iDeal is an online payments system which enables customers to pay for goods and services online. It is by far the most popular payment method for online purchases in the Netherlands, where the service was introduced in 2005. Payment is completed via direct online transfer of funds from the customer’s own bank account. By 2014, well over 50% of online transactions in the Netherlands were completed using this method, making it far more popular than the credit card for payments online.Read More
The system works in seconds via electronic communications between the customer’s bank and the vendor and his or her bank account, enabling transactions to take place quickly and smoothly. In practice, the customer decides to buy from an online trader. After clicking on the iDEAL logo, the customer selects his own bank. Behind the scenes, various messages are pinged back and forth between the merchant, his or her bank and the bank selected by the customer. The customer is then re-directed to his or her own bank to authorise payment. This is then accomplished by using the customers own familiar banking page, using the same identity information, log in details and passwords as usual. Once authorised, the merchant is guaranteed payment, the transaction is completed and the merchant can safely send the goods out for delivery.
The system is very secure, as all the information required remains within the banking system, so it is very difficult to intercept or spoof. Everything is accomplished in real time and payments are guaranteed and virtually instantaneous. The ability for the consumer to make these payments directly, without having to sign up for a third party service makes this method particularly convenient for the Dutch, making it no surprise that this payment method has become so popular to use. The customer is effectively making free and secure online payments via his or her own bank.
As ever with such a seemingly too good to be true service, there are some security concerns. Whilst the actual process is highly secure: no actual banking details are being shared with the merchant, for example, the major issue is that as payments are then guaranteed, they cannot be reversed. This is because the transaction is considered to be a direct cash payment from the customer to the trader. From the customer’s point of view therefore, there is no automatic right for the banks to refund the money if the merchant fails to deliver the goods (as there is in the United Kingdom). Instead, the customer would need to take up the issue with the merchant directly. It is perhaps best therefore to use alternative methods if the customer is unfamiliar with the trader, and only use iDEAL when dealing with well-known and trusted suppliers.
iDeal is therefore an exceptionally quick and convenient way for Dutch consumers to make online payments, and many online bingo sites will accept this payment method from customers with bank accounts based in the Netherlands.