Playing bingo on mobile is more popular than ever. One practical reason is that phone bill payments have sprung up as a banking solution that draws new players. In this handy guide, we’ll give you the need-to-know facts and tips about making payments with your phone.
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What Are Phone Bill Payments?
This is an online payment method that does what it says on the tin: it allows you to add the cost of a bingo-account deposit to your usual mobile telecom bill. The pay by phone bingo option is perfect for those playing on their mobile device. It also solves a number of security issues.
How Do You Make Phone Bill Payments?
It’s a pretty simple process to make these payments. Here’s basically what you need to do:
- Register for your account:
- Authorise – A text will be sent to the number with which you signed up. Just reply back or use the PIN provided to finish up the process.
3. Select your deposit amount, enter in any promo code you may want to use and hit ‘deposit now’:
Troubleshooting Pay by Mobile Transactions
While these can be safe and easy to use, if you’re having problems with pay by mobile transactions, check out this mini troubleshooting guide:
My payment didn’t go through, what do I do?
The first step is to check the error message, as this will usually give you some clue as to why this didn’t go through. You may be on an unsupported network or have a restricted contract that doesn’t allow for pay by mobile transactions.
I was charged a different amount than the deposit value, who do I contact?
This is pretty irregular but if it does happen then you should get in touch with your phone’s carrier. They will be able to open an investigation and possibly revoke the payment too.
I keep getting marketing messages, can I stop this?
When using Payforit or Boku, the site that you’re using will receive your mobile phone number and can use it to communicate with you after the transaction. You can opt out of these by replying STOP after the transaction is completed.
I don’t want to use Payforit or Boku anymore, can I remove my number?
Yes, if you want to take a break from gambling or just want to stop using this payment method, you can request for your number to be blocked. This will prevent any further transactions being made on your behalf.
What are Boku and Payforit?
These services handle the payments for you, and they act on your behalf to link their costs with your phone bill. They work as the middleman between the gaming operator, the phone provider and you.
There are differences between boku bingo and other providers that you can use, mainly in terms of complexity and available features. For instance, some have higher limits or use different authentication methods. But they share the same basic principle of convenience.
Interestingly, Payforit is not a financial company but a consortium of the UK’s top mobile telecom providers. They wanted to give their customers the easiest and safest way to make ‘micro payments’, and, avoid the trouble of each of them having to make a competing method. So Payforit is a collaboration of most UK operators.
If you want a pay-by-phone method that is more powerful than the UK’s standardised Payforit services found at many gaming and entertainment sites, then start looking for Boku. This is an e-wallet that hooks up with your mobile billing, basically expanding it.
Boku Listed on the London Stock Exchange
Boku is actually a US based company but they’ve just gone public on the London Stock Exchange. This is a big move for the company as they publically share their price and allow for investors.
They’ve auctioned off 76.2 million shares in their company, valued at 59p each. This has raised billions in new capital for the company and shown that UK investors really have a lot of faith in the relatively new company.
This is a great move for the payment method and one that will be sure to bring it more visibility in the UK. This may lead to more sites picking up the payment method, as well as new innovations in what they offer. We’ll be keeping an eye on this firm to figure out what they’ll be doing with the investment as well as what this will mean for their users.
|Authorisation Process||Transactional Limits||Ease of Use||Widespread Acceptance?||Network Availability|
|Boku||Reply to text to authorise||£10 per transaction; £30 per day||Simple and speedy (App available )||Yes||T Mobile, Vodafone, O2|
|Payforit||2 step process, both text and online PIN||£30 per transaction; No daily limit||Slightly more awkward to use||Yes||EE, O2, Orange, 3, Vodafone, T Mobile|
The Good, the Bad and the … Other Options
If you are accustomed to utilising alternative payment methods, then you know that there are more choices out there than Mobile Bingo Pay by Phone Bill options. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these, so we’ll give you a rundown of what exactly those are:
Most alternate payment methods are indeed free to use, and phone bill payments won’t cost you anything extra, either. They can recover their fees from the operator, which makes it cheaper for customers. (But watch out for additional fees from a given site for using certain deposit methods.)
Low Deposit Limits
You don’t want to go racking up a huge phone bill (otherwise known as bill shock), so Payforit limits you to smaller deposits. Many players find this quite helpful when compared to a method like PayPal, with which you can deposit thousands. Boku does also allow larger spending limits, so be careful!
No Withdrawals Possible
Unfortunately, pay-by-phone billing is a method that doesn’t allow you to withdraw funds (winnings, that is!) from gaming sites. Other simple and ultra convenient alternate payment methods like Paysafecard have the same weakness. So that means you will have to add another payment method to your bingo account in order to withdraw.
Loss of No Deposit Bonus
Most sites want your full card details before they give you a no deposit bonus. This is an unfortunate thing that affects players who want to use alternate payment methods. Some sites will not give deposit-based bonuses to players who deposit with methods other than credit and debit cards.
If you want to keep your card details away from prowlers on the Internet then pay-by-phone is a good way to do it. You already have your original financial billing agreement with your phone-service provider. So the logic here is that you shouldn’t need to disclose payment details again to anyone else.
As long as you protect your physical phone with a password then you won’t need to worry about anyone getting into your account or misusing the payment tool without your consent.
TIP: Set a password for your mobile. And, every time you have to take a moment to unlock it, just remember that this is the small price to pay for peace of mind.
When compared to a payment method like Paysafecard, paying with your phone bill is far more convenient. You don’t need to go out to purchase a voucher at a corner store and there are no passwords to remember or card details involved. With pay-by-phone all you need is your phone number.
As you can see, there are ups and downs to using this bingo payment method, depending on how you like to play.
Get in the Know
If you’re planning on making some of these mobile payments, then you may come up against some of the following terms:
- Authorisation – The method by which the payment method ensures you’re using your own phone number, instead of trying to add it to one that doesn’t belong to you.
- Bill Shock – When you overspend without realising, then get a shock when your bill arrives. Gamble responsibly to avoid this.
- Bingo Provider– The site on which you are playing.
- Carrier– Your phone service provider, e.g. Three, Talk Talk, EE.
- eWallet– An electronic service that allows you to store payment methods and use them at your convenience, usually they offer added security too.
- Financial Billing Agreement – The contract that you have with your phone bill operator, which covers the base amount you have to spend and any other agreements.
- Merchant– The company to which you are paying money.
- Micro Payments – Smaller payments than the average online transaction, one that you may want to make quickly and more often.
- Middleman– A buffer within your payment method, which has access to your details so that a bingo site does not.
- PIN – Personal Identification Number.
- Transaction Fee – An additional charge on top of the deposit, this is given to the site instead of being added to your balance. Generally this just covers the charge from the payment provider.
These terms aren’t too hard to get to grips with, and once you start using this method you won’t have any problems.
Now that we have learned plenty about alternative payment methods, including paying by phone bill, let’s just review the main advantages in a simple side-by-side comparison.
|PROs of Pay-by-Phone||CONs of PayPal||CONs of Paysafecard|
|Most secure and private payment method.||Safe, after submitting your personal data.||Paysafecard voucher # can be lost.|
|Most convenient mobile payment method.||Easy, but you do have to set up banking with PayPal.||You must buy a voucher at a shop, and then keep it safe.|
|Payforit limits monthly spending so small amounts.|
(But Boku is similar to PayPal.)
|PayPal’s spending power could get someone in trouble.||A voucher’s value is preset, and it could be too little or too much.|
Using the most convenient mobile bingo payment method (which at the moment is pay-by-phone) is about getting some cash into your player’s account. But unless you’re sure you’ll never win, you should figure out how to make withdrawals!
Payforit cannot receive money; it can only spend it. Requesting a withdrawal of cash (either your balance or new winnings) must be handled by either a traditional bank account or a card, or a more powerful banking alternative than Payforit. Fortunately, Boku uses a person’s mobile telecom billing to deliver e-wallet services, but not all gaming sites will allow Boku withdrawals.
Probably the most conventional banking method are credit and debit cards, which can handle deposits as well as withdrawals. In fact, when players use them to make deposits, their gaming sites usually require them to withdraw onto the same card. Also, as we noted above, certain bonuses will not be given unless a player is using a card.
Using a card for banking does offer good (fast) processing and can bring extra protections from card companies, however, they are not the safest way to do things online. They’re ‘plastic’, after all, and from the previous world of brick-and-mortar commerce.
There are great reasons to use PayPal to deposit, notably using PayPal to withdraw. What is more, usually the processing times are the least with PayPal compared to conventional methods. And once players receive their cash in PayPal, the service gives them unlimited choices for what to do with it from there, including transferring it to their bank accounts.
The remarkable advantage of Neteller, next to other e-wallets such as PayPal, Eco and others, is how often you will find it offered by gaming and bingo sites. It has more market coverage than its competitors on bingo sites specifically.
Some players could be tempted to just use their Neteller account for all their bingo transactions to keep them all in one place. As e-wallets go, Neteller prides itself for its minimal tools like online shopping, prepaid cards to use anywhere and of course its excellent security.
Rather than Neteller’s simple approach and gamer-friendly presence online, Skrill is a bit more comparable to PayPal. That means that Skrill gives its users more powers to manage and move their cash, including sending funds for free to friends and family instantaneously.
You can think of Skrill as a ‘middleman’ (see our list of terms above) between all your financial accounts and whatever you want to pay for online like bingo. It’s almost like having an assistant who can mediate your real world accounts and money to make them available to use on the Web in a private way.
The Forecast for Mobile Payments
In the last few years, mobile payments have steadily been picking up steam. Experts are forecasting that this will continue and even ramp up in the coming months. As we move further towards a cashless society, more and more people are becoming familiar with mobile payments. This familiarity and trust is a major driving factor behind the increase in popularity.
With more smartphones and contracts being used than ever before, it’s not hard to see how this payments market could really take off. This will also be boosted by the ‘Internet of Things’ which links all of our smart devices and tech together to make them each more personalised.
Whatever the main drivers behind the boost are, it will mean we will most likely see more merchants accepting the payment method. This is good news for bingo players, as it’s so simple to add that deposit right onto your bill. Keep your eyes peeled, as this may seriously change the bingo landscape in the coming years.
New EU Payment Rules on the Way
A new EU law has been passed that will change the way that we pay online. The law has been passed and will come into effect in 2019, so that payment providers can make necessary adjustments.
This will now require both shops and online transactions to have two authentication methods. This means that you’ll need a password and a PIN in order to deposit on bingo sites when the banks roll this feature out.
We may also see different types of authentication for deposits, like fingerprints, texts to your registered phone number and iris scans. This could go a long way to reducing fraud and making bingo players feel more comfortable.
This could end up making card transactions just as secure as alternative payment methods. Regardless of how exactly it rolls out, this is definitely a good thing for players.
What will 2018 mean for Mobile Payments?
With tech changing really quickly, 2018 is sure to be an interesting one for mobile payments. We’re looking ahead to what this year could bring, including:
- Faster Payments – These are already pretty quick but with improvements in tech they could become instant!
- Withdrawals – This is something that we’d really like to see implemented within the phone bill payments system. It’s debatable as to whether it would really be feasible but it would save us some hassle.
- Increased Fraud Protection – It is possible to reverse some charges with phone bill payments, but the onus is really on the user to spot suspicious activity. Improved fraud protection could be used to spot these transactions before they can be completed.
- More Providers – Boku and Payforit are the big providers at the moment, but they could be toppled in 2018. Any company can get into the payments game and with innovation at its peak, there could be a contender that offers this service but even better.
Only time will tell what will happen to these mobile payments, but hopefully all of the changes will be positive.
Online Fraud Tops the Charts in 2017
To understand why all of this payment security is important, we just need to look at the facts and figures. In 2017, the most prevalent crime in all of England and Wales was online fraud. This goes on to cost our economy billions!
In a recent study, it was found that only 20% of online fraud was reported to police, which makes tackling the issue even more tricky. Ombudsmen are urging the government, banks and police to coordinate their efforts to tackle this widespread crime.
More and more regulatory bodies are being set up to help the public too. Making people aware of how fraud happens and how they can avoid it is a key part of the strategy to beat the scammers out there. Police are urging users to get in touch if they fear they have been a victim of fraud, as this could prevent the same thing happening to someone else.
Be savvy and safe online to avoid being part of these statistics in 2018.
Other ways to Stay Safe while Playing Bingo Online
If you want to make sure you’re super safe while playing bingo online, here are some additional top tips for you:
- Choose a strong password to protect your account. Don’t go with something that would be easy to guess or use the same one across many sites.
- When playing on the move, don’t use public or unsecured Wi-Fi connections. Your private mobile data is a lot safer.
- Be careful about what you say in the chat rooms. Don’t discuss details of your account or banking with anyone.
- If you’re using a shared or public computer, make sure you log out and clear any account data, don’t save your passwords!
- If you’re leaving a bingo site, close down your account instead of just leaving it dormant to ensure all your information is removed.
These tips will keep you safer, plus using an alternate payment will protect your identity even further.
What to do if you think you may be the Victim of Fraud
If you think that you may have fallen for a scam or an account may be compromised then act quickly. Here’s what you need to do:
- Call your bank – These guys really are the experts and they’ll be able to guide you through the process. They’ll give you advice and be able to prevent any future action being taken on your account without your permission.
- Chat with your operator – Bingo sites are there to help you, so get in touch with their support team. They can talk you through changing your account details, making sure it’s secure and they can even give you more information as to the next steps.
- Cancel your cards – This is something that your bank will most likely caution you to do, so take their advice. If they don’t, then it’s a good idea to do so anyway.
- Change your passwords – If someone has access to your account then they may know your password. If you use the same one on multiple sites then you should change these too so you’re safe and secure.
- Report the transaction – If you can pin it down to one site or transaction where the fraud occurred then provide Action Fraud with this information. They’ll be able to take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen to others.
We hope that you never need to use this advice but it’s certainly good to know.
Should Merchants be more Responsible for Fraud?
This is a question that is being thrown around a lot lately, as banks and payments regulators decide if more should be done to prevent fraud by merchants. As it stands, it’s mostly up to the consumer to make sure they’re safe online, but perhaps this shouldn’t be the case.
Since online shopping became mainstream in the 90s, the onus has always been on the consumer to avoid scams and add extra protection. Online gaming really came into the fore at the same time and the same scenario applies here too.
While 60% of consumers say that they’re willing to go through extra security measures to protect themselves, only approx. 33% of businesses believe this to be the case. They don’t want to add in these extra barriers in case it affects how many people deposit or purchase.
It would be brilliant to see bingo sites doing more to combat fraud, so we can just focus on playing!
Interesting Facts and Figures on Mobile Phone Payments
Did you know…?
- 2017 was the busiest ever year for Boku, as they handled $1 billion in payments.
- Phone bill payments can be made in 79 countries around the world.
- Payforit is owned and operated by three major phone providers in the UK.
- Boku has partnered with hundreds of companies, like Facebook, Sony and Google.
- Card payments are actually declining in popularity, as users seek out additional security when they pay online.
- For bingo players, payment methods are generally networked, so if one site on a network accepts phone bill payments you can expect the rest to also.
Gaming Software and Systems
Now, a real skeptic who’s just getting into the online and mobile bingo scene, might just wonder whether using pay-by-phonebill (as great as it is!) confines a player to lesser games than when using another method. We’re here to tell you that this is definitely not true!
The same extraordinary, cutting edge game titles and gaming systems that players with credit cards and bank accounts can access are available to those who like mobile payments. For example, here are just a few of the gaming brands you can look forward to playing courtesy of your phone bill:
In just a few short years it has become very clear that NetEnt is the most creative, energetic and prolific of the new wave online gaming and casino companies. You are more likely to find NetEnt hit slots like Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst at your favourite bingo community than play NetEnt bingo — but we doubt this will be true forever.
Intouch is the mastermind behind legendary UK bingo sources like mFortune and its sister sites. What we love about Intouch bingo is that it is completely unique and not found on outside sites — a more homegrown software compared to the mainstream brands.
mFortune and PocketWin players are well aware of their games’ extra chatty features and fun details! Best of all, Intouch-powered sites make a point of offering pay-by-phonebill to make life easier for their mobile bingo players.
One of a handful of undisputed online gaming masters (along with the likes of Microgaming, IGT and Barcrest), Playtech bingo is played far and wide. And of course, when you are on a Playtech platform then you get access to its super side games and slots, like the famous Gold Rally and its Marvel Comics titles such as Iron Man slots.
Playing mobile bingo pay with phone bill can be a great option for players who are security conscious, but who don’t want to spend a lot of time having to protect themselves from cybercrime. We’re happy to recommend this or any other alternate payment method you choose to use in order to gain valuable peace of mind.