October 25, 2013

Money2020 Event Recap: Boku Moderates Discussion on ‘The Evolution of Carrier Billing’

Boku Chief Product Officer Adam Lee

Boku Chief Product Officer Adam Lee

Recently, Boku executives traveled to Las Vegas so that they could participate in one of the biggest emerging payment conferences of the year: Money2020.   This year there were 4,250 attendees including more than 375 CEOs representing 1,500 companies from 50 countries.  Innovators from the worlds of retail, mobile, advertising and marketing all converged on The Aria Resort and Casino to get the latest on how consumers and business manage, spend and borrow money.  This year’s event focused on the macro trends that form the common thread in payments and financial services innovation, such as the mobile Internet, open platforms and consumer empowerment.

As the global leader in carrier billing-based mobile payments, Boku’s Chief Product Officer Adam Lee was asked to moderate a discussion on ‘The Evolution of Carrier Billing.’  For the panel, Boku joined forces with Steve Davis, Payments Program Manager for Facebook; Jose Valles, VP of Partner Products at Telefonica; and Brian Smith, Director of Open Product Platforms at Sprint.

The discussion included topics such as the history of carrier billing, how Facebook’s inclusion changed the game. Telefonica’s experience with carrier billing and how its subscribers engage with the billing method, how Sprint views carrier billing vs. other carrier facilitated mobile payments that involve bank products (e.g. mobile wallets), and how carrier billing will evolve in the coming years.

Many thanks to all the Money2020 organizers for pulling off such a first class event as well as to our co-panelists.  Looking forward to seeing you next year.



September 11, 2013

Boku Getting Ready for Money 2020 in Las Vegas

money2020-2013Boku would like to invite our payments friends to join Adam Lee, our Chief Product Officer, at Money 2020 who will be moderating a panel entitled, “The Evolution of Carrier Billing” on October 8, 2013 from 3:40 to 4:25pm.

The year’s panel will focus on the opportunities that exist given that nearly 6 billion people having access to mobile phones around the world. Adam and his panel of fellow experts will discuss the current state and future potential of carrier billing.   Some key questions they’ll be asking of themselves include:  Can these most ubiquitous of accounts be the key to the ‘electronification’ of payments in the global economy? How have carriers and merchants balanced the challenges and opportunities of payment utility? What are their visions for incorporating financial services into their corporate futures?


September 4, 2013

Boku Sales Team Jets to Brighton, England for Company Sales Conference

On July 9th, the entire Boku global sales team dropped into England (via umbrella) for a three day all hands sales conference in Brighton to connect in person and plan for the future. Our global team came from all over the world and this is the first time everyone was in the same place at the same time.  So much fun was had and productivity was high.
The sales team came back in good spirits as they were excited to connect with their far flung teammates from around the world.  We look forward to next year’s conference with an even larger team from even more countries around the world.   Check out some of the fun we had below.
August 21, 2013

Boku is Celebrating the Games at Gamescom 2013

gamescom-outside.0_cinema_960.0.0_cinema_640.0Guten tag from Cologne! As always, Gamescom is “celebrating the games” and Boku is on the ground here in Cologne, Germany to celebrate along with them. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and engaging potential new partners.  Now in its 5th year, Gamescom is the biggest gaming trade fair in the world for interactive entertainment.  This year, about 300,000 visitors are expected to attend from 83 countries.

Events like Gamescom give Boku an incredible opportunity to take the temperature of the industry in order to better understand emerging trends that are important to our merchant partners.  Our mission is to ensure that our partners get everything they need from the Boku payments platform.  As gaming evolves, having an ear to the ground is critical.  If you want to learn more about Boku’s merchant offerings, feel free to check them out here.

Looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in beautiful Cologne!  If you’d like to find us amidst the chaos, send an email to [email protected]

The Boku Team


July 22, 2013

Boku Talks Carrier Billing at Mobile Commerce World

mobilecongressworldOn June 25th, Boku’s Chief Product Officer Adam Lee participated in mobile payments panel at Mobile Commerce World.  The main topics included an overview of carrier billing and an overview of secure element/NFC.The panel moderator used the session to showcase how mobile payments are very much in market, solving problems, and building a real business.The panel discussed how mobile payments technology tends to face more challenges on the commercial side than it does on the technology side.  For NFC, for example, even though NFC has been shipped with millions of phones it is unclear as to who ultimately is supposed to own the secure element:  The companies who publish apps that use it?  The mobile operator that services the handset?  The OEM that manufactured the handset?  The OS that controls the software?  For carrier billing, the technology is incredibly powerful as it comes ready with nearly every mobile phone that is shipped around the world and is “always on”, but associated costs with offering carrier billing still remain too high for certain merchants that want to offer carrier billing as a payment option to their customers. But as those costs come down, the market applications for carrier billing have been steadily broadening.

At the end of the discussion, attendees agreed with the the notion that if you strip out all the unrealistic hype around mobile payments, it remains a tremendously powerful idea that has made wonderful progress both technically and commercially.  The promise of mobile payments is very real and innovation continues to march forward.

May 13, 2013

Hack Week @ Boku!

Screen shot 2013-05-10 at 3.25.29 PM

Written by: Katie Corner, Product Manager

Hack Week:  Two words that have the power to put a smile on every engineer’s face (even before their first cup of coffee).

Last week, Boku kicked off its first ever Hack Week. Everyone took a break from their normal work (except mission critical tasks of course) to reflect and “hack” on a project they are most passionate about.

The result? All our employees around the globe Rocked. Our. Mobile. Payments. World.  Check out the video below of the rock-ness in progress


May 13, 2013

Boku Speaks at Innovate 2013: Impact of Mobile on Commerce & Media

590674_GlobalLogic-LogoSmallBoku was recently invited to participate on a panel at GlobalLogic’s Innovate 2013 Conference at Stanford University in Palo Alto. GlobalLogic’s Innovate conference series explores how today’s business leaders are transforming their market spaces through innovative ideas and technologies. The April 18th conference discussed the impact of rapid and widespread mobile adoption on the global market for mCommerce, media downloads, mobile apps, and ads.  Industry-defining figures were also in attendance from NEA, Google, VISA, LinkedIn, Facebook, Boku, Bloomreach, and Appcelerator.  Participants opined on how to take advantage of the explosive growth and adoption of mobile devices and apps.

Boku’s panel, Trends in Mobile Commerce & Payments, discussed features such as mobile wallets and how location-awareness is changing the way we shop and pay for goods and services. This panel considered the dramatic growth of shopping on mobile devices, the evolving mobile payments landscape, new avenues opened by mobile, and the strategies of leading incumbents and potential disruptors.  While many topics from security to mobile payments around the world to definitions of mobile payments were discussed, one central theme that emerged was the need for payment companies to deliver context appropriate experiences on mobile.  Specifically, delivering experiences that strike the right balance between payment information required and security provided by recognizing the difficulty of data entry on mobile devices.  At Boku, we’re very familiar with this.  By offering 1-click checkout experiences or by only requiring a phone number (vs. credit card number, CVV, expiration date, etc.), Boku is able to drive significantly higher conversion for merchant partners on mobile when compared to conversion rates for traditional payment methods.

Many thanks to the organizers for the opportunity to participate in this thought provoking panel.


March 4, 2013

Boku Poker Night: Newbie Dominates

Last Tuesday night, the Boku Kafe was transformed into a No Limit, Texas Hold ’em poker super arena with everyone out for blood. Dozens from Boku threw down cold, hard cash for the chance to win fame and fortune.

Different folks brought different strategies and styles to their gameplay, but in the end, Boku vets couldn’t hold a candle to newbie business development new hire and amateur poker hero, Dan Steif.  Dan started his evening at the beginners table and amassed a mountain of chips early in the evening.  He then brought his talent and racks on racks of chips to the finals table where he cleaned up.  Congratulations Dan.  You’ve made some enemies.  Sleep lightly.

Looking forward to the next Poker Night at Boku.  Check out some pictures of the event below.













February 24, 2013

Bags are packed: See you at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

RGB_White_VerOnce again, Boku is making the journey to GSMA’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. In case you’re new to mobile and not familiar with the GSMA, from their website: “The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. Spanning 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators, as well as more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations.”

Now that’s a prestigious organization and we’re really looking forward to it. Anyone who’s been to MWC knows it’s a big, crazy, awesome and exciting event.  Because Boku is the world leader in online mobile payments, with coverage in 68 countries (not cities guys, countries) across 250+ different mobile carriers, there’s no place on earth we’d rather be.

If you’re going to be in Barcelona and want to meet up, give us a shout at [email protected]

January 30, 2013

The Verdict: Banks Beware, Disruptors are at the Gates

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 8.29.39 PMPayments Forward is a networking forum that brings together senior professionals from across the payments world to discuss and debate the issues and future developments within the industry.  Last week, they invited our CBO, Jon Prideaux, along with the Head of Digital Banking from Barclays responsible for Pingit, the Managing Directors of iZettle and the UK Cards Association to debate the following proposition:

“The banks will be able to hold the non-bank disrupters at bay.”

Barclays and the UK Cards guys spoke in favor, Jon and Stewart Roberts from iZettle spoke against. Votes are taken before and after the debate and the winning side is the one that shifts opinions to their point of view.  The bankers talked about heritage, trust, critical mass and the role of the regulator. Jon led the charge for the disrupters arguing that:

“Far from having a natural right to run the payment system — the banks/money lenders were latecomers to the party. For the first 1,500 years (at least) of money, the lenders had no role in payments. They only got into it by accident as a means of more efficiently lending money. Innovators in banking are the renegades: men like Dee Hock, the founder of Visa, whose reward was to be sacked – better than Johan Palmstruck the man who introduced the paper banknote to Europe though – he got a death sentence!

“Perhaps because banks didn’t really want to be in payments, from a high point in the 1990s they’ve been progressively getting out. With ISOs doing their selling to merchants, co-branding partners getting them consumers, PSPs connecting their merchants to the system, Third Party Processors like First Data handling the processing of consumers accounts, through to the sell off of acquiring businesses. The truth is that banks today provide little more than a veneer, with most of the profit taken by non banks; their role is to be the BIN sponsor, the regulatory compliance piece in the chain.”

When the votes were taken — the disrupters’ team won! Even in a room consisting mostly of bankers and bank owned associations,  this outsider message seemed to catch a nerve.  Well done Jon!  We agree with your passionate argument and promise never to debate or challenge you on anything ever again.

See below for some photos of Jon in action: