8 Things You Need to Know Before Sign Up
Selecting a reliable multi-currency account, online money transfer service, prepaid debit card or payment gateway can be pretty rewarding but challenging with so many providers vying for your attention.
Skrill is unique in the way it does so much.
On the other, Skrill has some great competition in all the areas it operates and we want you to know about these.
Where Skrill might be your best option is if you need it for a number of services.
To help make your choice we analyse real user opinions not just our own (including negative reviews – see below) to answer whether Skrill is a good fit for YOU (and when it isn’t).
Full Disclosure: While we aim to show you the good and the bad in every review so you can make the best choice, there are links contained in this page which are affiliate links (and while not costing you anything) do earn us a commission if you click on them and decide to use the service. In many cases we also get the opportunity to provide you with discounts and offers as part of using the link. Cheers and Thank You!
Dive in to uncover the good, the bad, and even the ugly about Skrill.
- Wide availability in 200 countries
- Both Personal and Business options available
- Ability to work with forex and online gambling accounts
- No fixed transfer fee when you send money directly to a bank account
- Send money easily to an email address or phone number linked to a bank account
- Buy and sell crypto currency
- Offers a prepaid card powered by MasterCard
- User-friendly mobile app
- Getting fully operational can be tedious
- Complex fee structure
- High currency exchange fees for “Skrill to Skrill” international transfers
The Low Down
Skrill (opens a new tab so you can see what we are talking about) was launched way back in 2001 with an aim to simplify online payments (that is, Skrill to Skrill money transfers).
But over time, Skrill has evolved to offer a wide range of services, including payment gateways (used for e-commerce), bank account withdrawals, international money transfers as well as cryptocurrency trading.
Many of Skrill users are forex traders and online gambling customers simply because they are a FCA regulated way to hold funds while other services shy away. They have a multitude of ways to fund your account and can be very fast at transacting which can be very important.
Skrill is also goes head to head with PayPal as a payment gateway used by over 120,000 online merchants globally.
For individuals, Skrill also offers a prepaid MasterCard linked to your account so you can easily spend the funds in your e-wallet for online purchases, while traveling abroad (wherever MasterCard is accepted) and contactless payments (within EEA country-specific limits). However, this card is only available to authorized European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
Here’s everything you need to know about Skrill.
- When Skrill Works?
- When it Doesn’t Work
- How Does Skrill Work?
- How Much Does Skrill Cost?
- How Fast is Skrill?
- REAL Customer Reviews (including negative ones)
- Is Your Money Safe?
- Verdict – Is Skrill Right For You?
As a one stop shop for fast money transfers, multi currency account, crypto investing and possibly a prepaid Mastercard (Eurozone only) – Skrill may be a good solution to cover many needs.
Skrill also works hard to make things easy and has a user friendly online platform which supports 40 fiat currencies in over 200 countries.
Generally speaking, you can rely on Skrill in the following cases:
Sending money to friends and family: You can easily and quickly transfer funds to your friends and family with Skrill even using a credit or debit card. In terms of convenience and user experience for smaller amounts the experience works well.
But there are some fees you need to know about which we will address in a moment.
Prepaid debit Mastercard (for most Eurozone countries)
For many a prepaid debit Mastercard is a valuable addition but it is relatively expensive compared to their competition charging an annual fee of €10, ATM usage fees of 1.75% and foreign exchange of 3.99%.
Freelancers and solopreneurs: Freelancers and solopreneurs can also opt for Skrill to request and receive payments. Some freelance marketplaces (like Freelancer.com) also support Skrill.
For those on their own like PayPal, you can provide your email address associated with your Skrill account to receive funds. For many this might be suitable, for others having a multi-currency account with local bank account details and invoicing functionality may be preferable.
If you are looking to get paid or pay others internationally you might also like: Top 5 Alternatives to Payoneer
SMBs: Business owners can use Skrill to create payment gateways and make mass payments.
Online sellers: E-commerce merchants can integrate Skrill to offer customers a variety of payment methods (including over 100 local payment methods, 170 direct bank transfer connections as well as an e-wallet option)
Forex trading: The Skrill account is ideal when you need to move money fast across Forex platforms worldwide.
Travelling abroad and spending online: You can use a Skrill MasterCard prepaid card to withdraw cash from ATMs overseas as well as pay for products and services while travelling (accepted wherever MasterCard is supported). Want to spend at an online store? You can do that too.
Skrill can be a good choice for you if you want to do a number of things with one service, but if you just need a pre-paid debit card for travel or want to make money transfers, then from a cost point you could do better.
For example, here are some of the main fees;
- Depositing Funds (Usually free if you use a bank wire transfer)
- Withdraw Funds – Usually 4.65 GBP (EUR 5.50) or 7.5% for a withdrawal to Visa
- Transfer domestically is up to 2%
- Transfer internationally is fixed fee free, unless there is currency conversion
- For transactions involving currency conversion Skrill adds a fee of 3.99% to their wholesale exchange rates.
We go into more details below with in our How Much Does Skrill Cost section because you can save a lot of money if you know a few things!
For example, with money transfers, the “Skrill to Skrill” service is expensive but the “Skrill Money Transfer” service there is zero-FX rate mark up (normally 3.99%).
3.1 Setting up a Skrill Account (Personal and Business Accounts)
Getting started on Skrill (opens a new tab so you can keep reading) is a simple process but as you will see the verification process is interesting.
1. Select “Register” on their online sign up page or download the Skrill app on your iOs/Android device.
2. Enter your personal details such as First name, Last name, Country, Currency and email address
3. Set a password and click “Register now”
4. Once you log in, you’ll be asked to set up your security Pin
5. Fund your account with a deposit. (Funding your account is mandatory for account verification. Plus verifying your account means you can use their service uninterrupted and increase payment limits associated with your account).
Skrill offers the following options for funding your account:
- Bank transfer
- Debit/credit card
- Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash
6. Complete the verification process by keeping the following documents handy.
A color copy of your ID (such as driver’s license or passport) and a proof of address (for example, a utility bill or a bank statement issued in the last three months).
Additionally, you may be asked for “live” identity verification, for example, a picture of you holding up your ID. You can also verify your ID by linking it with Facebook.
National ID of the Skrill account creator, proof of registered company address, incorporation certificate to prove you’re a legitimate operating business (not applicable for sole-traders) and details of your shareholders and business partners on company header (signed and stamped, not applicable for sole-traders). You also have to complete a Merchant questionnaire.
If you follow the process to the tee and submit the right documents, your account can get verified within 5 minutes.
3.2 Receiving Funds
3.2.1 Personal accounts
Receiving payments with Skrill is free. There are three ways to get paid with Skrill on a personal account:
- You can easily receive money from clients or friends and family by sharing your email address registered with Skrill (no need to share financial details). This fund is deposited into your Skrill wallet and can be withdrawn into your bank account in all countries where Skrill Limited provides payment services. You can also withdraw the money to a Visa card, although it will attract higher fees.
- You can also get paid via a direct deposit into your bank account
- Alternately, you can get paid into a number of mobile wallets Skrill has partnered with by sharing your registered phone number. These funds can then be withdrawn in your local currency at nearby money agents
3.2.2 Business accounts
- Businesses can also get paid directly into their Skrill wallets by sharing their registered email address
- Online merchants can integrate Skrill at checkout to get paid via Skrill wallet transfers, bank transfers, or by credit and debit cards
3.3 Making Payments
- If your friends, family, or vendors have a Skrill account, you can simply initiate a payment by entering their email in the “Skrill to Skrill” option in the “Send” section of your mobile or web app. The funds will be deducted from your Skrill wallet. If they don’t have an account, they’ll receive an email with quick sign up instructions. Typically, “Skrill to Skrill” transactions are ideal for domestic payments. The maximum per‐transaction limit using this option is 10,000 EUR or equivalent.
- You can opt for lightning-fast bank transfers with Skrill Rapid Transfer. Rapid Transfer is also a great way to deposit funds into your Skrill account instantly.
- For international transfers, you can opt for “Skrill Money Transfer,” which lets you send international payments with zero-FX rate mark up (vs the 3.99% currency conversion fee on “Skrill to Skrill”)
- You can activate Skrill 1-Tap instant payments for trusted online vendors.
- You can also payment online merchants with the Skrill MasterCard prepaid card.
- Verified businesses can set up Mass Payments for up to 3000 recipients with Skrill.
It’s no secret that the fees and benefits are huge decision-making factors when choosing an online service such as Skrill.
Now, while opening (and closing) a Skrill account is free, there are numerous other charges (over and above currency transfer and currency exchange fees) that you should be aware of to avoid unexpected surprises.
But here’s the thing: although you can’t completely knock off the fees, you can save a cool bunch by signing up for their loyalty and affiliate programs: Knect Loyalty Programme, the VIP Programme, the VIP Ambassador Programme, Paysafe Affiliates.
Here we breakdown Skrill’s complex fee structure to make it crystal clear for you (regular accounts).
4.1 Deposit Fees
No matter which deposit method you choose to top up your account, you will be charged a convenience fee (except in the USA). Navigate to the “Deposit” section of your mobile or online account to check out the fees associated with your chosen top up method.
4.2 Withdrawal Fees
Withdrawal fees depend on the withdrawal option. This is how it looks like in the Eurozone:
- Withdrawal to Bank account– flat fee of EUR 5.50
- Withdrawal to VISA – 7.5%
- Withdrawal to mobile wallet – 1.45% (min. EUR 0.50)
- ATM withdrawal with Skrill Prepaid Mastercard®* – 1.75%
4.3 Fees for sending money
Skrill usually charges 1.45% of the transfer amount for sending money to another Skrill account, but this can vary by location. Direct deposits to bank accounts via Skrill are free though.
Skrill also charges a 3.99% mark up over the Reuters exchange rate if you’re using “Skrill to Skrill” for international payments. Skrill Money Transfer may be a better option in this case (no mark up on the FX rates). If you initiate a lot of international transfers, you may want to check out our International Money Transfer Services section.
You can fund an international transfer with Skrill Money Transfer if you’re from the following countries:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Canada, Switzerland, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, United Kingdom, Greece, Hong Kong, Croatia, Hungary, India, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Latvia, Morocco, Malta, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
You can receive funds from Skrill Money Transfers if you live in these countries: Austria, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India (India to India transfers aren’t allowed), Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nepal, Netherlands, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Philippines, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, United Kingdom.
4.4 Skrill Prepaid MasterCard
You’ll pay EUR 10 to apply for the physical card and another EUR 10 in annual fees to hold the card. ATM withdrawals will attract a 1.75% convenience fee anywhere in the world. Skrill doesn’t charge anything when you pay for goods and services in your country, abroad, or online with the card, but your merchant may levy a fee.
You can also hold one free virtual Skrill card with no annual maintenance fees. The cost of any subsequent card is EUR 2.50.
4.5 Buy and Sell crypto currency
Buying and selling crypto currency will also attract a fee depending on the transaction amount. You can typically expect to pay between EUR 0.99-1.99 for transactions of EUR 1-99. Transactions above EUR 100 will attract a flat fee of 1.5% of the amount.
Also note: If you don’t hold a EUR account, Skrill applies foreign exchange fees when you buy or sell crypto currency.
4.6 Account maintenance fees
Holding a Skrill account is free as long as you make at least one transaction a year. However, if you’re inactive, expect to pay about EUR 5 in maintenance fees (deducted from the funds in your account).
4.7 Other fees
Other than the service fees mentioned above, Skrill can also charge you for prohibited transactions (for example, transferring funds on behalf of a third party or using Skrill to make a cash advance on your credit card), chargebacks, reversing an incorrect transaction, etc. Some of these fees are pretty hefty (up to EUR 150), so you should definitely read the fine print.
Skrill is not doing itself any favours with their fee structure, but the one thing users vouch for is the transfer speed. Both Skrill to Skrill and Skrill Money Transfer for domestic payments are pretty much instant. But sometimes this varies by country and time of payment initiation.
International transfers with Skrill Money Transfer (available for both non-existing and existing customers) and Rapid Transfer funded bank transfers usually take 2-3 business days.
Skrill also issues refunds for failed transfers pretty quickly – you can expect to see the money back in your digital wallet within 1-2 business days.
Oh and remember to keep an eye on those payment limits, which vary by country. This will be shown to you when you initiate a transfer.
Withdrawal time frames also vary by country and Skrill may apply withdrawal limits to your account.
Usually, the funds take 1-5 business days to reflect in your bank account or Visa card. Don’t worry though, Skrill updates you about the processing time frame the moment you initiate a bank withdrawal.
Quick Tip: Make sure your bank account number, sort code, IBAN and/or BIC/SWIFT are correct while withdrawing if you want to avoid paying a reclaiming fee (typically EUR 25).
Skrill is rated 4.5/5 on Trustpilot with over 8000 reviews, which is considered “Excellent”. Most of their customers are raving about the fast and secure currency transfer services and the intuitive app.
But you can only gauge the true merit of a service by digging deep into real customer experiences. That’s why we trawled through 100s of user reviews for Skrill on Trustpilot.
And here’s the rub: a whopping 24% of these reviews are “Poor” reviews! Whoa.
So what really went down?
We found out that most of the poor reviews revolved around their tedious verification process and unexpected account freezes when large amounts were deposited in the digital wallet.
These issues are actually somewhat connected.
Skrill needs you to deposit funds in to your account before you can go ahead with the verification. In fact, you can keep using their payment services even without verifying your account if you stay within the prescribed payment and withdrawal limit (which varies by country and can be checked under your Account settings).
But if you want to send and withdraw higher amounts, Skrill needs you to mandatorily go through the verification process. Plus, as a fully authorized and regulated financial institution, Skrill also vets transactions that they consider unusual to prevent fraud and theft (this is pretty common with regulated financial bodies).
Be prepared to jump through some hoops to get your shiny new regulated and potentially very useful service up and running. Don’t wait around to get verified after you sign up and read the fine print to avoid bitter experiences. Plus, it never hurts to double check your documents before submitting them for verification.
It’s safe to say that Skrill has done their due diligence for protecting your funds and data. Skrill is fully authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK and the U.S. Department of Treasure’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Skrill relies on the same security demands as your typical high street banking service and share trading websites.
Skrill also uses a two-factor authentication method for keep your money and sensitive information safe. Apart from your personal security PIN, your account login, personal details, and transaction details are SSL protected with a 128-bit encryption method certified by VeriSign.
Lastly, Skrill never shares your bank or card details with merchants and recipients when you initiate a payment.
So does Skrill get a thumbs up from us?
Currency exchange with Skrill isn’t cheap and the fee structure seems geared to your convenience rather than streamlined to minimise costs.
That said, Skrill has evolved to offer a useful suite of services and those fast transfers are a potential deal maker.
Skrill addresses a gap in the market by offering a speedy and reliable and often excellent alternative to PayPal.
Essentially, it all comes down to what YOU’RE looking for in an online payment service and digital wallet.
If you are just looking for a service that does money transfers, a prepaid debit card or multi-currency account then we think you can likely do better.
Opening an account with Skrill is free and it may be worth signing up to find out whether it’s a good fit for you personally or for your business.