Personal Finance

Boku Brings Pay-By-Phone To The Checkout Counter

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Boku is known for letting consumers pay for online services by adding the charges to their mobile phone bill. Now they are bringing that system to the brick and mortar checkout counter. You will be able to wave your phone over a payment terminal and have the charges appear on your cellphone bill, thanks to Boku’s new near-field communication payment (NFC) service. Pretty nifty, eh?

According to a report from Tech Crunch, through this system consumers will be able to make purchases using an account tied to their mobile phone bill, or have it be tied to a prepaid card issued by MasterCard. How does it work?

In either case, when using their Boku Account, consumers will enter a phone number on the ecommerce website they’re using to start a transaction. They will then receive a text message asking them to confirm the purchase with a brief reply. But as long as their phone is loaded with NFC technology, the consumer can also use the phone with tap-to-pay scanners at point-of-sale terminals.

The company is also developing a type of NFC sticker that will grant users the ability to use this payment method even if their phone doesn’t come with the requisite technology. Between that and the card linked to your cellphone bill, no matter what level of tech your phone or the merchant has or doesn’t have, you will be able to complete the purchase.

Consumers can also monitor their spending with a built-in program that tracks all their purchases by category in a given month.

Merchants will be able to incentivize repeat business with personalized deals and other offers targeted to subscribers, as well as connect the Boku account to store loyalty rewards programs, the report said.

“We want to go to everyday purchases and help change the way that cash is transacted,” Boku president Ron Hirson told the tech news site.

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For that lofty goal, Boku is up against some serious competition. Google, Visa, MasterCard, Paypal and even mobile carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are all working to roll out their own systems. But Boku has an advantage in that it piggybacks on existing technologies and services. No new equipment required? Merci, beaucoup.

Image: Boku.com

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