There are a lot of options out there in the competitive world of eWallets or third-party payment processors but if you happen to live in Russia - or need to have a few accounts in different currencies - WebMoney is a good bet for your money.
WebMoney goes all the way back to 1988 as one of the first online money movers - especially in the former Soviet Union - so it has a long track record to back it up. The Moscow-based processor now has about 30 million users to attest to its reliability.
There are a few different options for player with different money-sending needs but the 'Keeper Standard' account should provide most of the services an online poker player would need.
If you ever try out those super-soft Russian sites and need to do any transactions in Rubles, WebMoney is definitely the optimal choice. While it's primarily connected to Russian banks it does offer international services so players in Eastern Europe and around the EU.
An important point of note if you plan on using WebMoney to deposit and withdraw on PokerStars - they currently only support WebMoney accounts in USD.
WebMoney is a "universal payment system" with an astonishing number of services and an interesting backstory. The company was founded in Moscow in 1988 in response to the Russian financial crisis.
With the new Russian economy and banking system simultaneously exploding and imploding you can imagine the need for a steady, reliable means for people to transfer money from person-to-person, business-to-business and everywhere in between.
Enter WebMoney, which 20 years later, have stood the test of time and, as mentioned, greatly expanded its services. Its primary offering is still money transfers (buying something from a shop or making a deposit or withdrawal at a poker site, for example). WebMoney users set up what are called "purses" to store "electronic money corresponding to an underlying asset, such as a currency."
The underlying assets are then guaranteed by a global network of companies that underwrite the transfers. WebMoney charges 0.8% of the transacted amount in fees up to a maximum fee of €50. WebMoney also now offers everything from an online tool for trading derivative securities to cryptocurrency transactions to crowdfunding.
In November 2015 WebMoney Europe expanded its services into the EU economic area after it applied for and was granted a licence from the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
We won't pull any punches here - setting up a WebMoney account doesn't seem to be the easiest thing. Beyond the unbelievable amount of options (Z-Purse? K-Purse), the service is primarily set up for Russian users so it's not the most sensical for Western users.
That said, though, if you're committed to working through the translated website instructions and getting an account you can use to hit up some of those Eastern European games, more power to you.
Our best estimation is you should set up one of a couple basic account types:
WM Keeper Mini/Standard/WinPro - a downloadable software you install on your computer for managing your purses
WM Keeper Light (WebPro) - No download required. You login with a personal digital certificate, an authorization service E-NUM or a login and a password
You can sign up for a basic account like those above for free but you can also step up to paid accounts that will increase your transaction limits and provide more customer service.
To register your WebMoney account you'll need to fill in the required details on the WebMoney site and then verify your account. WebMoney will send you a personal WebMoney ID to activate your account. You can then create your eWallets within your WebMoney account. Here are the steps:
Once you've registered and confirmed your account you literally have a dozen ways to get your funds uploaded into one (or all) of your currency purses. Choices include:
Payment terminals and ATMs
Online from bank card
Money transfer systems
Through bank department
Through exchange points
From mobile phone account
By prepaid WM-card
By the looks of it you can do this in Rubles, Euros, USD, you can top up your account or you can even buy your WebMoney in gold. We're not entirely sure about that last one.
Once you have your WebMoney account set up and funded making a deposit to a poker site is straight-forward.
If you don't want to go the whole nine yards and create a full WebMoney account, users can also purchase pre-paid webMoney cards with balances they can use at WebMoney Merchant partners or poker sites. To make a deposit with a WebMoney pre-paid card, click on the WebMoney logo in the cashier and follow the proper prompts.
Third-party eWallets are probably the most efficient way to make poker site withdrawals these days and WebMoney is no exception. When you want to request a withdrawal from your poker account, go through the "Request a Withdrawal" steps via the cashier and select WebMoney.
From there you can choose to withdraw into whichever purse you'd like, although note that you'll pay a currency exchange fee if you go from USD to Rubles, for example. WebMoney poker site withdrawals require (at least on PokerStars, for example) that you've made at least one previous deposit using WebMoney within the past 12 months.
To withdraw your money from your WebMoney account you can select:
Yes, you can use WebMoney on PokerStars.com and PokerStars.eu. It does only allow deposits and withdrawals from a USD purse, though. If your WebMoney purse is set up in a different currency you can add a USD purse and transfer money between your purses easily or fund it through a USD account, card etc.
PokerStars waives fees for depositing or withdrawing with WebMoney.
While you can of course have a WebMoney eWallet in US dollars but you can't currently use WebMoney for deposits or withdrawals to US poker sites - at least those that are officially licensed and regulated in the US states of Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
You can likely use your WebMoney account to fund another payment method that is accepted (pre-paid Visa or Mastercard, Neteller, etc) but you won't be able to make direct transfers.
You may be able to use WebMoney on "rogue" poker sites that still accept US players from any state but we as always recommend against it. For more on your better options for playing online poker and making money transfers within the US, see our full page here:
While WebMoney isn't perhaps the most universally accepted payment method is is likely one of the most secure with a multitude of security features you can add in to your WebMoney transfers.
We're not exactly IT experts but WebMoney's security measures include 3 main authentication methods:
There are also two ways of additional confirmation:
Connection faults are also not a factor as your funds are always either in the WebMoney wallet of the sender or the receiver. All of your information is of course confidential, encrypted and your WebMoney ID can't be used to identify your WebMoney wallets.
Your actual deposits and withdrawals to poker sites will be fee free. Otherwise WebMoney charges a pretty small a 0.8% transaction fee. Where you can definitely make up for the fees, though, is in not having to pay currency exchange fees when moving USD to a euro site or vice-versa.
A WebMoney withdrawal to your bank account or cash can cost from 1-3.5%, which is also comparatively small.
Minimum poker deposits with WebMoney can be as little as $10 but you'll need to check with each individual poker site for their specific minimum.
The maximum transaction amount for a standard WebMoney account is $5,000 but if you're a high roller and have processed quite a few transactions through WebMoney you can probably have your limits raised.
While you can have several different purses in different currencies within your WebMoney eWallet you can only have one active WebMoney account.
You might! We're not that up-to-speed on which current deposit methods are being pushed in Eastern Europe but poker sites do offer deposit-method specific bonuses from time to time.
Check your local poker site's cashier or promotions page to find out if there is a current WebMoney poker bonus. For the rest of our online poker bonus offers, check or poker bonus page here: