moneybookers, a non-goldbased value transfer system
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moneybookers
a non -goldbased value transfer system

Xavier (with advice from abelard)

 


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We are in dispute with Moneybookers, who have arbitrarily taken £129.02 from a transfer from a friend.

Therefore, we cannot at present support this service in good faith. A great shame as the system seemed to offer promise.


moneybookers, a non-goldbased value transfer system is one of a series of documents about economics and money at abelard.org.
moneybookers information e-gold information fiat money and inflation

disclaimer:
abelard.org takes no responsibility for any communications or transactions made with any of the organisations listed, nor does abelard.org guarantee that the figures and other information given are accurate, complete, or up to date. Nor is this document to be read as any manner of advice or guarantee.

Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).

Index

 

  Follow abelard.org      
   

What is moneybookers ?
How can I use moneybookers ?
What happens when I use moneybookers?
Administrative stuff
  Security
  moneybookers works like this… (detailed description)
  changing currencies
  How do I set up a moneybookers account?
  How much will this cost?
  How do I take money out of my moneybookers account?
  What can go wrong?
Final wordsreturn to index on 'e-gold information' page, abelard.org
End notes

What is moneybookers ?

moneybookers is a “money transmitter” that enables any business or consumer to send and receive payments both securely and cost-effectively.

Using moneybookers is like using a bank account with a switch (debit) card, but without the card. Because a credit card is not involved, nor a is it a credit system, no-one needs to trust you - demanding proof of credit-worthiness - nor can a bank draw you into (credit card) debt.

We at abelard.org used to use moneybookers, we do not tell you to use this system. If you decide to do so, it is your decision, your choice and you are doing so at your own risk.

The moneybookers system can be regarded as analogous to e-gold, but your reserves are held in cash rather than in gold. However, for short-term transactions this may well not be a relevant consideration.

This is like dealing in cash, anywhere around the world, with added services.

 

How can I use moneybookers?

  • Send money using email, from your credit card or bank account
  • Make online purchases
  • Receive money using email

With moneybookers, there is no bank or credit-card middleman when you make your net transactions, whether purchases or donations.

That is:

  • no bank taking a cut from your vendor for each transaction (but also see How much will this cost?)
  • no bank wanting the vendor to keep large sums on deposit
  • no bank wanting your vendor to pay even more charges for ‘secure transactions’
          (these last two are required for credit card transactions on the net)

Other advantages are

Result:

          you pay less and your recipient gets more. return to index on 'e-gold information' page, abelard.org

 


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What happens when I use moneybookers?

Briefly,

  • You upload funds to moneybookers, who hold it in an account for you. You can see the amount being held as soon as you log on to your moneybookers account. How long the money takes to show depends on your funding method. Credit card funding takes effect immediately, while bank transfers are dependant on the bank’s habitual delay of 3 to 5 bank working days.

hover/click for further details

  • When you send money by email, the recipient receives an email informing them that funds are waiting for them. If the recepient does not have a moneybookers account, they will need to open one to receive the money you sent. The money is transferred from your moneybookers account to that of the recipient.
  • The recipient can then choose whether to keep the funds within moneybookers, spend it with a company that offers moneybookers facilities, or withdraw the money. Withdrawals to a bank account are also liable to a banks’ habitual delay of 3 to 5 bank working days.

Why moneybookers?

After investigating many methods of transferring funds using the Internet, that are not backed by digital gold, we at abelard.org had chosen moneybookers as our preferred electronic value transfer (evt) method for trading with fiat cash currencies. This has changed.

Of the evt methods using fiat currencies we surveyed, moneybookers had been the only one that did not allow chargebacks; that is transactions with moneybookers are irreversible (“there is no charge back risk to worry about.”). moneybookers also provides an escrow service for enabling secure trading of goods.

moneybookers does not have the problems associated with using a credit card online, as described in credit card downsides.

Administrative stuff

moneybookers operates an electronic money service that allows customers to send and receive payments. Their funds are held in their ‘online stored value account’ as electronic money, in accordance with the EU E-Money Directive. The balance of any ‘electronic money account’ is redeemable at any time, this redemption being made only in accordance with ‘instructions given using the moneybookers user interface’.”

Note that if moneybookers abritrarily and incorrectly decides that your account is being used as a company or charity account, moneybookers freezes the account and the funds in it. They refuse to admit any error, even when the situation is clearly explained. Thus moneybookers cannot be trusted.

Note that moneybookers does not act as a bank, neither paying interest nor providing loan or overdraft facilities.

security

  • “We [moneybookers] use multiple layers of security to help protect transaction information.
    • Moneybookers uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to help protect user information against unauthorised access from third parties, loss and fraud.
    • In addition, when a payment is sent using Moneybookers, the recipient won't receive sensitive financial information like the sender's credit card or bank account number.
    • Our servers sit behind an electronic firewall and are not directly connected to the Internet, customer information is thus available only to authorised computers.”

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hover/click for further details

  • a user’s access to their moneybookers account is on a secure webpage, using a previously confirmed email address, a password and a Turing number entry to prevent automated password hacking.
  • an email reply is sent when opening an account, with a code that you enter in moneybookers to confirm the email address given.
    Because the user funds their account from their bank account, previously verified by the user’s bank, no further account verification is required unless you wish to move larger sums or use a credit card.
  • moneybookers is a financial institution regulated by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 in the UK (FSA Register No: 214225) and the EU directive on electronic money.s

return to index on 'e-gold information' page, abelard.org

 

You need your password to access your moneybookers account

hover/click for further details

moneybookers works like this … (detailed description)

  1. You open an account online with moneybookers. They require name, home address, email address and date of birth. You also provide a password for your moneybookers account. You may change your password at any time.

    moneybookers then set up an account for you in your country of residence.

Make very sure that you have checked, and then checked again, all entries before clicking OK. If you do make a mistake, it may take days or longer to show up and many weeks, if not months, to correct.


hover/click for further details

  1. When you are ready, you fund your account either by a bank transfer or by using your credit card.
  • Bank transfer:
    The first time you initiate this in moneybookers, they send you to a webpage giving details of their bank account in your country of residence.
    (If you wish to make a transfer from a bank account in a different country than that of your domicile/address, for instance you live in Brazil but your bank account is in Portugal, email moneybookers and they will reply with details of a bank account in the same country as your bank.)
    The transfer will take the bank’s usual 3 to 5 working days.

    making the transfer from your bank

    Using the moneybookers bank information, you then instruct your bank to make a transfer from your bank account to the moneybookers account, for instance, by post or by using your Internet banking facilities. A domestic inter-bank transfer is often free.

    Very important: Together with the moneybooker bank information, you will be given a reference number (reference ID) to use when communicating with your bank. You must use this reference number/ID when making your transfer to moneybookers. If you do not do this, your money will be lost in the ‘bowels’ of the moneybookers system. Your money may be found again, but this could take some weeks or months.

    When making the transfer, if you wish to make any plain language notes, be sure to use the notes box provided on your bank form. Never never put anything but the moneybookers reference number/ID in the reference box.


    return to index on 'e-gold information' page, abelard.org
  • Credit card:
    You must first verify your credit card by sending copies of identifying documents, listed here, to moneybookers. You can also verify your credit card by making a small payment from its associated bank account. (This payment will be credited to the associated bank account.) Once your card has been verified, you can use it to upload funds. Uploading funds using a Visa or a Mastercard costs 3% of the funds uploaded. The transfer of funds is immediate.


hover/click for further details

  1. When you wish to withdraw/transmit funds from your moneybookers account, you can
  • give moneybookers details of any bank account to which you wish to transfer (withdraw) funds from your moneybookers account online. Then you can transfer money from your moneybookers account to that bank account.
    This is very useful if you wish to transfer money cheaply from one country to another (like Portugal and Brazil). The fee charged is a “withdrawal fee”, and depends on the withdrawal method used and the country to which the funds are transferred (withdrawn), but will not be more than 3.50 euro.
    If your moneybookers account is held in, say, euros but you wish to witthdraw the money in pesetas, this is possible with moneybookers (providing that you hold bank accounts in more than one country).

  • email funds to someone,
    • maybe to pay for a purchase,
    • maybe to make a donation,
    • or give a present (or some other transaction).
    The ‘someone’ might be an individual or an entity such as a company trading on the Internet.
    If it is an Internet trader that can accept payment through moneybookers, they will probably have buttons (and a form) on their site to intiate your transaction.

Withdrawing money from moneybookers requires your reference number/ID and your date of birth.


changing currencies

moneybookers use the daily exchange rates as published by the European Central Bank plus a spread (fee) of 0.8% in either direction, considerably cheaper than the rates usually given exchange bureaus and banks (unless you hold accounts in more than one currency in the same bank).

To convert currencies using moneybookers, fund your moneybookers account in one currency, then use

  • those funds to pay for goods in a different country. The funds concerned will be converted by moneybookers to the currency required by the merchant concerned.
  • or withdraw the funds to a bank account in a different country. moneybookers will convert the funds to the currency of that bank account.

How do I set up a moneybookers account?

Click here!
It’s easy;
it’s fast – no credit check, that was done previously by your bank or credit card company;
an account is free – no minimum balance requirement.return to index on 'e-gold information' page, abelard.org

How much will this cost?

  • To receive money into your moneybookers account from any source is free.
  • To send funds to someone else by email, through moneybookers, costs 1% (up to a ceiling of 0.50 euro), both domestically or internationally. [Note the recipient will need to set up a moneybookers account to receive the funds, if they do not already have one.]
  • To put funds into your moneybookers account by bank transfer is free. The cost of other transfers you may make to your account goes up to a maximum of 3% (the cost depends on the method and country).
  • To withdraw funds from your moneybookers account, you make a transfer to your bank account. This transaction costs from 1.25 € (euro) [approx. £0.86 or US$1.62] to 3.5 € [approx. £2.50 or US$6.60], depending on method and country.

A comparison of transfer methods and costs is provided here by moneybookers.

A recent cost comparison

An example of transfering £350 from Australia to the UK
  • Using banks:
    Australian bank charge of A$28 (£11.52) + UK bank charge of £7

  • Using moneybookers:
    funding moneybookers account charge of 0 +
    withdrawal charge of €1.25
[all exchange rates in this section as at Feb 2005]  

What can go wrong?

We at abelard.org (or our contacts) have occasionally experienced problems when using moneybookers.

Here we list various problems and their resolution. Two problems were caused by user error, one by moneybookers not being adequately developed outside countries that are major (English-speaking?) moneybookers users, and one probably because, as a young and growing company, moneybookers is not growing its infrastructure quickly enough.

I must emphasise that all these problems have been resolved by moneybookers under persistant interaction.

problem with moneybookers resolution
    transfer was completed by moneybookers, 4 to 6 weeks after informing moneybookers of the problem. The transfer had to be traced in their records.
  • entering recipient’s email address incorrectly
    “If the email address is not correct, you could cancel the transaction by clicking the [cancel] link next to it in the History section of your account. Otherwise, the scheduled transaction will be automatically canceled 14 days if the funds are not collected by the recipient.”
  • money fails to arrive at recipient’s moneybookers account
    moneybookers use Bibit, which has operations all over the world. moneybookers tell Bibit what upload orders they have received and Bibit sends back batches of matching deposits. Apparently, “from time to time” and seemingly at random, Bibit manages to miss out orders in these batches. At this point and after the sender has complained to moneybookers, moneybookers has to send an individual message saying “where is this order?”. The sender was told that nothing can be done to prevent this happening again, and that the money should appear in the recipient’s account within 24 hours, but to leave 72 hours for weekends, etc.
  • slow response to emails from moneybookers
    The first comment was, “We are a bit back-backlogged. We reply to everything within 24 hours”. There was no useful comment on why in the case concerned, there had been a delay of two to three weeks. However, it transpired that if a second, follow-up email is sent to moneybookers, that would delay a response as the email sender’s email is then pushed back in ‘the queue’.
  • your account is locked
  • money taken arbitrarily

“Your account has been locked by Security because you are using your account as a business/for trading”.
“A Repair Fee [250€/£129.02] was deducted because you did not keep to our Terms and Conditions”.

 

 

If you do have any problem with a moneybookers transfer, telephone [+44 709 204 2000], fax [+1 509 271 5556 / +44 709 204 2001 ] or email moneybookers with clear details of the problem.

But be warned, moneybookers can be very pernickity to deal with, and the Call Centre operators (? in India) will only follow their prescribed crib of answers to your question. If necessary, you will need to be forceful and firm, even somewhat emotional and offended and demand to SPEAK to the supervisor NOW. return to index on 'e-gold information' page, abelard.org


Final words

Transferring funds on the internet can be a fraught operation when moving relatively small amounts or when dealing with a smaller trader who, because of their size, is unable to obtain merchant status. The moneybookers system provides a relatively simple, as well as secure, method of making such transactions.


We are in dispute with Moneybookers, who have arbitrarily taken £129.02 from a transfer from a friend.

Therefore, we cannot at present support this service in good faith. A great shame as the system seemed to offer promise.

disclaimer:
abelard.org takes no responsibility for any communications or transactions made with any of the organisations listed, nor does abelard.org guarantee that the figures and other information given are accurate, complete, or up to date. Nor is this document to be read as any manner of advice or guarantee.

Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware).


End notes

1

Password (or passphrase): a string of upper and lower-case characters, numbers, and even special characters, that you concoct to protect data or access. It is a security key to protect your account and your transactions.
(For your e-gold password do not include special characters.)

A nonsense, virtually random combination of letters and digits is best.
Your password is at least six characters long.
Your password contains both letters and digits.
Capitalization matters.
So:
Do use a random mixture of all the above types of items (glyphs); do use at least 6 items.
Don’t forget your password. Don’t write it somewhere where its purpose might be surmised.
Don’t use recognisable word or number patterns, especially those that can be easily connected to you.
Don’t use your name, address, family member’s names or that of your dog, nor your or their birthday.

I have found it helpful (to invention and to memorising) to ‘translate’ a random phrase, say ‘web designer’, using a variety of characters, numbers and, sometimes, symbols. A possible ‘translation’ is ‘We8Des1gner’ [note: this is not a password that I use]. Another person I know does similar ‘translations’ to mathematical equations. However, if you do invent your password in this manner, make sure your original phrase cannot be connected to you, or to the environment in which the resulting password will be used.

 
2
  • Before being able to use a credit card to transfer funds to moneybookers, either the credit card or the bank account from which it draws funds must be verified.

    In a limited number of countries (for residents of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands), you can verify the bank account associated with the credit card by making the small (2 euro) funding as described below.

    Otherwise, the credit card itself must be verified by sending clear and readable copies of the following documents to moneybookers:
    1. the front and back of the credit card; AND
    2. a recent credit card statement signed by the credit card holder (purchase or ATM advice slips cannot be accepted); AND
    3. a valid official identification document with picture (such as ID card, passport or driver’s license).

  • Before being able to transfer larger amounts (over about £4,000 in 90 days – this amount is not clearly defined), your bank account must be verified.

    Bank account verification is done by making a small (2 euro) funding to your bank account account using a credit card, done through pages provided at moneybookers. The account should be cleared in about 48 hours. If repeat verification is required when withdrawing money at a later date, the verification fee is used as the withdrawal fee.
    Verification of your credit card is still required for any other credit card transaction within moneybookers.


email abelard at abelard.org

© abelard, 2005,25 february

all rights reserved

the address for this document is http://www.abelard.org/value-transfer/moneybookers-info.php

2050 words
prints as 8 A4 pages (on my printer and set-up)


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