Compared to the bad old days of online gambling, it’s never been easier to fund your online casino account than it is today. Whereas in the past you might have suffered irritating delays and general uncertainty with getting money into your account, today the average gambler is spoiled for choice with the array of account funding options on offer.
In this article, we’ll concentrate on one of the more practical and interesting possibilities to emerge in recent times – the online casino pay by phone bill option. It’s a long way from being available in every casino, but where it is on offer it can be a handy way of managing small-stakes action.
Phone Bill Updates 2021
Virgin Mobile joined Vodafone, O2, Three, and EE as another communications service provider that supports the Pay-By-Phone-Bill option for online casinos.
Siru Mobile, a Finnish Pay-By-Phone-Bill processor is now widely accepted across the U.K. casinos, it features SMS verification but some transaction fees may apply when using this service.
Winners’ Club casino was launched for the U.K. in April 2021, it has become one of the newest online casinos to support Pay-By-Phone-Bill as a funding method.
Boku Inc. Has become one of the best phone bill payment processors for online casinos in the U.K, just like Payforit, it offers high-end security and fast payments. In the case of Boku, deposits are limited to £30 a day.
The popularity of phone bill as a funding method at online casinos is such that it’s now a default option for several new casinos like U.K’s BonusBoss, which has included this payment method since its launch day on December 2020.
The ability to fund your online casino account via your phone bill is largely limited to the United Kingdom at the moment and is made possible by the mobile payment organization Payforit. Payforit is an interesting entity as it’s not strictly speaking a company but rather a scheme backed by the four largest UK mobile network operators, the official government regulator Ofcom, and PhonePayPlus.
Taken together, that alliance of companies and government agencies is excellent news for consumers. By securing the backing of Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, Payforit can be securely used by practically anyone in the UK with a mobile device. The services allows users to purchase online digital content and services and have the cost either added to their existing bill or taken off their prepaid balance.
All payments are securely processed by authorised intermediaries and the full weight of government regulation is behind the whole system. All in all, it’s an excellent way of being able to make small, secure purchases without having to break out your credit card and an extremely convenient way of getting small sums into your online casino account with a minimum amount of fuss.
The Payforit scheme is limited to the UK at present but it seems like only a matter a time before similar options are rolled out across other countries on the same scale – particularly as the main UK operators are present in a host of other markets in both Europe and beyond.
In terms of making your phone ready for use with Payforit, the good news is that you don’t have to lift a finger. If you’re with any of the major mobile network providers in the UK, you’re already good to go.
In order to get set up with the casino of your choice, you’ll simply be asked to provided your mobile phone number. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be sent an SMS asking you to authorise the charge to your phone bill or prepaid balance. Simply confirm the message and the transaction is completed. If you ignore the confirmation message, no payment will be taken so you’re in complete control at all times and can see handy itemised listings of transactions in your regular phone bill.
Considering the incredible boom in mobile phone usage over the last two decades, according to Statista in 2019 there were 80.97 million mobile subscriptions and the entire U.K’s population accounted for 66.8 million people, which means there are more active smartphones than people that can use them, making this payment method incredibly accessible throughout the country.
There are a number of major advantages to being able to fund your casino account from these omnipresent devices. Most online casinos are optimized for mobile these days and you can also take advantage of the following benefits:
- Incredible convenience: There are more mobile phones in the United Kingdom than there are people, so it’s fair to say that this is an option open to the entire adult population. In terms of setup, there’s also virtually no extra effort involved as amounts are simply added to an existing bill or taken away from existing prepaid funds. You also don’t need to complete any additional signups or registrations to use the service.
- Perfect for people on a small budget: The Payforit scheme is designed to work with micropayments and small amounts so it’s an excellent choice for those on a limited budget.
- Works with pay-as-you-go options: You don’t even need a fixed contract to be able to use this payment option and can simply deduct funds from your prepaid phone accounts.
- Quick deposits available: You won’t be faced with any lengthy waits to get funds into your online casino account, phone bill funding is virtually instantaneous and works as quickly as SMS.
- Privacy: When using your phone bill to fund your online account, you don’t have to hand over any of your banking or credit card information to third parties.
- No transaction fees: There are no additional charges for using Payforit so this is a pleasantly low friction way of moving money around.
The option of using your phone bill has a lot of plus points going for it but there are some minor drawbacks to factor in as well. Here is a brief list of the main negative factors to consider:
- No withdrawal option: The Payforit option is a one-way street in the sense of usage with your online casino account. You’ll be able to lodge money to your account but, when it comes to withdrawing your winnings, you’ll need to fall back on other methods.
- Limits to transfer amounts: Though you could theoretically use your phone bill to transfer relatively large amounts to your online casino account, in practice most operators cap deposits at somewhere around the £30 per day mark so this is not exactly a deposit method for high-rollers!
- Limited geographic availability: As noted above, the phone bill account funding option is pretty much limited to UK residents though it’s expected that similar services will soon emerge on the same scale in other markets.
The good news with using your phone bill to fund your online casino account is that it has absolutely no impact on the range of gambling options you’ll be able to take advantage of.
You can expect to find the same set of table games and other possibilities that you’d usually expect. Here’s a quick list of the main options available to you:
- Slots: With the smaller amounts of money traditionally associated with phone bill funding, it’s an excellent option for pursuing low-stakes fun bets such as virtual slot machines from software providers such as Playtech which are available in all major online casinos.
- Roulette: Traditionally associated with high-stakes glamour, roulette can also be enjoyed for agreeably low stakes in most online casinos. The latest generation of 3d roulette games mean it’s an excellent user experience on even the smallest of devices these days.
- Poker: Poker remains the kind of online casino table games and you can expect to find a full range of styles and games to suit all stake limits.
- Blackjack: If you’re of a mathematical frame of mind and strategy is your game, you’ll find a range of software driven and live dealer blackjack options available at most online casinos.
Funding your account via phone bill is an excellent option, particularly for small stakes players, but it’s far from the only possibility you can take advantage of. Here’s a quick list of further options (we generally recommend having at least two available at any one time):
- Credit cards: Credit cards have long been the primary means of funding online casino accounts and for good reason – they’re flexible, secure and widely accepted worldwide. Whether you’re an Amex, Visa, or Mastercard holder, you can be virtually guaranteed that most online casinos will happily accept your business via credit card. Plus, depending on the offers from your provider, you stand to pocket potentially attractive additional bonuses and free services for using your cards in this way.
- E-wallets: PayPal is the obvious front-runner in this category and will be accepted in most online casinos outside the United States. Newer contenders have also emerged in recent years such as Skrill and Neteller. Maintaining an online wallet is a good idea generally, regardless of how much of your gambling you choose to fund with it.
- Direct bank transfer: The majority of online casinos are still more than happy to accept direct transfers either via your bank or a third-party service. It’s a secure way of handling things when larger amounts are involved, though you’ll naturally want to be sure who you’re dealing with before hitting “send”.
With mobile devices slowly taking over the world and most people using them as their primary way of getting online, using phones to fund your online casino account makes a lot of sense. At the moment it’s an option limited largely to the United Kingdom and more suitable for lower-stakes gambling but that’s likely to change over time.
If the option is available to you, we’d encourage you to add it to your funding portfolio and perhaps lean on it initially for smaller, more recreationals bets such as spins on the slots rather than high-stakes poker action. In terms of convenience and cost, it’s a hard option to beat!
|Author: Tim Bolding
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