The Solo card was a debit card operated by the same banks that distributed the Switch card. Both brands have now been withdrawn, and there are unlikely to be any remaining in circulation. Switch cards were introduced in the United Kingdom as a rival to the Visa brand, but it was a badge that was unique to this country, which tended to cause problems if the card was used abroad, where many banks did not recognise or accept it. The card was progressively abandoned, as the operating banks switched to Visa, and its owners decided to revert to the more internationally recognised Maestro, then MasterCard Debit, which was the preferred badge of the brand’s owners around the world.
The brand was slowly withdrawn, to be replaced with the standard conventional debit card, but with more stringent conditions attached. Both Switch and Solo cards slowly faded from view as the controlling banks either switched to Visa or converted to the MasterCard owned brands. The Solo scheme was finally withdrawn in 2011.
Given the likely customer base, the Solo card was not a particularly commonly used method of payment for online bingo sites. The teenagers and younger students who were typically offered these cards were too young to be permitted to spend money on online gaming sites, which are for over 18s only. Those awarded the card because of a poor credit history would also be a very poor target for the online bingo sites’ marketing campaigns and in any case, would also be unlikely to be able to afford to spend much money on the sites in the first place.
So the loss of the Solo card was not mourned greatly by either the online bingo sites or their customers. There were and still are so many other alternative methods of payment to use that the demise of the Solo brand caused barely a ripple of inconvenience. All sites accept conventional Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards, and several other e-payment choices are available to those who prefer not to use their plastic. The most convenient alternative method is probably the Paysafecard. This is a pre-payment card which can be bought from many neighbourhood and high street stores – anywhere that displays the PayPoint symbol should be able to provide this service.
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