Digital payments and fraud prevention services provider Boku (LON: BOKU) has already announced the main details of the 2019 figures. More news on the progress of the underlying operations should be forthcoming in the announcement on Thursday.

Revenues increased from $35.3m to $50m-$50.5m – the lower end of the previous range. Payments revenues were 23% higher, although that includes one-off payments of $3.2m. EBITDA increased from $6.3m to more than $10m, with a contribution from payments and a loss by the identity business. There was $35.6m in the bank at the end of 2019.

Boku gets paid a percentage-based fee by merchants for processing payment transactions over mobile. This includes the likes of Apple, Sony and Spotify. This is known as direct carrier billing, which is more convenient than using PayPal or credit cards because the customer is billed along with the charge for the mobile service. Identity verification services have been added to the product range.

The identity business has not gone as smoothly as hoped. There will be no deferred consideration on the identity business acquired. It needs to win contracts to move towards profitability.


Boku has already told investors that payment volumes continue to grow this year despite COVID-19. Total payment volumes of $966m in the first two months of the year are 30% higher than the same period in 2019.

People staying at home could mean more activity online. Video games companies are major clients. There could be more indication of current volumes with the results.

Boku continues to add new clients. The latest is with South Korean games developer Pearl Abyss for multi-country launches of direct carrier billing and eWallets. The launch countries include Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.

Boku has also signed a mobile identification verification contract with a global mobile telecoms firm that will use the company’s technology worldwide. Boku is able to offer Go-Jek’s eWallet, GoPay, which is a major provider in Indonesia.

Boku has a strong growth track record, but it did disappoint last year. That was partly down to the performance of the identity business. Management may be able to reassure investors that the investment in the business is paying off.