PokerStars, the biggest online poker website in the world recently announced that it has entered into a partnership with SafeCharge to issue a special prepaid MasterCard that will come with the PokerStars logo. The new card will be known as the StarsCard and initially be issued only in the United Kingdom.
The card will be of great benefit to online poker players in the United Kingdom as it will give them the option of transferring funds between their bank accounts and their online poker accounts on PokerStars. The card will be linked with a players online poker account allowing them to easily make deposits and withdrawals and enjoy a seamless financial transactional process while playing online poker. The StarsCard will initially be available in the United Kingdom but could soon be issued in other countries as well depending on the success and demand for the StarsCard.
The StarsCard will be just like any other debit card allowing users to complete financial payments and earn reward points on their card. PokerStars has also issued a similar prepaid StarCard in partnership with Visa and is currently being used in Italy.
Commenting on the issuance of the new StarsCard, an analyst from Numis Securities said
All merchants would like their customers to use lower-cost payment methods but have had only mixed success in encouraging them to do so. PokerStars is a major online gambling merchant and there is potential to roll out this white label payment method to other operators and countries.
Numis Securities analysts also stated that while the issuance of a StarsCard appears to a wise move by PokerStars, testing the card in the U.K market may not be the best idea as the United Kingdom is already saturated with a number of low cost cards and e-wallet providers.
Analysts believe that the StarsCard has a better chance of success in markets where there is a lack of low cost cards. They suggest that United States might have been a better option than the United Kingdom because a state like New Jersey is currently having a lot of problems processing online poker transactions and a StarsCard could be very well received.
In 2014, New Jersey reported that only about 73 percent of Visa payments and 44 percent of MasterCard payments were being accepted, as the banks issuing these cards were often denying the transactions. PokerStars is also accepted to launch its online poker website in New Jersey within the next few months and the StarsCard would have further promoted and enhanced the PokerStars brand as well as help build its new customer base in New Jersey.