Skrill: where advantages end up turning into drawbacks?

28 March 2017

skrillLaunched in 2001 and first known as MoneyBookers and initially aimed at English and German clients, Skrill payment system has become very popular across Europe. It is quite competitive when compared to transaction platforms, such as PayPal, and just like any other digital solution, it has advantages and drawbacks depending on business and personal purposes of its users. When it comes to Skrill, there are five essential points that have their benefits and downsides that should be taken into consideration.

Getting started

The website has simple interface and convenient separate pricing for consumers and merchants. The platform is valued for fast registration process, considering it only takes one day, making Skrill one of the fastest online payment systems for signing up. Once users have an access to their personal cabinets they are provided with a number of transaction options and a digital wallet, and merchants are able to accept hosted payments and integrate with popular shopping carts, including Shopify and BigCommerce.

Nevertheless, users may face some complications should they decide to connect their bank account to Skrill, since the process is time consuming. While it is automated for a lot of customers, identity verification process for payments can also last for weeks, requiring personal data, such as pictures of your driving license, passport or ID that are treated carelessly in some cases, based on consumers’ reviews. Additionally, the emails are considered slower than online alternatives, which is useful to keep in mind; and only one account is available for every user.



Skrill has a wide range of fees, which depend on consumers’ needs, and some of them are definitely lower than those of its competitors. For example, merchant transaction fee is 2.99% + fixed amount, and cross-border transfers are free, while some companies charge up to 10% for sending funds overseas, and an annual membership only costs $12. Therefore Skrill may be a competitive option for international payments, getting ahead of PayPal, since their fees for merchants are 4.5% + fixed amount and their global fees reach 7.4%.

However, there is a lack of transparency, with some information available only after registration, which raises some concerns. The platform charges from 2.99% to 3.99% for currency conversion, although other payment systems offer this option for free. Users should also be careful when it comes to closing their accounts, whereas after a year the company may require a monthly cancellation fee of $2.90, so consumers and merchants should read the terms and conditions to avoid any hidden payments.


With their license obtained in the United Kingdom, the company is subject to Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has a two-step authorization process and may require either a full name or an email and a password for processing payments, keeping both credit card and account information safe and meeting the highest security standards. All important data is encrypted and security support specialists are always available online to prevent fraud and answer client questions.

Nevertheless, if customer funds are moved from their Skrill account, security rules may not apply, since many banks do not offer their support to the platform. While consumers are charged for unsuccessful transactions, amounts cannot be returned if some complications occur after the withdrawal, and some sums are reportedly lost due to this issue. Therefore, such problems should be solved individually, depending on payment solutions selected by users and safety guaranteed by other parties.

Business partners

Skrill has entered into a business partnership with Forex platforms and GrowBinary, which gives users a variety of trading tools to use and makes it a preferable payment method, since consumers who transfer funds to their NewForex accounts through the system get bonuses and 100% for every deposit. The platform also works with SOFORT, iDEAL, Giropay, Trustly and Payolution, and offers a prepaid MasterCard for its authorized clients, which can be sent to them within 10 business days.

Despite working with outstanding partners like Skype and Upwork, some merchants still use other payment systems, therefore consumers are not happy about having to use different platforms. And there are still countries which do not accept Skrill transactions, which is why some business owners prefer partnering with other companies. Nevertheless, it still offers best conditions to its associates, giving discounts and providing them with advertisements on Skrill website.

Business partners

Technical support

Unlike a number of other payment systems, Skrill offers 24/7 technical support available internationally through phone calls, emails, or social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, which makes it easier to stay in touch with the team, if there are any complications. Calling the company is one of the most effective ways to get an urgent assistance, but should users post questions on Skrill web pages they can get answers quite fast, or opt for a help section.

Although technical support is good in European countries, the US citizens often feel left out, since the emails usually are addressed within two weeks and there is a queue for local phone calls, while cross-border connection is expensive, therefore English team cannot help everyone. Some users have also noticed inaccuracy of the information given in emails, but it mostly refers to non-European clients, which gives Skrill space for further development and growth.

When choosing a platform for international payments, Skrill is definitely one of the best, especially if both sender and recipient prefer the same currency, or exchange it after the withdrawal. The platform’s business partners often give their clients bonuses and discounts, but consumers should make sure their preferable merchants are on the company’s list. The banking options should also be considered carefully to ensure safety not only for keeping funds, but for securely moving them to other accounts. Skrill is a payment system with flaws and advantages, therefore, when looking for a way to tansfer funds, customers should bear in mind both.

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