Casino players have never imagined they would be able to instantly load slot games, roulette, poker or even live dealer games on their smartphones. Today, this has become a reality and a very exciting one for app developing companies that constantly release newer and better gaming and casino apps. Web-based gambling operators have also embraced the mobile future and are now offering websites that are fully optimized for smartphone and tablet use.
Augmented and virtual reality are growing, as well as the use of artificial intelligence in casino gambling, while more and more casinos are eying the so-called progressive apps. These apps look like regular apps but are, in fact, web pages. Some businesses, including online casinos, are also developing and enhancing yet another interesting category of mobile applications – the Android Instant Apps, native apps, which do not require installation and run instantly instead. One of the most rapidly growing areas of mobile technology, however, is the mobile payments.
With so many things we can do from a mobile device today, our need for a way to pay on the go is apparent. Mobile-friendly casinos have reached the same conclusion and as a result, they are now incorporating more and more mobile deposit and withdrawal methods into their cashier systems. These include the mobile apps of popular e-wallets, as well as strictly mobile payment services that allow you to make a casino deposit using a prepaid balance or your monthly phone bill.
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How Do Mobile Deposit Methods Work?
Most of the large online casinos have added at least one mobile payment method to their list of options to provide their mobile users with a convenient way to deposit. However, there are various ways to make a deposit and even withdraw your casino winnings from a smartphone. What they all have in common is the relative simplicity in their design. This way, you can easily top up your casino balance from your mobile device whether you are tech savvy or not.
Pay by Phone Bill Options
There is a wide range of options that allow casino players to fund their gaming accounts via their monthly bills. The process is quite simple – they log in to their casino accounts, opt for this method (it could be listed as Pay by Phone Bill or simply as the name of the service), and choose the amount of cash they wish to deposit. Then, they need to specify their phone service provider and their phone number.
Once they confirm the transaction, the funds will appear in their gaming balance immediately. The deposit will be credited to the monthly bill, typically with no additional fees or surcharges. Of course, this will depend on the particular casino and cell phone carrier. Another important thing to note here – these are all local and regional payment services, so casino patrons should first check which options are available to them.
Another alternative is to make a casino deposit that is charged to your prepaid phone plan. Also known as pay-as-you-go plans, these are no-contract phone plans in which the customer pays for a package of airtime (call minutes, texts, Internet data) to use in the coming weeks or months. For instance, if your prepaid package is $100, you can use $20 for calls, while the other $80 can be spent on four $20 casino deposits. This option, however, is not very common and fees would vary. Understandably, there will be certain limits to the amount of money you can deposit with this unconventional method.
This category of mobile payments is receiving a lot of attention lately as a large number of technology companies are developing their own mobile wallets. Often, the terms mobile wallet and digital wallet are considered the same, but they are quite different, in fact. The main difference lies in the fact that digital wallets, also known as e-wallets, can be accessed from all kinds of devices – desktop and laptop computers, or mobile devices. Mobile wallets, on the other hand, are virtual wallets that store electronic money in either an app on the user’s phone.
There are plenty of mobile wallets to choose from – while some work on a specific platform, others are available for both Android and iOS devices (or on other, less popular operating systems, as well). Some of these wallets come in the form of mobile apps that are downloaded and installed on the device. Others use cloud technology plus different device identification tools and ID authorization. Typically, they function just like regular digital wallets – users register an account and load it with funds via a credit card, another e-wallet, bank transfer, etc.
Once they have money in their mobile wallet, they can make transfers to other people, pay for various purchases or make a deposit into a mobile casino. The process is basically the same with most payment methods – you choose your preferred deposit option and the amount of the deposit, and then you need to sign in to your wallet. Some mobile wallets offer a simpler checkout or payment form as they store your credentials for future use. The transaction is then transferred to your gaming balance instantly and you can start playing casino games right away.
Most services do not charge their customers but rather, they profit from imposing small fees that are paid by the merchant, in this case, the online casino. Limits would also vary across different mobile wallets.
Mobile banking is an increasingly popular way to make fast, secure payments from your smartphone or tablet. Unlike online banking, which is also accessible via mobile devices, mobile banking is conducted through the use of apps. Some of the largest banking institutions have already created native apps that allow the customer to access his or her online banking account in an instant.
If your bank has a mobile banking app, you can download and install it for free. Your device will be authenticated with the service provider and you will need to log in to your account with your User ID and Password. After confirming a deposit transaction to your preferred online casino, you may receive a one-time password from the bank via text message. This adds another layer of security and prevents fraud and unauthorized access to your bank account.
Transactions are usually completed within the matter of minutes or hours, depending on the bank, and there are processing fees involved, as well. Most apps have limits on the amount that can be transferred.
Withdrawing Funds via Mobile Payment Methods
Most mobile payment services are not available for casino withdrawals, which means that players need to look for alternative ways to cash out. This is a major inconvenience for those who wish to do all their gambling from their phone. If they choose to deposit via their phone bill, however, they would not be able to get their winnings back in the same manner. Mobile banking is also often unavailable for withdrawals from casinos due to the different countries’ regulations regarding gambling activities.
Still, players who choose certain mobile payment apps and mobile wallets would be able to easily cash out their winnings from their smartphones. In order to do that, they need to be logged in their casino account and open the Cashier where they will see all withdrawal options available. After choosing their preferred mobile wallet, they need to specify the amount of cash they wish to withdraw and sign in using their wallet credentials. Depending on the particular mobile payment system, they may need to use some additional identification tool, provide a security code, etc.
The processing times vary significantly across different payment platforms. Some may complete the transfer within a few hours, while others would process it after 3 to 5 business days. Note that there will be processing fees and limits to the amount of money you can withdraw per transaction.
The availability of mobile payments has become a major part of the allure of online casinos and most gambling operators are trying to offer at least one or two options to their mobile users. However, many players still prefer to fund their gaming accounts from their computers due to security concerns. What they may not be aware of is that most of the modern mobile deposit methods today are more secure than using a credit or debit card. And they are certainly more secure than cash.
Mobile payment apps employ sophisticated encryption and tokenization technology that in many ways surpass the standard chip cards. All data that is transmitted over the Internet and stored on the customer’s phone is encrypted. With tokenization, sensitive data is protected when it is literally replaced with randomly generated numbers, called tokens. These tokens retain all the necessary information for the financial transfer without compromising it.
In addition, most mobile deposit methods have some kind of multi-factor authentication. This means that, for example, you cannot authorize a payment from your mobile banking account with only User ID and Password. In many cases, the bank would send a security code to your phone via SMS. The payment would be confirmed only after entering this code.
To enhance the physical security of your mobile device, many apps also make use of the biometric functionalities of modern phones. Biometric verification typically includes hand geometry, fingerprints, voice and face recognition. Often, you need to verify your identity using one or more of these not only when unlocking your phone but when authorizing a payment from it.
Advantages of Using Mobile Payment Methods
Most casino patrons would immediately recognize the advantages of mobile play – you can play all your favorite games on the go. You can open slots, classic card, and table games, as well as bingo, scratch cards and even live dealer games directly from your mobile device. The design and interface of mobile casinos are rapidly improving, along with the technologies, which are making our phones and tablets more powerful than ever.
Making casino deposits via your hand-held device is even more beneficial, especially if you use a high-quality, reliable and well designed mobile app. You can instantly and securely top up your casino balance or use the application for shopping or paying bills from your smartphone. Depending on the particular mobile payment method, you can also easily withdraw your casino winnings. Obviously, this would not be possible with pay-by-phone-bill options, but there is a good number of payment apps that would process casino payouts within hours.
Indeed, payments via mobile devices are typically much faster than traditional bank wires, credit card transactions and checks. With most methods, deposits are processed immediately to the player’s casino balance, while withdrawals usually take between a couple of hours up to two or three business days. In addition, there are rarely additional fees you need to pay for each deposit. Things are very different when it comes to cashing out your winnings, however, as most casinos charge withdrawals with either a fixed fee or some percentage of the transferred amount.
Disadvantages of Using Mobile Payment Methods
When choosing a mobile payment method for gambling purposes, casino players should take several major factors into consideration. The general reputation of the particular service is among the most important ones – whether it is widely considered as a reliable and safe payment tool or it is lacking in the security department. And this is where mobile payments are still having certain flaws and inadequacies.
The security of the transaction could be easily compromised if the user does not stick to a few basic rules such as not using a public wireless network when making a mobile payment. Some casino players prefer public WiFi instead of using the limited data packages included in their phone bill contracts. It is also essential to enroll in all available security enhancement programs offered by payment processors. Many mobile users, however, do not activate tools such as two-factor authentication, facial or fingerprint recognition, and others. And in reality, without them, most smartphones and mobile platforms are still vulnerable to various risks such as fraud and data theft.
Another disadvantage of some mobile payment methods is that they do not have mechanisms to withdraw your casino winnings. In fact, with the majority of these services, you will not be able to cash out from your mobile device. A notable example is using pay-by-phone-bill services, which are available only for funding your casino account from your monthly bill. With most mobile banking apps, withdrawals would not be possible because generally, banks have very restrictive policies when it comes to processing gambling-related transactions.
Another thing to be aware of when making a casino deposit via a local pay-by-phone-bill service is that you can easily spend more than you originally intended. As this method for depositing is really fast, convenient and easy to use, less disciplined casino players may find it difficult to manage their bankroll and control their spending.
Popular Mobile Deposit Options
Zimpler is a modern, easy-to-use mobile wallet available to users in Sweden and Finland. It was created in Sweden in 2012 and its focus has been on facilitating gaming purchases. Casino players can easily use it for instant deposits and exceptionally fast withdrawals from phones and withdrawals. Their Zimpler accounts are created automatically the first time they pay via the service.
To do that, users need to pick Zimpler as their preferred payment method from the list of options on the casino website. They will be redirected to its web page where they can sign up, entering their phone number. The service then will send them a unique, one-time PIN code via SMS, which needs to be entered for verification. The next step is choosing one of the supported payment methods, depending on the user’s country of residence – credit and debit cards, including Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro, Swish, BankID, and bank transfers. The transaction is completed immediately after you specify the amount you wish to deposit and confirm the transfer.
Withdrawals work the same way and are usually processed within minutes. Every time you use Zimpler, a new PIN is created for you and you can check your payments history. There are no additional fees to pay and the minimum amount you can transfer via this service is $0.30. The maximum limit is individual and can be increased.
Available to customers in over 60 countries, Boku is a mobile payment processing service provider that offers a simple way for customers to pay for games and digital content from their phones. The payments are credited to their phone bills, so there is no need to provide any credit card or banking data. Boku can also be used with prepaid plans, in which case, the charge is deducted from the balance on the phone account.
No registration is needed, so Boku does not collect any sensitive data about the user or the transactions. When you wish to make a casino deposit via this service, you simply need to opt for it on the gaming site and enter the amount of money you want to deposit along with your phone number. As Boku works with more than 250 mobile networks worldwide, it sends the charge to your phone service provider, who then deducts it from your bill.
As you may have already guessed, Boku cannot be used for withdrawing your winnings. Deposits, however, are instantaneous and free of charge.
Payforit is a relatively popular mobile payment method in the United Kingdom for purchasing games and apps, make donations or other payments over the Internet. The service is co-owned by several phone carriers, namely Vodafone, Three, EE, and O2, and is available to all UK-based smartphone users. They can make a deposit via this method in every online casino with the Payforit logo.
To do that, they just need to opt for it, choose the amount of the deposit and enter their phone number if they use a WiFi connection. They will receive a 4-digit security code via text message and they will have to enter it before confirming the transaction. If the phone is connected to the Internet via 3G or 4G, you do not need to enter your phone number – the Payforit flow automatically recognizes your mobile number through your service provider.
Once you confirm the transfer, the deposit should appear in your casino account within several minutes. The charge is credited to your phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Payfirit does not charge customers any fees. Withdrawals are not possible, however, so if you need to cash out your casino winnings, you will need an alternative payment method.