is an m-commerce
payment solution that allows users to pay, send and receive money via their mobile phone. Luup is building an international mobile transaction network by partnering with banks and financial institutions around the world. Luup specialises in payment processing, the development of mobile payment applications and the hosting of stored value accounts for financial institutions. Customers using Luup can pay for goods and services, donate to charities, pay bills or send money to friends using their mobile phone.
Luup is a regulated service and complies with all applicable national and international rules and regulations such as relevant EC Directives regarding issuance of electronic money and payments. Luup is strictly regulated by the financial authorities of each country of operation, including the Kredittilsynet in Norway and the UK FSA. Luup also has a pan-European E-Money license.
Luup is a trademark of Swiss company Contosoft. Luup was originally developed by Contopronto, a privately owned Norwegian company with operations in Norway, Germany and the UK. It was established in 2000 with the intention to develop a technologically advanced payment system that would be used with mobile phones. In 2002, following nearly two years of development activities, Contopronto received its e-money small issuer's licence from the Norwegian Department of Finance, which enabled them to launch the first mobile payment system and to issue e-money. The Luup mobile payment solution was first launched in Norway in July 2002 under the Contopronto name.
In June 2004, Contopronto sold the product assets, i.e. the software solutions, and associated rights and responsibilities to the Swiss company Contosoft. From this point, Contopronto would focus on mobile and online payment activities in Europe, while licensing the necessary software from Contosoft. Contosoft would concentrate on maintaining and developing the mobile payment systems software and licensing the solution to companies and other interested parties throughout the rest of the world.
In April, 2005, following a period of further product development, Contopronto launched its new and improved payment solution in Norway. The new payment solution was branded “Luup”. During 2005, Contopronto opened offices in the UK and Germany and started to test the service in these markets as well.
Luup is currently entering into partnerships with banks and financial institutions in the Middle East, Europe and key countries in Asia to support mobile payments and remittance services. In February 2007 Contosoft signed an agreement with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which allows every NBAD customer to use the Luup Mobile Payment Network.
Luup is building an international mobile transaction network by partnering with banks and financial institutions around the world. Today it is possible to use Luup for:
- Remittance - Luup offers a highly cost-effective solution for foreign workers wishing to send money to their home countries. Firstly, a user does not have to hold a bank account to receive money via Luup, which means that workers can be paid directly to their mobile phone without needing to get a bank account in their country of employment. They can then send the money via Luup to someone in another country for a fraction of the cost of a normal international money transfer.
- Person to Person payments - Whether it’s splitting a bill, paying a friend back or transferring money for a private transaction, Luup facilitate a very simple way to make personal payments.
- Goods and services - Luup users can use their mobile phones to pay in shops and for various services such as taxis.
- Charity donations - Charities can now receive donations by SMS without facing hefty charges to mobile phone operators. Luup is currently in partnership with over 40 charities including Amnesty International, Acorns and Cancer Active, allowing Luup users to donate to these charities by SMS.
- Top-up for pre-paid mobile phones - Luup enables customers to top-up their prepaid mobile phones. This service allows users to buy airtime for their mobile phones from their mobile phones.
- Mobile-ticketing or M-ticketing - Luup enables an end-to-end mobile ticketing solution, where the user sends a message to buy the ticket and receives a bar-code ticket which can then be swiped to allow entrance. For example, the Eden Project in Cornwall has developed a system with mobile payment provider Luup which allows people to order, pay for and redeem their tickets using their mobiles.
Contopronto is a financially regulated institution with one of the first pan-European E-money
licenses to be issued under the European Union E-money Directive, making them fully compliant with money laundering regulations and suspicious activity reporting requirements in all of our countries of operation. Contopronto is authorised and regulated by the Norwegian Kredittilsynet
, the UK Financial Services Authority
, and the German Bundesamt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht.
The Mobile Payment Process
Payments can be divided into two different categories:
- User to another person (known as P2P, or "Person2Person")
- User to a merchant (known as P2B or "Person2Business")
For a P2P transaction, the user would combine the word "PAY" with the person's username or mobile phone number and followed by the amount desired to be sent e.g. 'PAY JENNIFER 6' or 'PAY 07954664178 6'.
The sender receives an immediate SMS receipt confirming the payment has gone through and displaying their new balance. The recipient also receives an SMS confirming that they had received the payment and their new balance.
For a P2B transaction, the user simply follows the instruction on the merchant's website or as directed in the applicable advertisement.
Luup is currently operational in Europe and have recently launched in the Middle East and China.
The default currency is set to that of the country of the user’s account. In the UK, for example, the default currency is Pounds Sterling (£). Users may however choose to make payments in another currency. For a UK user to conduct a transaction in EURO, the user simply has to enter "EUR" in front of the transaction amount. Luup uses an exchange rate based on the European Central Banks official currency exchange rate list which is downloaded every 24 (twenty-four) hours.
Safety and Security
In order to use the Luup service a user must choose a user name or use their mobile phone number as their unique identifier. They must also choose a password and secret question & answer. They will then be given a PIN ("Personal Identification Number") once they have registered. When buying goods and services from online stores (merchants) they may have to enter their PIN.
As an E-Money Institution Luup is not covered by any public or private insurance schemes. They are, however, tightly regulated by both the Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway and the UK Financial Services Authority pursuant to applicable EC Directives and national Rules and Regulations. This includes a one million EURO security currently placed with the Norwegian Financial Services Authority, or a minimum own capital (funds) requirement equalling two percent of all outstanding issuance of E-money.