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Thursday, February 23, 2012
BOKU Rivals Paypal With New Mobile Payments Platform


PayPal got a new rival in the race to develop a mobile payment service that can be used in physical stores. BOKU today expanded their payments technology to cover full e-commerce and retail point-of-sale with the announcement of BOKU Accounts.

The BOKU Accounts platform allows Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to issue their subscribers an MNO-branded mobile payment account accessible via both mobile device and the Web. Boku's service comes with a sticker that users can slap on the back of their mobile phones, turning any handset into an NFC-enabled device. It also comes with a payment card that can be swiped using existing retailer terminals.

The account allows subscribers to make payments online, in-app, and in-store. In-store purchases via BOKU accounts will be enabled anywhere MasterCard is accepted. Participating subscribers receive personalized deals and access to loyalty programs from their favorite merchants, saving them money, while offering real-time visibility into their spending and budgets. Additionally, subscribers can send and receive money via person-to-person transactions completed via phone.

A mobile subscriber will receive a BOKU Account from their MNO, which includes:

- An MNO-branded mobile payments account
- Online and mobile access (Web, iPhone, Android, and HTML5)
- Personalized offers delivered right to the phone
- Immediate spend visibility and tracking with real-time alerts
- The ability to make payments anywhere, any way customers choose: using a card, NFC sticker, or NFC phone linked to the account.
- The ability to make direct payments to other BOKU Account holders

Boku Inc is an online mobile payments company backed by venture capital firms including Andreessen Horowitz and Benchmark Capital.The release of the "BOKU Accounts" puts the company in closer competition with PayPal, which is pushing its popular online payments service into physical stores. Google Inc is also trying to get its Google Wallet service into stores through a partnership with MasterCard and Citigroup.


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