POLi is an Australian online payment company, based in Melbourne. It provides an e-payment system that is mostly used by customers in Australia and New Zealand to pay for goods and services online without the use of a credit or debit card. So far, so conventional, but the great advantage of this service to its antipodean customers is that you do not need to register to use the service. All you need is to have access to your own internet banking service.
Sadly, there is no equivalent service available in the United Kingdom, and POLi can only be used by people with an Australian internet enabled bank account. Nevertheless, there are countless Aussie and Kiwi tourists, temporary visitors and expats “enjoying” our glorious British climate who are able to use the service. This is because some online bingo sites do accept POLi as a method of payment. This is particularly so with the larger international bookmaking companies, such as Bet 365, who accept payments on their online sports betting sites, so by extension, will also accept this e-payment via their bingo portals.
As a note of caution, some security concerns have been raised regarding the use of the service. Although security levels are high – especially as the absence of a need for prior registration means that your personal banking details are never stored by the company, there are some other security aspects to consider. Firstly, your bank cannot reverse any disputed transaction, which can be done when a credit or debit card is used. Secondly, there have been incidents where fraudulent “spoof” websites have been launched which purport to be the “real” POLi, resulting in losses to customers. Banks will not generally refund money fraudulently obtained in this way.
As a result, some banks, particularly in New Zealand, recommend that their customers do not use the service, and state that the use of the service will invalidate the bank’s online guarantee. This would make the customer liable for any losses incurred from their online bank account being compromised.
Despite these concerns, the speed, convenience and avoidance of additional fees and surcharges continue to make this e-payment option a very attractive option to our southern hemisphere cousins. Provided that people are aware of the risks, POLi remains a practical and convenient way to make payments online. Fair dinkum, mate!