from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
paysafecard prepaid cards

legal form GmbH
founding 2000
Seat Vienna AustriaAustriaAustria 
management Udo Müller
Branch Payment services

paysafecard is an electronic means of payment based on the prepaid principle for payments on the Internet. It is currently offered in 46 countries. At sales outlets (such as certain petrol stations, post offices and tobacco shops), 16-digit PIN codes that always start with a 0 can be purchased with a credit; the amounts available depend on the country and are usually in the range of 10 to 100 €. The PINs can then be entered in the payment forms of online shops to settle small and medium amounts of up to € 1000, e.g. for providers in the areas of online games , telecommunications , the entertainment industry , social media , online dating agencies and for vouchers in electronic commerce . paysafecard PINs are not intended to be passed on by telephone or in writing; corresponding requests are usually attempted fraud.

Paysafecard is also available online in most countries, and via SMS in Switzerland. Other services and products offered by the company are the paysafecard app , the my paysafecard online payment account , the paysafecard Mastercard and the Paysafecash payment solution introduced in 2018 .

Often the company is inaccurately referred to as "Paysafe", the main product as "Paysafe card" or similar. In August 2015 the company was 100% taken over by the international Optimal Payments Group, which in turn renamed itself the Paysafe Group in November 2015 . Since then, paysafecard has been a brand of the Paysafe Group - alongside other online payment providers such as Skrill and Neteller .


After it was founded in Vienna in 2000, the company developed over the years into a multinational group with subsidiaries in London, Düsseldorf and Lucerne, among others . From 2013 paysafecard was taken over twice by international payment service groups and inspired the name of the newly formed Paysafe Group .

Early years

The paysafecard prepaid cards AG was founded in March 2000 by a team of four - Armin Sageder (first CEO), Michael Müller, Reinhard Eilmsteiner and Michael Altrichter - founded in Vienna. The aim was to develop a secure prepaid payment method for the Internet based on the model of the telephone prepaid card without any risk to account and credit card data. The leading investor was the Austrian industrialist Hannes Androsch , the technical infrastructure for the software developed by paysafecard was initially provided by IBM Austria. The paysafecard payment method went live in Austria in September 2000, and also in Germany at the end of May 2001. Initially, preprinted prepaid cards were sold with a fixed amount of credit. In 2002, paysafecard gradually switched from preprinted prepaid cards to vouchers ("e-vouchers") that were only printed out at the point of sale. Michael Müller became CEO of paysafecard in 2004.

Since the sales and acceptance points for paysafecard are different companies (in contrast to in-house vouchers, for example), trading with them is considered a banking business and requires approval under banking law. paysafecard was initially issued in Austria by Bawag PSK and in Germany by Commerzbank , making it the first prepaid card in Europe to be approved under banking law.

The company, which had to survive the financially difficult period of the burst dot-com bubble in its first few years , reached breakeven for the first time in 2005. At the end of the same year, paysafecard received EU funding for the coming years as part of the eTen program for the development and expansion of electronic services with a trans-European dimension. With this support, paysafecard started operating business in Great Britain , Spain , Greece , Slovenia and Slovakia in 2006 . In 2007, the number of transactions carried out with paysafecard exceeded 10 million for the first time.

Banking licenses and international expansion

In 2008, paysafecards British subsidiary Prepaid Services Company Ltd. an EU-wide license to issue electronic money from the Financial Services Authority ; this made paysafecard independent of issuing banks in the EU . In the following years, paysafecard gradually launched this license in all EU countries (with the exception of Estonia) and in the EEA country of Norway .

Also in 2008, the Swiss subsidiary Schweiz GmbH received a license as a financial intermediary from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) . This license is partly used for international expansion, in addition to purely national licenses for paysafecard subsidiaries in the respective countries. In 2009, paysafecard also received a Mastercard license for issuing corresponding credit cards.

In 2009, paysafecard went online with Argentina in the first non-European country, followed by the USA and Mexico the following year . By 2016, paysafecard was also launched in Turkey , Canada , Peru , Uruguay , Australia , New Zealand , Kuwait , Saudi Arabia and Georgia . In 2017, the company announced it would go live in the United Arab Emirates and Brazil .


In August 2011, paysafecard took over and merged its Dutch competitor Wallie .

In February 2013, the paysafecard group was 100% acquired by the British e-wallet provider Skrill for € 140 million. Skrill had already taken over the Austrian start-up payolution in 2011 , a white label service provider for online shops that offers e-payment methods for purchase on account and payment in installments . Skrill, paysafecard and payolution were henceforth the brands of the Skrill Group . In February 2014, CEO Michael Müller handed over the management to his brother Udo Müller after 10 years, and in July paysafecard Wertkarten AG was transformed into paysafecard Wertkarten GmbH . In November 2014, Skrill also bought British paysafecard competitor Ukash and merged it with paysafecard.

The Skrill Group for its part was taken over by the Optimal Payments Group in August 2015 , a direct competitor of Skrill through its e-wallet Neteller . In November 2015, the Optimal Payments Group rebranded to the Paysafe Group . Since then, paysafecard has been a subsidiary of the Paysafe Group alongside Neteller, Skrill, payolution and the Canadian company FANS Entertainment, which was also acquired in 2015 . Other previous brands of the group, such as the payment platform Netbanx , are offered directly under the Paysafe brand .

Partnerships and further developments

Since the end of 2018, paysafecard has been available as a payment method for the Google Play Store in 10 European countries through the partnership between Google and Paysafe .

As a result of the upcoming Brexit , paysafecard - like Skrill - acquired a new e-money license in Ireland in 2019 . Paysafecard has been issued in the EU under the Irish license since October 29, 2019.

Products and offers

At the end of 2018, the following products and offers were available from paysafecard:

paysafecard PINs

The paysafecard is used to buy digital goods from web shops that offer this payment option. At the points of sale (e.g. petrol stations , kiosks , post offices , lottery acceptance points, food retailers ), the customer can purchase various credits in the range of usually € 10 to € 100 (or similar amounts of the respective national currency), which are given to him in the form of a 16- digit PIN . Standard values ​​in the euro zone are € 10, € 25, € 50 and € 100. In Germany, PINs with a value of 15, 20 and 30 € are sometimes offered, in Switzerland the values ​​25, 75 and 150  CHF are available. This PIN is given online during the payment process at a web shop, and the amount charged is debited from paysafecard. PINs can be used several times and also combined with one another so that larger amounts can be paid and remaining amounts can be used up. A completely emptied paysafecard can no longer be used; the customer can purchase new ones as required.

The PINs are only to be used during the payment process in the paysafecard payment window to which the customer is forwarded from the web shop. Under no circumstances is a PIN for a trade to be passed on in writing or by email; corresponding requests by a goods supplier are attempted fraud. Reselling PINs is not allowed.

In almost all countries, customers can combine up to 10 PINs with one payment. This means that the maximum amount payable in one transaction is ten times the highest paysafecard offered in the country where the web shop is located, i.e. usually € 1,000 in the euro zone and CHF 1,500 in Switzerland. In Germany, on the other hand, due to stricter anti-money laundering regulations, a maximum of three PINs may be combined for a transaction amount of up to € 30 (without prejudice to the up to € 100 for payments with a single PIN). For larger amounts and better combinability, we recommend registering a my paysafecard account.

my paysafecard

my paysafecard is a free online payment account introduced in 2012/2013, similar to the cyberwallets of sister companies Skrill and Neteller , but can only be topped up with paysafecard. It is available in most of the European countries. In this account, PINs can be uploaded to a combined credit, which can then be used in web shops simply by logging in with a user name and password and confirming the transaction amount. It also provides an overview of all transactions, top-ups and remaining balance. The minimum age for registration is 16 years.

A my paysafecard account is by its nature not anonymous - registration under real names with correct contact details is required. Most states have two statuses, Standard and Unlimited . The former only requires confirmation of your own email address and mobile phone number; the annual top-up and transaction volume and the maximum credit are limited to 2500 € each in the euro zone. For Unlimited , a confirmation of your own identity with scanned documents and address or bank account verification is necessary. The maximum credit here is 5000 €, the sales and top-up amounts are unlimited (different limits apply in Switzerland).

In Germany there is only one uniform status available, which corresponds to Unlimited . In the past, customers had to confirm their identity using the Postident method; Since 2014, alternative verification has been offered within minutes via video telephony.


my PLUS is a loyalty program introduced in 2014 for holders of a my paysafecard account. For every transaction, the user is assigned loyalty points, which he can then exchange for certain offers from web shops.

paysafecard direct

paysafecard direct is a service set up in 2016 with which my paysafecard account holders can have their PINs uploaded to their account when shopping. First, the customer generates a barcode in the account for an amount of up to € 250. He can have this barcode scanned in at a point of sale and receives the PIN uploaded directly into the account with the payment.

paysafecard Mastercard

paysafeCard Mastercard is a Mastercard licensed credit card that does not require a bank account and can be used for online and offline payments worldwide. It is available in many European countries, but only in Austria in German-speaking countries. The card is requested via a my paysafecard account and subsequently also topped up with it. There is an annual fee of € 9.90 as well as a top-up fee of 4% of the top-up amount.

paysafecard app

The paysafecard app enables a my paysafecard user account to be operated conveniently using a smartphone . In addition, the scan2pay function enables easier loading and payment by scanning the QR code , which is printed on a paysafecard in addition to the PIN or displayed on a payment form, and by verification using a finger scan.


Paysafecash is a service introduced in 2018 for offline cash payment for online purchases. The customer first completes the purchase in a web shop and receives a bar or QR code ; Like paysafecard direct , he has this scanned in at a partner branch and pays the invoice amount. At the end of 2018, Paysafecash was available in around 20 countries. In Switzerland it is also possible to pay via ticket machines .


YUNA, launched in several European countries in 2010, was the first Mastercard offered by paysafecard. At the moment only the YUNA TO GO variant is available in Switzerland. It can be purchased at the sales outlets and topped up there; top-ups are also possible after registering online.

Voucher shop

Vouchers for purchases of physical goods from certain providers, for example from Amazon , Zalando , Swarovski or Otto, can be purchased in the voucher shop . The payment of a voucher is made via a my paysafecard account, whereby separate registration as a user is required in the voucher shop, but only with the e-mail address.


paysafecard has received the following awards and recognitions to date:

Electronic payment prices

Paybefore Awards (from 2016 Pay Awards)

The Paybefore Awards , from 2016 Pay Awards, are presented by the American Paybefore media group (a subsidiary of Informa ), which focuses on electronic payment solutions.

  • 2009 Best Non-US Prepaid Program
  • 2010 Best Network Branded Gift Program
  • 2012 Best Digital Currency
  • 2012 Most Innovative Prepaid Solution Europe
  • 2013 Best virtual or digital program
  • 2013 Best Consumer Value Europe
  • 2014 Top Digital Dollars
  • 2014 Consumer Champion Europe
  • 2015 Consumer Value
  • 2015 Consumer Value Europe
  • 2016 Best Online or Mobile Commerce Solution
Further prices for electronic payment methods
  • 2009 Prepaid Awards Leading Prepaid Organization 2009
  • 2012 Paiements Innovants Trophée Publi News des Cartes Innovantes 2012
  • 2013 Prepaid Awards France Meilleur program numérique ou dematerialisé
  • 2014 recognition as a banking IT innovation
  • 2015 EGR B2B Awards Mobile Payments Solution


  • 2011 IAB - Web AD Bronze Award Best Creative Strategy
  • 2014 inclusion in The New Economy 2013 Innovation 40
  • 2014 Austria's Leading Companies : 3rd place in the Big Player category in Vienna
  • 2015 Finalist Best of Mobile Awards Finance
  • 2015 Austria's Leading Companies: 1st place Vienna, category Big Player
  • 2017 Austria's Leading Companies: 1st place Vienna, category International


End customers

The purchase and normal use of paysafecard is free of charge for the customer - 100% of the amount paid in cash is available for payment with the PIN. There are also no costs for checking your credit balance and transaction overview over the Internet, using my paysafecard or the app.

When paying in a currency other than that shown on the PIN, a conversion surcharge of 2% will be charged. If a paysafecard has not been used up one year after purchase, or if a my paysafecard account has not been used for payments for a year, a fee of € 3 or € 2 per month applies, in the worst case until the remaining balance is used up. A processing fee of € 7.50 will be retained for exchanging and paying out a PIN or a my paysafecard credit. In addition, some web shops charge a transaction or deposit fee, which must be displayed to the customer before implementation.


The use of paysafecard as a payment method and telephone support are free of charge for the merchant. A transaction- dependent discount applies only to sales actually achieved . This is determined by the amount of monthly sales with paysafecard and by industry. In 2003, 5.5% for physical goods, 12% for intangible goods and 19% for micropayments were given as guide rates.


In addition to the prepaid principle, a special distinguishing feature from other online payment methods is that no personal data is required from the user in order to make a payment . The paysafecard provides suitable protection against third parties, as the maximum amount on the card can be lost if it is misused. Thanks to the inherent prepaid process, paysafecard offers almost complete protection against identity theft or phishing .

Apart from that, the paysafecard carries a relevant risk for end consumers if it is mistakenly understood as a means of payment with an escrow function. Corresponding cases of fraud in classified ads markets and online auctions are frequently reported on the Internet.

Paysafecard is said to be able to detect misuse by entering a PIN. How this procedure happens is not known. The cards are blocked and the owner must send a copy of the card to support. The card is then not unlocked, but the card value is paid out when the owner sends Paysafecard his bank details, address details and a copy of his identity card.

Age of the customer

The purchase of a paysafecard is not subject to any particular age limit. When selling to minors, the point of sale must take into account the pocket money paragraph .

When purchasing an article with an age limit, the online retailer himself checks whether the article can be given to the respective customer. Even in the event of an objection to the purchase by the legal guardian, it is not paysafecard's duty, but the retailer.

The registration of a my paysafecard account requires a minimum age of 16 years.

Make calls with paysafecard

In 2010, woopla GmbH was the first to offer payment for phone calls using paysafecard. To do this, the user dials a special phone number and then enters his paysafecard PIN. According to the company, there are now twelve telephone providers.

Use by ransomware distributors

In addition to Ukash , the paysafecard is used to make ransom payments to the distributors of ransomware viruses such as the “Federal Police Trojans ” (also known as “Blackmail Trojans”) and its successors such as B. forward the child porn trojan and thereby ensure their anonymity. Newer ransomware viruses encrypt all personal data of the victim. The ransomware uses asymmetric keys . In the past, when a required sum of money was paid, the damage was not always repaired as promised.


In the 2014/2015 season, paysafecard was the main and shirt sponsor of the German second division soccer team 1. FC Kaiserslautern .

Furthermore, paysafecard was one of the sponsors of ESL One Cologne 2015 in August of the same year.

Paysafecard has been a sponsor of the G2 Esports clan since 2015 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. milestones., accessed December 22, 2015 .
  2. The following two locations are available in several countries, in some there are also others nationally that are listed in the respective country version of the Buy Paysafecard page :
    * epin - Buy your paysafecard PINs online at any time!, accessed on December 29, 2015 (official direct sale from, currently only in Austria in German-speaking countries). *
    WKV. The official paysafecard distributor., accessed December 29, 2015 .

  4. Example: Ried / Riedmark: Paysafe fraud failed., October 15, 2015, accessed November 10, 2015 .
  5. Optimal Payments closes Skrill acquisition., August 19, 2015, accessed November 10, 2015 .
  6. ^ Official website of the Paysafe Group. Retrieved November 10, 2015 .
  7. Melanie Manner: From physicist to successful young Internet entrepreneur. Wirtschaftsblatt , February 24, 2001, archived from the original on December 23, 2015 ; accessed on December 22, 2015 .
  8. Paysafecard - the first prepaid card for web shoppers. paysafecard, September 14, 2000, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  9. paysafecard launches in Germany. paysafecard, May 31, 2001, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  10. Müller becomes paysafecard spokesman., November 5, 2004, accessed on November 8, 2019 .
  11. ^ Thomas Lammer: Handbook E-Money, E-Payment & M-Payment. Springer Verlag 2006, p. 250
  12. Melanie Manner: "And then I stayed". Wirtschaftsblatt , March 8, 2015, archived from the original on March 9, 2015 ; accessed on December 22, 2015 .
  13. Harald Hornacek: Case study: How Wertkarten AG tapped EU subsidies - and what it intends to do with it. Die Wirtschaft, November 28, 2005, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  14. paysafecard was used over 10 million times in 2007. Der Standard , February 6, 2008, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  15. paysafecard receives EU license to issue electronic money. Der Standard , June 12, 2008, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  16. Bruno Habegger: paysafecard is expanding into Switzerland., February 21, 2008, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  17. paysafecard takes over payment provider Wallie Holding. Der Standard , August 24, 2011, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  18. David Diem: Exit: Wiener Paysafecard goes to Skrill for € 140 million., June 28, 2012, accessed on December 22, 2015 .
  19. zinnaglism2: Skrill Group Acquires Payolution 4 Months after Launch., September 7, 2011, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  20. Paysafecard loses boss., February 28, 2014, accessed on November 8, 2019 .
  21. The paysafecard management. Retrieved January 5, 2016 .
  22. Skrill strengthens Paysafecard. In: Courier . April 2, 2015, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  23. Optimal Payments closes Skrill acquisition. Optimal Payments, August 10, 2015, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  24. Optimal Payments snaps up FANS Entertainment., May 28, 2015, accessed December 22, 2015 .
  25. NETBANX Payment Gateway & Merchant Account. Retrieved December 22, 2015 .
  26. Google starts partnership with paysafecard in Germany. Retrieved January 15, 2019 .
  27. Jonathan Keane: With Brexit (seemingly) days away, UK firm Paysafe secured e-money approval in Ireland., March 19, 2019, accessed February 4, 2020 .
  28. Changes to paysafecard services due to Brexit. paysafecard, accessed on February 4, 2020 .
  29. Buy paysafecard: sales outlets near you. Retrieved May 7, 2019 .
  30. Secure online prepaid card - Retrieved May 7, 2019 .
  31. Secure online prepaid card - Retrieved May 7, 2019 .
  32. Tim Aschermann: Buy a Paysafecard - that's how it works., November 26, 2015, accessed January 5, 2016 .
  33. Paysafecard opts for [verify U] f2f., June 23, 2014, accessed October 25, 2019 .
  34. paysafecard launches my PLUS loyalty program. April 3, 2014, accessed January 4, 2016 .
  35. Offline meets online: that's paysafecard direct! August 31, 2016, accessed March 30, 2017 .
  36. Damaris Oesch: Paysafecash - enabling online payments for 'cash consumers'., December 20, 2018, accessed December 21, 2018 .
  37. ↑ Buy online - pay offline!, accessed on March 2, 2019 .
  38. YUNA TO GO. paysafecard, accessed on January 4, 2016 .
  39. Voucher shop., accessed February 5, 2020 .
  40. 15 years of experience in prepaid online payment., accessed February 1, 2016 .
  41. ^ The Winner's Circle: Paybefore Announces 2009 Award Winners (February 2009)., February 12, 2009, accessed February 1, 2016 .
  42. ^ Paybefore Awards 2010: The Winner's Circle (March 2010)., September 15, 2010, accessed February 1, 2016 .
  43. Paybefore Celebrates Best in Prepaid at Prepaid Expo USA (March 12, 2012). March 13, 2012, accessed February 1, 2016 .
  44. ^ Paybefore Announces Best-in-Category Winners in London (March 2012)., March 20, 2012, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  45. 2013 Paybefore Awards: Best Virtual or Digital Program (May 2013)., May 1, 2013, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  46. ^ Paybefore Honors Innovation in Orlando, Announces Europe Winners (March 2013)., September 20, 2013, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  47. 2014 Paybefore Awards Winners List., April 22, 2014, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  48. Paybefore Reveals Best-in-Category Winners for European Awards in Spain., May 20, 2014, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  49. 2015 Paybefore Awards Winners: Record Sixth Judge Participation., January 14, 2015, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  50. 2015 Paybefore Awards Europe: Consumer Value., April 21, 2015, accessed February 17, 2016 .
  51. 2016 Pay Awards Winners: Support Your Favorites., January 19, 2016, accessed August 26, 2016 .
  52. Communique de presse, Prepaid Awards 2013., October 11, 2013, accessed on February 17, 2016 .
  53. Analyzed innovation. (No longer available online.) Http:// , October 30, 2014, archived from the original on January 25, 2016 ; accessed on February 17, 2016 (see paysafecard in the list and click to open the entry).
  54. EGR B2B Awards 2015 Winners Announced. Casino Locale, June 20, 2015, archived from the original on April 20, 2016 ; Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  55. ^ Winner 2011. Web AD, archived from the original on July 14, 2012 ; Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  56. The Innovation 40., accessed on 26 August 2016 .
  57. ALC 2014: The best big player in Vienna is Henkel Central Eastern Europe GmbH. Wirtschaftsblatt , November 25, 2014, archived from the original on March 21, 2015 ; Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  58. Best of Mobile Award 2015., archived from the original on May 2, 2015 ; Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  59. ^ The ALC federal state winners 1999-2015. Wirtschaftsblatt , archived from the original on June 2, 2014 ; Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  60. ALC 2015: wants to become the global market leader. Wirtschaftsblatt , November 24, 2015, archived from the original on January 22, 2016 ; accessed on February 17, 2016 .
  61. ALCAustria's Leading Companies - “Die Presse” - SPECIAL INSERT., November 17, 2017, accessed December 20, 2017 .
  62. Paysafecard: paysafecard fees and limits., November 28, 2017, accessed November 28, 2017 .
  63. Paysafecard: my paysafecard fees., November 28, 2017, accessed November 28, 2017 .
  64. Thorsten Pietsch: Online payment methods - status quo and development potential: Using the example of Aposto in cooperation with VOLKSWAGEN Bank direct. Diploma thesis, Verlag 2003, p. 152.
  65. What is Paysafecard and how does it work? Retrieved March 9, 2018 .
  66. Ebay classifieds: These are the current scams . In: . ( [accessed on March 9, 2018]).
  67. Tips for secure online payments - . In: paysafecard . ( [accessed March 9, 2018]).
  68. Ariane Windsperger: Paysafecard from 18? - Informative., accessed on January 5, 2016 .
  69. woopline | Cheap phone calls without registration paid with paysafecard. Retrieved May 7, 2019 .
  70. ( Memento of the original dated August 16, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Telephony & messaging  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  71. Child porn trojans are becoming more aggressive
  72. ^ Ransomware viruses ,
  73. paysafecard becomes the new main sponsor of the FCK., August 1, 2014, accessed October 2, 2015 .
  74. Paysafecard ends shirt sponsorship., May 22, 2015, accessed October 2, 2015 .
  75. ESL One Cologne 2015 is supported by., accessed October 19, 2015 .
  76. Home - G2 Esports. In: G2 Esports. Retrieved August 18, 2016 (American English).