In the modern era of technology driven platforms, companies look for all sorts of ways to allow their customers to play casino games online. That’s why the number of payment options open to bettors have increased with every passing year, with debit cards being added to with things, such as eWallets. The ability to play casino games on mobile phones has opened up another obvious market: pay-by-phone.
All you need to do to be able to pay-by-phone is add a pay monthly mobile number to your casino account, with the casino texting you a code. You then enter said code into your account and you’ll have your online casino balance topped up accordingly. The amount that you top your casino account with will be added to your monthly mobile phone account, meaning that you’ll pay it when you pay your mobile bill.
How It Works
Anyone that has ever ‘paid’ for a ringtone on their mobile phone will have a vague idea how pay-by-mobile casinos work. In essence, you don’t need to pay anything up front in order add money to your casino account. Instead, the cost of adding money to your account will be added to your mobile phone bill, meaning that you’ll pay for it when you would normally pay your mobile bill rather than at the time you’re adding to your balance.
In terms of how it works in a literal sense, you can add your mobile phone number to your casino account on the payment page. At this point, you say how much you’d like to top up your account by and you will receive a text message from the casino operator with a code. You simply add this code to the payment page and your account will be topped up by your chosen amount, with the cost added to your mobile phone bill.
There are a number of different companies that provide pay-by-mobile services, with most of the biggest casinos now offering it as an option when topping up your account.
Boku is arguably the best-known processor of pay-by-mobile payments, allowing user to opt for carrier billing as their payment method. They give customers the opportunity to pay by either pre-paid airtime or else adding it to their monthly invoice.
Merchants, such as Apple, Sony, Microsoft and even Spotify, have added the carrier billing solution offered by Boku to their list of payment options. The main reason it has grown in popularity is because of the convenience it offers. Being able to pay-by-mobile means that customers that might have been previously hard to engage with are suddenly being welcomed into the market.
Whilst Boku might be the best-known, it is far from the only processor of pay-by-mobile payment methods. Payforit is one of the chief rivals to Boku, giving customers the opportunity to pay for a number of online services using their mobile phones. More and more websites are offering Payforit’s services as it becomes clear that it is a method of payment that casino users enjoy being able to take advantage of.
An emerging processor of such payments is Zimpler, which offers a full-stack payment solution that promises instant bank payments. Founded in 2012, the Fintech company is fast growing and promises the ability to use your mobile phone account to make payments to online casinos. It’s likely that more and more such companies will spring up in the coming months and years as the method becomes even more popular.
Pros & Cons
Being able to add money to your casino account by adding the cost to your mobile phone bill means that you don’t need to give you bank details to the casino operator. For some people, this is an added layer of security that gives them peace of mind when operating online. Given that a vast number of players use mobile phones for the convenience that they offer, being able to pay with them is even more convenient.
Speed of Deposits
A part of that convenience comes in the form of the speed with which deposits can be made. It is as simple as typing in the code that your online casino of choice has sent to your mobile phone, with the deposit then being added to your account and meaning that you’re good to go. Because it’s all done via your mobile, you’re almost always going to have your payment method to hand without needing to find a wallet or purse.
Another positive comes in the fact that most mobile phone operators allow pay-by-mobile as a payment method and a good number of online casinos accept it too. This gives punters an extreme amount of flexibility when making payments, which is always something that is always appreciated. Anything that allows bettors to get down to playing the card games and slots they enjoy as quickly as possible is often seen as a bonus.
Finally, on the positive side of things, you can also use your landline phone to make top ups to your betting account, which is something that not everyone realises. BT landlines will give you the option of adding the fee for topping up your casino balance to your monthly phone bill in exactly the same way that mobile providers do. Instead of being text a code, you get a phone call that reads the code out to you.
Losing Track of Account Balance
Of course, it’s not all positives. The reality is that topping up by adding fees to your mobile phone means that people can often lose track of how much money they’ve spent on their betting. This is especially the case with those that use pay monthly contracts, given that they won’t need to worry about how much they’ve added to the casino account until the time comes when they need to pay their bill.
What Happens If You Lose Your Mobile?
The other downside to paying with your mobile phone is that you will soon find yourself at risk if you lose your mobile. This is essentially the same as losing your wallet or purse with your debit card in, meaning that you’ll need to cancel the payment method in question as soon as possible. It’s not something that should outright put you off from using it, but it will almost certainly give some people pause for thought.
Minimums & Maximums
The amount of money that you’ll be able to add to your casino balance via your mobile phone varies from casino to casino. As a rule of thumb, you can expect to be asked to make a minimum deposit of £10 by most online operators, but some will go as high as £20. Oftentimes, the withdrawal minimum is the same as the deposit minimum for the majority of casinos, making things simple to understand.
Here’s a look at the minimum and maximum deposit amounts, as well as the minimum and maximum withdrawal amounts, from a series of unnamed online casino operators:
|Casino||Minimum Deposit||Maximum Deposit||Minimum Withdrawal||Maximum Withdrawal|
You can see from the table that minimum and maximum amounts for both deposits and withdrawals can vary wildly from casino to casino for pay-by-mobile customers. It’s also worth nothing that some casinos don’t allow pay-by-mobile users to withdraw funds via the same method that they deposited them in, but we’ll explain that in more detail later on on this page.
The other thing that is worth bearing in mind is that it isn’t always down to the casino operators how much you’ll be able to deposit. As an example, mobile phone operators don’t like more than £30 to be added onto your bill, so may limit you on that front. On top of that, the major processors of pay-by-mobile payments introduce their own limits, such as £30 per day, which will restrict how much you can add to your online account via this method.
Whilst it’s impossible to cover the entire online casino industry in a blanket manner, it is certainly true that the vast majority of companies that accept pay-by-mobile deposits don’t charge you fees for using this method of payment. That is another positive of using your mobile to top up your casino account, given that other payment methods, such as PayPal, will often incur a charge from the casino operator.
Contract v Pay as You Go
It is possible to top up your online casino balance using your mobile regardless of whether you have a pay as you go phone or a contract one. The big difference, of course, is that you’ll need to add the money to your phone before making the deposit if you are a pay as you go customer, whereas contract customers won’t need to worry about paying the deposit amount until their mobile phone bill is due.
In many ways, pay as you go customers are at an advantage over contract customers if they wish to keep track of how much money they’ve added to their online casino accounts. By ensuring that you need to top up your phone first, you’ll be able to keep on top of how much you’re spending on a day-by-day or week-by-week basis. The same cannot be said of pay monthly customers, who could just be hit with an expensive bill at the end of the month.
That being said, pay monthly customers obviously have the added convenience of knowing that they don’t need to have the cash immediately available to them. If you get paid on the 17th of month, for example, and your mobile bill goes out on the 21st, you’ll know that you can add money to your online casino account via your mobile on the 15th and then ensure you have enough in your account by the time the 21st rolls around.
How Withdrawals Work
Withdrawals for pay-by-mobile customers can be complicated. As mentioned elsewhere on this page, some online casinos don’t allow customers to make withdrawals to the mobile accounts, so instead it is important that you have an alternate payment method loaded onto casino account. You can then withdraw money to this alternative payment method, meaning that you have access to your winnings.
Indeed, neither Boku nor Payforit allow you to make withdrawals via their services, making it vital that you have an alternative payment method on your account. If part of the appeal of the pay-by-mobile service is the anonymity it provides then it’s worth considering the likes of Skrill or another eWallet as your alternative payment method. This means you’ll be able to receive your payout without giving over account details if you don’t wish to.
Is It Available on All Networks?
At the time of writing, all of the major mobile phone networks in the United Kingdom allow pay-by-mobile payments for casino deposits. That means that customers of the likes of EE, Three, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and O2 can all add money to their casino accounts and pay for it when they pay their mobile phone bill. That might change, of course, but for now it is certainly the case that you’re good to go.