Is there a more convenient method of making casino deposits than the one via your mobile phone? After all, lots of casino players never play from their computers at all. One of the common troubles of mobile play mode is that the number of available payment methods is limited, at least if to compare it to the range of options offered to PC users. Pay by SMS platforms became a perfect solution. These are payment services designed for the use on mobile devices and the key thing you need to use them too is a valid mobile number. Here below we will discuss all the nuances of use of pay by SMS platforms, as well as focus on a couple of providers available to the use in the United Kingdom. To be more precise, we will pay attention to the following:
Just in case you are not familiar with the key idea of the service, we will try to briefly describe it right here. The point is that you can initiate a payment via your mobile phone and don’t even need a bank account to do this. What you need is to have a valid phone number, as well as to activate a feature that enables mobile payments. We will explain how it works in detail here below. The system of SMS payments can be used for any purposes, starting from paying for parking to shopping on eBay. And of course, it can be used in online gambling, even though it isn’t that popular yet. From the viewpoint of a casino fan, this method of payments has both pros and cons. Look through our overview and find out if it suits your needs and wants!
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The very first thing you will need to do is to find a reliable casino operator that supports any of pay by SMS platforms. Since recently, most UK-based casino operators do offer this option as one of their payment methods so it is likely that you won’t have any troubles with that. We have already discussed the criteria you are to follow to find a reliable casino operator in another guide so we won’t focus on this now. The key thing, we remind, is to make sure that the casino is licensed and which authority issued this license. We recommend British players to deal with those casino operators licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. If some trouble occurs, you will have a chance to receive assistance. However, let’s come back to the point.
Once you find a casino operator, check what particular mobile payment systems they offer. These might be Boku, Siru Mobile, Payforit, and so on. We will talk about each of them a bit later but overall they are quite similar. After that, find out which of them your mobile operator supports. If you live in the United Kingdom and have a valid UK-based number, there won’t be any troubles. Most probably, you will have one of more options available. All of the mentioned payment providers are supported by Vodafone, Three, O2, EE, and so on. In fact, any of the UK-based mobile networks will suit you.
When it comes to online gambling, the service of mobile payments of this type is most popular in the United Kingdom, at least for now. There are lots of countries offering similar local platforms but it happened that online gambling itself isn’t widely available as it is. The United Kingdom is an exception and this gave local casino operators an opportunity to enter into cooperation with local mobile networks.
In order to use any of mobile payment platforms, you are to activate the feature that enables online payments. To be more precise, you will need to sign a contract with your mobile operator. In the United Kingdom, there are two types of contracts to consider, Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go. Here below we will shortly describe each of them.
Pay Monthly is the post-paid type of a service. Have you heard of mobile billing? Its key idea is that once you make a payment, it is charged to your monthly bill. In order to complete it, you will need to enter a verification digital code you will receive in a text message. In fact, this is exactly why this method of payments is referred to as pay by SMS method. In the end of the month, you receive a bill. Most mobile billing providers set limits of how much their users can spend per day and per month. We will discuss it later. The key idea of why they do this is to prevent their customers from running into debts, which is actually a good practice.
Another type of a contract is Pay As You Go. The idea is that you purchase a credit in advance and therefore there aren’t any monthly limits. In other words, this is the prepaid type of a contract. Once you run out of credit, you receive a notification, while your access to mobile services is denied. You can top up your balance at any time of your convenience.
In such a way, you can choose between prepaid and post-paid contracts. Depending on your mobile operator, the prepaid option might be a bit cheaper when it comes to commission, though it is not necessarily the case. In turn, the advantage of post-paid option is that it won’t let you go beyond your budget as there are limits on how much you can spend. From the viewpoint of responsible gambling, this is great. Anyway, it is up to you to decide which option is better. You can try both, in fact.
Making payments using pay by SMS option is a matter of a few minutes. Still, make sure you have fulfilled all the above-mentioned conditions required to proceed further: you are to find a casino operator that supports any of mobile payment platforms, check if your mobile operator supports it, and download an application to your mobile phone. Also, you will need to activate either Pay Monthly or Pay As You Go service. That’s it and you can begin!
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a deposit via any of pay by SMS platforms. Luckily, most of them work in a very similar way. Here it is:
In some cases your payment might turn out unsuccessful. This might happen for a variety of reasons but you will anyway receive an SMS informing you that your payment hasn’t been sent and explaining what exactly happen. Don’t worry, you will not be charged in such a case. Just follow the instructions listed in the text messages and make one more try.
In most cases, payments fail because of troubles with Internet connection. Once you have it reestablished, it is likely that everything will be fine. Another common reason is that you have just run out of credit, at least if you are using Pay As You Go contract. In this case, top up your balance and try again. If you are using Pay Monthly, you could have reached your daily or monthly limit. In this case, just accept this fact and wait. If you still need to make a deposit, switch to an alternative payment method for a while. Finally, something could go wrong with the mobile network itself. There is nothing to be done, in such a case. Simply call the customer support and ask for how long you will have to wait.
There might be one more thing that will make you confused. As you remember, every time you will be making a payment, you will be receiving an SMS with a digital code required to confirm it. As a rule, it arrives within a few seconds but there may also be delays for some reasons. Even if you aren’t receiving a message for a few minutes, you had better not initiate one more payment. Believe us, this won’t help the first message to arrive faster. On the contrary, this will only confuse the system. Even if you receive the confirmation message, the digital code might no longer be valid and you will anyway have to wait for the second confirmation message to arrive. Meanwhile, the time allowed for transaction confirmation might expire. In other words, don’t start the fuss. Just relax and wait for a while. If you don’t receive the message for too long, contact the customer support of your mobile operator and ask what is the trouble.
When it comes to online gambling, one of the things that make pay by SMS platforms a perfect choice for a player is that you won’t need to share your financial information with the casino operator. You don’t need a bank card to use mobile payment platforms, remember? Once you have the entire system set up, all you need is your mobile number and the mobile payment feature activated. In fact, you won’t even need to remember any logins and passwords. The process of verification only requires the digital code from a message you will be receiving every time you will be making a transaction.
2) Low fees
The fees for using any of the pay by SMS services vary depending on their inner policies and the policies of your mobile operator, which is why we cannot provide you with any precise information. And still, using any of them is generally cheaper than in case with traditional deposit methods like bank wire or e-wallets. You won’t notice this difference if you are an occasional player but you probably know that high fees might cost you a fortune in the long run if you play frequently.
3) Growing acceptance
Just a curious observation: in the United Kingdom there are about five times more smartphones than bank cards. Or probably even more! Not surprisingly, casino operators do their best to keep up with this tendency and attract new users just through offering the payment methods they prefer. As a result, more and more online casino websites add Boku, Payforit, Siru Mobile, or similar platforms to their list of payment methods. It is still too early to say that this payment option is widely used, it is likely that things will change quite soon.
1) No withdrawals
Most of the pay by SMS platforms do not give its users an opportunity to receive payments. There are several exceptions that we will discuss later but you would need to attach your credit card to use them. Of course, casino operators take thins into account and allow players to have more than one payment method. Anyway, having an opportunity to receive your winnings to your mobile phone balance isn’t that great idea itself. After all, you will only be able to spend it for Internet, texts, and call. That’s probably not why you are playing casino games, right?
Depending on the policies of the pay by SMS service you are using, there might be daily and monthly limits on how much you can spend. Even if you are using a prepaid credit, there are limits of how much you can send per transaction. Usually, this is about £30 or less. Some pay by SMS providers set £30 as a daily limit, which isn’t quite convenient taking that you might need this service not only for online gambling but also for regular shopping. And still, there is a small advantage about that: it might help you learn to stick to your budget which is great if you are one of the players who lack self-discipline.
Now, let’s briefly discuss some of the most popular mobile payment platforms. The list of all of them would be too long, so we will focus on those used most widely in the United Kingdom. If you reside somewhere else, do a little research and we are sure you will find some local alternatives. So, here are some of the most commonly used options:
This is probably the world’s largest mobile payment providers. For now, they have more than 13.5 million monthly active users. As for their network capacities, they deal with more than 160 mobile operators. Even though they are based in San Francisco, they cover quite a lot of European countries. Of course, they are available in the United Kingdom. And what is more, they keep expanding! Not that long ago they have announced they were going to enhance cooperation with Microsoft. Their purpose was to create a platform making the pay by SMS service available to Windows Store users at least from two large mobile networks in the United Kingdom and Italy. One more good news is that casino operators encourage the use of Boku and offer generous bonuses, sometimes as large as 500% of your initial deposit. Anyway, never forget to calculate wagering requirements before you accept any of such offers.
This is the second pay by SMS platform that is the most popular among casino players. It is based in the United Kingdom and designed primarily for the locals. Just for your interest, it is owned by four largest UK-based mobile operators, such as 3, EE, O2 and Vodafone. At the same time, all the other local operators support this platform as well. In fact, you can use Payforit with any valid UK-based phone number, which makes it probably the most popular local payment platform of its kind. One of the reasons why it is so is that one doesn’t need a bank account to use it. Statistics says that in the United Kingdom there are 1.6 million adults who are employed but do not have bank accounts. Of course, Payforit is a perfect payment option in their case.
3) Siru Mobile
This company was established in 2011, while its founders call it “an innovative tech startup” designed for people with mobile lifestyle. Just for your interest, its headquarters are located in Helsinki and they also have offices in three other countries. One of its disadvantages is that Siru is only available in European countries but it still covers the United Kingdom so British players have nothing to worry about. Apart from this, they are also available in Finland and Sweden. Of course, they promise to extend their services. A good news is that they allow higher limits than their counterparts: for British users, the daily limit is £80, while the limit per month is £500. Just for your interest, the limits set in Finland and Sweden are not that high. Anyway, you will need to pay the transaction fee every time you will be making a deposit. Its amount depends on how much you are depositing and your mobile operator policies, but in any case it will be clearly stated before you send the payment.
The last but not least, Zimpler is a bit different from the above-mentioned payment providers. Unlike all of them, it allows withdrawals! It will be a hard time searching for a casino offering it as both the deposit and withdraw method but there are a couple of options. Overall, they are available on about 1200 websites. The thing that allows them to do this is that they actually require your bank information. As you remember, the previous payment methods could be used with no need to link your bank account. And still, Zimpler isn’t available to UK-based players, at least for now. There are three countries they allow deposits in: Sweden, Finland, and Germany. We do hope that they will add the United Kingdom to their list one day. And still, this payment platform makes up the perfect choice for those traveling to any of the supported countries, both for online gaming activities and regular shopping.
It doesn’t matter what payment method you are using, be it wire transfer or any of mobile payment providers. You will receive an access to all the games the casino operator of your choice offers. On the other hand, your choice might be limited due to the fact that you are using a mobile device. You might have noticed that PC users are generally offered more games than the users of mobile devices. This tendency is likely to vanish soon as the use of mobile devices grows and both casino operators and gaming software developers cannot ignore this.
Again, both minimum and maximum deposit amounts vary depending on the policies of the pay by SMS service of your choice. As a rule, the minimum amount is no less than £3. As you remember, the maximum amount per transaction is about £30. Get in touch with the support service of your mobile operator to make this clear.
The right question is whether it is safe to deal with the casino operator of your choice. Pay by SMS services is only one of many payment methods and in some sense it is more secure than some others. As you remember, you won’t need to submit any financial information to use most of mobile deposit platforms. On the other hand, you had better make sure that the casino operator you chose is indeed reliable. If they are based in the United Kingdom, it is better that they were licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, a reputable regulator of online gambling. In case you have any troubles, they might help you resolve the issue.
No, it doesn’t matter. All the pay by SMS platforms can be run on any operating system. Similarly, you can use any mobile device, be it Samsung, Sony, Nokia, and so on. The owners of iPhones won’t have any troubles as well. Still, pay attention that such payment platforms cannot be used on tablets. If you remember, you need a SIM card to use them.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use most of pay by SMS services to withdraw your winnings. In order to do this, you will have to come up with one more payment method. It may be one of the traditional options that are popular among casino players like bank wire, PayPal, or e-wallets. When choosing the one, consider that fact that some payment providers charge you for receiving payments while others charge those who are sending payments. As long as you need a payment method to receive your winnings, it is better to find the one that does not charge its users for incoming payments. Skrill, for instance, is one of them although they still have quite high fees. PayPal is a bit cheaper in use but they charge you when you receive payments. Anyway, you had better begin with what your casino operator offers. Look through the fees each of the offered payment providers has and decide on the one that seems to be the most appropriate.