Payment System- Skrill

I realised most people are not familiar with Skrill as a form of payment so I decided to use this blog post to briefly introduce Skrill to you.

NB: This post was a write-up completed by hubby as part of his payment system report coursework.

Introduction

Skrill is a worldwide online payments solution provider from Paysafe      (https://www.paysafe.com/about/). It has been in operation since 2001 with its headquarters based in London. Skrill operated under the name Moneybookers prior to its rebranding. The uniqueness of this system, is one can sign up and send/receive money with only an email address and a password.

Target segment(s)/use case(s): who is this for and what does it let them do?

The company allows payments to be made online, send or receive money and supports the global growth of businesses. Businesses are able to make payments to employees globally with ease. It is therefore beneficial to both individuals and businesses. Skrill works through the usage of bank accounts, debit and credit cards to allow for payments and transfers after sign-up.

Its expansion strategy into Africa, which is a market with a lesser population being unbanked, involves partnering with Telecom operators and Merchants to allow users utilise skrill through their mobile money wallets (Douglas, 2014). Skrill as part of its expansion into Africa recently partnered with MTN Ghana in March 2016 to allow consumers to access and cash out funds from their mobile money wallet using the Skrill IT platform (MTN Ghana, n.d.). This is one of the relative advantages that this payment provider has over the others such as Paypal.

Figure 1: Skrill IT homepage

skril

Mechanics: how does it work, what is the basic transaction process?

One needs to have an account with Skrill to be able to benefit from the numerous payment services offered. The following are the requirements that would enable one to open and maintain a skrill account:

  • Valid email address; and
  • Password

For security purposes verification of your details: ID card, debit/credit card or bank account and telephone number is required. However, for one-off payments the procedure is simple and fewer details are required.

On the successful creation of a skrill digital wallet, the consumer will have access to the following functionalities:

  • Add debit or credit card details;
  • Add Bank account details;
  • Add mobile wallet details;
  • Option to upload, withdraw or send money; and
  • Links to access gambling and non-gambling offers.

Provider(s): who is involved in delivering this service?

The prepaid MasterCard is issued by Paysafe Financial Services Limited (a company authorised to issue electronic money) or Wirecard Card Solutions Limited (authorised to issue prepaid card services).

Mobile wallet providers including MTN, Vodafone, Airtel, Smart money, Mobidram, Gcash remit, mpesa among others. As mentioned in the earlier sections have contributed to making it possible for Skrill to spread its services across to developing and emerging economies in Africa.

 Legal basis: under what license does it operate and what are the key regulations that govern it (if any)?

It is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011. The FCA is the regulator for financial services and markets in the UK with the objective to protect consumers and the financial markets and also promote competition as structured by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).

In terms of security of customer sensitive details, encryption is done to the highest standards of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS Level 1).

The Skrill prepaid mastercard is also licensed by MasterCard International to ensure payments made are secure and facilitate electronic payments.

Marketing: how is it priced and promoted?

It is mainly promoted through its affiliate and referral programme. With the referral programme, one can earn up to €100. A user gains from introducing and getting a new user registered and signed onto the skrill platform.

With the affiliate programme, one can earn up 20% in terms of revenue share on the activities on customer’s activities. The affiliate programme involves the marketing of its products through third parties in exchange for a commission.

In summary skrill charges the following rates:

  • Funds upload: fees range between 1% to 3% depending on the mode of upload, location and currency. Visa cards usually attract a charge of 1.9% on the amount uploaded;
  • Funds withdrawal: fees are charged at 1.9% for mobile wallet and 7.5% for visa withdrawals;
  • A charge of 1.9% of the amount when money is sent in respect of international money transfers;
  • No charge to receive money to your account;
  • For currency conversion transactions, a charge of 3.99% on skrill’s wholesale exchange rates; and finally
  • No service fee is charged on individual accounts once a transaction is performed at least once a year. If the active becomes inactive, then a fee equivalent to €2 is deducted on a monthly basis.

Refer to https://www.skrill.com/en/fees/ for detailed fee structure.

Technology platform: what end-user devices, user interface, mobile communications channels, authentication technologies, etc., does it use?

One needs access to the internet or a mobile phone with a registered number for the mobile money wallet options with skrill. Any windows device, android, mac or linux based system supports the skrill application.

Skrill for added security makes use of the two factor authentication process which requires one to download the Google authenticator app.

Competitive environment: who are the main competitors, who is trying to disrupt it?

Its competitors by comparison include the following: Paypal, Blue Snap, bitpay, sage pay, CyberSource, SecurionPay, Stripe, Payclix, Amazon payments and Braintree.

Refer to https://reviews.financesonline.com/p/skrill/#technical for detailed comparative reviews.

The competitive advantage skrill has over its competitors is zero cost involved in signing up as a first time user and it can be relied on to be one of the best in terms of security and safety of sensitive customer information (Playing Legal, 2016).

It’s also one of the few digital wallet providers with access to the African market.

Reach: how big is it in terms of number of users, transaction volumes, etc.?

Its customer subscription base is about 40 million available to 200 countries with 40 currency options (About Payments, 2017).

 

Bibliography

About Payments, 2017. Company Details. [Online]
Available at: https://www.about-payments.com/knowledge-base/provider/skrill#companyDetails
[Accessed 17 March 2017].

Douglas, K., 2014. Payments company adapts business model to reality of African market. [Online]
Available at: https://www.howwemadeitinafrica.com/payments-company-adapts-business-model-to-reality-of-african-market/
[Accessed 17 March 2017].

Financial Conduct Authority, 2017. About the FCA. [Online]
Available at: https://www.fca.org.uk/about/the-fca
[Accessed 17 March 2017].

MTN Ghana, n.d. MTN Ghana Offers Instant International Money Transfers via Skrill. [Online]
Available at: http://mtn.com.gh/about-mtn/press/mtn-ghana-offers-instant-international-money-transfers-via-skrill-run-send4free-promotion-until-end-off-april
[Accessed 17 March 2017].

Playing Legal, 2016. Skrill Review. [Online]
Available at: https://playinglegal.com/review/skrill
[Accessed 17 March 2017].

Skrill, 2017. Online payments & Money transfer. [Online]
Available at: https://www.skrill.com/en/
[Accessed 17 March 2017].

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