Originally called Vidicom Ltd, Boku was founded in Chesterfield, U.K. in 2003 by Glyn Smith and Thomas Kirk. Vidicom Ltd initially sought funding from venture capitalists in Silicon Valley for their application, "Mobillcash". Vidicom Ltd incorporated Boku inc as a Delaware company in 2009, and reestablished itself under the Boku brand. Boku launched in the USA in 2009 with the acquisition of both Mobilcash and Paymo – a provider in the mobile payments industry – as well as $13 million in investment from venture capital firms.
Boku, a startup founded in the UK and now based primarily in San Francisco, focuses on direct carrier payments, which involve billing your phone company, which in turn charges you for purchases on your account.
In 2011, Mobile Trax awarded Boku their Mobility Award. In 2011 and 2013, Forbes selected Boku for their list of 25 most promising companies in America. In 2014, Boku won the “Best Alternative Payments” award at the 2014 Payment Awards.
How to Use Boku
Boku enable consumers to pay for goods and services using their mobile phone number, with purchases billed to a their mobile network operator bill. This form of mobile payment, also referred to as carrier billing, enables unbanked consumers who may have a mobile phone, but no credit card or traditional bank account, to make purchases online, as well as banking customers who simply find carrier billing a simpler way to transact.
To use Boku, you just need to enter your mobile number, then authenticate it through SMS, and your future purchase will automatically be billed to your phone. Boku’s vision is to make the mobile phone number the world’s easiest way to pay.
Boku’s Accounts solution enables customers to make mobile payments to any other Accounts user, again with all funds coming from their pre-paid balance.
There are limits on the amount per transaction, on subscriptions and for specified time intervals. You may not purchase or hold more than €150 (or equivalent) of e-Money at any one time, and you may not purchase more than €2,500 (or equivalent) of e-Money in any given calendar year to pay for goods or services. If you reach one of the Basic e-Money Limits, you may continue to use Boku, but unless you have been approved to use it, any further attempts at use will be rejected.
Benefits and Limitations
Boku provides businesses with the ability to put charges on end users’ phone bills. Enhanced features, such as phone on file or header enrichment, offer consumers and merchants a more convenient way to pay.
Similar to other mobile payment services, Boku’s two-step authentication process for mobile billing assures customers bank-grade levels of protection. Boku also has reliable customer support to provide assistance where necessary.
Boku has established partnerships with well known companies in the gambling world, including the likes of Electronic Arts, Riot Games, Tencent, IGG, Bigpoint, Goodgame Studios and others. The main audience for this convenient payment method are UK mobile players. They will find this option is much more convenient, safer and perfectly in line with the way they like they play. However, Boku is available in more than 60 other countries, and supported across 250+ mobile networks worldwide. You can also use Boku in France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Latvia and many others. You can find the complete list of casinos accepting Boku payments on this page.