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Firepay was a method of making online payments. It was formed and headquartered in the United Kingdom and was intended as a British attempt to rival the American giant online payment system PayPal. However, it was dwarfed by its rival across the Atlantic, which had the advantage of being first to market, and the captive customer base provided by its links to the first great online market place, eBay.
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Fireplay did at least get started, and was popular for a while with those in the know in the UK who would have liked to see a successful competitor to PayPal take off, but by 2007, the writing was on the wall. It barely registered on a worldwide scale, and was simply not big enough to pay its costs. Although it claimed around 1.5 million users, they did not use the service regularly enough to make the service viable. PayPal was reporting over 150 million users at the same time, and these were more likely to be regular users, as the tie up with eBay meant that there was a regular reason to use the service, especially as it was the default payment method on the ever-popular site. Firepay offered a good service, but PayPal was just so much more convenient and more widely available as a payment option online.

It was also not helped by the changes in the legal status of online gambling in the United States around that time. The US Government was clamping down on online gambling and Firepay was a popular means for some American customers to fund their online gaming. Several other online financial transfer operations were similarly affected, such as Neteller.

Firepay eventually drowned in the sea of PayPal customers. By December 2007, it announced the inevitable: that it was no longer accepting deposits and gave its customers around six months to withdraw any remaining funds left in their accounts.

Whilst the name is sorely missed, there are still plenty of different options when it comes to funding your online gaming. Numerous e-payment methods are still available, not least the ever popular PayPal, which is still the market leader, and accepted by many online bingo companies as a method of payment. British alternatives were plentiful until recently, but a great deal of market turbulence and corporate rationalisation has resulted in many mergers and consolidations. The previously widely available Skrill, Neteller and Ukash brands have all ended up under the ownership of the Paysafe group, operators of the Paysafecard pre-payment method. These services are being withdrawn and merged as part of an ongoing process so that eventually, it is likely that only the Paysafecard will be left.

But United Kingdom based players need not be concerned. Plenty of e-payment and pre-payment options remain available for funding payments for your favourite game. This is important for those who do not wish to use the conventional credit and debit card methods, perhaps because there is a reluctance to disclose personal banking information online, or a fear of their personal data being compromised by website database leaks or malicious malware. And to find out what methods of payment are acceptable at which online bingo sites, and indeed which are the best sites to play on, look no further than our comprehensive site reviews here at Busy Bee.

By Kevin Adair

Kevin Adair

I am a UK based writer with a decade of gambling content related writing experience. Accuracy and careful research is assured on all content.