Friday, January 12, 2007

Payment restrictions with Skype

Tonight my Belgium Skype friend
Jean Mercier forwarded me a link to the blog of Chromewalker.
Chromewalker is a Skyper. Tonight he/she tried to purchase new credits but was told that this was not possible because the ‘account balance is over the allowable limit’.

As you can read, he/she wonders why Skype doesn’t want his/her money.

Skype has a very strict Anti Fraud Policy and tries in every way to protect the (new) user. This is not always convenient for the user as he/she knows being the most honest person in the world. Skype knows that too but also knows, like every other company dealing with Internet payments, that there are also not so honest people out there.

One of the Anti Fraud rules is that new purchasers, users who only started purchasing in the past 3 months, are restricted from purchasing again until they have gone below 5 EUR. New users are also restricted to 20 EUR credit per month using credit card, 30 EUR using Paypal and 100 EUR per month using Moneybookers or Bank transfers. This restriction is lifted permanently once they have been a Skype Credits purchaser for 3 months. Similar message is also printed on the users
accountpage at Skype's website. 3 Months might look like a long time but many users do not buy credits daily or weekly.

If someone who committed fraud by stealing your Credit Card or Bank details, buys credits for hundreds of Euri, Dollars etc for his own account, you would be furious.
With the 3 months restriction, this is impossible. Maybe not convenient but definitely safe.

Another Anti Fraud rule is that users can not use their Credit Card, Bank account etc. to purchase credits for more then one Skype account.
We do see complains about that on the forum but again, this is for the users safety.
There are unfortunately examples on the forum where users think that Skype has stolen their money because money was taken from their bank without their permission.

In all of these cases it turned out that the Credit Card or Bank account details were stolen by others to buy credits for their own account. And the ones who’s money was stolen, were no Skype users or even never had heard of Skype until they viewed their bank accounts. Fortunately the losses were minor due to the 3 months restriction.

By not allowing to buy credits fore more then one account, fraudulent actions like above, are hardly possible.

So how can you buy credits for more then one account?
This is possible via
Skype for Business (and you don’t need to run a business) and Skype’s control panel - an online tool allowing you to manage the Skype credits for your company. You can allocate SkypeIn numbers and Skype Credit to colleagues or enable auto top-up.

Yes, I know I am a Skype hugger and this post is not entirely in Skype’s favour but also to explain a little bit more about Skype’s tight but honest (and in favour of the user) Anti Fraud Policy.


  1. Anonymous11:15 pm

    May i correct your last paragraph ;-) :

    You are indeed a Skype hugger, and this post is entirely in Skype’s favour, and it indeed also explains a little bit Skype’s tight (but not in the interest of the honest user) Anti Fraud Policy.


  2. I think it's a good idea to have the limits in place, there is a tiny margin of profit here for Skype and those profits could be eaten up by fraud easily, so there is a method to use the business control panel for those who need large amounts of Skype credit, while protecting the fraud possibities as well.