Boku and MasterCard team up for mobile payments


MasterCard recently announced a new partnership with online mobile payments company Boku, which it claims will enhance consumers' shopping experience. Boku users will be able to make payments, receive discounts and monitor their spending via their mobile phones at all retailers that accept MasterCard. The service, Boku and MasterCard say, should therefore give consumers a new and convenient way to benefit from the mobile payments revolution.

How Boku works
Previously, Boku only allowed consumers to make online payments by charging them to their mobile phone bills. Now, in its partnership with MasterCard, Boku is offering a new service called Boku

With Boku Accounts, consumers can use a PayPass-enabled mobile phone in-store or use a standard MasterCard prepaid card linked to a Boku account when shopping online. When shopping in-store, all that is required is a simple swipe or tap of the mobile phone or prepaid card on the designated MasterCard reader.

Even those without a near field communication (NFC)-enabled phone can use the system, as they will be sent an NFC sticker to attach to their phones that will enable contactless payments.

Boku president Ron Hirson claims that Boku Accounts "brings together the best parts of mobile payments and technology," allowing consumers to use "the device in [their] pocket to improve every transaction [they] make, anywhere in the world".

Users may benefit from offers and monitoring tools
Consumers who use the service may also benefit from special offers, as Boku Accounts allows retailers to create loyalty programmes and send out personalised offers that can be delivered to customers via mobile apps, SMS messages, push notifications or emails.

The new service is also useful for people who like to keep a close eye on their spending, as they can use their accounts to monitor their transactions and control their weekly budgets. Subscribers will be able to see their payments as soon as they have been made and track their spending with the aid of real-time alerts, such as notifications when they are approaching a pre-specified level of spending.

See related: Is going contactless the way of the future?, UK consumers 'fearful of mobile payments'

Published: 9 March 2012