Is it Better to Bank Transfer or use Card Payments at Online Casinos?

02nd January10 min read

In this guide, we'll tell you everything you need about which method of withdrawing and depositing is best for your online casino. Should you make payments via bank wire transfer, or are credit and debit cards best? Every casino has different rules regarding both and your experience will vary wildly depending on these. So without any further delay, let's compare.

Bank Transfer Or Credit/Debit Cards

Below are the key points of comparison between depositing by bank transfer and by credit or debit card. The rules apply similarly for withdrawals as well. We've split it into 4 categories and a conclusion, so click on whichever one you want to skip straight there:

  • Availability
  • Security
  • Speed
  • Refunds
  • Recommend Bank Transfer & Card Payment Casinos
  • Final Summary


We'll start off with the most important factor, which is, can you even use it? Both methods are pretty well catered for wherever you decide to deposit. Credit and debit cards come out on top overall, with 100% of casinos using the method by default, based on the casinos we have listed. The numbers for bank transfer are slightly lower, but with a majority of online casinos supporting the method. One issue is that many casinos will only allow the method for withdrawing. You can comfortably use bank transfers at casinos, however, be aware that you may only be able to put money in or out using the method; potentially not both.

The reasons for this will be expanded on below, but primarily it's simply that wire transfers are more highly regulated, which causes them to process slower and incur a greater charge on the parties involved; a charge which is sometimes passed onto the customer. Another key reason is that wire transfers can be very complicated in international transactions. Due to the widespread use of direct debit methods, such as Visa, debit and credit card payments have been designed to work well across borders. Bank transfers can have issues during this process, which given that casinos have to work across a huge expanse of countries, this is obviously a tedium that they want to do without.

Casinos such as 32Red Casino will charge a £5 if the bank transfer isn't above £100, so even when the banking method is available, it can still have some restrictions that amp up its cost to use. So the increased popularity of debit and credit cards, combined with increased red tape, mean that wire transfers will always be less attractive for online casinos, until there's some kind of breakthrough in the method.

Availability In Summary

  • Credit cards and debit cards are more used internationally
  • Bank transfers are more expensive for merchants and charge may be passed on to consumer
  • Bank transfers are available at less casinos, but still a majority overall
  • Card payments are available at every online casino


The main point to remember is that in terms of actual danger to the consumer, the differences in security are extremely negligible. Both of these methods are the safest ways to make payments online.

Payment Method Breakdown

But this guide is about specifics, so we'll get into the minor differences in how these methods deliver information between the customer and the casino merchant.

Bank Transfer

Payment process happens on bank's site

  • Name of Bank
  • Name of Person
  • Bank Address
  • Sort Code
  • Account Number
  • (IBIC & IBAN if in IRE territory)

Card Payment

Payment process happens on merchant's own site

  • Name on Card
  • Card Number
  • Expiration Date
  • CCV (security code)

Security Comparison

The first important difference between bank transfers and card payments is that the details required for a card payment are all found in one location; your card. When you do a bank transfer, the details have to be found from numerous places. This fundamentally makes bank transfers safer, since it can reasonably only be you who has access to all of that information in its entirety.

On top of that, bank transfer details are not stored by the casino, allowing for them to provide greater security by being deleted by the casino as soon as they've been used. Most banks will require a passcode to authorise the transaction. This is usually in the form of a randomised password that is texted to you by SMS from the bank. It's one use, so there's no danger of anyone learning this password.

Bank payments will direct you to the bank's own site, so you are protected by the bank's own security, which is renowned to be pretty good. Card payments always occur on the casino's own site, with your bank's system then doing a security check afterwards. Until you have that check, you are subject to the casino's own security measures, which will never top the banks. Most importantly, if someone steals your bank card, there's nothing to stop them making payments, either until you or your bank notices an oddity in your spending habits.

Security In Summary

  • Card payment information easier to steal
  • Card information stored on casino's own servers
  • Bank data isn't stored and has to be authorised on a case by case basis
  • Bank transfers have more security checks since its direct bank access and payment is hosted on the bank's own site, making it more likely for fraud to be caught


This is the real crux of the decision as to whether or not you want to use bank transfers or card payments. Direct debits are named as such because they directly access your bank account. They skip a lot of processing in this way and are able to simply add and remove money near instantly to your account.

Bank transfers can offer the same speed, but usually it's only for specifically high priority transactions, which more than likely won't be given to any casino payment. There are also several differences in speed to how swiftly the consumer can set up each payment and then how the banks handle the transaction from then on. So we'll split this segment into speed for the consumer and the speed that the payment is processed.

Consumer Speed

With credit cards and debit cards, you can save your details to every mobile casino you deposit in. Casinos often like returning money deposited straight back to the card it was deposited with. This works out for them in terms of simplicity and security, allowing them to make sure you haven't stolen a card, whilst keeping the payments swift as possible. In fact, many casinos will only allow one single card to be used at any one time.

Some may be easier and offer you up to 3 saved cards. Bank transfers work very differently. Casinos will never save bank details for a transfer. This means that every time you want to deposit or withdraw funds, you must type in those details every time. This means always having your bank details on you. It's not the most taxing thing ever, but since there's no single area that contains all the required information, like you would have with a card, it can become tiresome.

Payment Speed

In terms of the bank's processing speeds, these are subject to change depending on which bank we're talking about. However, the general consensus is that debit card and credit card payments will transfer much faster than bank transfers. This is generally considered to be the biggest disadvantage to bank transfer payments. Bank transfer payments will take up to 5 days to deposit or withdraw any funds. This is if you're a UK resident and international payments can easily take almost double that time.

Credit and debit cards are much faster when it comes to paying in and out. In terms of paying in, payments are instantaneous. Payment speeds are expanded somewhat when the cash is being withdrawn. The maximum time it can take is 3 days. But this can be greatly increased based on your bank and the casino. Some casinos can withdraw money within one working day and additional days are usually due to casino processing times, rather than any restriction the bank has placed on it.

Speed In Summary

  • Bank transfers take 5 days to process both ways, but can increase
  • Credit/debit cards take 3 days maximum to process withdrawals on the bank's end
  • Credit/debit cards process deposits within 1 working day maximum
  • Credit/debit card information can be saved, even multiple cards
  • Bank transfer details can't be saved at casinos


This is a pretty simple matter. Banks are more likely to offer refunds for card payments rather than bank transfers. The simple reason is, given that the information required to make a card payment is much easier to attain than bank transfer information; banks are less able to claim fraud hasn't taken place. If someone gets hold of your card, they have everything they need to make payments using it.

Since the banks have designed cards to be simple to use, this has caused a double edged sword where they're easier to be stolen, if the user isn't careful. So to combat this, banks are much happier to offer refunds as long as there's no sign of foul play. Bank transfers offer a direct line to your bank account and because of this, the information to access it is much harder. It isn't the case that banks won't refund payments taken this way, but because it's much harder for a thief to find these details, the fault is usually considered to lie with the customer.

Refunds In Summary

  • Credit cards and debit cards allow for better fraud protection and therefore easier refunds
  • Bank transfers do allow for refunds, but they are much harder to win
  • Bank transfers do have overall better security, so the need for refunds will be less likely

Final Summary

At the end of it, we'd personally recommend credit and debit card payments. When it comes to speed, simplicity and the ability to claim back refunds, card payments come out on top. But bank transfers have a few very strong points in their side of the court. They also offer many things that may appeal to those who want to avoid all the downsides of card payments. Bank transfers are more secure, since your banking information is much more spread out than card information.

For those who don't want to save banking information at their casinos, bank transfers also offer a solution to that problem, since no data is actually stored on the casino's servers. So the real decision is, if you want definitive security, then bank transfers is the way to go. But for everything else, card payments beat it flat out.

© 2016-2021 GDC Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Problem Gamble Support
T&C's Apply.