Online betting gives you as a user more options than ever before when it comes to funding your bets. It is a common misconception that by using online betting sites you cannot bet using cash.
Many of the big bookies will allow you to fund your account using cash in store, but what should you do if you want to bet using cash at an online-only bookmaker? One of the best options was to use Ukash.
The UK based electronic money system, Ukash, was a simple voucher system that allowed the customer to exchange cash for a secure code that can be entered online for digital credit. The system was regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and was a safe and secure way to fund your account.
Ukash was purchased by Skrill in April 2015 and was phased out in October 2015, replaced by the PaySafe Group’s PaySafeCard.
All services and features described in this article are now available through PaySafeCard.
PaySafeCard – Cash Voucher Payment Method Replacing Ukash
PaySafeCard is now essentially the same as Ukash, the idea being you buy vouchers in shops with a PayPoint symbol and you are given a printed code that can then be used to add the value of the voucher to an online betting site.
Vouchers can be purchased in shop or if you have the MyPaySafeCard App you can also add these vouchers to a mobile wallet to ensure you don’t lose them. You can purchase PaySafeCard vouchers with both cash and card.
Many sites now also let you withdraw, effectively they generate a paysafecard code when you withdraw that can be stored in your app and used to purchase anything else that accepts PaySafeCard. This is a great alternative to allow punters to bet in cash, or without transactions showing on your bank account, but can be used with sites that don’t have high street shops that accept cash.
There are a 1001 reasons why you may want to bet using cash and just because you move your gambling online does not mean you should be forced to fund your account through your bank. Ukash and other methods such as cash in store and pre-payment cards are a popular, easy and safe way to bet online. Most bookies minimum limits are similar to other payment methods and many will allow you to receive your welcome bonus too using this payment method.
Ukash is generally a safer system than taking real cash to a bookie, and is obviously more universal as most bookies no longer have shops or indeed never had them in the first place. Ukash vouchers and codes are distributed worldwide and available from ATM’s, shops and kiosks and other retail locations. See how to bet using Ukash later in this article for more details.
ADVISORY Ukash Is Changing To PaySafeCard
Ukash and PaySafeCard have both been owned by Skrill since 2014. Due to the similar nature of the payment methods it has been announced that as of 31/08/2015 Ukash will no longer be available in the UK and vouchers can only be used until 31/10/2015.
Don’t worry if you want to pay with cash online the PaySafeCard service actually gives you more functionality and flexibility than Ukash. Most of the bookies that accept Ukash also accept PaySafeCard. PaySafeCard vouchers can be obtained from the same merchants as with Ukash too. Read more about PaySafeCard, click here.
The Ukash payment system is authorised by the Financial Conduct Agency (FCA) and is therefore a very safe payment system to use. Ukash can also be used to pay for all sorts of things other than online betting. The system is becoming more common and is used to pay other people, fund e-Wallets, play online, shop online or event safely send money online. The voucher or code is treated as a cash alternative and so is afforded the same protection and underwriting as the old notes with the Queen head on.
How To Bet Using Ukash
You Ukash voucher is a 19 digit code that can have any value assigned to it. You can get hold of vouchers online or in store, I guarantee even if you live in the Outer Hebrides you will you be able to access this payment system. Simply go online to the Ukash site or pop into any shop displaying: Payzone, Epay or PayPoint logos, these include post offices, many convenience stores and newsagents and even large retailers such as WHSmith. The limit for a voucher is £5-£180, although you can buy several vouchers to equate to the monetary amount you require. You can hold up to £900 in vouchers at any one time.
Once you have your voucher treat it as real cash, make a copy of the code number in case you lose it or there will be no way for you to get a refund. Vouchers are valid for 12 months but thankfully they don’t quite fully expire at this point but are subject to a £2 a month fee. Refunds can be issues at any time but you may be liable for a refund fee up to £15.
Once you have your voucher you can go ahead and sign up with any of the bookmakers listed on this page. Enter the 19 digit code in your accounts section and your eMoney will be loaded into your account instantly to bet with. A couple of bookmakers will let you withdraw using this method too but in general this is only a means of depositing money. You can withdraw money using any other conventional means you have registered with the bookie, cards, bank transfer, e-wallets, etc.
In general you will need to fund the account to the value of the voucher. Ukash do allow paticipating merchants to award vouchers back if the amount of funding is less than the voucher value. Check the T&Cs of individual bookmakers to see where they stand on this. If you are unsure how much you want to load into your account we recommend you buy several small denomination vouchers rather than one voucher for a large amount.
Another option is to fund an e-wallet such as Skrill or PayPal using the Ukash voucher, you can then use your eWallet account to both deposit and withdraw to betting sites.
Ukash also provide pre-payment cards that work in a similar way. Using a pre-payment card such as the PaySafeCard can gives you higher limits, added security, more flexibility with funding amounts and sometimes different betting options. We cover pre-payment cards and PaySafeCard online bookmakers in a separate article, click here to read more.
History of Ukash
The Ukash payment system was founded in 2005 and is operated by parent company Smart Voucher LTD who are run from Maccelsfield and have been in operation since 2001. Ukash has grown exponentially since it was launched offering a flexible and safe way to use cash in a world that is increasing moving online.
By 2008 Ukash sales reached 2 million and by 2013 this had risen to over £26 million. Ukash launched their pre-payment card and were acquired by Skrill in 2014. Ukash has now merged with the Skrill and will be rebranded in the near future under PaySafeCard although the principle of the voucher system will remain in place. See our PaySafeCard article for more information.
Countries Where Debit Cards Can Be Used For Gambling
Ukash is available from nearly half a million stores in over 55 countries. For a full list of countries the voucher system is available in see their website. Irrespective of Ukash availability the voucher system is still limited by individual country gambling restrictions. For example if you are in the US you cannot fund your UK betting account irrespective of whether you are using Ukash, credit cards, e-Wallets, etc. Likewise if you use Ukash to fund an e-Wallet such as PayPal you will still be restricted by the PayPal terms of countries in which the payment method can be used for gambling.
If you have a bank account in a country that does not allow funding of betting sites but you are in the UK and would like to use that account to fund an online account Ukash can offer a great alternative. Use your account to buy Ukash vouchers and then simply fund the account directly or indirectly through an intermediary digital wallet.
Ukash is safer than carrying cash but please bear in mind if you lose your voucher code that just like cash somebody else could use your money. With Ukash you do however a receipt have so if you do lose the voucher or code you could get a refund as long as somebody else doesn’t spend your voucher first. You will be asked to provide the Ukash voucher code, amount, currency and the date, time and place of issue. Our recommendation would be to treat the vouchers as you would cash just to be extra safe. Scammers have also been known to operate in the market so only buy vouchers direct from Ukash or though registered merchants. A full list of registered merchants is available on the their site so check first.
In some respects Ukash gives added security, especially for low denominations. To get hold of and use a voucher there is no need to hand over your credit/debit card or bank details and this reduces the risk to you if either the vendor or the betting sites are ever hacked and payment details stolen.
There are no fees to buy Ukash and rarely are there fees to use the vouchers. Generally if there is a fee to use Ukash there will be a fee to use other payment methods too. If you want to get a refund for your vouchers you may incur a fee up to £15 however.