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Boku is a payment service provider that works without connecting to a bank account or credit card. The payment is processed simply through SMS. The payment sum is added to the monthly phone bill or taken from the prepaid amount the customer already has loaded on their phone. In Germany, five mobile service providers support payment through Boku. These providers are o2, Telekom, E-Plus, Vodafone and mobilcom-debitel
In order to complete a payment through Boku, no registration or login is required. Merchants and mobile providers that support Boku offer the option “Pay by Mobile” during the checkout process to customers. The customer chooses this option and is brought to a payment window supported by every internet browser. In order to complete the payment, the customer must provide their mobile phone number. After the payment is processed, the customer receives an SMS. By replying “J” to the text message, the customer authorizes and finalizes the payment.
Headquartered in San Francisco, and active in both Europe and Asia, Boku is available worldwide and works with over 300 mobile service providers. In total, Boku is available in 60 countries and processes 40 different currencies.
The payment provider Boku assists e-commerce customers in purchasing virtual products (online games, apps, etc). Merchants who have Boku integrated into their shop system include big names for virtual products, such as Google Play, Sony Playstation Store, Spotify, the Windows Store and the Facebook App Center. Boku is also available in games such as League of Legends to process online purchases. As many virtual purchases are on a subscription basis, Boku offers additional, simple express purchase options for these circumstances.
In order to simplify the purchasing process via smartphone, the customer can save their phone number in the shop system. This requires a one time authorization of the mobile phone number with a four number PIN. If the telephone number is authorized, the customer can pay with just one click. In Germany, the 1-click purchase process is only available for o2 and Facebook customers.
Spotify accepts the cancellation of a subscription with the help of the payment service provider, as long as the subscription is paid through Boku. The customer simply sends an SMS with the word “STOP” to a certain telephone number and then Spotify will cancel the subscription automatically. Google Play does not support this process. In order to cancel a subscription, the customer must cancel directly with Google Play.