MasterCard is a name known to anyone who has ever heard of a credit card. MasterCard is one of the biggest providers of credit cards in the world. Founded in 1966, the brand was called MasterCharge at the time. The name its founders have chosen bears some significance as the word ‘master’ carries an implication of dominance and superiority while “charge” implies purchasing a product or a service on credit. Very suitable indeed considering Mastercard went on to become the most widespread credit card brand in the world.
The company ditched its original brand name for Mastercard in 1979. Forty years after it was founded, Mastercard was listed on the New Your Stock Exchange as a publicly traded company. Today, Mastercard continues to make it its business to mediate safe payments between the banks of sellers and the banks of consumers. Figures published by the research portal Statista reveal that there were over 800 million credit cards by the brand in worldwide circulation as of 2017’s fourth quarter alone.
Mastercard is listed as an available payment method on millions of websites and has also become the preferred method of banking for many casino players, with hundreds of virtual casinos displaying the card’s logo in their cashier sections. Many prefer Mastercard to fund their casino play due to the method’s speediness, security, and wide availability. If you are a gambler looking to use Mastercard for the purposes of online casino play, we suggest you stick with as to learn everything you need to know about this popular casino payment method.
How the Method Works
Mastercard is one of the most widespread payment solutions accepted by online casinos, which is not surprising when we take into account it is available in more than 200 countries worldwide. This global payment network works with more than 22,000 banks, credit unions, and thrift institutions, responsible for the issuing and distribution of the brand’s cards.
The notion of a credit card is simple. The bank loans you money as credit, which you have to return after a set period of time, normally 30 days. The terms of agreement vary from client to client and from bank to bank, based on the client’s monthly earnings, spending habits, credit ratings etc.
The Mastercard CVV Number and Its Purpose
When you process a payment to your online casino balance via a Mastercard, the transaction undergoes several steps before its completion. In order to initiate the payment itself, the player needs to provide some of their banking information which includes the card’s date of expiry, the name of the rightful card owner, its number, and the CVV (abbreviated from Card Verification Value) at the back. Mastercard CVV numbers consist of three digits, printed below the magnetic stripe at the back of the card.
The main purpose of the CVV is to protect your credit card transactions against frauds. The online casino you are depositing to practically needs only your Mastercard number to process the transaction. Online casinos or merchants are allowed storage only of your 16-digit Mastercard number. Under the guidelines of the PCI-DSS (short for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard), casino operators are prohibited from storing their players’ CVV numbers in their databases, which is why you are required to enter this code repeatedly upon subsequent deposits. The CVV must be provided along with the card’s expiry date and your name as a means of fraud prevention. In fact, this is the sole purpose of the CVV.
The idea is that upon any suspicious activity or security breach of the casino’s database (which is unlikely to happen, but still), the fraudsters may only gain access to players’ card numbers. While this sounds scary enough on its own, this information is rendered useless to the fraudsters without the CVV, which only the rightful Mastercard owner, i.e. you, knows.
The Steps in a Mastercard Casino Transaction
When a Mastercard payment is initiated by a casino player, the transaction undergoes several stages before the money ends up in said player’s casino balance. The first step is the deposit initiation itself, which is followed by the authentication of the transfer. An authentication request is sent to your bank via the Mastercard’s network, asking for information to verify the payment.
Your bank would then confirm the card number, the billing address and the CVV number as well as whether the balance is sufficient enough to carry out the deposit. If so, your bank would approve the deposit and would send authorization to the casino’s bank using the Mastercard network.
This leads us to the next step which is clearing the money from your balance. Your casino’s bank would send the authorized payment data to the Mastercard network where it needs to be validated. This is followed by the last step, the settlement between the two parties involved in the transaction, i.e. your issuing bank and the casino’s bank.
The deposit is forwarded by your issuing bank to the bank of the online gambling operator, which in turn would transfer the sum to your casino’s bank account. It sounds overly complex but one such transaction is usually completed within a few moments as Mastercard deposits are normally processed immediately.
How to acquire a MasterCard
Getting a credit card is a fairly straightforward, albeit slow, process. First you need to check in with your local bank and see what their policy regarding credit is and whether or not they are authorized to issue physical Mastercard products in the first place. If they operate within the MasterCard network they are able to issue these types of cards. Note that there are different types of credits cards like Standard, Gold, Titanium, and Platinum Mastercards so you best check which type is the most suitable for your gambling purposes.
Normally you will have to go through a screening process and submit personal information such as your monthly income, name, address, Social Security Number (or your country’s equivalent) and credit history. This information is filled into the application form the issuing bank or credit union will give you. If you do not feel like visiting the issuing bank in person, you can use its website and fill in the application form online. Make sure you input all your information correctly and be honest about your credit history, if you are applying for a credit card, in particular, since Mastercard is known to offer a range of prepaid and debit cards as well.
Should your request for a credit card get declined, make sure you request the issuer to send you a copy of the credit file so that you can gain a proper understanding as to the reasons. If the bank finds you an acceptable candidate, it will offer you a plan suited to your means and your new card will be shipped to you within the timeframe designated by the issuing institution. The timeframe is largely based on the policies of the particular issuer but would usually range from 10 days to 2 weeks.
Depositing to Online Casinos
Using a Mastercard to deposit in online casinos cannot get any simpler than it already is. When depositing, you must first navigate to the casino’s cashier page, select credit/debit cards from the list of options and then choose the Mastercard brand from the drop-down menu. You proceed by entering the 16-digit code on the front, the expiration date, the card holder’s name and the CVV code on the back. Of course, you would also need to specify the desired deposit amount.
Then you check whether you have entered all the details correctly, confirm the deposit, and this is it. There are no waiting timeframes since the payment is completed instantly. It is possible that when paying with Mastercard for online gambling, 2%-3% fees may be charged to your account, depending on the casino. Yet, most established casinos would defray the transaction expenses for Mastercard deposits. The limits on the deposit would generally depend on the gambling operator you play with.
Withdrawing from Online Casinos
It is worth noting that Mastercard has adopted its own policies in regard to online gambling. Players from jurisdictions where online gambling is illegal and unregulated may hit a snag when attempting to withdraw via Mastercard. If you are a resident of a country like the United States where gambling on games of chance on the web is largely prohibited, your Mastercard withdrawal may not go through. Banks in the country, including the issuers of Mastercard products, have been instructednot to process payments to such cards should the transaction come from a gambling website.
How do these gambling transactions get recognized as such, though? It all started with Mastercard attaching MCCs (Merchant Category Code) as a means of distinguishing different types of gambling activities along with the level of risk they entail. For instance, online gambling operators offering products that involve skills to win, eg. poker, have codes 7994 and 7999 attached to them. These are considered low and medium-risk activities by Mastercard.
Gambling operators offering games of chance fall under the category of high-risk gaming providers and as such have the code 7995 attached to their transactions. This causes the withdrawals from such websites to get blocked whenever the transfer was made to a country where online gambling is prohibited.
As of 2015, Mastercard has introduced several new codes of this type that make it possible to distinguish between licensed and unlicensed gambling providers in a given jurisdiction. Online lotteries run by the government have a code of 7800 whereas the code 7802 pertains to licensed horse and dog racing operations. Licensed online casinos have a code 7801 attached to them. Still, if you are a resident of the US who plans on gambling at an offshore licensed casino, we would recommend you not to risk it and go for another method of payment where you will not struggle with having your payments declined.
Offers from MasterCard
In the event that you do not wish to use a credit card there are other option that MasterCard provides. MasterCard debit cards are the most used after credit cards. They are directly linked to your bank account and do not let you spend more than you actually have. If you are worried about racking up extra charges or overdrafting this is the best option. In fact it is much simpler to acquire a debit card than a credit card. There is no screening process or creditworthiness required. Note that different debit products by the brand are available, for instance Standard, Platinum, and World Debit Mastercards. Each of these cards offers specific benefits so be smart with your choice.
The debit Mastercards work roughly in the same manner as the credit ones, but the key difference here is that you use the funds already available in your bank account instead of using credit when depositing at your online casino of choice. In other words, your deposit will go through only if you have the requested deposit amount available in your bank account. Again, you will be required to input the CVV, the card number, your name as the card owner and the expiry date when initiating the deposit.
Another alternative are prepaid cards. They allow the user to charge them up as much as they find satisfactory and play with that money and only that money. These cards are available in any bank or major point of sale, like supermarkets for example. To register them one needs to provide their address and proof of their identity. Some points of sale would even offer prepaid cards that can be presented to somebody else as a gift. You can activate the gift card in the point of sale directly or at a later stage by calling the number printed on the card’s packaging.
Prepaid Mastercard cards are also rechargeable in case you run out of funds. Your options for reloading the prepaid Mastercard would be to pay either in cash or use a check. It makes sense this is a better option for gamblers who wish to play responsibly and anonymously since the prepaid cards are not linked to a particular bank account. In fact, having one such account is not even a requirement to obtain a prepaid Mastercard.
The prepaid cards are also different from the debit ones where fees are concerned. Debit cards by Mastercard would have you pay a monthly service fee but how much depends on the issuing bank. Usually the service charges are negligible, though. Prepaid Mastercards typically have a monthly fee as well but its purpose is it to keep the card in operation. If you exhaust the entire amount so that the fee cannot be deducted, the card will get deactivated. The bottom line is you can use any of these types of Mastercards as long as your casino works with Mastercard as a whole.
MasterCard is one of the biggest credit card networks in the world. As such they have a large client base that constantly uses their cards and those clients must be protected from fraud. MasterCard cards have chips inside them that drastically reduce the chance for credit card fraud, up to the point that it is nearly non-existent. Additionally banks protect their clients in case their card information falls into criminal hands. They compensate clients in the event that someone drains their card or uses it in unintended ways.
Then again, let us not forget about the Mastercard SecureCode, which adds another layer of safety to players’ Mastercard payments. In its essence, this is an additional 3D Secure code offered by some Mastercard issuers. When you apply for one such code, you will be issued a special PIN you need to enter each time you initiate a deposit to your favorite online casino.
When you enroll for your PIN (which you choose yourself), you must confirm your identity as a card owner by providing answers to several security questions. This code poses as an additional barrier that hinders fraudsters from tapping into your banking information and a large number of online casinos have already adopted it.
Advantages to using MasterCard
Making payments is easy, fast and accessible. Everyone knows how cards work nowadays and everyone has at least one. Online merchants and retailers have accustomed themselves to this and are prepared to accept any and all credit cards. You will hardly find a casino that will not take your Mastercard.
You may play with money that you do not currently have on hand when using a credit Mastercard. In truth, this is a double-edged sword, as it can be both amazing and devastating. It is appealing to play with virtually unlimited funds and it is very easy to lose track of the situation. But when planned for with care and restraint, players should experience no trouble and enjoy their time thoroughly.
One of the biggest advantages obviously has to do with security. It is very difficult for Mastercard payments to become subject to frauds thanks since the CVV numbers are not stored within the casinos’ databases, not to mention the transactions are encoded with encryptions that keep fraudsters away. If you throw the SecureCode into the mix, it would be even more difficult for you to become a subject of fraud.
Additionally, the method allows you to make more sizable deposits, especially in comparison to some other solutions like Paysafecard, for instance. This applies to debit Mastercards as well as long as you have the funds available into your bank account’s balance. Additionally, Mastercard owners are eligible for different discounts the more they use their cards for online purchases, or deposits in our case. Of course, these benefits are based on the issuing bank, the country it is based in, and the type of card you own.
Disadvantages to using MasterCard
One of the biggest issues Mastercard users are facing is having their credit card withdrawals declined. This is to be explained with Mastercard’s policies we talked about earlier where the payment network recognizes payments from unauthorized gambling websites to players from specific jurisdictions. Because of this, some casinos accepting these cards for deposits will not support them for withdrawals and would prompt you to look for another way to cash out. This can be quite the inconvenience for some players.
Using a credit card at some online casinos may subject you to extra charges for withdrawals so you need to consider this prior to choosing Mastercard as a payment method. As we mentioned, these fees are usually negligible but we still recommend you to contact your Mastercard issuer to receive additional information on how much you will have to pay in extra charges.
Seeing as how transactions are so simple may cause you to play more than you actually would and make you overstep your budget. This is a credit card after all, so there is the chance that you end up spending way more than you actually have and find yourself heavily in debt. You must always keep this in mind. Going over your credit limit will incur extra fees which will pile on over time. Of course, this issue is easily solved by applying for a debit Mastercard or using a prepaid one.
Mastercard services card holders all over the world. As you are reading this, you probably have one of these cards in your wallet. They have proven that they are a reliable and reputable company that takes all the necessary measures to successfully protect users from fraudulent actions.
When using Mastercard for gambling purposes, it is imperative for players to research the online casinos where they intend to play before submitting their card information. If you are still reluctant to reveal your card information, you can look up online payment providers that play the part of a middle-man when making transactions to a casino.