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What is a Token?

Tokens are Bookem's currency for SMSs and are paid for up-front and is not part of your monthly subscription fee.

Sending SMS messages, manual or automated, are entirely optional. Emails are always free.

How it works

SMSs are optional and so are notifications. You can decide if or when they get sent and for which triggers (on confirmation, on cancellation, reminders, etc) they are sent.

When you sign up for Bookem you will start with the default notification settings. You can edit these in Settings - Automated messages. Here you can choose to send via email only, or SMS as backup only for whichever types of notifications you want.

How to calculate SMS costs using tokens

  • Tokens are charged based on the recipient's mobile provider's location. So, if someone travels from London to the US but uses their UK phone, the token charge for SMS will be based on UK prices.

  • The cost of SMSs in your local currency to different destinations can be found by using the calculator at the top of the Top up page. Simply select your currency and destination to find out how many tokens are used per SMS to that destination.

For example:

  • Cost per token in USD to US-based phones are $0.04 per token

  • SMSs to South Africa in Rands (ZAR) cost R0.80 per token

How tokens are used for SMSs

The maximum length of an SMS is 160 characters. If your SMS message is more than that number of characters, it may be sent over two or more messages and you will be charged 1 token for each message. Special characters can take up more than a standard character.

If your SMSs are taking too many tokens and you don't know why, remember:

  • How many characters variables take up depend entirely on their length at the time of sending. For e.g., the variable called $first_name may have the value Max. It will take less characters than Bartholomew.

  • Special characters, such as emojis, escape characters and unicode symbols can take much more than one character. Read more on SMS lengths here.

You can test SMS lengths (and whether they’ll be sent as one or more SMSes) by pasting them into any client ad hoc message composer. The count will show underneath. 

Top up tokens

You can top up tokens by clicking 'Top up' in the bottom right corner of the side panel menu on.

You can also visit this link to top up on tokens.

Prevent running out of tokens

To prevent running out of tokens, you can set up a low token balance alert. Click here to learn how.

Learn more