financial “detours.” You don’t have to set up a virtual account, go through protracted registration processes, or enter endless credit card and bank account information. In their words, “there’s no need for additional bookkeeping.” All you need is your online banking credentials with your main bank and a confirmation code that you receive through Sofort.
For customers who choose Sofort as their preferred payment method on an online casino, there’s not an awful lot you have to do. Once Sofort is selected, you’ll be securely transferred to their payment form. As long as your bank is a Sofort partner, you just need to enter your online banking details, sort code, and confirmation code to authorise the transfer. All your details are delivered securely as the information is encrypted. Once entered, the receiving merchant will get a confirmation of the transfer of funds immediately.
This is perhaps the greatest advantage of Sofort; the process is instantaneous and does not require the usual clearing and processing time. What’s more, because you are not setting up a virtual e-wallet account, per se, you do not need to register, invent new usernames and passwords and enter your financial information over and over again.
Sofort also has a 2-stage authorisation process with the entry of the confirmation code. Arguably therefore, it is even more secure and your personal details even more obfuscated, than when you pay with a credit card or an E-Wallet like PayPal.
Finally, using Sofort as your online casino preferred payment method is less likely to incur charges. According to their website, merchants will often reward you with a 20% for using its payment method.
If you are a German or Austrian customer, and an online casino accepts Sofort as a payment method then it is absolutely for you. For all intents and purposes, it is a perfect blend of direct transfer and e-wallet. It is secure and relatively hassle-free. However, if you are not German or Austrian, then you are going to have a harder time because chances are, your bank hasn’t signed up them.
Hopefully, Sofort’s product continues to expand around the world. The signs at this stage are looking good. In the meantime, here are a load of casinos that accept Sofort as a payment method.