Boku are the popular pioneers of direct operator billing, aka “charge to bill.” Instead of troubling your bank accounts and credit cards, deposit money onto Boku casinos and add the charges to your mobile phone bill. With just your telephone number, you may never have to enter again your long card number, your start date, your expiry date, your issuing number, your 3-digit CV2 security very important on the back of your card code…
Born in 2009, Boku entered the market with a focus on virtual goods and specifically social gaming platforms like Zynga, Playdom and Playfish. But their sights were set higher. From the company’s perspective, there was a vast market yet to be tapped; not just people who simply could not be bothered to enter their credit card. Rather, a diverse world of mobile phone users who either do not bank, or belong to banks in emerging markets that may not trade universally. Incorporating over 5 billion human beings, the mobile phone owner is one the largest singular demographics in the world today.
For merchants, Boku offers a chance to reach people in almost every single country in the world with just a simple integrated API. In addition, the allure of a one click to pay system, without the faff of first time transaction data entry, would bolster their conversions. Often it can take over two minutes to complete an online payment with a credit card thanks to the multiple field entries over multiple pages required. This coupled with the finicky nature of entering data onto a small screen mobile device can make the experience exhausting. A one click payment solution, for mobile and by mobile, certainly seem like the future.
If your mobile phone is with o2, Vodafone, 3 or EE then you are eligible to use Boku. As long as the casino accepts Boku as a payment option, then you are good to go (see above).
For most casinos, the minimum deposit is $10. For the first deposit, all you’ll need is your mobile telephone number. For subsequent deposits, you won’t even need that. All you’ll need to do is enter your deposit amount through Boku and the money will automatically credit to your casino account.
For the ballers and high rollers amongst you, the daily maximum deposit limit of $30 will almost certainly be untenable. Of course it makes sense – the option to add endless charges to your phone bill (money that you may not technically actually have) could be overpowering for the less financially savvy or sound.
Another potential downside is that you cannot withdraw money through Boku. Again, it makes sense, as it is difficult to imagine the mechanism through which you could receive your winnings (other than crediting your mobile phone bill). For many customers, the idea of having to keep track of different payment systems for deposits and withdrawals may just be a financial hassle too far. This, however, should not be viewed as a deal breaker.
There is plenty to commend Boku and although many casinos do not currently offer it as a payment method, more should be catching on. For some, the ease and simplicity, as well as the in-built financial control, will make Boku an attractive option. It is also secure, as each charge is authenticated by the mobile providers.
More and more people are searching explicitly for Boku enabled casinos online. And, frankly, we think this is for good reason. A sensible choice, for the sensible player.