Betting using PaySpark

PaySpark is a relatively new card-based financial service that gives consumers a discrete way to make purchases of goods and services over the Internet. It was launched by Limited from their Cypriot home in Larnaca, where they have been licensed to issue e-Money by the Central Bank of Cyprus since 2003.

In function, PaySpark is quite similar to a debit card. Funds are available for purchases up to the total amount contained in the associated PaySpark Card Account. For cash withdrawals, any ATM or retail location displaying the MasterCard, China Union Pay or Ezipay logo may be used.

For deposits, cash can be transferred into a PaySpark Card Account from anywhere in the world via wire transfer or directly through any participating merchant using the PaySpark system. In the U.K., deposits can be made at Faster Payments outlets, while SEPA can be used in the rest of Europe.

Where PaySpark differs from other financial transaction methods is in the level of privacy accorded to its customers, equivalent to small-scale private banking without face to face contact. Indeed, Limited has been granted by its regulator, the Central Bank of Cyprus, an exemption from the obligation to apply customer identification and due diligence procedures in respect of certain e-Money accounts.

Such accounts must, at the time of opening, have a limit of 2,500 (or the equivalent in another currency) imposed on the total amount to be transacted in a calendar year. Moreover, the total amount to be redeemed by the bearer in the same calendar year may not exceed 1,000 (or the equivalent in another currency). Should a customer reach those limits, due diligence will be collected as prescribed by law.

For bettors, this can be seen as an exceedingly confidential resource, albeit with rather restrictive limits to maintain anonymity. The MasterCard tie-in means PaySpark can be used at more than 25 million points of sale and over one million ATMs around the globe. However, to date there are only half a dozen online gaming sites worldwide that accept PaySpark as a method of deposit and/or withdrawal, thus making the opportunities to use the card for wagering extremely limited.

Based in Malta, GoWild Casino is one of the six, and the only one among them offering a major promotional package, which is worth up to 1,000 on the first three deposits made. The German-language Clover Betting web site licensed in Austria, on the other hand, is the only sportsbook that accepts PaySpark, while Gibraltar registered Poker Time is the only online poker room.

The other three PaySpark gaming venues are all registered in Kahnawake, Canada and use Microgaming software to power their slots and table games: Colosseum Casino, Grand Hotel Casino and Vegas Country Casino. The latter accepts PaySpark for deposits only, not withdrawals.

As an indication of just how confidential dealings with PaySpark can be, there is no online registration process for establishing a PaySpark Card Account. Anyone interested must first contact the Queries section at Limited via email.