Payment methods

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When trading bitcoins for other currencies, one issue that frequently comes up is the mismatch between the hardness (non-reversibility) of bitcoin, and the softness (reversibility) of many of other payment methods. This page lists a number of payment methods, hardness ratings, and more detailed info in the notes field. There is a separate section for virtual currencies at the bottom of the page.

Hardness goes from 0 (extremely soft) to 10 (completely non-reversible).

Method Currencies Hardness Notes
Bank wire Various 10 Very good match for trading bitcoin. Quick (but expensive) transfers that are not reversible. (Note: be sure the wire has fully cleared. Also can't hurt to confirm with your bank that they won't yank it upon sender request without asking your permission.)
Euro SEPA transfer EUR 8 Usually free wire transfer between European banks. Cleared in one working day after the transaction is done. Unauthorized transfers can be reversed. One trader got his bank account closed and an entry in the database of financially unreliable people after receiving a fraudulent transfer.
BitcoinPay USD, EUR, PLN, CZK 10 Payment gateway based on Bitcoin. Instant confirmation from bitcoin network. BitcoinPay guarantees ZERO chargeback and ZERO fraud rate.
LavaPay USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CHF, CZK, AUD, CAD, JPY, BTC etc 10 Simple Bitcoin processing service. Completely non-reversible. Support of 19 world currencies.
OKPay USD, EUR, GBP, RUB, CHF, CZK, AUD, CAD, JPY etc 10 Simple Bitcoin processing service. Completely non-reversible. Support of 19 world currencies.
Perfect Money EUR, USD, XAU 10 Very good match for trading bitcoin. Absolutely no chargebacks. Funding of Perfect Money e-currency is possible via Bank Transfer and using other methods via third-party exchangers. There is built-in Credit Exchange inside Perfect Money.
Webmoney USD, RUB, BYR, EUR, XAU 10 Very good match for trading bitcoin. Requires funding by bank wire though, which may be expensive for small amounts.
Western Union Money Transfer  ? 9 A money transfer can be stopped but once funds are withdrawn as cash there's little risk.
Redeemable code from an exchange USD, BTC  ? These are generally bearer instruments so the "hardness" would seem to approach a 10 however each exchange that issues a redeemable code may have its own policy. As these are a fairly new tool, it is not known if any exchanges will refuse to honor a code of their own (e.g., customer claims that the code had been stolen).
PayPal - regular Most world currencies 0 Extremely easy to charge back. Also, since trading bitcoin is against their ToS, good luck disputing the chargeback. Do not use.
Paypal - personal Most world currencies 1-5 If funded via bank, requires person to dispute the ACH, which may be more arduous. If funded via credit card, requires person to dispute the CC charge, which is pretty easy. Since there's no way to tell what the funding source was... it's a gamble. Also, if paypal account is reported stolen, paypal will probably attempt to claw back the money.
Paypal - masspay Most world currencies 7? Mass pay requires funding from paypal balance. Generally much harder to reverse, but not impossible. Probably your biggest worry here is an actual stolen account.
Cash in mail Any currency 10 No chargebacks, obviously. Just check for counterfeit paper.
Cash at bank Any currency n/a Some exchanges (e.g., Virtex and OTC traders accept cash deposited to an account at a bank.
Check at bank Any currency n/a Some exchanges accept a check deposited to an account at a bank.
Bitcoin BTC 10 While the bitcoin network has no concept of a bitcoin transaction being reversed, there could be the possibility of an exchange or merchant refusing to accept a bitcoin for various reasons (e.g., funds were stolen).
Intra-bank transfer Any currency n/a
AliPay CNY n/a Though reports of reversed AliPay payments can be found on the Internet, the operator of Bitcoinica asserts that AliPay transaction are "non-reversible".
UKash many n/a A cash-based voucher system.
CashU many n/a A cash-based prepaid card / redeemable code.
TransferWise many combinations  ? Generally irreversible once cleared into your personal bank account, but depends on your countries clearing system. In some countries if the sending transaction is reversed they may be able to return funds.
Neteller  ?  ?
MoneyPak USD 9 Moneypaks are reversible if purchased with a stolen credit card due to a cashier's incompetence in allowing the purchase. See the paypal row for risk when using paypal. There is less than a handful of first-hand reports on the entire internet where the party who (1) redeemed a MoneyPak number to their debit card (2) refused to provide a copy of the receipt used to purchase the Moneypak to their debit card company when they asked and (3) never received the funds after vigilantly pressing the card company to disburse the funds. Ask for a copy of the receipt when accepting MP to protect yourself from this virtually non-existent risk of loss. Alternatively, lower the risk to zero by walking to an ATM and withdrawing the cash that was loaded.
Money Order Many currencies 5 A money order can be lost or stolen and there are procedures for reporting that. Losses could occur even weeks after the check has cleared.
Personal check Any currency 5 At least in the USA, once a check clears, it is hard to claw back except when fraud is alleged.
Bank ACH USD 5 Sometimes referred to a type of ACH transaction, a direct deposit. Though not very easily, ACH can actually be clawed back if the transaction was the result of fraud.
Popmoney ACH USD 5 Since Popmoney transfers occur via ACH, Popmoney will reverse payments if the funds were the result of fraud.
ING Person2Person USD 5 Since Person2Person transfers occur via ACH, ING will reverse payments if the funds were the result of fraud.
UK FPS, BACS, Pingit, PYC GBP 8 Banks can reverse payments if the funds were the result of fraud; this includes the sender claiming their account was stolen. Generally low risk.
Interac e-Transfer CAD 3 A funds transfer service between personal and business accounts at participating

Canadian financial institutions. In cases of identity theft the transfer may be reversed, especially if both parties are with the same financial institution.

Chase QuickPay USD 3 Chase has reversed legitimate transactions as the result of anti-fraud measures requiring the sender to be trusted to re-pay. The sender can also request a reversal after submitting an affidavit alleging that fraud occurred.
Amazon Gift Card various  ? 4. Fraud.

Amazon.com will have the right to close customer accounts and bill alternative forms of payment if a fraudulently obtained Amazon.com Gift Card is redeemed and/or used to make purchases on amazon.com or any of its affiliated websites set forth above. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/gc)

Dwolla USD 3? Since Dwolla amounts are funded via ACH, Dwolla will now reverse payments if the funds were the result of fraud. Additionally, Dwolla's Terms and Conditions now state that peyments received are subject to chargebacks as the result of their internal dispute resolution process.
Serve USD 0 Extremely easy to charge back.
AlertPay Many currencies 1 Because payment may be made using a credit card a charge back is easy. Doing so however will cause the account to be closed.
Skrill (Moneybookers)  ? 0 Chargebacks are possible. Accounts have been terminated when this payment method was used for a Bitcoin trade.
gift cards various 0 Chargebacks are possible. Applies to retail store, VISA, and most other gift cards. Do not use.
Credit / Debit card Any currency 0 Dead easy to charge back. Do not use.

Virtual Currencies[edit]

Method Currencies Hardness Notes
In-game SLL 5 There may or may not be a dispute process if a user claims a transfer was done against the TOS. SLL originally bought from unauthorized sources (stolen CC, hacked PP) may be deducted from a users SLL balance.

See Also on BitcoinWiki[edit]

Source[edit]

http://bitcoin.it/