Competitive analysis of global e-wallets: Skrill, NETELLER, STICPAY and more
An e-wallet is a prepaid online account, accessed via a mobile app or a desktop, which allows a user (an individual or company) to deposit and store money (which then becomes e-money) for any future online transaction, with the option of later withdrawing it. The terms ‘e-wallet’ and ‘digital wallet’ are used interchangeably within the industry, particularly in the world of blockchain. Some experts make the distinction that e-wallets require money to be moved and loaded onto them prior to any transaction (online or offline), whereas digital wallets simply save the user’s card details for easy future transactions, with the money remaining in the user’s bank or card account. Furthermore, the terms ‘digital wallet’ and ‘mobile wallet’ are often used interchangeably, but a mobile wallet is stored in an app on a mobile device, while a digital wallet can be accessed via a desktop too. Sometimes when looking for statistics, you can see all three terms being used interchangeably.
In this article we want to cover a handpicked selection of players who are currently active on the e-wallet market, including Skrill, NETELLER, STICPAY and more.
The diversity of payment methods offered by an e-wallet is one of the key advantages of e-wallets in terms of convenience. A single platform can offer diverse deposit and withdrawal methods. Interestingly, the Skrill and NETELLER e-wallets have partnered with other global and local payment gateways and e-wallets for the convenient transfer of money by users. STICPAY offers Local Bank Wire options in many Asian countries. Local Bank Wire transfers mean lower fees for funding accounts. No client wants to waste a huge part of their funds on transfer fees, as it is the case with international bank wire transfers. Mastercard, Visa, UnioinPay and crypto transfer options are all supported.
E-wallets have a base currency which acts as the default currency. When a user converts money, their local currency is calculated against the base currency. Skrill and NETELLER use EUR as their base currency, while STICPAY uses USD. Having USD as the default currency has one key advantage over using EUR, the latter having a higher value than USD. The client’s balance will register as lower if converted to a currency that has a high value.
Skrill has 38 local currencies, NETELLER offers 28 and STICPAY — 25. Skrill and NETELLER chose to add other currencies with smaller values to cater for clients who use these currencies on a daily basis. But once chosen, the account currency cannot be changed with Skrill and NETELLER. Users must close their account and open a new one with their preferred currency. With STICPAY, clients can change the default account currency.
Users should familiarise themselves with all the stages where e-wallets impose charges, from deposits to transfers and withdrawals. Fees depend on the payment methods. The deposit fee in three e-wallets varies from 1% to 4%. After making a deposit, the user or merchant can make internal transactions within the e-wallet ecosystem, sending or receiving money from user to user, from user to merchant or vice versa. Internal transfer fees depend on the e-wallet business model, vary from one e-wallet to another but can be forecasted while using calculators on the relevant websites.
Withdrawal fees also depend on payment methods, and range from 0% to 7.5%. Users should be aware that if they make deposit or withdrawal by bank wire, the banks can charge a service commission too. It can vary from bank to bank.
At these stages, a currency conversion fee will be charged if the sender’s account currency is different from the recipient’s account currency. Skrill and NETELLER charge conversion fees that are almost two times higher than STICPAY.
Unlike Skrill and NETELLER, STICPAY does not charge clients if they decide not to, or forget to use their accounts.
E-walles have became a broad ecosystem providing services that include special offers, for example, prepaid cards and reward programmes. Skrill, NETELLER and STICPAY offer prepaid cards with difference in supported countries, places of usage and fees. STICPAY supports all countries except banned countries. Skrill and NETELLER offer prepaid cards only to authorised European Economic Area (EEA) countries. The withdrawal fee for the STICPAY card is lower than for Skrill and NETELLER prepaid cards.
E-wallets don’t just impose charges. On the contrary, you can earn money if you are an active user or refer other users. NETELLER, Skrill and STICPAY have referral programmes where they reward users for referrals, for ex. STICPAY, by being given 20% of the transaction budget made by referrals or up to €100 000 you can earn on Skrill. NETELLER has an interesting system of reward levels from Bronze to Diamond. STICPAY, for example, has also a special reward programme, SCOIN, which takes the form of an internal currency to be used within the STICPAY wallet, rewarding members for actively using the services. SCOIN will be rewarded in the value of up to 20% of the fees charged.
Each e-wallet has its own business and technical ecosystem. The fees charged depend on these structures too. For example, some e-wallets have their own technological resources to support the platform, whereas some rely on a third party. Furthermore, e-wallets have various contractors who fulfil local bank wires, meaning that there are differences between the countries served in terms of the conditions for depositing funds.
Below we offer to take a look at the table where we compare Skrill, NETELLER, STICPAY and some more e-wallets by different parameters.