Could Cardless Smart Phone Payments Spell The End For Boku?

Boku attack
Traditional mobile deposits have a problem. Boku mobile and others like it, have always relied on SMS based payments. But there is a new form of payment which takes the convenience of instant bank account depositing whilst placing it right in the heart of your smart phone. With the imminent release of Android Pay and the continuing use of Apple Pay for mobile gambling deposits, is there still room in the market for traditional SMS depositing?

Overview Sections

Click through quickly to whichever segment you want to know more about:

The Status Quo

For a very long time SMS depositing methods such as Boku, have ruled the mobile gambling space. Without the need for a bank account or having to deal with any long card details, the system has proved very useful in facilitating simple mobile depositing.

In more recent years, a few competitors have appeared, most notably Paypal. But these methods have never managed to usurp Boku's place in mobile gambling. There are a few key reasons for this which we'll go into below, but it is important to note just how resilient Boku's system has been in surviving other popular rivals.

How It Works

We've already discussed this a lot at Droid Slots, in order to give you all the information you need to use SMS depositing effectively and safely.

In a very bare bones explanation, methods like Boku allow you to make payments through your phone bill. You fill in your mobile number and then every time you make a payment, you simply authorise it with a text, allowing the payment through.

If you're a pay as you go customer, then your payment is deducted from your credit; otherwise it is added to your phone bill at the end of the month.

How Has It Survived Until Now

Boku's main rivapaypalls in the market are bank reliant alternatives such as Paypal and Google wallet. Having a payment system that's connected to your bank account and functions on your mobile should be a problem for Boku; but Boku has a few advantages that make it very attractive to both consumers and casinos alike.

In fact, quite a number of large mobile casinos seem very hesitant to add Paypal to its roster of payment schemes. Mobile sites such as Spin Genie and Pocket Fruity are particular stand outs in their refusal to add Paypal.

There are a few problems that plague Paypal in regards to the casino itself and the consumer.

Casino's Problems With Paypal

  • Can't confirm who is making the payment, since all the information is stored on the phone with only password protection.
  • Paypal make it easier for customers to recall money. This is bad news if you're dealing with a sore loser.
  • Banks are much better in fraud cases than Paypal, making dealing directly with the banks a much easier option.

Consumer Problems With Paypal

  • It's a separate app, whilst Boku is just your phone itself. More things to install.
  • A lot of people haven't heard of Paypal or don't know you can use it on your phone.
  • Many people don't like storing their banking details with a third party. Boku requires no details other than your phone number

Boku Comes Out On Top

The key strength of BokuBoku mobile over Paypal is its directness. It exists only on your phone. Whereas, Paypal and other wallet based programs have to be separately downloaded and set up, Boku can be activated from your phone itself.

Since your phone number never changes, neither does your account, so you simply just charge it when you need it across all your mobile casinos.

It's also a safe option. No payment can be charged to your bill under you agree by responding to an SMS. Paypal can charge your account and then will send you an email informing you a charge has been made. But Boku won't make a move until you confirm.

If there was an alternative that could combine the simplicity of existing on your phone from the get go, storing all your banking information, whilst also being a secure method that can only be confirmed by yourself; then Boku might be in trouble.

Unfortunately, that just happened.

Android & Apple Pay

With the upcoming release of the new versions of Android and Apple, Boku has a bit of a problem on its hands. The new updates are both coming with inbuilt payment methods , known as Android Pay and Apple Pay. They have all of the advantages of Boku, whilst cutting out the step of charging your phone bill. It's a direct line to your bank, without any of the nuisance.

How They Work

  • Like Paypal both payment systems allow you to apple fingerprintdebit your bank account to pay for services.
  • They're built into your phone so there's no awkward sign in process. Your phone becomes a debit card.
  • They have inbuilt fingerprint security, so they can only be accessed by you.
  • They run online, which you're already doing when you mobile gamble.

These few points fulfil all of the advantages Boku once held. They have a tight security system and allow you to access your bank straight away. Because it's a direct line to your bank, there are also no limits to how much you can deposit or how quickly you can receive your winnings.

For security reasons, Boku limits your deposits to £30 and because it isn't connected to a bank account, means you have to either arrange a payment to your bank, or receive a cheque. Android and Apple Pay are both instant.

Strong Armed

Even worse foAndroid vs Apple Payr Boku, is the fact that its competitors aren't simply new contenders. They also control the very platform which Boku runs on.

A majority of people mobile gamble on either an Android or Apple product. This means that any time most people download a mobile casino, they are doing so from either of Boku's contenders. The Google Play Store and Apple Store are the gatekeepers of casino content on mobile. It wouldn't be unrealistic to imagine that certain casinos may receive benefits from agreeing to accept the platform's own payment scheme into their payment roster.

This kind of thing happens all the time and it would be a silly oversight of either Google or Apple to not take advantage of the very unique position they're in. Apple Pay is already being accepted into mobile casinos, and with the launch of Android Pay, we can only imagine Google will attempt the same thing.

Regardless of the strengths of the products themselves, it may be a simple case of ganging up that stops Boku in its tracks.

A Place For Boku?

So with all that said, it's looking like Boku is running out of space on the market. This is certainly a big possibility in the next few years but maybe it won't be as drastic in the short term.

Firstly, adoption of the new Operating Systems will be slow. Android 5.0 Lollipop was widely released in November 2014, but recent numbers collected boku futureby Google as recent as this month show that only about 18.1% of users have a device that runs the latest version.

This is a very minor percentage of users given the timespan. When Marshmallow 6.0 comes out later this year, if it takes anywhere near as long for it to reach those numbers, that'll still leave a large majority of consumers who won't have access to Android Pay for at least the foreseeable future.

But the time is fast encroaching. Apple Pay has already been out for about a year and is gaining ground in the mobile gambling deposits world. With only a matter of time before another payment method rears its head, Boku will have to look for other methods to stay afloat.

The options they have with their current model are limited but workable for the near future. The largest areas of their customer base will be:

  • Loyal customers who simply like the payment method.
  • People who use Pay as you go phones.
  • People in developing countries.

Relying On Loyalty

The problem with the first two are that loyalty isn't a sturdy platform to rest your business laurels on. The number will be small and subject to change as online payment methods become more convenient.

Pay as you go users aren't even the most reliable either. Phone companies now consistently offer good 3G plans on their pay as you go platforms. Eventually the pay as you goers will upgrade their phones to run an OS capable of running a built in payment scheme. At that point, most will make the switch given that they can simply save their credit for their phone, whilst retaining easy payments.

Developing Nations

So Boku is left with one final best bet. Most of the planet still don't have access to a stable internet connection. As terrible news as this is, this has made companies take notice, as markets are starting to grow around the world where a few decades ago, there were absolutely none.

phone population

From this data taken last year, we can see that the number of users who lie within Boku's perfect requirement for a customer are significantly larger on the global stage. These requirements rely on the consumer having:

  • Limited access to the internet.
  • They have no bank account, or limited use of it.
  • They have a mobile phone.

Boku's Future

Boku's future therefore relies heavily on the continuing growth of the developing world. Once their internet infrastructure becomes stable enough for mobile gambling, Boku will be in a strong position to take over the depositing side of the business. It only follows that as access to gambling increases, there will be more gamblers.

Boku's business model is safe then for the foreseeable future. It's market share will most likely significantly drop in the developed world, but will simply shift across to developing nations.

Once those nations develop in the following decades, Boku might need to rethink its strategy once more. Luckily, for now, it has time to do so.

About Harvey

Harvey joined us back in 2015 and has spent his time with us creating our videos, searching out the most interesting news stories and and drafting up helpful guides to aid you in all areas of the gambling world. Whether you're looking for something helpful like a guide to mobile depositing, or something light like a top 5 list of the craziest gambling losses; Harvey will deliver it free of any pointless extra fluff.

Phone Bill (SMS) Casinos

With the advent of mobile gaming came a plethora of new ways for people to deposit and withdraw cash from their favourite casinos. The runaway success in mobile banking turned out to be phone bill deposits (or SMS deposits). An instant hit with the players, phone bill depositing has evolved from a fixed fee service to a flexible and super-fast way to get your cash where you need it. With the growing demand for phone bill deposits, more and more casinos are adopting it as a banking option every day, and it’s more important than ever before that players know where and how to use the service. In our phone bill casinos section you’ll find not only the most comprehensive catalogue of casinos which allow players to use phone bill deposits, but also great tips and tools to help you get the most out of depositing from your mobile.


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