In this article, we'll make a comparison between Wise vs. TorFX. Which one is better for US customers? Which one is cheaper? Find out more here.
Skrill was established way back in 2001 when it was known as Moneybookers.¹ It is an online payment system that works similarly to PayPal, allowing users to send and receive payments to users all over the world.
So, in this Skrill.com review, we’ll take a closer look at those benefits, covering Skrill charges, exchange rates, debit card and credit card options, and more.
We’ll also ask the question that has dominated the Google search ranking for years: Is Skrill trustworthy?
Lastly, we’ll also talk about an alternative option to Skrill, Wise. With Wise, there are no hidden markup fees, and it takes just minutes to open a free account – but more on that later.
|📝 Table of contents|
Skrill initially launched in the UK with a focus on the online gambling sector. In the early 2000s, PayPal had turned its back on the industry following some regulatory changes and this opened the door for companies like Skrill and Neteller (now owned by the same parent company) to position themselves as an alternative to PayPal and start building their reputations.²
Skrill was given its current name in 2013, following a rebranding process that lasted two years. In 2015, the company was acquired by Optimal Payments Plc, by which time it had also acquired Paysafecard, a voucher-based payment system. Perhaps influenced by this, Optimal Payments would later change its name to The Paysafe Group.³
Throughout that time, Skrill has remained one of the biggest web wallet providers in the world.
Skrill is very safe and secure. It is incorporated in the United Kingdom, where it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.⁴
Understandably, some users may be concerned with its past association with the gambling industry, but it’s important to remember that Skrill was founded in the UK and continues to operate under UK law. Online gambling is legal throughout the United Kingdom and is widely promoted on television and throughout sporting events.
So, is Skrill legit? Absolutely. Is Skrill reliable? Very much so.
Skrill works in a multitude of countries and currencies and the fees can differ depending on where you are and what currency you use. To give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay in the United States, take a look at these USD rates for US customers:
|Depositing Money||$0⁵||Methods include Visa, Mastercard, Paysafecard, Bank Transfer, ACH, and Paysafe Cash.|
|Send Money||$0⁵||To other Skrill users and merchants.|
|Receive Money||$0⁵||From other Skrill users and services.|
|International Transfers||4.99%⁵||The outgoing and incoming currency must be the same.|
|Currency Exchange Rate||3.99%⁵||This fee is charged in addition to the wholesale exchange rate.|
|Skrill Prepaid Card||$10 per Year; $2.50 ATM Fee⁵||You may also be asked to pay $10 if you don’t meet certain requirements.⁵|
As you can see, a Skrill money transfer is free if it’s domestic, but you may be hit with a fee if you’re sending internationally. You may also be hit with a fee of $5 per year if your account is inactive, which means you didn’t make at least one payment over the previous 12 months. This won’t happen if you have closed the account, so if you no longer wish to use the service, make sure you withdraw every last cent and close your account.
For the most part, these fees are very reasonable. However, that changes when you start making international transfers and process payments in different currencies. The “wholesale exchange rate” mentioned above is published by a third-party data provider (Reuters), and you’ll be asked to pay 3.99% on top of this.⁵ That may not sound like much, but it all adds up.
|In such cases, you may be better off with Wise, which doesn’t charge hefty transfer fees or currency conversion fees. Nothing is hidden, everything is transparent, and it is one of the easiest and cheapest way to send money abroad.|
Skrill is a great service for some users, but might not be the right one for others. It all depends on what you need it for. To help you discover if Skrill is right for you, take a look at these pros and cons.
If you’re using Skrill as a business, whether you’re buying and selling products or you’re using it to make regular payments to contractors and freelancers, you may benefit more from a Skrill Business account.⁶
It promises to help you “Move your money where you want, when you want, with a brand that puts your security first.” You can transfer money into a number of different currencies, and it also offers fast withdrawals.
As noted already, Skrill is very safe and secure. It has been regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority since day one and has always abided by some very strict rules and regulations, doing everything within its power to keep its users, and their money, safe and secure.
Of course, a service like this is only as safe as its users. If you lose your password and/or your devices, or you connect through an unsecured Wi-Fi network, you will be putting yourself at risk.
There are a few systems in place to try and negate this risk. For instance, it will try to recognize your device and your IP while asking you to use two-factor authentication, but these only work if you let them, so remember to use the services responsibly.
Skrill has a prepaid card that connects to your Skrill account and can be used to withdraw money from ATMs and make in-person purchases.
The Skrill debit card wasn’t available in the United States for a long time, even though similar services were offered elsewhere (including PayPal and Wise) but this changed at the beginning of 2020.⁷
The card is easy to activate and fairly cheap to use. However, there are a few fees to be aware of, as noted in our Skrill Fees table above.
You can access Skrill directly through your web browser and it works with most types of browsers and operating systems. It is also available on mobile and you can download the Skrill app from both the Android and iOS app stores. It means that you can use Skrill on the go, whether you’re checking your account, making a payment, or withdrawing some funds.
Take a look at our FAQs for a quick app-based Skrill payment review.
Many Skrill wallet reviews complain about the verification process. For the most part, these complaints are unfounded. After all, it’s required by law and those rules are in place to protect users and create a safe environment overall. However, if you encounter an issue, it may take time to resolve it properly and this is when it becomes an issue.
To complete the verification process, you will need to submit a picture ID, such as a driver’s license or a passport, along with a utility bill, which serves as proof of address.⁸
Skrill doesn’t have a Live Chat feature. There is a chatbot called Sofia, but you won’t be connected directly to an actual customer support representative and the service is only available to existing members (it asks you to enter a registered email address before you start chatting).⁹
Wise is one of the best alternatives to Skrill. There are no markup fees, you only pay the exchange rate you see in the search engine plus a small, transparent fee. You can keep or exchange your funds in more than 50 currencies and have local bank details in more than 9 currencies. It’s completely free to open an account and enjoy the following benefits:
- Send and receive money abroad with transparent and small fees
- Hold and exchange money in 55+ currencies
- Get local bank details in EUR, USD, GBP, CAD, AUD, NZD, SGD, RON, TRY and HUF
- Get a debit card for your multi-currency account which you can use at ATMs all over the world.
It takes just minutes to open an account – give it a try today!
It’s up to you to decide. These companies have been around a long time and they have accumulated a lot of positive and negative reviews. At the same time, they have both invested a lot of time and money into improving their services. It feels like PayPal might have the edge in the extent and efficiency of these changes, especially when you consider how much quicker and more effective its customer service is compared to Skrill, but it all comes down to personal preference.
The time it takes to fund your Skrill account will depend on the method chosen. For instance, bank transfers take anywhere from 2 to 5 days, depending on when they are processed and by which bank. It’s one of the slowest ways you can fund your Skrill account, as Paysafecard, Rapid Transfer, debit card, and credit card payments will all be processed instantly.¹⁰
Skrill is available in dozens of countries and regions around the world. There are far too many to list here, but if you take a look at this page, you will find a list of the countries where Skrill is not available.
In addition, there are some countries where Skrill is available, but features are limited. For instance, the Skrill Prepaid card is offered in the United States and a few other countries, but there are many more regions where it’s not available.
The Skrill app condenses all of the features down into a compact form and makes it easy to navigate to where you need to be and send/receive money in a few clicks. You can find the Skrill app on the iOS and Android app stores. It takes just a few seconds to download and install and will make your life easier when it comes to making payments on the go.
Please note, while there doesn’t seem to be an app for other mobile platforms, you should still be able to access your Skrill account through your mobile browser. It might not be as accessible and user-friendly as the app, but it’s certainly better than nothing!
Skrill is often considered as a PayPal alternative, which suggests it just sits in the shadow of its bigger and more established rival. But to label Skrill as a mere “alternative” is to do it a disservice, as it’s a massive and feature-rich service in its own right.
Just because Pepsi has a similar recipe to Coca-Cola, doesn’t mean you should always opt for the latter when you’re at a restaurant or browsing the grocery store aisles. Some people love Pepsi, others prefer Coca-Cola, and most are happy to drink both of them.
If you have any experiences with PayPal, positive or negative, it’s worth signing up for a Skrill account. You’ll fit right in and may discover a new favorite program. If not, and you’re looking for a new way to send and receive money online, we recommend checking it out and seeing if it’s for you.
Alternatively, to send money abroad with small and transparent fees, and a host of other benefits, just give a try to Wise.
- Moneybookers to Rebrand as Skrill – Techcrunch Article
- Skrill – Wikipedia Page - Criticism and Controversies
- Completion of Acquisition of Skrill – Paysafe Group Announcement.
- Skrill - Homepage
- Skrill Fees – United States/USD
- Skrill Business – Payment Features
- Skrill USA Launched Prepaid Card - BusinessWire
- Skrill – Account Verification FAQ
- Skrill - Support
- Skrill – How to Deposit
All sources checked on 25 March 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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