Month: January 2011
Reports are coming in that the gaming industry is in real trouble right now. There is a recession, meaning that fewer people have the extra money they need to play games online, bet on sports, etc.
But the other shoe that has dropped is the fact that the US government is doing all it can to shut them off from the international banking system, targeting especially credit cards, which is the main way they use for customers to put money into their gaming account.
There are 2 main problems with this: 1. More and more, gaming companies are watching helplessly while bank after bank is shutting down their credit card merchant accounts; Western Union is banning them more and more from using their systems, and even individual banks, especially in the US, are shutting off use of cards they issue from being used for gaming purposes; 2. Players are beginning to have privacy concerns, as their domestic credit card charge records are an open book for the government to read. Some are beginning to realize that while there has not been much prosecution of players yet, this could change on a moment’s notice.
It’s only a matter of time, then, before the bottom drops out from underneath the industry and the US government and the international banks choke them off completely, leaving them with no way to move money in or out.
The Sad Experience of Netteller
Netteller was a great idea, but they made several crucial mistakes that doomed them from the start. They were a fast and easy way for players to move money back and forth to and from their favorite gaming provider. It worked brilliantly, for a while.
But, they made a couple of major mistakes, thinking they lived in a world that operated according to the rule of law rather than the reality, especially in the US, of the rule of what the government wants and to hell with the law, especially international laws such as the World Trade Organization agreement they signed which forbade them to shut down people like Netteller or to harass the otherwise completely legal online gaming industry.
The first mistake that Netteller made was to be primarily a service for the gaming industry and not having many regular customers and merchants.
The second mistake was made by the owners, who thought that because they were not US citizens, they could ignore US laws. They found out how wrong they were when the owners got kidnapped in the US when they were on their way from their offshore haven to their home in Canada.
They discovered, like the CEO of BetonSports before them, that the US really doesn’t care what international law has to say on the matter, or if their activity is completely legal everywhere else. They found out real fast that the “authorities” in that country don’t care what international agreements they have signed, they intend to act like highwaymen and bandits on the road, holding innocent travelers at gunpoint, kidnapping them, and charging them with “crimes” that are no such thing where their businesses are located. So, the other lesson to be learned is to avoid landing in the US at any cost, unless you want to be kidnapped by criminal thugs with badges!
Solution: The Offshore Banking Account!
I am not going to go into full details on the Offshore Banking Account in this article because it’s features are described in detail elsewhere on this website. However, while it’s not obvious on the surface, this type of account is a perfect solution to all of the above problems and more.
Here are some of the main benefits to the gaming industry of using these special accounts:
- The server is located safely offshore. And, unlike normal transaction processing systems, this new software doesn’t use a database to keep track of the customer’s account. The account is held in an encrypted, secret location on the server, and thus not even the system admin has access to account information! What the system admin doesn’t know he or she can’t tell to anyone else in any legal proceeding whatsoever. Thus, unlike some very high profile, sensational cases where offshore privacy has been lifted or invaded either legally or illegally, your account in this system is completely and forever secure.
- Even if some government someday managed to seize the server, they would still not have any information, as your information is stored in an encrypted directory on the server with military grade encryption. And since the client can put whatever information he or she wants in their wallet, including pseudonyms, if they are smart they can’t be easily identified from what little information is in the wallet itself.
- The system uses a distributed system of reputable exchangers to move funds in and out. There is therefore no direct link between the customer’s wallet and the regular banking system and the operator doesn’t know and can’t find out what money in the various accounts belongs to what customer.
- Funds can be stored in real money, i.e. gold and silver in private storage, thus breaking the link to the regular international banking system even further for these two asset types.
- Currently, accounts can be held in USD, EUR, gold, and silver, meaning that the customer has the flexibility to decide how they want to keep their funds.
- Our various exchangers offer a wide variety of options to send and receive money. Credit cards can even be used indirectly, depending on if the exchanger offers this option.
- A further couple of options allow customers to transfer money into and out of their accounts using a couple of very popular systems that allow both credit card and electronic banking transfers into and out of the account. Since these deposit/withdrawal options are offered by several independent exchangers and transaction systems they support, the paper trail to their gaming accounts is completely broken, yet, transactions can be handled in a speedy way.
Once the money reaches the player’s Global Banking Account, they can then transfer it to their gaming account instantly. The platform provides an API and SCI interface, so when the customer spends money from their Global Banking Account to their gaming account using the automated interface, their gaming account can be instantly credited with the payment as long as the merchant has their system set up that way.
Also, the gaming operator knows that these are good funds and that there won’t be any chargebacks or other problems later.
The Most Advanced Solution
I think you can see by now that this is simply the most advanced solution in the world, bar none. There will, naturally, be a short adjustment period for the players, as they get used to transacting their transfers in and out, but in the long run it provides safety and security for all involved.
In many ways, then, this is the most advanced solution in the world. While this and other presentations may make this seem complicated, it is really not that bad in practice, as the players decide what providers they want to use and then make their arrangements around their selected choices.
The same is true on the merchant end as well, as the merchant will decide how they want to structure their affairs and then will generally follow that pattern most of the time. However, the fact that there are so many options is really a good thing, because if one avenue should become blocked, there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. This is because of the non centralized nature of the system, which has many advantages over the old fashioned centralized systems with their disadvantage that they also usually have one or two points vulnerable to attack.
With our system, if one system / exchanger, etc., comes under attack, goes out of business, etc., there are plenty of alternatives to choose from.
Private Consultations and Deployments
I realize that some of the larger companies in the gaming industry may wish for their own, customized system. This is most certainly possible. The software can be hosted on their own servers, for instance, if that is desired, and other custom features can be designed as well. Methods for transferring funds back and forth can also be customized to meet the needs of the merchant. Please contact me with any questions or for more details. I can also make myself available on a consulting basis to tailor make your system for you. I am conveniently located in the same country as most of the larger gaming companies, and I can even help to develop this in person with your transaction processing team. In no time at all, you could have a fully operational custom system set up, or, you can take our general solution described above and I can consult with you if need be one ways to integrate your business into the system.
You can minimize the high fees, protect your privacy, and send and receive transfers instantly and less expensively with our Global Banking Account!
And, if you need cash out of it, it’s an easy matter to withdraw money and make purchases around the world wherever you see the Visa logo.
Information on the debit card is available at Offshorearnings.com.
In addition to the financial crisis, people who receive and send money must face another difficulty: the high cost of remittance services.
Attempting to bring international attention to this problem, the webpage www.avaaz.org asking the firm Western Union to stop what they call “excessive charging.”
According to the website, they are targeting primarily Western Union that is the costliest of all remittance services, charging up to a 20% commission to cover transfer costs.
That is for $100, Western Union takes $20.
The website says the World Bank recommends a charge of a maximum of 5%. Despite the World Bank calling for a maximum of 5% transaction fees, Western Union has never faced a public outcry to challenge its shameless profiteering.
Avaaz publishes a note to Western Union president, Hikmet Ersek: “As citizens from around the world committed to eradicating global poverty, we call on you to show true corporate leadership and take immediate steps to ensure crucial international remittances to the world’s poorest countries are subject to fair rates. Specifically, we ask you to lower your total fees to a maximum of 5% in all transfers sent home by workers to developing nations.”
Avaaz is asking to people to sign a petition, saying it has already collected 284.837 of its goal of 500.000.
In response to complaints, Western Union said its rates are in line with similar services of money transfer.
According to the Banco Central de Costa Rica (Central Bank) data, Costa Ricans living in other countries, mainly the United States, are sending less money home.
The Central Bank figures show that in the second quarter of 2010, us$134 million dollars in remittances were received, in the following quarter the number was down to us$131 million, while us$55 million and us$54 million went out during the same periods, most of it bound for Nicaragua.
According to the Central Bank, Costa Rica receives the greatest amount of foreign remittances from El Salvador, whose income exceeds the foreign investment.