iDEAL is a Dutch online payment method that was introduced in 2005 and is owned and operated by Currence, an organization that was created on the initiative of eight major Dutch banks. Besides iDEAL Currence also operates several other financial services that are a house-hold name in the Netherlands and from which at least one the average Dutch citizen from time to time makes use.
The goal of the organization was (and still is) to establish more transparency and market directed functionality into the Dutch (online) payment systems. As such the organization can be considered as an independent regulatory institute that, in cooperation and consultation with involved and participating parties, establishes and controls rules and protocols (to secure the quality and safety of its products), issues licenses, informs the general public about its services, explores new markets and opportunities and continually develops new financial products and services. On the iDEAL website it´s stated that the service must be considered a “protocol” (a collection of technical agreements between banks and transaction providers) rather than an electronic payment system.
Originally iDEAL / Currence was only directed to the Dutch financial market and the residents of the Netherlands, but with the latest developments within the European Union regarding the provision of financial services the organization has become more focused on the European market, also aiming to transform its existent services and products into a more international competitive commodity. As of 2014 iDEAL as a payment service has become available for non-Dutch customers too, provided their bank account uses the euro as currency (a logical result of the SEPA, the Single Euro Payments Area, designed to simplify cross-border bank transfers).
iDEAL can (both in terms of its history as well as in terms of the offered product) best be compared with other European (online) payments providers such as Sofort Überweisung and GiroPay (Germany), and Euteller (Finland).
Since its foundation in 2005 iDEAL has become by far the most used online payment service in Holland. From processing 4.4 million payments in 2006 the service went to conclude 142.5 million transactions in 2013. In average € 13 million per month is transferred between depositors and recipients and nowadays there are more than 100.000 web shops and other organizations that accept payments made with iDEAL.
What is iDEAL?
Just like the other above mentioned European payment services also iDEAL works with (direct) online banking. This means the depositor needs to possess a bank account at one of the participating banks that enables internet banking. The Dutch banks that, at this moment, allow their clients to use the iDEAL service are:
- ABN AMRO
- ASN Bank
- SNS Bank
- ING Bank
- Triodos Bank
- Van Lanschot Bankers
As iDEAL doesn´t represent an online payment service in itself but only provides for the interface (protocol) to make an online payment possible there´s no need to subscribe to the “service”. Anyone can make a payment with iDEAL, as long as they have an internet banking account at one of the associated banks (or at one of the European banks associated in the SEPA).
Payments made with iDEAL are carried out by the following steps:
- On the payment page of a web shop click on the iDEAL logo as payment option;
- An iDEAL pop-up window will appear on which the customer needs to select his or her bank;
- The customer will be redirected to the login page of his or her own bank;
- After logging in to the account the customer needs to follow the bank´s iDEAL procedure to make a payment (the transaction data will be automatically displayed by the bank);
- The customer confirms the payment (of course after checking all details);
- After confirming the customer is redirected to the website of the web shop.
The payment is immediately (in real time) confirmed to the receiving party, the deposited amount will arrive instantly on the account of the recipient and the amount is immediately deducted from the depositor´s bank account.
In most cases the recipient will notify the depositor (by e-mail and normally also in real time) that the payment is received. Also the bank will send a confirmation of the payment to both the depositor as well as the recipient.
When the depositor is logged in to his or her bank account the bank will provide a so-called “Two Factor Authentication” code. This is a unique security code that can only be used once and only for the specific payment and needs to be entered in a “2FA identification token”.
The identification token (dubbed “E-dentifier” and “Random Reader” by respectively Dutch banks ABN/AMRO and Rabobank) will, after having identified the depositor as the legitimate owner of the bank card inserted into the token and the entered PIN-code to activate the token and thus of the bank account, generate an authentication code that will serve as the digital signature for the depositor to confirm the payment on the bank´s iDEAL payment page.
An iDEAL payment can be made by using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet too, however, once an iDEAL payment is confirmed there´s no possibility to revoke or cancel the transaction. The latter fact is also the reason why normally neither recipients nor banks charge fees for payments made by using the service and will rather promote it: once “the deal is done” the deal is really done, even if the customer decides to change his or her mind afterwards. (Note: of course consumers are properly protected against reprehensible actions of merchants and / or organizations by consumer protecting authorities).
The iDEAL service can also be used to upload funds to debit cards, e-wallet like Neteller or Skrill or to purchase pre-paid vouchers like Paysafecard or Ukash.
iDEAL payments are not only carried out instantly, safe, secure and free of charge but also completely anonymous as no sensitive data about the depositor (such as credit card or bank account details) is shared with the recipient.
Paying with iDEAL in an Online Casino
To make a deposit on an online casino account the same procedure to make a payment in a web shop (as described above) is in effect. After choosing iDEAL as the desired depositing option the payer is redirected to his or her own internet banking environment after which the payment can be carried out.
The deposited amount will be immediately available and no service fees are charged.
Withdrawing with iDEAL in an Online Casino
Unfortunately, it´s not possible to make withdrawals from an online casino account by using the iDEAL service. In order to make withdrawals some other cash out option available needs to be chosen.
Advantages Using iDEAL
Using iDEAL to upgrade the funds on an online casino account has various advantages, such as:
- iDEAL payments are safe and secure. As the normal (trusted) internet bank account of the depositor is used an iDEAL payment is carried with the same safety standards as a normal bank transfer;
- Payments made with iDEAL are carried out instantly. There´s virtually no delay in having the funds on the casino account once the deposit procedure is completed;
- There are no service fees charged to make a deposit in an online casino by using iDEAL;
- iDEAL deposits are anonymous as no information about the depositor is revealed to the online casino;
- Depositing with iDEAL only takes a few minutes to be completed;
- There´s no need to sign up at the iDEAL service. Anyone who has a bank account that allows internet banking can use the service (provided the account uses the Euro as currency);
- iDEAL can also be used to upload funds to e-wallets and debit cards or to buy or upgrade pre-paid cards and vouchers;
- It´s possible to make iDEAL deposits in an online casino wherever you are, wherever you go and whenever you want by a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.
Disadvantages Using iDEAL
Although only a few there are some disadvantages in using iDEAL as an online casino banking option too:
- First of all to be able to use iDEAL for deposits one needs to have a bank account that can be used for internet banking and the account must use the Euro as currency;
- Second, iDEAL can only be used to make deposits in an online casino. It´s not possible to make withdrawals from the casino account by using the service;
- Third, for some people the iDEAL depositing procedure might be a hassle as both the bank pass as the identifying token must be used;
- Lastly, iDEAL payments are irrevocable; once the deposit is made there´s no way to cancel the payment or to be reimbursed.
Where to Pay with iDEAL?
In the past there were only a few online casinos that allowed their players to deposit funds on their casino accounts by using iDEAL. These were mainly casinos that were directed to players from Holland, to which the service exclusively was available.
However, as iDEAL nowadays can also be used by players from other countries (provided their bank participates in the SEPA) the number of online casinos that accept iDEAL payments is growing almost day by day. Have a look at the side-bar on this page to see which Netent Casinos have integrated the iDEAL service as a deposit option.