Pay by Phone is a method of payment which charges your casino deposits to your mobile phone bill (or mobile credit if you are a Pay As You Go (PAYG) customer), rather than to a conventional bank account, debit or credit card.
Pay by Phone – A Brief History
The concept of Pay by Phone was originally developed in the United Kingdom in the early years of the 21st Century. The idea was first conceived by a small team of technology entrepreneurs in Chesterfield in Derbyshire. They called their proposed new payment service ‘Mobilcash’. However Vidicom, the company they founded in 2003 to develop their plans, struggled to find sufficient funding from within the UK, so they reached out to more enlightened investors across the Atlantic.
As a result, an injection of funds was secured from some Silicon Valley investors, and the company relocated across the pond to California in 2009. The company also changed its name to Boku Inc. and their proposed service also became known under this brand.
Boku was first launched in the United States in 2009, but it has required a series of additional tranches of investment capital to achieve its goals. These have amounted to around $100 million in at least four separate injections. It was the final round of investment in 2016 which saw the service finally able to make a bid for global expansion.
This attempt received international acknowledgement in the autumn of 2017, when the company went public on the London Stock Exchange. Boku was listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in November, with an approximate value of £125 million.
Today, Boku’s Pay by Phone is a major international service. Boku is available to customers throughout Europe and North America, as well as other major world markets such as Brazil, China, India and Japan. In total, it is available in over fifty countries across the world and is accepted by over 150 different phone service providers.
At the time of writing, it has around 25 million regular customers who use the service at least once per month. Overall customer spending adds up to a total annual payment volume of over $6 billion. The market continues to grow too, with 50 million new customers using the system at least once over the preceding two years.
Pay by Phone – how does it work?
Pay by Phone is a radical departure from most payment methods, in that it does not involve conventional banking organisations, financial service companies or electronic payment providers of any kind. Instead, your payments are charged to the monthly phone bill you receive from your mobile phone service provider.
The payment system is able to work this way because it effectively makes use of a loophole in financial regulations. Normally, national government institutions prevent just any old company from offering credit. This is partly because control of the money supply is regarded as a crucial aspect of running the economy, but also to protect consumers from unfair practices. In the United Kingdom, the body responsible for financial regulation is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Mobile phone companies are eligible to provide limited credit facilities because their customers sign what is in effect a credit contract when they sign up for their phones. The companies also cover themselves from the financial risk of their customers overspending and failing to pay back their additional spending in two ways. Firstly, the credit available is for a maximum of two months. Even if a customer makes a Pay by Phone payment right at the beginning of a statement period, they will only have until the end of the following month to pay off that debt.
The second method phone providers use to limit exposure to bad debt is to restrict the amount which can be spent using the service. This limit is often set at around £30 per day, or its equivalent in other currencies. Some also set a monthly spending limit.
It is important to note that you do not have to have a phone contract to use the Pay by Phone service. Pay As You Go phone users can also Pay by Phone. For these customers, rather than payments being billed at the end of the month, charges are instead deducted from their available call credit. Confusingly, this is allowed because it’s not actually credit. Customers using this method have effectively already paid when they buy their call minutes, so they are in fact spending their own money rather than ‘borrowing’ it from their phone provider.
Pay by Phone can be used to make a number of different online transactions. Many online stores accept it as an option at the checkout for lower priced items. It is also accepted as payment at for a variety of download and other online service companies, such as Apple, Google Play, Sony PlayStation and Facebook. It can also be used to pay Spotify’s monthly subscription. It can also be used to pay car parking charges.
Pay by Phone and online gaming
Many online casinos and bingo sites accept Pay by Phone as a payment option. It’s really easy to make your deposits using this method. All you need to do is look for the logo at the checkout or banking page of your chosen site. Once you’ve tapped or clicked on the logo, just follow the simple instructions.
Typically, you will be asked to enter your phone number and to confirm the amount you wish to deposit. You will then receive a text message asking you to authenticate the payment. This is an additional security measure to prevent anyone fraudulently quoting just any old number to make a payment. Just reply ‘Y’. There is no additional cost for this text message. And that’s it, your transaction is complete. Your payment will then be added to your mobile phone provider’s monthly bill, or deducted from your remaining call credit as appropriate.
It’s that simple because your mobile phone number is unique to you, so it will always be recognised and you won’t have to provide any further evidence of identity or carry out any other checks. Also, because all transactions are effectively carried out and authorised by text, you don’t even need a smartphone to use Pay by Phone. Even your old Nokia 3310 will do. And because you are effectively using your phone number to make payments, you won’t need to provide any banking or other financial details when making a payment.
There are some restrictions on the amount you can deposit at online casinos and bingo sites. Generally, you will be required to pay in at least £10, and there will usually be a daily maximum limit of £30. Some phone service providers do not accept Pay by Phone charges. In the UK, Virgin are a significant provider which does not accept these payments.
Many casinos also charge an additional fee when accepting Pay by Phone deposits. This can be as much as 15%, so always check with your chosen site before making a payment.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]