Wednesday, January 31, 2007

ePassporte Comes Through (So Far)!!

Well after a long, long wait, and basically having given up hope, yesterday, finally, ePassporte appears to have come through for me. I signed up for an ePassporte account exactly 2 weeks ago today, and their website basically said they would be making two "microdeposits" of less than 30 cents into my account on a temporary/pending basis only, which should show up in my account within 2-4 business days, for verification purposes of my bank account. Well, as I said that was two weeks ago today now, and by last Monday night, 3 business days after my signup, I was really bummed to see no microdeposits in my account. I tried emailing ePassporte then, and tried again a few days later after a full week had passed. No response. In fact, they've still never responded to any of my emails, which is certainly not a good sign from a customer service perspective.

That said, all of a sudden yesterday when I logged in to my online bank account, out of the blue suddenly there were the two microdeposits from ePassporte! So in the end it took 10 full business days for the deposits to show up in my account -- not sure why that is but I can only assume it is because ePassporte must be totally inundated with new account requests ever since the whole Neteller debacle began -- but whatever the reason, I quickly verified my account on the ePassporte website, and made my first deposit yesterday.

Unfortunately, unlike Neteller's awesome Instacash option, which basically made an instantaneous transfer from my bank account to my Neteller account, ePassporte's website is clear that it will take approximately 7 business days for ACH transfers from my bank account to actually load into my ePassporte account. So that is far less convenient than Neteller Instacash. That said, on the good side, Neteller charged me something like 7% or something for every Instacash deposit from my bank to my Neteller account, whereas the ePassporte charges are actually far lower. This is in stark contrast to what everyone seems to be saying among the blogs as far as ePassporte having crazy high fees or something. ePassporte is charging me $2 for every $300 I deposit from my bank into my ePassporte account, with a $300 maxiumum daily deposit amount.

So, let's say I wanted to deposit $1200 from my bank into my ePassporte. On Neteller, that Instacash deposit would have cost me something like $80 or so (I don't remember the exact percentage but it's something like that). On ePassporte, that would take me 4 days to complete the loads due to the $300 daily maximum load -- a far smaller maximum daily limit than Neteller imposed on me -- but after 4 days, I would have paid only $8 in fees to get the money to my ePassporte account. Now granted, the money will not be available immediately in ePassporte like it would have been through Instacash, but you will certainly not hear me complaining about paying $8 to fund my account with $1200 instead of paying $80. That sounds like 90% less in fees than what I was normally paying to Neteller, not more in fees. So I'm perfectly happy with that aspect.

I've heard people say that "they've never paid a dime in fees to Neteller to deposit", so maybe those people weren't using Instacash, and were waiting the same couple of weeks to deposit funds that I have been waiting. Fine then, and I admit that would be a better comparison to compare the non-Instacash options at both sites. Now, let's assume it's true (I have no idea because I always only ever used Instacash at Neteller) that there were zero fees to do a regular (non-Instacash) deposit at Neteller. So fine, then it costs $0 to deposit $1200 at Neteller, and it costs $8 to deposit $1200 at ePassporte. Is that difference really worth giving a cripe about?

Let me put it this way. Sure, I will chose a $0 expenditure over an $8 expenditure by me any day of the week and twice on Sunday, why not. But, at the same time, charging me 0.6% on my deposits is not something which I give two cripes about. I don't mean to sound all rich here, which I surely am not, but I most definitely have better things to worry about than a 0.6% fee to deposit money into an account that I can use to fund my online poker addiction habit hobby. Don't you? Plus, let's be honest here -- I'm all for someone charging me a little something to take on extra risk or do extra administrative functions for me that I would not be able and/or willing to do myself. Obviously, ePassporte is taking on a great deal of risk by enabling me to fund an online poker account through its system. That is clear after the recent Firepay / Neteller / etc. issues over the past few months. What's more, they are the only site I know of right now that can enable me to get money electronically into online poker. So, for me, if I want to keep playing then it's either ePassporte or it's a trip out to Walgreen's, and hope they have the specific high-denomination prepaid Visa cards I need in stock, every time I want to fund. Isn't all that convenience worth 0.6%? It is to me. Easily. I mean, it's not like I'm running a hundred billion dollars worth my ePassporte account, such that 0.6% amounts to $600 million, real sum by anyone's standards. Is anyone really going to argue that it's not worth me paying $8 to deposit $1200 into full tilt and/or pokerstars?

And this doesn't even get into the ability for me to make a withdrawal from an online poker site, which as of right now I have no ability to do since Neteller disappeared as an option. ePassporte will also make that possible for me, which of course is invaluable since without it I can't ever get my hands on the millions of dollars I'll be winning, for example, in the FTOPS this year next month. And I freely admit, I've never used ePassporte before, so I don't know what other issues/charges/problems will arise in the whole deposit and withdrawal process with them. So I don't know, for example, if ePassporte is going to try to charge me a huge fee or something when it comes time for me to make a withdrawal from my ePassporte account back to my bank account. From their website it appears that this fee will be either nil or very small, but again I will have to wait and see until I actually do this to find out for sure. All I know is, for all you Neteller Instacash guys out there, the fees from ePassporte will seem a whole lot cheaper than what you've been used to paying. The time to load and fund your account will also be a lot more, but if that's the way it needs to be, then I'm fine with it and I'm glad as hell to be paying so much less than I was at Neteller to enable me to keep getting money into and out of the online poker sites I like to play at.

So in summary, the most important thing I want to say is that, to all you others out there who like me signed up a few weeks ago for ePassporte and have been waiting to fund your account since the whole Neteller business first started, don't despair! Even though it has taken much longer than the ePassporte website suggested was likely, after 10 full business days I finally did see those microdeposits show up yesterday, so you can probably expect something along similar lines to that as far as wait time. And the charges to deposit for me from my US bank account are 0.6%, with a daily max deposit of $300, and these funds will apparently take 7 business days to appear in my ePassporte account. But it appears to be working, and that is the most important thing right now.

Well, that, and the fact that I will never, ever have more than a small amount in my ePassporte account at any given time, now that Neteller has potentially burned so many thousands upon thousands of U.S. customers. Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice....

Anyways, I'd love to hear anyone else's stories regarding ePassporte in the comments here for everyone to read and see what to expect. If anyone has been using them for a while and can add anything as far as withdrawal fees when I want to withdraw back to my bank account, do tell here as well.

Mookie tonight, 10pm ET on full tilt (password is "vegas1" as always), and I am also already registered for the Mookie 2nd Chance at 11:30pm ET, even though that is O8 which I am really not into playing these days. But how can you pass up donking with the bloggers at a true donk's game? I cannot. See you then!


Blogger Unknown said...

Why did you use InstaCash when the Neteller deposits took 3 days (not 2 weeks)?


Good to hear ePassporte is working, at least you can use it for porn if poker goes into the tank.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I don't know, Drizz. I guess I just never wanted to wait to make my deposits, and I guess I just never really minded the fees I was paying for the convenience of instant availability of the funds. In retrospect I probably should have played it differently. With a little bit of planning -- something I never had to worry about with Instacash -- I could surely have timed my deposits so that the 3-day or whatever delay would not have impacted my ability to keep playing.

11:38 PM  
Blogger lucko said...

Ugh! You paid the fees? Almost every poker sites picked up the charges if you did insta-cash through them.

And I would be careful transferring large amounts of money with epassporte. I read they received the lowest BBB rating possible.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Pseudo_Doctor said...

hey ive used epassporte many times over teh last 3 years especially a ton when I first started playing without a huge cash roll. In 3 years I've never had a problem with them ever. Only downside is there withdrawls take like 2 weeks to process. Everything they say add about 2 weeks other then its pretty secure from what Ive seen. And there support is pretty good phone wise. GL at the tables and Ill see you in FTOPS as well for events 1 and 3

1:29 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...

Could be the next option...guess we'll see...

2:34 AM  
Blogger Mike Maloney said...

Yeah, I'm with Lucko. I never paid fees on my InstaCash transfers going through the poker site.

Glad to hear ePassporte actually made the deposists. I'll have to keep tabs on my checking account and see if mine go through.

3:16 AM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

I'm gonna give ePassporte a shot, hopefully it won't take as long to get setup.

Thanks for the tourney pimp, good luck tonight.

3:29 AM  
Blogger Alceste said...

In terms of cashouts, Stars was very good about quickly writing a check after Neteller shut down. I made a cashout request last Saturday and received a FedEx with the check the following Wednesday (check cleared by Friday). Since you're going to have cashouts big enough to qualify for the free FedEx service, you shouldn't have too much to worry about.

5:07 AM  
Blogger ugg said...

Last Thursday, I signed up with ePassporte. I am still waiting for the microdeposits to show up. I will not give up hope, since it looks like they will come through. Maybe all of this business will prompt them to setup an "Instacash" like option.

6:19 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...

i signed up with them last week. saw the microdeposit same day and today i got my epassporte visa.


2:45 PM  
Blogger Julius_Goat said...

Put the hand history and analsis from the MATH that you were asking about, Hoy.

What's the story with CardSquad? Sorry to see it go.

9:44 PM  

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