The growth of the online sportsbook and casino space - both online and via a mobile phone, has lead to a new wave of payment methods that allow you to deposit funds at the click of a button. While traditional payment methods such as a debit/credit card or bank transfer still exist, a number of alternative payment channels are also available for UK players.
One such example of this is the ability to pay by mobile credit. Here we discuss how pay by phone casino platforms work, how the pay by mobile process works, and why you might decide to use this particular payment method. In its most basic form, a pay by phone casino is an online gambling platform that allows you to deposit funds using mobile phone credit. The key reason for this is that some players do not have the capacity the utilize traditional methods and thus, they need to use an alternative channel to deposit funds in to their online casino account.
As the vast majority of us are in possession of a mobile phone, this subsequently opens up the doors to a lot of players who would otherwise not be able to access online gambling products. In the vast majority of cases, deposit by phone bill casino platforms allow you to do this in two key manners. We’ll discuss the main providers further down, so for now we’ll explore how the funding process actually works. The first option available to you is if you are in possession of a pay as you go sim card. In other words, you’re mobile phone is not subscribed to a monthly contract and as such, you top of up your phone as and when you need to.
When it comes to accessing pay by phone casino platforms, you’ll still go through the usual process of registering an account. You’ll need to enter some basic personal information such as your name and address, and choose yourself a username and password. At the point when you are ready to deposit funds, you simply enter your mobile number in to the casino platform’s funding page, and you then receive a text that carries a unique pin number. As soon as you enter this pin number in to the deposit page at the pay by mobile casino, the operator will charge your mobile phone. They do this by subtracting money from your available balance. For example, if you had £25 worth of credit on your mobile phone and subsequently deposited £15 in your casino account, you would be left with £10 in credit. It is important to note that when depositing with a pay as you go phone, you can’t fund your casino account with more money than you have on your mobile. In other words, if you attempt to deposit £30 into your online casino account but you only have £20 worth of credit on your phone, the transaction will simply be rejected by the operator.
The second option that is available to you when using a pay by phone casino is if you are currently in possession of a monthly contract. This is where you are locked into a subscription with a provider such as Three or Vodafone, and you pay a fixed amount each and every month. In return for this you’ll get a certain number of free calls and texts, and most probably a fixed amount of data.Unlike the pay as you go option we discussed above, depositing with a mobile phone that is on a contract does not subtract the funds from your available credit. The key reason for this is that you will not have a cash balance when on a contract subscription. On the contrary, you’ll receive a monthly bill for anything that you use that exceeds the agreed phone, text or data usage limits that you have within your respective plan. For example, let’s say that in the month of April you make three £20 deposits into you pay by phone casino account - amounting to £60 in total.
At the end of the month when you receive your bill, you’ll see an additional £60 on top of your usual charges. This figure will then be taken from the usual payment method that you use to pay your monthly phone bill. In the vast majority of cases, this will be via a direct debit and thus, the £60 would added on top of your usual monthly transaction.
Pay by mobile casino providers
If you’re looking to deposit with your phone, then it is likely that the process will be facilitated by either Boku or Payforit. Let’s start with Boku. Boku is a U.S. based company that allow users to purchase goods and services online via their mobile phone credit. Although the company is most popular in African and Asian countries, they are also obtaining more customers in the UK space.
Created in 2009, Boku launched their service to cater to users that do not have access to everyday payment methods such as a debit/credit card, but still want the freedom to buy things online. The great thing about Boku is that they service users with a pay as you go plan, as well as those that are on a monthly contract. Moreover, if you're currently using either an Android or iOS smartphone, you can also download the native Boku app. However, this isn't a fundamental requirement, as you can still utilize the pay by mobile casino process without downloading the app.
So now that we've covered Boku, let's take a look at who Payforit is. Unlike Boku, the team at Payforit are specifically targeting the UK market. In fact, the organization was actually created by 4 UK network providers - notably Three, 02, EE and Vodafone. Just like in the case of Boku, Payforit cater to both pay as you go plans and monthly contract subscriptions. Ultimately, the key function of the Boku and Payforit models do not really differ. The provider you use will subsequently depend on which company your chosen online casino has partnered with.
Depositing at a Pay by Phone Casino
One of the key benefits to depositing via a phone contract as opposed to a pay as you go mobile is that generally speaking, you’ll be able to deposit a lot more. This is because the former only allows you to deposit what you have available in your credit balance. On the contrary, depositing via a phone contract plan allows you to deposit as much as your respective mobile phone provider permits. There is no hard and fast rule as to how much this figure is, as it will ultimately depend on the provider, and potentially, you’re credit limit. For example, before the European Union introduced tighter controls on data roaming charges, you might recall reading about British holidaymakers going abroad for two weeks and using their mobile phone as normal, only to return to the UK with a phone bill of more than £500.
Just like in the case of the deposit by phone casino process, these data roaming charges are added on to your monthly bill as ‘additional charges’. The best way to check how much you will be able to deposit using your mobile phone contract is to check the monthly bill that the provider sends you. There should be a section that displays your credit limit. Alternatively, if you can’t find your credit limit via your monthly statement, simply give your provider a quick call to enquire. So now that we’ve discussed the different ways you can use your mobile to fund your pay by phone casino account, in the next section we are going to discuss the two main providers that can facilitate this for you.
The Withdrawal Process
If you’ve read our pay by mobile casino guide up to this point, then you should now have a firm understanding of how the deposit process actually works. However, and perhaps more importantly, we now need to explore how the withdrawal process works. After all, you don’t want to go through the funding process if you can’t actually obtain your winnings.
Essentially, the withdrawal process is potentially the biggest flaw when it comes to depositing with mobile credit, not least because the framework does not allow you to withdraw your winnings back to your phone. As such, you’re going to need to withdraw your money via an alternative payment method. If you do have access to a UK bank account, then you withdraw your funds by requesting a bank transfer. This usually takes around 3-5 days to reach your account. However, as you are withdrawing funds to a different method than you deposited with, you’ll need to allow a couple of days for the pay by casino operator to verify your identity. In doing so, you’ll need to upload a copy of your ID (passport or driving license) and a proof of address (bank statement or utility bill).
The second option available to you is to withdraw your funds via a cheque. This is by far the slowest method available, as you’ll need to wait at least 7 days before the cheque arrives. Moreover, once you’ve paid the cheque into your bank account, you’ll then need to wait around 5 days before the funds clear.
The third option available to you is to link your Boku account up with Neteller. For those unaware, Neteller is an e-wallet similar to PayPal or Skrill, insofar that it allows you to buy things online without exposing your debit/credit card details. Once the Boku withdrawal hits your Neteller account, you can withdraw the funds to your UK bank account. However, it is important to note that withdrawing your pay by mobile casino funds this way can be quite expensive. This is because you will need to pay to transfer Boku funds to your Neteller account, and then you’ll also pay fees when you withdraw the Neteller funds to your UK bank account. The final option that is potentially on the table is if you are using an online casino that has a presence on the high street. This will include the likes of William Hill, Coral, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes and Betfred. These high street bookmakers normally allow you to collect your winnings in-store, meaning that you can avoid a lengthy and expensive process.
Although it is argued that other payment methods such as a debit/credit or e-wallet are more suitable for online casino deposits, funding your account with a mobile phone is still a notable option. This might be because you do not feel comfortable entering your debit/credit cards at an online casino platform, or because you simply don’t have access to a traditional payment card or bank account. Moreover, the pay by mobile casino option is also an excellent mechanism if you want to gamble online, but you don’t have any cash in your bank account until payday. If this is the case, then you’ll be able to deposit funds via a pay as you go credit balance, or through your mobile phone subscription.
Ultimately, you just need to ensure that you have a firm grasp of how you intend on withdrawing your funds back out. If you’re happy to wait 3-5 days before the funds arrive, then your best bet in this respect is to withdraw the funds via a UK bank transfer.
Pros and cons of using a pay by mobile casino
- Keep your personal financial information safe
- Access online casinos even if you don't have a debit/credit card
- Deposits and usually instant
- Great if you need to place a bet and you left your debit/credit card at home
- Unable to withdraw winnings back to phone