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What is a Token?

Tokens are Bookem's currency for SMSes and are paid for up-front.

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

How to calculate SMS costs

Tokens are charged based on the destination country of the recipient, i.e. where the mobile phone provider is based. If someone is travelling from London to the US, but is using their British handset while they are there, the amount of tokens charged to SMS them will be governed by the UK price.

The cost of SMSes 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

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

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

If your SMSes 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.

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