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Credit cards are handy. However, if you look at the statements properly, you will see that a lot of skimming is done. Check exchange rates and discover it yourself. If 5% leaks to banks and you often pay larger amounts, it is interesting to look for alternatives.
WebMoney is such an alternative. It is a peer to peer system and it is advisable to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebMoney. I am not going into how to configure an account, simply follow the steps. If you drown in Russian language, look for an icon “English” on the pages. It is a tempting place for misconduct, just do business with trusted partners.
The principle is that you pay from moneypots and that you fill those pots cheaply, for example via normal bank transfers. To activate your account properly, you will have to show who you are, just like with other banks. A copy of your passport is sufficient. Go through all the steps and everything should be fine.
It is a little puzzling on the site. If you want to know what your balance is on an account, you probably will not find it. That is because different domain names are used:
- https://www.wmtransfer.com/ is the main site
- https://report.wmtransfer.com/ for reports
- https://wallet.webmoney.ru/ for management wallets, withdrawal, refill
- https://wm.exchanger.ru to exchange money
Aliexpress offers WebMoney as payment option. That possibility is hidden behind various clicks. Aliexpress assumes that WebMoney may not be used in your country unless you are Russian. I am Dutch and for me, a payment looks like this:
Click on “pay” Select “Other payment methods” Click on link “Pay with card or other payment methods” Choose tab “More payment methods” In screen “Select payment method” you will probably not see “WebMoney”. Change your country here to “Russia” Now select “WebMoney” Select “Pay now” and you’re redirected to WebMoney where you can finish your payment.
- UPDATE October 2019: THIS DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE 🙂
If you have to pay in dollars, like with Aliexpress, and your wallet is not in dollars, you’ll notice you’ll pay quite a fee. So it is better to have a wallet with dollars. These are called “WMZ” in order to omit the name “dollar”. “WME” is the Euro variant.
On https://wm.exchanger.ru, you can do a bid for WMZ dollars by offering, for example, an amount of WME Euro’s on the exchange market in WebMoney – “Place new bid”. Normally, you accept that you loose a bit of money by doing so – or win if you have time and want to gamble. More specific, 0.8% for WebMoney plus or minus the rate difference. Here comes the nice thing: button “Quick Exchange”. There are also people with dollars on offer. That way you can quickly get cheap dollars – or vice versa. Needless to say you need to check the rates before clicking Okay!
Where do all those WMZ dollars come from? Following the aliexpress example, they probably want to get rid of the vast amount of WMZ dollars they get. More information is on https://wiki.wmtransfer.com/projects/webmoney/wiki/WM_Exchanger
In its base, WebMoney can be called trustworthy. It says something that you can make payments at Aliexpress through WebMoney. The security seems fine. The low costs make it extremely attractive. Payments are real time. Users who are verified have a “WM-passport”. So far, all advantages. There are few complaints on the net. It is a Russian organization and you notice this on the site. This can occasionally raise questions. Use an online translation service if necessary, it is not a show stopper. It is a system that invites abuse – like with all financial business. Therefore, do not do business if a “WM-passport” is missing, check BL (Business Level > 4 for example). All in all it is a welcome addition to existing payment options and it feels good not to be a cash cow when international payments are made.