Seven places you can pay by SMS
Ready to buy stuff through SMS? You have more options than you might imagine. Sure, not every business supports pay by phone as of yet. But the choices keep rising. And soon, you could buy clothes, makeup, new shoes or Netflix subscriptions via SMS payments.
For the uninitiated, pay by SMS uses a simple concept: you provide your phone number and personal information; you select what you want to buy; a merchant sends a confirmation message; if you accept, they ship the item to you.
How do you settle pay by SMS? You can use a prepaid card deducted after every purchase. Or your purchases could be added to your phone bill for monthly settlements.
With that in mind, here are some of the ways to buy items or services through SMS payments.
Paying for parking space is one of the oldest use cases of pay by SMS. It was invented in 2001 by a group of Croatians who wanted to reduce payments that involved inserting cash into parking meters.
Pay by phone parking gives you several options. You can buy a ticket and confirm the purchase through an SMS. Then you can clear your bill through a mobile or credit card payment. It takes less than five minutes and saves you the need to carry cash everywhere.
In case you’re wondering, registration isn’t necessary to pay by phone for parking. You can complete the process a couple of times without creating an account with a pay by SMS provider. Eventually, an account becomes necessary.
Picture this: doing your supermarket shop every day even when you don’t have the money. Wouldn’t that reduce a strain on your expenses? Of course, you’ll have to settle the bill sooner or later. But you don’t have to worry about paying for your groceries.
It works best on the Internet. You don’t have to worry about cash and driving to the supermarket. Instead, you send a text detailing what you want and the items are delivered to your home. That way, you only use cash when it’s absolutely necessary.
It sounds too good to be true, but it’s real and safe. You can play games online as long as you want. All you need is an account at a payment provider that supports pay by SMS. Then you have to worry about your credits.
As we mentioned, there are two ways to get around SMS payments. You can apply for a prepaid card. And the benefit is that you’ll always be in control of your budget. Or you could settle for phone bill payments and spend money stress-free.
Of course, you don’t want to spend your money at just about any place. One may want to look out for the best SMS games. Check out this list if you’re in a hurry and want recommendations on which website to join. Most of them award newcomers with welcome bonuses. So, the first game could be entirely free of charge.
Mobile payments are all the rage these days. So, why isn’t every retail store accepting pay by SMS? Sure, Amazon UK doesn’t want to follow up phone bill payments to people in Brussels or Copenhagen. But phone by SMS works excellently for prepaid card payments. And that’s what a handful of retailers are doing. They give you a shopping account that you can fund beforehand; then you can buy things and your purchases will only need SMS authorisation.
Admittedly, there are a couple of hiccups that come with shopping by SMS. For example, you have to buy low-cost items because of small limits. Most pay by phone bill companies have limits, so your list of shopping products must cost less than that.
Video game micropayments
Name a better way to pay for in-game items – we’ll wait. Whether you prefer credit cards, PayPal, Bitcoin or Apple Pay, you must have money in your account to buy loot boxes. That’s not the case for pay by SMS.
Instead, you get a chance to buy as many in-game items as possible. The only requirement is to stay within your credit limits. Of course, one could avoid this problem by choosing a prepaid card and funding it accordingly.
There are plenty of video games that accept pay by phone bill. Most of them have decent limits. But they can also be aggressive in fighting chargebacks and fraud. As such, one should ensure they partner with a trusted payment provider and build trust with the providers gradually.
You may have donated via an SMS text in the past. A charity group asks you to donate a small amount but pay for it later. It sounds impossible until they tell you of the next step: the payment will be added to your phone bill.
If you’ve never made such a donation, you now have that option. The best part is that charities that use Phone by SMS don’t ask for a lot of money. There’s a perfect explanation, though: it’s a government requirement meant to reduce charity fraud. It also helps reduce chargebacks because most people won’t risk paying more in fees for small amounts.
SAAS companies are often among the first businesses to adopt new technologies. And guess what? They are already on the Pay by SMS bandwagon. They differ on the products they charge through phone bills.
But in many cases, these are small payments that don’t exceed $200. For example, you could renew your domain name automatically and pay for it later through your phone bill. Or you could buy a plugin for your browser similarly.
Pay by SMS is one the rise these days. It’s quickly becoming part of companies that like to ease payments for customers. But before you get excited about it, learn a few things first. How much are the payment charges? How are the limits and is the company trustworthy? You don’t just want to pay by SMS. You want to pay safely and cost-effectively.
The editorial unit