Visa and Mastercard won’t provide services to individuals using them for online gambling sites in Germany, reported NDR, a German media outlet. Online gambling is mostly illegal in the country except for sports betting and state-run lotteries. There is also an exception for the Schleswig-Holstein province where there is a special law in place which legalizes it.
A number of online gambling payment providers had already removed Visa and Mastercard payment methods from their sites. A spokesperson for the financial services giants said they had already contacted retail banking partners to reiterate that “only legal properly licensed transactions” should be processed.
Those that haven’t removed the logos from their sites have specified that they may only be used for legal transactions such as sports betting.
Warnings over credit card payments
Last month, the German state of Lower Saxony warned payment providers that they should not process illegal transactions for online gambling. This came after a similar warning in summer 2019 to payment giant PayPal. Shortly after, they suspended their services for the market.
Boris Pistorius, the Miniter of Interior and Sports for Lower Saxony said that all payment providers were legally obliged to refrain from making payments for illicit gambling. He urged them to critically review and immediately stop working with any company that practices illegal gambling.
The German Third State Treaty on Gambling, which took effect in early 2020 is considered a temporary framework. It is expected to be replaced by a permanent law in mid-2021. The law will permit licensed gambling companies to conduct online casino operations in Germany. In the meantime, however, almost all forms remain illegal.
Both Visa and Mastercard, along with online gambling operators have criticized the restrictions. They claim that they are unfair, too restrictive and not compatible with EU law. While they are helpful for the future legal package, in the interim period, they feel they are being treated unfairly.
But the ban on their services is not their only problem. According to the latest trends, credit cards and debit cards are at the beginning of their end.
The future of payment providers
While digital cash is on the increase, industry insiders expect cards to become obsolete within a few years. Taking their place will be electronic wallets, virtual currency, and crypto. We’re already seeing this emerging with the integration of electronic payment providers, not linked to conventional financial institutions on casinos and retail sites. Furthermore, the number of sites accepting cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin or ether is increasing.
As we approach the end of 2020, it’s essential that online casinos, retailers, and all kinds of service providers, start to consider alternative payment methods. Fast Offshore has been working with a range of payment providers for over 22 years. We have negotiated excellent rates and conditions, far preferable than if a client was to approach them alone.
To stay ahead of the curve and to be sure you’re providing what your customers need, contact us today. We can advise you on the best payment providers for your business and we can negotiate the best deal.