Neteller is one of the most popular e-wallets that online poker players use. The company was started in 1999 and was originally a Canadian company. Neteller has customers in over 170 countries and is regulated by the UK government’s Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Neteller rose to popularity due to a couple of key developments. The first was the withdrawal of PayPal from the online gambling market, and the second was the poker boom which started in 2003. From 2003 until 2006, Neteller was the most reputable site for transfers money to online poker rooms. Their popularity was enhanced by their great customer service, stellar reputation, and, most importantly, their low fees. Neteller allowed poker players to make free transfers into a poker site as well as free withdrawals into their checking accounts.
In a world where many poker players were nervous dealing with online poker companies that operated anonymously and offshore, Neteller operated with a lot of integrity and trust. They were the most reliable company when it came to the always-worrisome process of making withdrawals. Today, it is not uncommon for withdrawals to take weeks (even months sometimes), but Neteller always completed their transfers within 3-5 days.
In 2003 they launched the Neteller Card, the first global pre-paid card program in the industry.
In 2004, NETeller Ltd became a public company after completing a public offering on the London Stock Exchange. The £240 million flotation netted nearly £5 million for Canadian founders Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebre who sold a portion of their holdings. According to the company's 2005 annual report, Neteller PLC had $172.1 million in revenues and $91.5 million in net profit and had processed over $7.3 billion in financial transactions.
In 2007, charges of money laundering were filed against the two founders of Neteller, Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre, who were both Canadian citizens. NETeller's stock was suspended from trading on January 16, 2007.
Neteller then pulled out of the Unites States market. The company's US customers (80% of Neteller's total customers) had their balances frozen during the investigation. Even though Neteller assured their US customers that their money was safe and that they would get it back after the investigation was over, online poker players remained understandably worried. Many serious online poker players kept 5-figure balances in their ewallet accounts.
In July 2007, Neteller announced that they had settled the case by entered into a "Deferred Prosecution Agreement" with the United States Attorney's Office. Neteller paid a $136 million fine for its involvement in the US market. Shares of Neteller began trading again after a six months freeze, with the stock dropping 64.2%, from 176 p to 63 p. They also announced that US customers could finally withdraw their balances.
After Neteller's withdrawal from the US, several of the other e-wallets predictably tried to step up to service US poker players and gain market share. Firepay, one of the other popular e-wallets, tried to meet the demand, but they eventually withdrew also. EcoCard, EPassport, and AffliateSpeedPay also tried to meet the needs of US players but were also unsuccessful.
Neteller today is not as popular as they used to be since the US market is still cut off. Their presence in the US market is universally missed by poker players who have been around for a while.
Neteller continues to be popular with non-US players because their low-cost and reliable service. There are no money transfer fees for the receiver, and the sender only pays a 1.9% fee. They offer money transfers in 20 different currencies and you can send money almost anywhere in the world.
Neteller won the iGB Award for "Best Payment System for Affiliates" 3 years in a row (2008, 2009, and 2010).
ChiTown915 on February 11, 2011