Mobile billing. Sounds scary, doesn't it? Especially in bold letters. But when it comes to online gambling, putting down casino deposits via your mobile phone bill is becoming quite commonplace. Quick, easy and with no fuss, you can text your deposit with SMS and within minutes you'll be gambling. It's secure and it works. It certainly beats filling out endless credit card forms. But there's something unique about the UK mobile billing market in the fact it seems to be the only nation (at least, in Europe) that uses it to attract new online players. Curious, but why is this? Well, according to industry giants, this is probably due to the £30 deposit limit.
The European Market
In a recent video published online, co-founder of txtNation, Micheal Whelan, claimed that customers aren't just getting used to Mobile Billing in the UK: “[They’re] becoming more comfortable with it, especially in the Nordic countries where we do a lot of business.”
TxtNation, a B2B mobile billing options company, is connected to at least 40 operators worldwide for billing and provides single-click payments in around eight to 10 of the markets, including Switzerland.
Whelon went on to say that the highest consumer-spending power in Europe is the contract phone, particularly in Switzerland where pay-as-you-go is non-existent. However, there seems to be a lack of restriction in these markets with customers betting £30, £40 and £50 at a time. Some even go as far as a £100 a day! This is the reason such companies enter these foreign markets — the potential earnings are HUGE. The Europeans must be braver than we are. Most mobile billing companies would never let you surpass £30 a day.
The £30 Limit
This is all well and good, but what about the UK? Why is mobile billing so special on these shores? Well, it's strongly hinted at that the £30 limit on depositing might have something to do with it. In his interview, Whelan acknowledged that the £30 limit isn't very high for the gambling industry as people tend to put down more than that daily. He then went onto say that this might be the very thing that attracts new players in the first place.
“It’s good for first time acquisition and deposits, of course,” he said. “£30 per user per day,” Whelon admitted.
So although the deposit limit is quite low, the fact that it's there at all is what seems to attract these new players. After all, there is that small, niggling doubt before you start gambling that this could get out of hand very quickly. In order to eliminate that doubt, it's best to have that safety net in place. Also, the UK as a country is expensive enough as it is. Making the deposit something like, say, £50 will definitely turn away any potential new players.
Anyway, it's not like you can go beyond that limit by switching to credit card billing.
In his concluding statements, Whelan said about mobile billing: “For the online gambling industry, it’s very important because you don’t have any forms to fill out. It takes away the impulse of using a credit card.”
It is very easy to grab a credit card and go nuts when you can spend as much as you want with it then get that terrifying bill shock at the end of the month. This is probably the most integral reason why mobile billing exists at all — to prevent problem gambling. Of course, mobile companies have no right to tell us how much to spend (after all, it's our money) but by implementing this limit there are far less likely to be people who receive the “bill shock”.
This, overall, is why the UK mobile billing market is so special. We know what our limits are and, instead of ignoring them, we embrace them and use them as a rule of thumb so that we don't end up in crippling debt.