Want to fund your online sports betting account with real money but don’t want to use a credit card or bank account? If you have access to a mobile phone, there are some payment methods available that allow you to deposit directly via SMS or your mobile phone account. We explain how to fund your online betting account with real money using SMS and which online bookie sites accept these payment methods.
Why use an SMS deposit to fund your online betting account
SMS deposit services serve a couple of different functions. For cash-based economies where online players don’t have access to a bank account or online payment provider, SMS payment services enable punters to make online payments using nothing more than their mobile phone subscription. This also provides an added layer of safety against pick pocketing or petty theft, as your funds are safely transferred through the help of authorised retailers.
Another benefit of using an SMS service to deposit real money to your online sports betting account is the security it provides. Your transaction is not linked to a bank account or credit card, so there’s no chance of your personal financial information being intercepted by a hacker or unauthorised third party. This makes many punters feel more comfortable about gambling for real money online.
What SMS deposit options are available for online betting?
Although widely used in some countries, SMS deposit services are not as common as other online deposit options like credit cards, Web wallets, bank transfers or pre-paid cards, so the SMS deposit options aren’t as extensive. We’ve provided a brief overview below of the two major SMS deposit options available at online betting sites, M-Pesa and Boku.
M-Pesa mobile SMS deposits
M-Pesa is one of the most popular deposit options for Kenyan players. This mobile payment service is run by telecommunications giant Vodafone and has become one of the most used money transfer services in the world. It allows Kenyan players to deposit money and make payments online with the use of a mobile phone SMS service, providing safe online payments in a country where most players don’t have access to an online bank account or Web wallet service.
To deposit with M-Pesa, a visit must be made to an authorised M-Pesa retailer, where cash is exchanged for a unique pin number which is linked to your mobile phone account. Using your M-Pesa pin number, the deposit can then be made to an online betting site by following this process:
- Bring up the M-Pesa menu on your mobile phone
- Select ‘pay bill’
- Enter the business number provided by the online bookie
- Enter your online betting account number or username
- Enter the amount you want to deposit, excluding commas
- Enter your M-Pesa pin number and press send
Read our M-Pesa deposit guide to learn more about M-Pesa, how it works and how you can deposit real money to your online sports betting account with this trusted SMS service .
Boku SMS mobile deposits
Boku Pay By Mobile is a mobile payment service that allows you to make an online deposit that will be charged to your mobile phone bill. You don’t need to have an online bank account or provide the betting provider with any of your financial information – you simply need to pay the amount of your online betting deposit next time you pay your mobile phone bill. If you find an online sports betting site that accepts SMS deposits using Boku, here’s how to complete your deposit:
- Sign up for an account with the online bookie and head to the payment page
- Select ‘Pay By Mobile’ as your preferred payment method
- Enter and save your mobile phone number
- You will receive an SMS with a pin number which you then enter to authenticate your mobile number at the betting site
- Deposit money any time using this service and your deposits will automatically be billed to the corresponding phone number
If you have a pre-paid mobile phone account, any deposits you make will be deducted from your existing phone credit.
This SMS-based payment processing service is available to users aged 18 years or older, but you must have an SMS enabled mobile phone that’s authorised by your mobile phone provider to use premium SMS text services.
Airtel Mobile Money deposits
Airtel is another popular mobile money service which is similar to M-Pesa. Users locate an authorised agent to exchange cash for a unique pin to use when making deposits and purchasing goods.
According to reviews online, Airtel agents aren’t as easily found as M-Pesa agents. However, Airtel doesn’t incur any transaction fees so if you can locate an agent this service might beat out M-Pesa.
Betway is one betting site which accepts Airtel deposits and you can find the instructions under the banking page. Kenyan punters can follow these steps at Betway;
- Create an account with Betway
- Go to your Airtel Money account and select “Make Payments”
- Then select “Pay Bill” and then “Others”
- Enter 880185 in the business name box and the amount you want to deposit
- Then enter your Airtel Money pin and enter Betway into the reference box
A confirmation text will be sent to your phone once the transaction has been processed.
The Airtel deposit process is different at other African betting sites, so be sure to review the deposit page before sending your money.
Which sports betting sites accept SMS deposits?
Currently, none of the online sports betting sites we endorse support mobile payment using Boku, but Kenyan players will be happy to know that M-Pesa mobile deposits are available at top-rated online bookie, BetWay. New players who sign up for an account at BetWay can claim a 100% matched deposit welcome bonus, but unfortunately this welcome bonus is available to players from Ireland or the United Kingdom only.
If an SMS deposit service isn’t available to you, check out our guide to alternative deposit methods.
What online sports can I bet on using SMS deposits?
If you find an online betting site that accepts deposits via an SMS service, you can deposit with that method to place bets on a wide selection of sporting, racing and special events. The events you can bet on vary depending on the sports betting site you choose, but commonly include horse racing, soccer, football, baseball, cricket, boxing, UFC, tennis, basketball, eSports, cycling, rugby, golf, hockey and many more.