E-wallet watch: Moneybookers changes name, EwalletXpress latest DOJ victim?

moneybookers-skrill-ewalletxpressPopular UK-registered e-wallet Moneybookers has declared it will now be known as Skrill. So what’s a skrill, we hear you asking? Well, according to the Urban Dictionary, it’s a high quality strain of marijuana. So Moneybookers is now selling pot online. Oh wait, scratch that… it says here skrill is also slang for money. Ah, that makes a lot more sense. Still, would have been nice to be able to just whip out the debit card and score some bud online. Hey, maybe we can get the delivery guy to stop by the pizzeria on the way…

So why the new moniker? The Moneybookers/Skrill site attempts to make some not entirely relevant statement about how nobody reads those old fashioned ‘books’ anymore, so rather than look like a bunch of irrelevant dinosaurs, they chose a more ‘fresh’ identity. Some online forum dwellers are suggesting it has more to do with the company’s interest in distancing itself from its online gambling origins as it shifts its emphasis to a more general online retail business focus. It also might have something to do with that makeover Morgan Stanley and Jefferies promised to give Moneybookers as the company plans its IPO.

Still another theory suggests that the name change stems from the unwanted spotlight recently shone upon Moneybookers via their former business relationship with WikiLeaks, the document-dumping scourge of the American government. Guess the Skrill boys are hoping the suits at the Dept. of Justice are still compiling all their data in manila file folders, and thus no one knows how to correlate two seemingly unconnected file names.

In less cosmetic news, rumors continue to swirl that Canadian-based EwalletXpress has become the latest payment processor to run afoul of the DOJ. The company’s online presence went dark on Nov. 12, and attempts to reach the company via their customer service line have so far produced only opaque ‘technical issues’ responses.

While facts are sketchy, rumors are circulating of federal warrants having been served and funds being frozen and/or seized. Given the emphasis American justice officials are placing on gambling-related eCom services, it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if EwalletXpress becomes the latest payment processor to follow Netteller, Allied Wallet, Secure Money Inc. et al in making a run for the border and out of the American market.