Chrisotffer Odegarden
Image source: Bojoko

Christoffer Ødegården: Why Brits often prefer bank transfers despite clear downsides

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and a myriad of payment options, bank transfers remain a steadfast choice for many British players in the online gambling community.

To delve into the reasons behind this phenomenon, SBC News caught up with Christoffer Ødegården, the Head of the Casino at Bojoko, an online gambling site comparison platform. With his decades of experience in the igaming industry, Ødegården provides valuable insights into the enduring popularity of bank transfers, their benefits, drawbacks, and their place in the modern gambling ecosystem.

SBC News: Let’s just dive into the topic at hand. How do you explain bank transfers continuing to be a preferred payment method for many British players in the online gambling sphere?

Christoffer Ødegården: The answer really comes down to familiarity and trust. Bank transfers have been a longstanding method of transferring funds, not only in the gambling industry but across the UK and, really, the world. While most people won’t be set up on the latest e-wallet, essentially every Brit has a bank account. 

Many players feel more comfortable using a method they are familiar with, especially when it involves financial transactions and sensitive information. They know their bank well, they know the security it promises, and they may be averse to other methods, even if they are faster and easier to use.

SBC: In what ways do bank transfers offer advantages over newer, faster payment solutions available in the UK market?

CØ: I’m not sure if it is actual advantages rather than perceived advantages. Bank transfers are known for their reliability and security. Brits may simply fear that e-wallets or mobile payment methods may be subject to technical glitches or vulnerabilities that bank transfers are not. There is little to no truth in this. Still, bank transfers offer a robust and time-tested infrastructure for transferring funds. 

Additionally, some players appreciate the absence of third-party intermediaries. However, the only genuine advantage bank transfers offer is that you don’t need to set up a new account somewhere else or, in the case of prepaid cards, buy the card. While pretty much every other payment method is faster in practice, looking into alternative methods can feel like a hurdle and even be scary.

Are there any obvious drawbacks to using bank transfers in the context of online gambling?

CØ: One of the primary drawbacks is the processing time. Bank transfers typically take longer than instant payment methods like e-wallets or prepaid cards. This delay can be inconvenient for players eager to start playing immediately or cash out their winnings promptly. 

Moreover, some banks may impose fees or restrictions on outgoing transfers. This is also the case with certain newer and still popular payment methods, mind you.

Do all British online casinos allow bank deposits and withdrawals?

CØ: Surprisingly, no. Bank transfers are a widely accepted payment method in the UK online casino industry. Still, there are several casinos that, for one reason or another, do not list them. Looking at our overview, we see that only around 60 UKGC-licensed bank transfer casinos are listed on Bojoko. It is understandable. Casinos may, for instance, prioritise certain payment methods over others based on factors like speed and convenience.

Still, many Brits clearly prefer to make deposits and withdrawals through bank transfers, so excluding this payment method is not convenient for them. Casinos that do not list bank transfers among their payment methods should reconsider. 

Is the preference for bank transfers in the UK online gambling scene a generational issue, or does it transcend age demographics?

CØ: I don’t have statistics on this specific issue, but my informed guess is that there is a strong component at the very least. Younger generations are clearly more experienced online; they grew up with the internet, and this will undoubtedly affect their payment habits. However, factors such as trust, reliability, and familiarity with bank transfers play significant roles in their continued usage, appealing to players of all ages who prioritise security and stability in their financial transactions. 

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