Boku is a payment service that allows users to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone number – then the cost will be added to their mobile phone bill. If you’ve played at many online bingo sites, you may have already seen the Boku logo floating around – they’re a popular choice of payment method for users that are playing bingo on their mobile phone, thanks to the ease of use and ability to make small payments. It’s an ideal way to pay if you’re on the go and not carrying a card, or don’t have accounts with e-wallets like PayPal or Neteller.
Originally called Vidicom Ltd, and founded in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, U.K. in 2003 by Glyn Smith and Thomas Kirk, Boku was founded in 2009 by Mark Britto, Erich Ringwald and Ron Hirson. It acquired two UK companies, Mobillcash and Paymo, which had been pioneers in carrier billing, and launched in the USA. Using their combined assets, the team launched Boku Checkout, a web hosted payment panel that allows consumers to enter their phone number and charge online purchases against their prepaid airtime or monthly phone bill. The product operates in over 50 markets and continues to be used by major online game platforms operated by Facebook, Riot Games, and Blizzard Entertainment.
Boku is the largest independent carrier billing company in the world, and is used by digital marketplaces including Apple Inc., Google Play Store, Sony PlayStation Store, Windows Store, Facebook App Center, and Spotify.
Boku and Bingo Sites
While not all online bingo sites accept Boku, you’ll generally find it is an accepted payment method for sites that have been designed specially for mobile, as it’s an ideal method for mobile users. Sites which allow you to deposit smaller amounts such as £3 will also usually allow you to deposit using Boku, as Boku is best for smaller charges (if your phone is prepaid, you won’t be able to spend much at a bingo site). It’s a great choice for bingo players on the go, as you won’t need to fumble for your debit or credit card while playing on your phone.
Boku collects only your phone number, and this is treated with the utmost of discretion and privacy. All personal information is encrypted anytime it is sent over the internet. The service will also send a SMS to your phone when you make a deposit to make sure it’s really you that authorised the payment – you’ll have 24 hours to confirm.
Boku also has a customer support centre, which lets you log in with a secure PIN. This tool is a secure web portal that enables you to view the payments you’ve made using Boku during the last 6 months. It also allows you to see which transactions were successful, failed or are still in progress, remind yourself what you purchased and from which merchant, keep track of the costs of your Boku payments, and block your phone number if you want to block future Boku payments.
How To Sign Up for Boku
No registration is required to use Boku. No credit card or bank account is required either – you only need an active mobile phone with Premium and Carrier Billing services enabled. If your mobile phone is with o2, Vodafone, 3 or EE then you are eligible to use the service.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Boku
Advantages of Boku:
- Most bingo sites that are optimised for mobile play will accept Boku – and that’s a lot of them. It’s a very commonly accepted method of payment at UK online bingo sites.
- There’s an extra level of security for the user as you don’t have to enter your bank details in order to use it – just your phone number.
- Great for small payments.
- Fast to use – you don’t have to type in as much information when making a deposit.
- No extra fees on your end – deposit £10, play with £10.
Disadvantages of Boku:
- Not available at all online bingo sites.
- You can’t withdraw using Boku, so you’ll need another way to do that.
- If you’re not great at managing your money, then it might be a nasty shock when you get your phone bill at the end of the month…
- There’s usually a deposit limit of £30, so if you’re a big spender, this can be a pain.
Boku Vs Other Brands
Boku is probably one of the most unique payment methods that you can use at a bingo sites, as unlike debit cards or e-wallets, it doesn’t require you to enter a card number at any stage of the process (even with e-wallets you’ll have to deposit money into your account before you can use them to pay for things). It also doesn’t require registration – if your phone provider allows for Boku use, then you can start using it straight away. However, unlike other methods of payments, Boku is only really good for smaller deposits – there’s a maximum deposit of £30, so if you’re a big spender at bingo sites, you’ll probably need a different payment method.
Boku Usability and Registration
When you make a deposit at a bingo site, you’ll need to click on the option to deposit, then click on the Boku logo to get started. You’ll input your deposit amount, and your phone number, and that’s it. You’ll receive a SMS from Boku asking to confirm your payment – this message will expire after 24 hours.
You can’t withdraw using Boku, unfortunately – we don’t really know how that would work, as it uses your phone bill! You’ll have to use another method to withdraw your winnings.
Boku on Mobile and Tablet
There’s not much to say about using Entropay on mobile and tablet devices – it’s pretty much the same as on desktop! You can use it on any device, though you’ll still need to use your mobile phone number in order to pay – although once your account has made one Boku payment, you won’t need to enter your number again, just select Boku and go.
Boku Final Thoughts
Boku is a great choice for players who deposit using their mobile, or only make small deposits – we don’t recommend it for people who play avidly, as that phone bill could be a nasty surprise when you receive it! It’s great if you want to keep your money safe as it means you don’t have to enter your card details when playing, just your phone number. It’s also easy to use and you can get started with it straight away – no registration required! The lack of fees is also a bonus – but if you’re counting on making some big deposits, you won’t be able to do that with this service. On some bingo sites, you won’t qualify for the bonus if you deposit using Boku, but on the other hand some sites offer exclusive bonuses for Boku depositors! It’s all really up to you.
We’d rate Boku as 7/10.