Neteller and Skrill Users: Expect Big Hairy Changes

Neteller and sister digital wallet Skrill will be forced to adopt some different policies come March 13th, 2019.

Many digital wallet users of Neteller and Skrill are expecting unappealing changes to come in the new year as told via an emailed update from the brands. Unfortunately, there is no way to opt-out of these changes. Both wallets are owned by the PaySafe Group, a global online payment firm, and will introduce additional fees, and anti-money laundering oversight come March.

Some accounts may be suspended or closed if determined to be conducting suspicious criminal activity such as money laundering. The two companies have already notified users that prepaid cards within a wallet tied to fraudulent activity will be suspended as well. Monthly fees will also be tacked on but are based on the frequency of a wallet’s use.

While opening accounts with either brand is still considered free, inactive users for more than 12 months will be charged a monthly service fee of $5 which will be automatically deducted from the user’s wallet.

Digital wallets have become commonplace for handling gambling related transactions on licensed offshore online gambling sites. In fact, most gamblers prefer to use their digital wallets to store cryptocurrency and funds from prepaid cards. Online gaming platforms also prefer accepting payments from digital wallets as they circumvent local banking regulations for the player.

However, with the increasing notion that cryptocurrencies are unsafe by various governments and regulators, some safeguards must be put in place to prevent illicit criminal activities. This move is also PaySafe’s attempt to stop counterpoints of online payment providers facilitating an uncontrolled monetary exchange for money laundering and terrorism financing.

Neteller faced similar accusations in 2007 when its founding shareholders were charged with laundering billions of funds through illegal gambling proceeds, in a U.S. court of law. The shareholders were two Canadians, Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre and each were sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Therefore, to prevent such scandals from arising again, anti-money laundering protocols must be put in place for all users. While the change is unfavorable to those who like the e-wallets as they are now, these protocols will always ultimately provide a safer environment for users and ensure the legality of possession.