Full Tilt has been hard-pimping a new payment processor called MyWebATM but this one may be dead on arrival. Basically MyWebATM is some sort of pre-paid debit card. They do issue physical cards that can be used at normal ATM’s which make them more viable than WireCard but there are some fundamental flaws that I believe will make this a no-go for enough people that the products is effectively DOA.
First problem is the fees. There’s some serious rape going on here.
Schedule of fees
Monthly service fee: $3.95
ATM transaction, domestic: $2.50
Declined ATM transaction, domestic: $2.50
ATM transaction, international: $3.95
Declined ATM transaction, international: $3.95
POS transaction, domestic: $1.75
Declined POS transaction, domestic: $0.00
POS transaction, international: $1.75
Declined POS transaction, international: $0.00
Card-to-card transfer: $5.00
Card-to-ACH transfer: $4.00
PIN change: $0.00
Account inquiry: $1.00
Replacement card: $9.95
Currency conversion: 2%
Funding from credit card: $0.32 + 3.70%
Funding from bank account: $2.82
This makes the service a complete no-go for smaller stakes and first time players. The fees are going to eat these guys alive.
The second hurdle is going to be the fact that they’re based in Panama and they ask for all of your personal information such as SSN, bank account details, etc. Basically everything they would need to seriously screw up your life if they are even the least bit shady. While companies like Neteller often required similar information at least you knew who Neteller was and knew that they were licenses by the Isle of Man. These guys are cowboys. Who knows if they’ll be in business next week.
The most serious problem though is that it’s a temporary solution. How do you fund your MyWebATM account? You EFT/ACH money from your bank account. Anyone see a problem here? If they enjoy even a modest success they’ll pop up on the radar of the ACH/EFT networks who will cut th em off the same way that they cut off Neteller. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, any system that involves transferring money over a US banking network is going to be at risk of being shut down without notice.
Welcome to the future of online gaming for US players. Many have claimed that there’s too much money at stake and that other solutions will pop up. Those people are right in the sense that these questionable and expensive payment methods will pop up here and there. Some will enjoy some short-term success and then they’ll suddenly find themselves cut off the US banking networks and they’ll go away . . . likely with a lot of US player’s money still in their accounts. If a company as large and respectable as Neteller is having difficulty finding ways to pay out funds on deposit, how much more difficult is it going to be for some fly-by-night processor out of Panama? After getting burned enough times players will slowly just give up and quit playing.