Verifiable Payment Processors

Today I would like to discuss an interesting subject, partially connected I suppose with the recovery of the HYIP industry. As we all know and agree there’s been something of a crisis for a long time now, largely due in one form or another by problems caused by payment processors. Namely I think you all know that I’m referring here to LibertyReserve where the assets were seized and operators arrested and put on trial by US federal authorities, and EgoPay which turned out to be just one massive scam no better than the ponzis they were accommodating. Specifically therefore I want to talk about the role that more respectable, verified and traceable payment processors like Payza, SolidTrustPay, and, most recently, Neteller and Skrill can and must play in an industry recovery. I also want to compare them to such anonymous and shall we say less scrupulous “no questions asked or answered” style payment systems like PerfectMoney, Payeer, and BitCoin where no verification is required, transactions cannot be reversed even if made accidentally, and no possibility of ever finding the actual location or identities of the owners (unless you’re the FBI that is!). Of course, the benefits of both types of payment method are different for different people living in different countries and under different circumstances. But there’s no point in denying that things simply cannot continue in the HYIP industry the way they have done in the past, and the expectations and demands of the bigger players have changed now.

To understand things properly as they are today, we have to look back at the not so distant past when the HYIP industry was at its peak. This was from back in 2012 and into the first half of 2013, coming to an abrupt end in May of that year with the shocking if not altogether unexpected news about the closure of LibertyReserve and the arrest of its owners. MNO covered the subject in detail at the time, with articles published here and here. The devastating impact these events had on the industry cannot be understated as LibertyReserve was easily responsible for more than a half of all transactions passing through online HYIPs. With over 50% of the funds taken out of the HYIP industry and lost for its owners, the impact was even wider than that when US officials cracked down on many of the official exchange service providers that handled LR funds, seizing their domains and making both the financial losses damage to their image truly irreparable. Since then the LR owners and many people connected with their alleged involvement in assisting with money laundering, drug trafficking and child porn received lengthy, and in my opinion well deserved, prison sentences. This also sent out a clear warning to anyone else in the same line of business. PerfectMoney for example were clearly the ones most likely and most afraid of being next. Their owners took some serious measures to avoid the same fate, and even if it meant taking a financial hit on their business that was of absolutely no importance compared to staying in business and out of jail. Measures included voluntary verification of accounts but more significantly the banning of all US residents from using PerfectMoney services. This further drove American investors away from the HYIP industry, and in turn had the knock-on domino effect on other HYIP related businesses, e-currency exchangers, and so on. Those were some dark days for the industry with literally millions of dollars taken out of it overnight, trust being lost, big programs closing, exchangers closing, and large investors leaving the industry for good. A slow but eventual recovery process that followed throughout 2013-2014 came to a sudden end with the unexpected (though again, probably unsurprising) scam of EgoPay payment processor. They simply stopped paying to exchangers before disappearing completely in early 2015, plunging the HYIP industry back to where it was on the closure of LibertyReserve all over again. As EgoPay was a slowly developing anonymous payment system handling an estimated 20% of all funds in the HYIP industry and exchange related sites, the scam clearly demonstrated that keeping any money in anonymous payment systems is not a particularly smart idea. So now we had two big payment processors wiped out in as many years, and that really didn’t help the confidence of the people depending on them for an extra income. No wonder the level of investment amounts in HYIPs dropped tenfold since its peak in 2012-2013. I don’t really believe that the actual interest from investors in the HYIP industry has declined quite so much, it’s just the activity has declined because they lack the confidence to act on it. Not that anyone could blame them though.

Some might consider this pessimistic, and others might just see it as being realistic. Based on my own independent assessment of recent history and taking into consideration all the latest trends I would say the HYIP industry is at its lowest point for several years. Major contributing factors to that such as LibertyReserve and EgoPay have in turn set a sort of “catch 22” cycle in motion, with the offer of total anonymity that attracts some people also being the cause of a deep level of mistrust. Mind you, the current slump in the industry doesn’t mean you cannot earn from HYIPs. Quite the contrary, the very best programs are still present on MNO and run for a long enough time to make a good profit on. I’m just talking about the general state of the wider HYIP industry which is plagued by fast scams. The most talented and capable individuals that are needed to save the industry are the ones most likely to be driven away by the conditions, and so the ever decreasing circles continue diminishing.

So what can be done to reverse all of this you may ask? Are things really that bad that nothing can be done to make the HYIP industry thrive again like the good old days? Well, yes, in my opinion the process can be reversed, but it can only be done with the help and co-operation of all sides who have a vested interest in seeing it happen. This includes the serious experienced HYIP admins (not the fast scams), payment processors, and HYIP investors. Judging by my own years of experience in the industry I must warn you that the process will be pretty slow, bumpy and sometimes painful. I also believe it’s inevitable for the simple reason that the demand and the appetite is still out there for it. A complete reevaluation of expectations and behavior from all sides will also be required. And here I’m talking about the more common use of such payment processors like Payza, SolidTrustPay, Neteller, and Skrill.

The main common feature of these payment processors is that they actively encourage a KYC (Know Your Customer) policy, and so to unlock all their features and benefits you must verify your account there with identity and proof of address. You see, being anonymous might be pretty convenient for someone online, but law enforcement agencies dealing with cyber-crime on a daily basis may not exactly share this view. Hidden off-book transactions enabled by unlicensed entities with no actual physical location making irreversible payments (like PerfectMoney and Payeer) and crypto-currencies like BitCoin is totally out of control, meaning once you get scammed you cannot seek any protection, even if your account is hacked. I mean I know the readers of MNO are (or should be!) grown adults capable of deciding for yourselves what risks you may or may not be comfortable with. On a personal level that’s entirely your own decision, but untraceable and anonymous transactions are more than questionable from your government’s point of view, and in some cases might be illegal.

Now, there’s no way I can or would ever want to list every country in the world and tell every reader what you can and can’t do with your life. Your choice to gamble and declare the money you make from HYIPs is none of my business after all. But there are much bigger fish out there, doing far far worse things online than just trying to make a couple of extra bucks for themselves, pay their bills, maybe help out their families if they can by playing with HYIPs. Some providers like PerfectMoney realized very quickly after the LR closure that they cannot function under the same guise and cover for unknown cyber-criminals that are money-laundering via the chain of third-party exchangers. But instead of doing something to legitimize themselves they simply decided to go deeper underground and ban US citizens from using their facilities. But ask yourself this – is that really the best thing for HYIP investors who want e-currencies to be more transparent and their funds to be more secure? In the offline world would you put your money in an unlicensed bank with no office, no staff, and no insurance? No? Well then why would you do it on the internet? Some anonymous payment processors entice members with lower transaction fees, but is that really any consolation if such companies just vanished overnight? Are lower fees really any substitute for the real benefits of using verified payment systems, like direct funding of your account from your bank and credit card, and withdrawing your funds without the need for third-party exchangers (themselves often charging quite hefty fees of their own)?

OK, I do agree that if you only play with small money and are not afraid of losing $10 or $20 if they closed then PerfectMoney, Payeer, and BitCoin will be OK for you to start with. But if you operate with hundreds or thousands it’s a very different story, right? So I think we’ve established why anonymous payment processors cannot be compared with the likes of Payza/STP when it comes to security issues. But let’s look at the practicalities, both for HYIP investors and HYIP admins, and see what the benefits really are.

First off, I think it’s better to give an introductory view to those not familiar with the payment processors that have physical offices, are properly licensed to conduct financial operations, and have no issues in accepting funds from banks and cards and allow direct withdrawals to avoid additional fees. You get peace of mind about the safety of your funds in fully reversible transactions, while allowing selective HYIPs to have accounts with them. What I really want to share here is my own personal experience with them, and while I’ve been dealing with some a lot longer than others, one thing is for sure – I feel much safer when dealing with these payment processors compared to anonymous ones, especially when moving larger sums of money for monitoring purposes (all these payment processors are naturally accepted for listing and advertising on MNO).

Payza is the payment processor that currently has the best chance to take the leading position among providers requiring verification from members. In exchange for that they provide extra security such as the right to file a transaction dispute and actually win back some money from scams (though it happens only if funds can be recovered by Payza from the closed program’s account). That comes at a hefty price though as the 2.5% plus $0.25% for every received payment can put many investors off, but if it’s ok with you then you can check out all the fees which also depend on the type of account you hold with Payza on this page. Once you have your account properly verified you will then be able to fund your account and withdraw from it via multiple convenient methods like BitCoin, credit cards, bank wires and bank transfers, several accredited exchangers. The process of verifying an account with Payza is not as difficult as it is with STP, and many HYIP admins already acknowledge the advantages that Payza will give to the image of their programs and the boost of new deposits from US and European customers. I have in mind a more detailed article on Payza and an interview with their owners in the pipeline, but for the moment you can create a free account here and enjoy all the benefits you won’t find in any anonymous e-currencies.

SolidTrustPay used to be my favorite payment processor and to some degree still is, but after the LR collapse a couple of years back STP probably decided that it had enough of the black market accounts being bought and sold by crooks and made a serious crackdown. I was aware of the fact that one of the admins that used to operate with STP complained that (quite literally!) “dozens of his accounts” that he probably used for all sorts of shady operations were closed overnight and he couldn’t do anything about it. That’s why SolidTrustPat is currently perhaps the most demanding payment processor, and you can be sure that if any investment programs accept it in automated mode (investing via SolidTrustPay manually is not recommended by the payment processor itself) it’s a sign of quality. The task of verifying an account with SolidTrustPayis almost impossible for deliberate cheap scams, and can only be done by meeting some strict conditions. So while it’s difficult, it’s still possible and a couple of programs already accepting STP on MNO monitor are good proof of that. In this case the charges are 1.5% plus $0.25 on every payment received for a personal account. The full table of fees you need to be aware of (different for different types of accounts) along with the list of convenient deposit and withdrawal methods including bank wires, cheque payments, credit and debit card withdrawals you can find on this page. SolidTrustPay also offers its own International MasterCard which you can order from inside of your account and a TrustCard (a plastic wallet sized card containing unique security codes which mean only the holder can use it) that will be sent by post to provide some extra security features. STP is well known for its dim view of scams, so you can always try to get your money back by filing a dispute if you feel you are a victim of fraud, and be sure that no one from another country can hack into your account as even a change of IP address can force a temporary account suspension (unless you can verify that it was you who did it or you’re a holder of a Trust Card). SolidTrustPay also has a short list of verified and approved exchangers which you can find here so it’s strongly advised never to deal with any other exchanger or private individual offering such services to avoid getting scammed. SolidTrustPay has a responsive phone support and you can actually talk to them during business hours if you have any queries, that is you don’t wish to submit a support ticket from this dedicated website. It’s there you will be able to find the answers to all your questions and the official blog of SolidTrustPay will keep you up-to-date on any new features and changes. If you wish to open a free account with STP and verify it, you are also advised to read the following article on MNO regarding the advantages of using them for investing in HYIPs.

Neteller is a new name for me as is currently only accepted by a few programs so I can’t say much about it yet. However, my first personal experience with it has been extremely positive so far and the best feature I like is that you can order a Net+ Prepaid Card and it will be delivered straight to your home address within just a few days. After that you will be able to withdraw your profits directly from this card and pay with it at any point of service around the world that accepts MasterCard or any ATM. To fund your Neteller account simply connect it to your bank and you’re done. The fees can be found on this page. The beauty of Neteller is that funding and withdrawal fees are all you need to pay as transactions between Neteller accounts are totally free of charge. I believe that Neteller which has been serving the gambling industry for some time can accommodate HYIPs as well, and help the industry get back on its feet. By the way, Wikipedia has an article on Neteller which is described as “an e-money/e-wallet stored-value service owned and operated by publicly traded British global payments company Optimal Payments PLC” and of course, it’s properly registered and functions around the world with compliance to all local laws. You can open your free account in Neteller here.

Skrill, formerly known as Moneybookers, is the main competitor to Neteller and also serving the gambling industry. It’s defined as being “owned and operated by Skrill Limited, a UK-based company registered as a Money Service Business with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and licensed to operate within the European Union.” I haven’t really used Skrill as much as Neteller, the opportunity simply hasn’t presented itself as often, but I can see that it’s functioning along similar lines of linking to your bank account after verification. They too are offering their own pre-paid cards.Skrill has been a legitimate payment processor since 2001 and once it becomes more popular in the HYIP industry I may well write a more detailed article on it then after I can speak a bit more based on personal experience. You can open your free Skrill account here.

Now let’s talk about the obvious benefits you get as a HYIP investor when using them. First of all, your funds are safer due to possible reversal policy and the more personal account feeling connected to the real ownership. Once you verified your account with any of the four payment processors on the list you get improved security, as anyone who tries to access your account without your knowledge will be detected, and even if anyone did gain access they still won’t be able to withdraw funds. Sophisticated security systems monitor unusual transactions and activities like accessing accounts from a different address, and like with many real banks the payment processors requiring verification will most likely have your account reimbursed once you prove you were not the person responsible for the transaction in question. If you monitor your accounts in such payment processors at least a couple of times a week it will be generally impossible for anyone else to steal from it, and you will have peace of mind knowing that any illegitimate transaction can be reversed within a reasonable period.
This policy is a major advantage of using traceable payment processors like Payza, SolidTrustPay, Neteller, and Skrill. Every transaction is subject to constant checks by their security team and once they find anything questionable they will simply put the funds on hold until it gets resolved. You may find such this approach impossible to implement for PerfectMoney, Payeer, or BitCoin, and that is their main advantage for scammers over the more legitimate providers. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to get your money back from HYIPs when they scam, as you should be fully aware of the risks involved, but it will give a greater comfort to know that if you’re not satisfied with the service you can file a dispute and get your money back under some limited circumstances. In any case, the scam admins usually try to keep paying to such payment processors as SolidTrustPay and Payza for as long as possible which is a well-known and documented fact, making investing relatively safer for the holders of Payza and STP accounts. Because the admins will find it more difficult to get that money out for themselves, payments will often continue on auto-pilot until all funds have been exhausted, sometimes even long after the HYIP itself has been abandoned. This can sometimes have the bizarre result (if you’re lucky) of putting some members into profit even after a program has scammed.

The transaction fees are possibly the only area where STP and Payza cannot compete with anonymous payment systems. It does make them look less favorable for many investors, however you have to remember that we also eliminate the fees of third-party exchangers as you may deposit and withdraw directly to banks and cards. With that in mind these fees begin to look less and less of an issue anymore. Plus the fact that most HYIP admins continue to pay via STP or Payza after they scam (as is the inevitable end for all HYIPs anyway) for much longer than to PM and BitCoin where they can keep all the money for themselves without any consequences. This is also a very positive effect of using SolidTrustPay and Payza as your preferred payment methods for investing in HYIPs. No wonder that according to the preliminary results of my poll, about 88% (!) of readers tend to treat programs accepting STP and / or Payza more seriously and invest in them.
Such a high opinion of STP/Payza approved programs where the admins took the time and effort to submit all the necessary documents needed to persuade them they are worthy to be allowed use them as payment methods is impressive. We all know that many HYIPs want you to think they are real investment companies, but in most cases, they can’t provide any evidence of this to the payment processors requiring it. That is why it’s extremely lazy of HYIP admins to only accept PerfectMoney, Payeer, and BitCoin. On the other hand, if an admin is serious enough and wants his program to grow above all expectations he should realize what can be achieved if SolidTrustPay, Payza,Neteller, and Skrill were on offer.

I think that statement brings us closer to the benefits of acceptingSolidTrustPay and Payza for the HYIP admins themselves. Referring once again to the results of my poll where the vast majority of investors (as I said, 88%) would look at their programs in a much positive way and, most probably, be more inclined to invest larger amounts even via a different payment processor is a huge force to reckon with. And the HYIP admins that still don’t realize that are living in the past, thinking that having three anonymous currencies on board will be enough to make their programs long term success stories. Things are changing fast in the HYIP industry, and ignoring the demands of serious investors for more accountability and greater choice will only lead to failure. Remember that it’s the 10% of people who own 90% of the funds that will ultimately force a massive change of thinking in the industry by keeping their money away from HYIPs where the admins fail to meet their standards. Admins would to well to remember this, because experience with LR and EgoPay means the big spenders simply won’t put up with just any old garbage you throw at them anymore. In fact neglecting the investors’ demands and accepting only anonymous payment processors is one of the reasons why the HYIP industry in such bad shape nowadays. Big spending investors from America and Europe that used to be a driving force in the HYIP industry a few years back are now prepared to sit back and wait. At the time of writing this article, Payza is accepted by just four of the ten programs from the MNO Premium list, Skrill and Neteller are used by three, and SolidTrustPay is only available in two. Just a couple of years back it was totally the opposite.

Although MNO is only dealing with the best programs, those using accountable payment processors can be counted on one hand and that’s not good. It’s a clear indicator of how far the HYIP industry is sinking and how few great admins are still around. The HYIP admins should definitely reconsider their positions on STP and Payza, and give further consideration to Neteller, and Skrill, if they want to be taken seriously by big investors. Only with dedicated efforts on the admins part and a better selection of programs really worth joining will the industry get back to its former glory and become once again something that people genuinely enjoy gambling with. Until that happens I’m afraid the only saving grace is those few top-notch programs listed on the MNO monitor.

That’s all for tonight, guys. I hope you enjoyed the article and if so then please tune in again tomorrow for a look at all the latest news stories from the most elite programs monitored on MNO. If you like the blog, please share a link to this article with your friends and relatives and let everyone know about the advantages of Payza, SolidTrustPay, Neteller, and Skrill over anonymous payment processors. Let’s make the HYIP industry a bit more clean and transparent and attract new bigger funds to help its revival. You can always follow MNO on Facebook and Twitter for the latest review and interviews, subscribe to my daily news and participate in the discussions on the MNO ShoutBox and the polls on the MNO TalkBack page. And of course, if you have any questions regarding the HYIP industry as a whole or any programs monitored on MNO I will be glad to answer them if you contact me from this page.