Ukash was an e-voucher payment method that allowed users to complete online transactions without creating the permanent relationship required to bankroll an e-wallet. It was taken over by the company that controls Skrill, a popular e-wallet, and was then eventually folded into their PaySafeCard, another e-voucher option that combines elements of e-wallet service. Although there are no more Ukash betting sites, it is still important to get a sense for how it worked. That not only prepares you for overarching e-voucher betting should it interest you, but you’ll also get an idea of which sportsbooks accept e-voucher transactions and the pros and cons of going that route.
Our thorough look at Ukash’s discontinuance and overall e-voucher betting will cover all of the following:
Setting up Ukash worked just as it would for any other e-voucher payment method. You would purchase what amounted to an online prepaid card. This could be done using your bank account or credit card information. In some cases, you could even complete the transaction via MoneyGram, the equivalent of an electronic money order, so that you wouldn’t need to input any of your most sensitive information online at all.
After loading up your Ukash “card,” you would receive a confirmation email that includes a number that would, usually, be the same length as any credit card number. This is the information you would input into online payment sections to complete transactions.
With this number in hand, you could then visit your Ukash betting sites and head over to the deposit section. Upon arriving there, you could either use your uKash voucher just like a regular credit card or, more likely, by selecting the e-voucher payment option.
The only time you would potentially run into problems is when a site didn’t have a specific section and then wouldn’t accept your billing information (i.e. your place of residence) as a valid field in the credit card category. This could often happen with online gambling sites that didn’t accept any sort of prepaid cards. If your deposit attempt was rejected, you’d need to contact customer service, and they’d either tell you to seek out an alternative payment method or, in some cases, they’d make an exception and process the deposit for you over the phone.
Here’s the real kicker for your uKash voucher: Once you emptied it, you were essentially done. Certain uKash options were reloadable. For the most part, though, these numbers were temporary—disposable. If you wanted to make another deposit using uKash, you’d need to fund an entirely separate e-voucher with a new number and everything. Many will consider this method to be time-consuming, but it appealed to those without credit cards or bank accounts and, above all, those who valued their online privacy.
Unlike most other defunct payment methods, Ukash didn’t technically fold. They were taken over by Skrill, one of the largest e-wallet providers in the world. The Ukash was left available for some time, but after a while, it was absorbed by PaySafeCard, the e-voucher program owned and operated by Skrill that is more universally accepted at sportsbooks and various other online retailers.
For a while, Ukash users with a balance could still use their funds like normal. Now, with so much time between the change, anyone with a Ukash needs to speak with Skrill about getting their remaining balance transferred or refunded. The good news is that this shouldn’t be a major issue. You’re neither dealing with a service that disappeared into nothingness nor a rinky-dink company. Skrill is among the largest online-payment companies in the world. They’ll be able to field and address even the toughest problems.
No, e-vouchers similar to Ukash are not particularly hard to use at Ukash betting sites. Most gambling sites will have a special section for them. All you have to do is select that payment method, punch in the number and you’re done.
Still, e-vouchers are not hugely popular in the sports-betting industry. They’re not necessarily uncommon, but they take a distant backseat to more traditional payment methods. For this reason, many sites won’t have a specific e-voucher section and also won’t allow you to process them as a credit card.
In these situations, there’s a chance your sportsbook doesn’t take e-vouchers. There’s also a chance you just need to contact customer service to complete the transaction. Either way, if you don’t see a specific e-voucher category when going to make a deposit, the right move is to email, live chat or call your sportsbook’s customer service.
While Ukash is no longer active or accepted by any sportsbooks, it’s still useful to know which gambling sites took them, if only because it should help you identify the places that will process other e-vouchers. Here are our five favorite Ukash betting sites:
The most popular alternative to Ukash is ecoVoucher. This prepaid voucher is effectively the same idea as Ukash. You receive an 18-digit pin number when your transaction is complete that will be used to process any sportsbooks.
Unlike Ukash, though, you won’t get away with using ecoVoucher in traditional credit card sections. You need to make sure you’re using it at sportsbooks that specifically take it. The good news is many online gaming sites take ecoCard, a debit service by this same company, so they’re bound to accept ecoVoucher. If they don’t have it listed under their official payment methods, you can call customer support to find out whether they accept it. Chances are they do.
Additionally, ecoVoucher is set up to complete currency conversions without tacking on massive fees for the service. So, you can load up a card for use in the United States while paying in euros. The entire process is automated and takes no time at all.
Using Bitcoin is also a viable alternative to Ukash. Not all sportsbooks allow you to make deposits and withdrawals with this method, but most of the major online-gambling sites will. As ever, if you have any doubts, just contact the customer support department at your preferred online gambling site.
First and foremost, you’ll want to prioritize sportsbooks that apply promotional bonuses to e-voucher users. Not all do, given the lack of a tangible account tied to it. Sites won’t explicitly state whether they will award bonuses to e-voucher holders either. You’ll need to clarify as much with the customer service department.
Second, and equally important, most e-voucher services do not double as an operable withdrawal method. Again: Unless you’re using a reloadable e-voucher number, this is a temporary form of payment. Withdrawals will need to be processed by another method entirely.
Smart bettors will then stick with sportsbooks that offer the most payout options. Sure, it’ll be easy to bet anywhere if you’re willing to input your bank account to complete withdrawals via direct transfer. But if you’re looking to keep your bank account out of the equation, you’ll need to find gambling sites willing to pay out with MoneyGrams, money orders and checks by courier. Setting up another e-wallet service is also an option.
The concept of e-vouchers is extremely secure. You’re not just firing up an e-wallet service to prevent you from having to store bank account or credit card information in a bunch of different sportsbooks. You’re ensuring you don’t store bank account or credit card information, period.
That’s the benefit of a temporary, prepaid pin number. Recurring customers will view this as a hindrance, but many e-voucher programs provide alternative, more permanent payment options for them. The one-time e-voucher is for those who either don’t plan to make regular sportsbook deposits, or who are just bent on keeping their financial information off the internet.
Something to consider for the safety-conscious: Some e-voucher services don’t require a bank account or credit card at all. You can pay for them with a money order or MoneyGram, which can be purchased and processed using cash if done in-person. Finding a MoneyGram provider definitely counts as an extra step, but the ability to pay with cash also guarantees you don’t have to put your financial information into any site—neither Ukash betting sites nor the e-voucher provider’s site itself.
Our Ukash conclusions - Find Your Alternative
Ukash is Now PaySafeCard
Ukash is not entirely dead. Their service has just been absorbed by PaySafeCard, the e-voucher program run by Skrill. Indeed, you’re not getting the same Ukash experience. The pin numbers are a different length. But the general idea is still the same, and because the service is backed by Skrill, you can use it confidently and, usually, without any issues.
Alternatives to Ukash
Aside from PaySafeCard, the best Ukash alternative is ecoVoucher. They will assign you an 18-digit pin to use for your sportsbook deposits—and other online transactions—and they’re the most widely accepted e-voucher in the business. Odds are you won’t need to search high and low for a gambling site that accepts them. Your first choice probably will.
Downside of E-Voucher Betting
There’s only one big downside to using e-vouchers to bankroll your sportsbook account: You most likely cannot use them to complete withdrawals. Sure, some e-voucher services offer recurring options that will let you process inbound transfers. But at that point, you’re functionally talking about using an e-wallet, not an e-voucher. So if you’re going to make deposits using e-vouchers, be prepared to set up different payout methods, such as wire transfers or e-wallet transfers. If you’re married to the idea of not offering up any bank account information, then you’ll want to find online gaming sites that offer payouts by MoneyGram, money orders or checks by courier.