Boku are the popular pioneers of direct operator billing, aka “charge to bill.” Instead of troubling your bank accounts and credit cards, it’s possible to deposit money onto Boku casinos and add the charges to your mobile phone bill. With just your telephone number, you may never again have to enter your long card number, your start date, your expiry date, your issuing number or your 3-digit CV2 security code. Read on as we now provide a bit of background about this prolific payment platform works for mobile and online casinos.
Boku was originally known as Vidicom Ltd and was founded in the UK back in 2003. Despite humble origins the company grew gradually thanks to the financial support of various investors. However, its fortunes saw a major upturn after funding was secured from two high-profile venture capital firms Khosla Ventures and Index Ventures. After incorporating Boku and adopting its name in 2009, the fledgling payment provider launched its services in the US while acquiring Mobilcash and Paymo in the process.
Major Investment and Expansion
In keeping with Boku’s investment-based business model, more than $25 million USD was pumped into the company’s coffers less than one year after its US launch. This was followed in 2012 with a further $35 million as well as around $13.75 million in 2016. To date, more than $90 million has been invested in this innovative company by a raft of global investors. Some of these include Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures, DAG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Telefónica, and GMO Payment Gateway.
Flushed with success and boosted by massive funding from a slew of high-profile stakeholders, Boku went public on the London Stock Exchange (AIM) in 2017 with an initial valuation of £125 million. Despite being headquartered in San Francisco, AIM was chosen over NASDAQ in the hope that the company would be better-placed to attract investors. The sheer scale of US-based stock exchanges can make it extremely difficult for smaller, high-growth outfits like Boku to attract major financial suitors.
Boku’s Focus On Casinos & Gaming
The company’s primary focus was and remains 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 of the largest singular demographics in the world today.
So it’s of little surprise that Boku’s USP is now connected to more than 170 carriers around the word in some 50 markets. The company has forged partnerships with the likes of Apple, Google Play Store, Sony Playstation and Spotify. Its services are also used by digital companies such as IGG, Bigpoint, Electronic Arts and Tencent. One of its biggest deals was announced in 2013, with the purchase of Qubecell – one of India’s largest mobile phone carriers.
Today, the vast majority of Boku’s transactions relate to music streaming, digital subscriptions, app stores, free-to-play games and more recently online casino gaming.
Boku Advantages For Casino – Merchants
For casino 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 need of first time transaction data entry, can potentially bolster their conversions. Often it can take over two minutes to complete an online payment with a credit card due to the multiple field and page entries required. This coupled with the finicky nature of entering data onto a small screen mobile device can make the experience exhausting. So a one click payment solution, for mobile and by mobile, certainly seems like the future. After all, merchants want to attract consumers instead of putting them off with elaborate payment processes that are both awkward and time consuming.
Boku Advantages For Casino – Depositors
As far using the service goes, Boku is completely free with no hidden frees whatsoever. This is also the case with the verification texts that you will receive during use. But, a few online casino operators WILL add a percentage charge to transactions. These can range from 3 to 10%. This is why it always makes sense to check the small print before parting with any money.
In contrast to other online casino transaction services, registration isn’t required. A contact number is all that’s needed. Transmission is also extremely safe and secure – this is helped by the fact that no personal information needs to be disclosed. What’s more, deposits are instant with no processing times attached to payments. In addition, it is not necessary to have a bank account.
As mentioned, Boku is extremely mobile casinos friendly which is understandably a big deal these days with most players choosing to gamble on the go. However, it’s also perfectly possible to make a deposit across all devices including desktop computers.
How to use Boku for Casinos
Unlike other methods of online casino deposit, using Boku is extremely easy and convenient. Here’s a quick drill-down of how it can be used with most iGaming websites.
Depositing at Boku Casinos
First of all, you’ll need to find out if your mobile phone network accepts Boku. If it’s with with o2, Vodafone, 3 or EE, then you are eligible to use the service. As long as the casino accepts Boku as a payment option, then you’re good to go.
For most casinos, the minimum deposit is £10. For subsequent deposits, you won’t even need that. Once registered, select Boku as you’re preferred provider. You’ll be able to find the company icon in the operator’s payment suite. After choosing Boku, you will be directed to the services deposit screen where you can selecte and confirm your chosen amount. You should then receive a text message requiring you to verify payment. After verification, another SMS text will be sent informing you that your payment was successful. Your money should then automatically be credited to your account and you’ll be able to navigate back the online casino and use your newly deposited funds. It really is as simple as that.
What’s the downside?
For the high rollers among you, the daily maximum deposit limit of £30 will almost certainly be untenable. So it’s probably best to look elsewhere if you’re planning on spending a small fortune (not something we recommend by the way).
The inclusion of such as limit does make sense though. The option to add endless charges to your phone bill (money that you may not technically actually have) could prove financially ruinous, especially considering how easy it is to use Boku.
Casino Bonus Problems
A few operators refuse to honour their welcome bonuses to players who use Boku. While these are few and far between, this is something to keep in mind when hunting for the best online casino promotions.
It should also be mentioned that no all online casinos offer BOKU as a payment option. With that said, there are plenty that do. The most notable operators include Kerching, Red Spins, Chelsea Palace and Mansion Casino.
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.
Is Boku for you?
There is plenty to commend Boku and although as mentioned many casinos do not currently offer it as a payment method, more should be catching on in the near future. 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 online casinos. And frankly, we think this is for good reason.
Inside Casino Banking Category
For more information about the best online casino payment methods, feel free to navigate Inside Casino via the main menu. Our banking category offers detailed information about an expansive range of options such as Trustly, Zimpler, Neteller and Skrill. Details of standard companies like VISA and MasterCard are also included despite the uncertain future regarding their use on gambling platforms. Obviously, we’ll keep you up-to-date with news of proposed legislation relating to online casino deposits and such like.