Making a deposit at a mobile casino has never been easier, owing to the relatively recent development which now allows players to make mobile payments straight from their phone bill. Though it comes under many different guises – including Pay by Phone, phone bill depositing, or any of the brand specific service names like Boku – all of these are simply other names for SMS billing deposits. Requiring you to have nothing other than a phone with you when you want to deposit, SMS billing has already revolutionised the way we gamble on our phones, thanks to its ultra-convenient, secure and time saving virtues, and continues to change the face of the mobile casino industry every day.
- Summary of Mobile SMS Billing Deposits
- Top SMS Billing Casinos
- Beginner’s Step by Step Guide to SMS Billing Deposit
- Safety, Security and SMS Depositing
- SMS Billing FAQs
- What Personal Information is Shared When Using SMS Billing?
- Which Mobile Network Providers Allow SMS Billing Deposits?
- Which Accredited Payment Intermediaries Are There?
- What Are the Limits to SMS Billing?
- How Does SMS Billing Measure up to Credit/Debit/Prepaid Cards/Virtual Cards?
- How Does SMS Billing Measure up to Ukash?
- How Does SMS Billing Measure up to PayPal and Other e-Wallets?
- Pros & Cons
It’s no exaggeration to consider SMS billing to be the best depositing method for casual on the move. Phone bill deposits effective work by your mobile phone network provider paying a specific sum of money into your casino account then billing you the same amount. This works both for people using pay-as-you-go services – where the money comes directly off your credit – and for pay monthly subscribers – who will have the amount added to their next bill.
Because all you need to deposit using your phone bill is your mobile handset with a valid SIM card in it SMS deposits can be made without the use of credit or debit cards, or other online accounts. All this means that, aside from the convenience of not having to enter card numbers or passwords, this depositing method is one of the safest you could imagine.
The name ‘SMS billing’ comes from the fact that for each and every one of the transactions you make with the service, you’ll receive an SMS asking you to confirm you want to make the payment, and a subsequent one informing you that the payment has been successful. Without a positive confirmation to the first text, the payment will not go through, dramatically cutting down on the risk of your information being used fraudulently.
More players than ever before are reporting SMS billing to be a feature that attracts them to a new casino, and with this increased demand, more mobile casinos than ever before are adopting it as a depositing method. However, just because a casino will accept deposits via phone bill doesn’t necessarily make that casino worth playing at. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick list of the top casinos to offer this banking option, which also have the edge when it comes to their bonuses and games offerings:
If ‘Kerching’ makes you hear the sound of money being won, well, it’s supposed to. Since (relatively) recently adopting Nektan’s gaming platform, Kerching casino now offers mobile slots and casino games from the likes of IGT, Playtech and NetEnt, meaning that it’s the perfect one stop shop for players wanting a broad choice at a casino designed around the needs of mobile users.
The star attraction at Kerching is doubtless the fact it offers Boku deposits. Boku is one of the accredited payment intermediaries who are able to process SMS billing payments (more on that later in this post), and its inclusion at Kerching marks the casino out as a quality and reputable brand. You can deposit in no time and be enjoying one of the 160+ games the site has to offer.
Pots of Luck
Pots of Luck is a relatively new casino which – like to Kerching, and featuring a similar roster of games – has found itself on the Nektan network, and enjoys all the perks that come along with that. This means you can expect flawless gaming, convenient navigation, and of course, a fantastic line up of games. What really makes Pots of Luck stand out from the crowd though? That’s its bonuses.
While the site works hard to make sure players return by offering competitive recurring bonuses, those heading to the site for the first time will be thrilled to find a welcome bonus worth up to £500 over their first three deposits! Of course, throwing the fact this site offer SMS billing depositing makes it an absolutely fantastic playing option.
It takes the early bird to catch the worm, so imagine how early you have to get up to land a URL like ‘Casino.com’ for your online and mobile casino? It’s really little wonder that a team so on the ball was among the first to add SMS billing to its casino’s long list of nifty depositing options. While all the mobile slots and casino games are provided by one developer – in this case the ever dependable Playtech – there’s enough diversity to make you coming back time and again for more.
Another winning combination at Casino.com is its sky high welcome bonus – which is worth up to a staggering £3,200 – teamed with its bargain basement wagering requirement – which are as little as 20x. Casino.com is a big brand, and as such it can afford to offer its players a little extra, so all you have to do is reach out and take it.
Starting out using a mobile billing option to make mobile casino deposits couldn’t be simpler, and once you start using it, you’ll kick yourself for not having tried it sooner. To help make the process as easy as possible (and to help show you quite how much of a doddle the whole thing is), we’ve put together this handy guide to get you started with SMS billing deposits.
1. Find a casino which offers SMS billing & sign up
Despite what we think should be the case, not all casinos yet accept phone billing options for deposits. It should, however, be pretty simple to identify those that do. Firstly, you could choose from the list we recommended above, or simply check the banking options of any site you would like to play at (remembering that it may come under a number of names, such as Pay by Phone, Payforit, SMS Billing or Boku).
2. Choose the deposit option
Once you have an account at your chosen casino, you simply need to head to the ‘Banking’ or ‘Cashier’ section where you’ll be presented with a list of all the depositing methods accepted by that casino. Simply scroll down and find the mobile billing option – once selected, you’ll be taken to the payment screen.
3. Select your deposit value and confirm
This is where casino will differ in the way they let you deposit with mobile billing. SMS billing payments are handled by accredited payment intermediaries APIs, which are companies which act as middle men between you and the mobile network provider.
Different APIs have different ways of letting you choose your deposit amount – having a single set value, offering a choice of set values, or letting you enter your own value. It will be obvious at any given casino how this works, and all other steps should be the same.
4. Receive and respond to the SMS
Once you’ve confirmed the payment at your chosen casino, you should then receive an SMS message on your phone (hence why we call it SMS billing!). The text will inform you that a payment is being requested by the casino, and will ask you to confirm that it’s you setting it up.
All you need to do to make the payment go through is to respond affirmatively to the message, and wait. Equally, if you receive this text and you aren’t setting up a new payment, responding negatively or not responding at all will ensure you don’t lose any money fraudulently.
5. Receive second SMS and start playing
Once the payment has gone through, you should receive a second text message informing you of this. Payments should get processed almost immediately, meaning that you can head straight back to the casino and start spinning on your favourite slots right away.
One of the most appealing aspects of mobile billing deposits is that of the safety, security and privacy it offers. There are various mechanisms in place to protect your information and money, which combined together make SMS billing deposits some of the safest you can make at a mobile casino.
No Personal Information Shared
What information do you have to give a casino to make an SMS billing deposits? Your phone number. That’s it, nothing more than a phone number which has credit. This means that you’re not sharing credit or debit card information, it means you’re not sharing banking details, and it means you’re not having to provide login details for e-wallets or other online transaction accounts. The amount of information required to use this deposit method is unprecedentedly small, meaning it is unprecedentedly secure.
Related to the fact that you don’t need to share personal information is the fact that mobile billing deposits aren’t going to turn up anywhere other than on your phone bill, and even then they simply look like a phone call. This means there’s no trace of casinos on your bank or credit card statements, or on your PayPal or other e-wallet accounts. This offers unrivaled privacy to the casino gambler who doesn’t want people poking around their business and knowing where they like to play.
As laid out in the guide above, once you select to make a mobile deposit at a casino, you’ll receive an SMS asking you to confirm whether or not you want to make the payment. This step is crucial in maintaining the security of a player’s money, as it means that no one can fraudulently use your phone number to make a payment. Not only does this act as a barrier to someone making a payment with your details, it also means you’re alerted to the crime, and can act on the information accordingly.
Only Need a Phone
This factor isn’t only great because of the convenience it affords, it’s also a means by which you’re kept safer. Because all you need on you to make a phone bill deposit is a mobile hand set with credit or a contract, you don’t need to carry credit or debit cards on you which might get accidentally lost or stolen, which although a small risk, does put many players’ minds at ease.
All you need to share with mobile casino when setting up SMS billing deposits is the mobile phone number from which you want the money withdrawn. Strictly speaking they don’t need your name, any bank details, or an email or street address.
In practise, however, although you don’t need to provide this information for the payments, most mobile casinos will ask for it anyway for reasons such as confirming you are over the age of 18, or making sure you’re not scamming the casino for bonuses.
Because SMS billing is a deposit only method, you’ll also have to provide some information for withdrawing your winnings – however this could be as simple as giving your address for a cheque to be sent.
The concept of SMS billing was originally dreamed up by the big network providers, meaning most of the big UK networks not only allow mobile billing payments, but make them as quick and reliable as possible.
You should have no trouble using this deposit method if you’re on T-Mobile, 3, O2, EE, Vodafone or Orange. Many of the smaller names in the industry also allow SMS depositing, but you should check before signing up, just in case.
Accredited Payment Intermediaries (or APIs) are the brands which act as middlemen between your casino and your mobile network provider, effectively being in charge of processing your payment.
The most famous API is undoubtedly Boku, however others you might find at casinos include: Fonix, Zensend, Oxygen8, Dialogue, IMImobile, TxtNation, SAP, Netsize, and Impulsepay.
Typically you’ll find that when you make a single deposit at a casino with a mobile billing service, you’ll only be able to deposit up to £10 at a time, and only up to £30 each day. There’s a couple of important reasons for this.
Firstly, it’s to protect you from accidentally depositing and losing far more than you can afford to pay. Secondly, seeing as the mobile network is effectively lending you the money if you’re on contract, it saves you from being too far in debt to them.
Lots of players will never need to deposit more than the limits, and are grateful for them, however there’ll always be those who want to play bigger and will resent being limited – SMS billing probably just isn’t for you in that case.
The obvious massive perk of mobile bill deposits when compared to cards is the convenience of the services. Compared to entering long card detail, carrying around cards, or memorising numbers, SMS deposits will always have the edge. There is also tighter regulations about which casinos can accept mobile billing deposits, meaning that you’re probably in safer hands with them.
The only big advantage that cards have over SMS deposits is that you have a much, much higher limit on your deposits, meaning that they’re far more appropriate for high rollers. You can also withdraw using cards, while you need to find an alternative method for withdrawals if you deposit with SMS billing.
Ukash uses unique codes which you can purchase online or in stores to allow players to make deposits of specific amounts. In many respects this mirrors some of the pros of using SMS deposits, as your deposits are completely secure and anonymous, but it’s not all roses.
If you want to buy these vouchers with cash, you’ll have to go to a shop, take the voucher home and manually enter the code. If you want to purchase them online you’ll need a debit or credit card or PayPal account anyway. Ukash is far from as convenient as it would have you believe.
It’s true that ewallets are pretty convenient, saving you having to enter card details or voucher codes again and again every time you want to deposit at a mobile casino. That said, they still require you to sign in to an account, meaning you need to remember the email address attached to the account as well as the password. Moreover, by having to share such details, ewallets are technically less secure than SMS billing deposits. It's doubtful ewallets stack up to SMS deposits.
So are SMS billing deposits right for you? If you’re still a little confused about the benefits and drawbacks of mobile billing deposits, take a look at our handy Pros and Cons guide below.
Pros Of Using SMS Billing To Deposit At Mobile Casinos
- Safest and most secure depositing method. You need to share nothing other than your phone number to be able to make SMS deposits.
- Super quick and convenient. With minimal effort you can get cash in your account in one of the shortest times of any depositing method.
- Only requires a phone. Does away with the need for credit and debit cards, bank transfers or ewallet sign-ins.
- There’s no accidental charges. You can’t make a payment without confirming it via SMS first, preventing accidental or fraudulent charges.
- Keep an eye on your spending. Because there’s a deposit limit of £10 per transaction and £30 per day, there’s no risk of over spending, and you can keep easy track of your finances.
Cons Of Using SMS Billing To Deposit At Mobile Casinos
- You cannot withdraw with SMS billing. Because the system is set up to handle payments only, you cannot use the same method to withdraw your winnings. This potentially means a long wait for a bank transfer or cheque to arrive in the mail.
- Losing out on bonuses. Some casinos will withhold deposit bonuses from players who deposit with phone billing.
- Limited gambling. Though for most players, the £10 per transaction and £30 per day limits make a lot of sense, for others they are restrictive and simply an annoyance.