Why do you need an e-wallet?
In essence, you can do without it, but electronic money offers several advantages, especially when making online payments.
Simplicity of Transfer Using an electronic wallet doesn’t require opening a bank account.
You don’t even need to leave your home; you can set up the wallet remotely.
No money is charged for wallet opening. The recipient will get the money instantly. However, the sender (or recipient) will likely have to pay a fee, so it’s advisable to compare the fees of different money transfer methods in advance.
Security Many major online stores and services accept payments from electronic wallets. You can create a wallet specifically for online transactions and load the necessary amount onto it just before sending payment to the seller. This is much safer than using a payroll card or a credit card with a high limit.
You won’t have to provide your card number, its expiration date, or the security code. Consequently, even if you, like Marina, stumble upon a phishing website, fraudsters won’t gain access to your bank account.
E-wallet operators often offer the option to link a bank card to the electronic wallet. However, this doesn’t compromise security: card details aren’t used for payments and remain confidential to the seller.
What are the disadvantages of electronic wallets?
Certainly, here are a few drawbacks:
- Lack of Deposit Insurance: Electronic money is not safeguarded by deposit insurance systems.
- No Interest Accrual: The balance of an electronic wallet doesn’t typically earn interest.
- Credit Limitations: Even if the e-wallet operator is a bank, they generally can’t extend credit to customers in the form of electronic money.
Additionally, similar to a card, funds in an electronic wallet can be susceptible to theft by scammers.
What are e-wallets?
There are three types of electronic wallets: anonymous, named, and identified. The wallet status dictates the range of possible transactions, transfer limits, and the maximum amount allowed in the wallet.
Anonymous or non-personalized wallet
Setting it up is quick and easy, but it’s suitable only for small expenses.
How to open? Simply provide your phone number and create a login on the electronic money operator’s website. Often, these operators have their own networks of ATMs and terminals, which can also be used to set up the wallet.
Whom and how much can you transfer? With an anonymous wallet, you can hold no more than $200. Within this limit, you can make online purchases, but only from legal entities and individual entrepreneurs. The total amount of transfers per month should not exceed $533.
Sending transfers to other individuals and withdrawing money from an anonymous wallet is not allowed.
How to top up? From your own bank account or mobile phone balance (if the electronic money operator has an agreement with your mobile company). Receiving transfers from other individuals is prohibited. However, companies and individual entrepreneurs can transfer money to an anonymous wallet.
Named or non-personalized wallet with simplified identification
Ideal for most transactions.
How to open? Provide the electronic money operator with your information: name, surname, and details from your passport. This can be done without leaving your home on the electronic money operator’s website.
How to top up? Using any methods provided by the electronic money operator, including depositing cash at ATMs and payment terminals.
You can receive transfers from bank cards and accounts of other individuals, as well as from companies and individual entrepreneurs.
Identified or personalized wallet
Offers the most extensive range of possibilities.
How to open? To acquire the identified status for your wallet, you’ll need to visit the office of the electronic money operator or its partners (often mobile communication companies) with your passport. Foreign citizens will also need to provide their migration card details and a document confirming their right to stay in the United States.
Whom and how much can you transfer? Personalized wallets can be opened not only in US dollars but also in other currencies.
Holders of such wallets have access to payments and transfers worldwide.
Transferring money is permissible not only to any bank accounts but also to cards and other electronic wallets.
You will also be able to withdraw cash from the wallet: at an ATM using a card linked to the wallet or at money transfer system offices partnering with the electronic money operator. It’s advisable to inquire about the commissions that may apply. The amounts you can withdraw at once, per day, or per month are specified in the rules of the electronic money operator.
How to top up? By any methods provided by the electronic money operator. Such a wallet also enables you to receive transfers from anyone.
How to replenish the wallet?
Usually, electronic money operators offer a variety of options:
- From a Bank Card: In your personal account on the operator’s website, there is usually a payment page where you can transfer money from a bank card to your wallet. Often, operators allow you to link your card to the wallet, so any transfer or payment using the electronic wallet will automatically be funded from the card by the required amount.
- From Mobile Phone Balance: The operator knows the number from which money can be deducted—you provided it during wallet registration. Therefore, in your personal account on the operator’s website, you just need to enter the necessary amount.
- In Cash: Many electronic money operators have their own payment terminals that allow you to deposit money into your wallet. Additionally, operators form partnerships with banks, mobile companies, and money transfer systems. You can also top up your wallet through their offices, ATMs, and terminals.
- Through Online or Mobile Banking: Many banks have included electronic wallet top-ups as popular payment options.
- Through the Fast Payment System (FPS): This is essentially a variation of topping up your account through online or mobile banking. Some electronic money operators have joined this system, and their clients can replenish wallets using their phone number. The commission for this method is often zero if you don’t exceed monthly transfer limits. To use this method, you need to select “transfers via FPS” or “account top-up by phone number” in your bank’s online platform, then provide your mobile number and choose your electronic money operator from the list of banks.
- From Another Electronic Wallet: Typically, you can transfer money from wallets of the same electronic money operator as well as from other operators.
The available methods can be clarified in your wallet’s personal account. Before using any of these methods, be sure to check the fee amount. It can range from 0 to 10% of the transfer amount.