A new mobile payment service has been launched by Boku, which users can deploy in physical stores. Users of Boku’s system pay with their mobile numbers so that transactions are charged to their monthly phone bills. Boku provides billing mechanisms through about 230 wireless carriers, including AT&T and Verizon.
The company’s near-field technology permits consumers to pay for purchases at any store equipped with Mastercard PayPass Near Field Communications payment system.
In the past, most Boku transactions were executed on PCs or through mobile apps confined to online purchases. The new development vastly expands Boku’s services to direct competition with PayPal and Google Wallet. PayPal is launching a similar mobile initiative. Google Wallet is entering the same market by partnering with MasterCard and Citigroup.
However, the PayPal option requires a software upgrade and the Google Wallet system only functions with near field technology devices. Alternatively, Boku’s option turns any mobile phone into near field equipment. Plus, customers can use a card at retail outlets that lack near field technology within the store. New phones or new terminals are not required for the Boku platform.
A companion smart phone app allows transfers of money among Boku users. By doing so, participants receive promotional offers and discounts from retailers.
Boku has operations worldwide and is based in San Francisco. The company started in 2009 and has already received $38,000,000 of investor capital.